canoe hunting?

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canoe hunting?

Postby duckjumper » Mon May 22, 2006 1:28 pm

Hey all,

Where can you hunt waterfowl legally from a canoe or boat? What are the rules regarding shooting from the water? I know lots of people hunt from boats (Like HuntChessies) but I have no idea how to get started.

Any thoughts?
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Postby tstrong » Mon May 22, 2006 1:45 pm

Get a regulations booklet. It has everything in there you will need.
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Postby duckjumper » Tue May 23, 2006 2:31 pm

I have read the regs. All they say is that you can hunt indeed from a canoe. I am asking people who do this sort of thing for advice, as well as general areas to try it. (not trying to smoke out someone's honey hole)
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Postby tstrong » Tue May 23, 2006 5:06 pm

Didn't mean that way. You can hunt from a canoe from just about anywhere you can launch it. But as far as having it anchored or tied down that part is in the regs. You can't be moving unless persuing a crippled.
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Postby speczilla » Tue May 23, 2006 5:18 pm

Lots of places to go with a boat. That's the fun of boat hunting. The delta, SF bay, consumnes river, san jauquin river, sacramento river, sloughs, canals, creeks, lakes, bypasses, tule/lower klamath etc. The great thing about boat hunting is being able to go out and scout out spots to try - that's what this time of year is all about.

If you are using a canoe just be very careful if you are heading out in the dark as the motorized boats might run you over. Also be careful about wind and waves in bigger water - you want to make sure you make it back to shore alive.

You can legally hunt from a boat in all waterways except if posted by authorities which is somewhat rare. I know that part of the consumnes river is now restricted - don't know where exactly though but it involves a nature preserve area. As long as the waterway does not exceed its normal high water mark (i.e. floods) you can go and hunt wherever you want on the waterway. Some exceptions are federal lands (refuges etc) as federal rights/law supercedes the state constitution which grants you the right to travel on any navigable waterway in the state. For example, don't try to hunt in Sutter refuge when it floods. I have met a couple of guys who got tickets.

If you are hunting from a canoe where you don't need a launch ramp you need to be aware that you must put in from a public area or have written permission to launch from a private landowner's land. For a canoe the way to get around that is to put in wherever a public road crosses the waterway as that is legal as long as you do not cross private property to do so.

Research it and remember your rights as a citizen of this state afforded you by the state constitution. If you get a ticket for trespass etc fight it in court and use the navigable waterways provision of the constitution as your defense. I know a guy who hunts from a boat in the butte sink when the bypass floods there and has received 3 tickets for "trespassing" over several years and he has beaten every single one of them in court easily.

Most of the wardens don't have a handle on the laws. I have spoken with several over the past few months regarding these issues and each one of them had a seperate answer. Some have said that for example you are trespassing if you hunt the bypass as you are floating over private property. Others have said in that scenario as long as you are not attached to the ground in any way (decoy anchors, boat anchor, attached to a tree that is in the ground, etc) then you are not trespassing as you are using a navigable waterway which has not exceeded its high water mark. A lot of it depends upon the officer and district attornery's office involved as they will use their judgement. But ultimately if they decide to press charges it will be decided by a judge who when given the navigable waterway constitutional defense will let you off - most of the time, circumstances are different in all cases. Do your research and contact the warden, sherriff, and/or the district attorney's office for the area you want to hunt and ask them their interpretations of the laws.
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Postby duckjumper » Tue May 23, 2006 6:19 pm

That's pretty helpful, but I can't imagine not getting hassled hunting from a boat - and you can't hunt on rivers in populated areas, right? I mean, you'd be shooting awfully close to people. And in the Delta, aren't all those islands private? So unless you jump a bird on the water, shoot it on the way up, and then it lands in the water (not on the island) you're out of luck, right? And what happens in general if your bird falls onto private land? This happens often, no?
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Postby worknem » Tue May 23, 2006 6:53 pm

dj. The best bet for clarification would be to contact the resources spec mentioned. 2nd hand info, and sometimes that from the legal beagles, will prolly end up in an expensive and frustrating hunt.

speczilla. I've seen lots of folks tackle this one trying to explain and give resource possibilities. You've nailed the most informative to date IMO. :salude:

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Postby speczilla » Tue May 23, 2006 7:20 pm

duckjumper wrote:That's pretty helpful, but I can't imagine not getting hassled hunting from a boat - and you can't hunt on rivers in populated areas, right? I mean, you'd be shooting awfully close to people. And in the Delta, aren't all those islands private? So unless you jump a bird on the water, shoot it on the way up, and then it lands in the water (not on the island) you're out of luck, right? And what happens in general if your bird falls onto private land? This happens often, no?


In the delta you don't have to be on an island. just set up your boat and spread where you have seen birds before and have at it. It takes scouting to find the right places but is very rewarding if you find some honey holes and like I said before, that's what the offseason is all about.

I asked this same question to several wardens re: birds landing on private property. It is a damned if you do, damned if you don't situation. If you leave the bird they can cite you for wanton waste. If you go and get it you are trespassing. Here is what the wardens told me: You must make an attempt to retrieve the bird even if on private land or you will be cited for wanton waste - you must leave your gun in your boat. If the landowner explcitely states to you that you are not to be on the property -dead bird or not- then you are to leave their property and the bird but you will not be cited for wanton waste. All of the wardens I spoke to said that they would be very accomadative if you at least make an attempt to retrieve the bird and that it would have to be an extreme, unlikely scenario for them to write you a trespass ticket. They all said that in court an understanding judge would most likely not penalize you for trespass if you were attempting to retrieve downed game WITHOUT your gun.

You won't get hassled on the water as long as you are acting in a responsible manner - remember it is duck season - cold and rainy - how many folks venture out in there pleasure boats in that weather??
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Postby hunt Chessies » Tue May 23, 2006 7:52 pm

Brad gave you some excellent advice! Do you research now and be prepared for when the issue comes up.

just like what was mentioned there are tons of places to look for ducks that are perfectly legal to hunt. There are also a couple refuges that you can use and boat but most of them I wouldn't recommend in a canoe without a lot of expierence and scouting.

Canoe's can be very dangerous. Bad weather, shooting from the boat, cold water, other larger, faster boats among other things.

One thing I do know about hunting near private property is you can't shoot birds onto private property. Your shot is an extention of the hunter just like a dog. If you know that when you shoot the bird, shot or dog is going to go beyond the private property line, you are tresspassing.

You really need to find out who protrols that area and find out how he or she interprets the law just like Spec said.

You just got to get out there and scout!!!

Speaking of scouting, Brad do you want to go out tomorrow and check some areas out. I finnally got the motor mounted!
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Postby speczilla » Tue May 23, 2006 8:13 pm

Ahh man I'd love to... but work beckons. I am going away for the weekend on Thursday morning so I have a bunch of things I need to get done beforehand.

Let me know how the new boat runs. My boat is still "2-3 weeks away" from being here - same thing they said 2-3 weeks ago! I did some scouting up north for launch areas over the weekend and found a spot - I'll fill you in on it.

Oh by the way, Claude is having me contact a farmer up in Marysville who has an egg salvage project in a wheat field that will be harvested in the next week or so. Claude will be gone for the next couple of weeks and since I am going to be gone this weekend I may have an egg salvage for you to go to and help organize if you want to and if they need to harvest by next week. If they are not harvesting until the following week I can organize it for the next weekend. I'll let you know more after I speak to the farmer tomorrow.
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