sI was fishing in a lake and accidentally caught a duck. I twisted it and carefully removed the hook from its bill. The duck seemed fine, so I let it go.
My friends and I were wondering if I had a hunting license and federal and state stamps, could I legally keep ducks?
a: We’re glad you released the duckling, because harvesting it would have been illegal.
Although it was an accident, taking a duck by the hook is not an authorized method in the California Code of Regulations.
Accidental catching of waterfowl by hook sometimes occurs, usually in parks with waterfowl that have evolved more domesticated behavior characteristics.
You did the right thing by removing the hook and immediately releasing the duck. However, if the duck is injured or if you do not want to risk injury by removing the hook, we recommend that you notify your local wildlife rehabilitation facility. See a list of wildlife rescues at bit.ly/3H16Qkz.
sIs it legal to keep a squirrel as a pet?
a: No. It is illegal to own wild animals in California.
It is not in the interest of wildlife, including the health of wildlife, to keep them in captivity. Usually, only zoos, wildlife sanctuaries, and wildlife rehabilitation facilities have the appropriate veterinary staff, training, equipment, and knowledge on how to properly feed and house wildlife to qualify for a permit.
Additionally, keeping wildlife in captivity can be problematic from a public health and safety perspective.
We understand that people want to take care of wildlife, but the best way to do that is to allow wildlife to be wild. Possession of California wildlife as a pet is a violation that California Department of Fish and Wildlife officers take seriously, and if discovered could result in wild animal citation and confiscation.
sWhat should I do if a bear breaks into my home or business?
aThe best way to prevent break-ins is to store food and garbage properly and keep entrances to property secure. This includes securing crawl spaces and other spaces under porches and floors that bears may use as winter dens.
Bears are usually driven by scent when foraging, and improperly stored human food and garbage is usually the root cause of bear incursions and property damage.
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If you experience an intrusion, please report it to the CDFW by contacting the regional office closest to you – see the list at wildlife.ca.gov/Regions, or by submitting a wildlife incident report at apps.wildlife.ca. gov/wir. CDFW reporting helps track conflict tolerance activity and supports property owners to prevent further damage. The property must be cleaned and secured immediately to prevent further break-ins.
CDFW staff is available to consult with property owners on best practices to help make homes or businesses less attractive to bears. If the property damage is severe, the CDFW crew may be able to conduct an inspection of the site and collect DNA evidence to see if bear DNA matches any known conflict in the area. Staff can also explain the looting permit process.
CDFW’s recently updated statewide bear policy highlights the importance of taking preventive action by removing attractants in bear habitats and establishes a clear process for addressing each unique situation involving a bear/human conflict. Additional information and resources are available on the CDFW’s Keep Me Wild: Black Bear webpage.
e-mailCalOutdoors@wildlife.ca.gov With questions for the CDFW.