Tuesday, May 6, 2014
Will California Stop Seeing Feral Pigs as Game Animals?
For years, the cost of a wild/feral pig tag through the CA DFW has gone up on a regular basis. Back in the day, a feral pig wasn't even considered a game animal and you could hunt them at will. Then, when CA figured they could make some money, they start charging the hunters for a book of tags, and now they charge for single tags. A new bill, AB 2268, has been introduced that proposes a study by the DFW on the wild pig population and what can be done to reduce numbers. Thank you to Phillip at The Hog Blog for making me aware if this bill.
The down and dirty of it is that Anthony Rendon (D-Lakewood) wants a study conducted by the CA DFW that provide 'recommendations on solutions to mitigate the wild pig population.' As I read more into it, it sounds like the bill hints at removing the feral pig from game animal status because (as I interpret the bill) the process to get a tag takes too long, is difficult, and prohibits reducing the population. I am all for that, but also remember that Anthony Rendon was the Assemblyman who spearheaded AB-711, the bill to ban the use of lead ammunition in CA. Does he have an ulterior motive here? I am not saying he does, but there is some trepidation on my part.
I do agree that the CA DFW is doing nothing to help curb the population by raising the fees each year and charging so much for a single pig tag. Seriously, a pig tag costs $22.17 for a resident hunter. Personally, I think they should open up some of the limited access areas to hunters, even for a limited time without charging them more fees to be there. Some of us have yet to kill a pig on public land, but it will happen.
I will be keeping a close eye on this as I like to hunt pigs, but also because all California hunters should watch as this unfolds and show your support for it. Share your ideas, thoughts, concerns and get the word out. Can you imagine if we could hunt them at will? I think it having a hunting license should still be required, but that's it. Take as many as you can with any legal weapon possible.
How do you guys weigh in? How do you feel about this bill?