New hunter in need of advice

HighlyAdaptive

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Hello all!
I recently just got my hunting license and plan on going hunting for some rabbits in then next few weeks. I have a few questions though, do zones apply to small game? Also, does anyone know if it is legal to hunt rabbit with a muzzleloader? It's 32 caliber and I have steel round balls to be legal with the whole lead ban.
Thanks in advance!
 

ilovesprig

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Hmmmmm......Hunting rabbits with steel balls.....Should work......No zones either..... :smiley-thumbs-up-aqua:
 

sierrahunter1

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Welcome to the addiction! Rabbits are a great way to get started. California regulations can be complicated, so it's good to be familiar with them.
There are areas in California where hunting rabbits is prohibited. See the below regulations.

§308. Brush, Cottontail and Pigmy Rabbits, and Varying Hare (Snowshoe).(a) General Season and Area: The general season shall open on July 1 extending through the last Sunday in January, and shall be open statewide except for that area described in (d) below.(b) Falconry Rabbits and Hares. Brush, cottontail and pigmy rabbits and varying hare (snowshoe) may be taken with raptors only during the general rabbit and hare seasons and as follows: The season shall open on the first Monday following the close of the general season extending through the third Sunday in March, and shall be open statewide except for that area described in (d) below.(c) Bag and Possession Limit in the Aggregate of All Species: Five per day, 10 in possession.(d) The take of brush and cottontail rabbits is prohibited within the area described as follows: That portion of San Joaquin County generally located between Stockton and Tracy that is enclosed by the following lines: Beginning at the intersection of Stewart Road and Interstate 5; west along Stewart road to the intersection of Stewart Road and Old River; southwest along Old River to the intersection of Old River and Tom Paine Slough; south along Tom Paine Slough to the intersection of Tom Paine Slough and Sugar Cut; south along Sugar Cut to the intersection of Sugar Cut and Interstate 205; east along Interstate 205 to the intersection of Interstate 205 and Interstate 5; north along Interstate 5 to the intersection of Interstate 5 and Stewart Road.

Amendment of subsections (a) and (b) and new subsection (d) filed 6-28-2002; operative 6-28-2002 .

§309. Jack Rabbits, Black-Tailed and White-Tailed.(a) General Season and Area: The general season shall be open statewide all year.(b) Bag and Possession Limit: No limit.

Amendment filed 5-13-81; designated effective 5-23-81.

§310. Shooting Hours on Resident Small Game Mammals.

The shooting hours for all resident small game mammals shall be one-half hour before sunrise to one-half hour after sunset.

New NOTE filed 9-16-81; designated effective 5-23-81.

§311. Methods Authorized for Taking Resident Small Game.

The take or attempted take of any resident small game with a firearm shall be in accordance with the use of nonlead projectiles and ammunition pursuant to Section 250.1. Only the following may be used to take resident small game:

(a) Shotguns 10 gauge or smaller using shot shells only and incapable of holding more than three shells in the magazine and chamber combined. If a plug is used to reduce the capacity of a magazine to fulfill the requirements of this section, the plug must be of one piece construction incapable of removal without disassembling the gun.(b) Shotgun shells may not be used or possessed that contain shot size larger than No. BB, except that shot size larger than No. 2 may not be used or possessed when taking wild turkey. All shot shall be loose in the shell.(c) Muzzle-loading shotguns.(d) Falconry.(e) Bow and arrow (see Section 354 for archery equipment regulations).(f) Air rifles powered by compressed air or gas and used with any caliber of pellet, except that wild turkey may only be taken with a pellet that is at least 0.177 caliber.(g) In addition to the methods listed in (a), (b), (c), (d), (e) and (f) above, firearm rifles and pistols may be used for taking rabbits and squirrels only; except in Los Angeles County where rifles and pistols may not be used.(h) In San Diego and Orange counties only, rabbits may be taken at any time during the open season by means of box traps. Such traps shall not exceed 24 inches in any dimension, shall be tended at least once every 24 hours, and shall show the name and address of the trap owner. All rabbits taken under this section shall be immediately killed and become a part of the daily bag limit.(i) Electronic or mechanically-operated calling or sound-reproducing devices are prohibited when attempting to take resident game birds.(j) Coursing dogs may be used to take rabbits.(k) Archers hunting during any archery season may not possess a firearm while in the field engaged in archery hunting during an archery season.(l) The use of live decoys is prohibited when attempting to take resident game birds.(m) Pistols and revolvers may be used to take sooty and ruffed grouse in those counties only and for the season described in Section 300(a)(1)(E).(n) Crossbows, except for provisions of Section 354(d) and (g).(o) Dogs may be used to take and retrieve resident small game.
 

HighlyAdaptive

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sierrahunter1 said:
Welcome to the addiction! Rabbits are a great way to get started. California regulations can be complicated, so it's good to be familiar with them.
There are areas in California where hunting rabbits is prohibited. See the below regulations.

§308. Brush, Cottontail and Pigmy Rabbits, and Varying Hare (Snowshoe).(a) General Season and Area: The general season shall open on July 1 extending through the last Sunday in January, and shall be open statewide except for that area described in (d) below.( B) Falconry Rabbits and Hares. Brush, cottontail and pigmy rabbits and varying hare (snowshoe) may be taken with raptors only during the general rabbit and hare seasons and as follows: The season shall open on the first Monday following the close of the general season extending through the third Sunday in March, and shall be open statewide except for that area described in (d) below.(c) Bag and Possession Limit in the Aggregate of All Species: Five per day, 10 in possession.(d) The take of brush and cottontail rabbits is prohibited within the area described as follows: That portion of San Joaquin County generally located between Stockton and Tracy that is enclosed by the following lines: Beginning at the intersection of Stewart Road and Interstate 5; west along Stewart road to the intersection of Stewart Road and Old River; southwest along Old River to the intersection of Old River and Tom Paine Slough; south along Tom Paine Slough to the intersection of Tom Paine Slough and Sugar Cut; south along Sugar Cut to the intersection of Sugar Cut and Interstate 205; east along Interstate 205 to the intersection of Interstate 205 and Interstate 5; north along Interstate 5 to the intersection of Interstate 5 and Stewart Road.

Amendment of subsections (a) and ( B) and new subsection (d) filed 6-28-2002; operative 6-28-2002 .

§309. Jack Rabbits, Black-Tailed and White-Tailed.(a) General Season and Area: The general season shall be open statewide all year.( B) Bag and Possession Limit: No limit.

Amendment filed 5-13-81; designated effective 5-23-81.

§310. Shooting Hours on Resident Small Game Mammals.

The shooting hours for all resident small game mammals shall be one-half hour before sunrise to one-half hour after sunset.

New NOTE filed 9-16-81; designated effective 5-23-81.

§311. Methods Authorized for Taking Resident Small Game.

The take or attempted take of any resident small game with a firearm shall be in accordance with the use of nonlead projectiles and ammunition pursuant to Section 250.1. Only the following may be used to take resident small game:

(a) Shotguns 10 gauge or smaller using shot shells only and incapable of holding more than three shells in the magazine and chamber combined. If a plug is used to reduce the capacity of a magazine to fulfill the requirements of this section, the plug must be of one piece construction incapable of removal without disassembling the gun.( B) Shotgun shells may not be used or possessed that contain shot size larger than No. BB, except that shot size larger than No. 2 may not be used or possessed when taking wild turkey. All shot shall be loose in the shell.(c) Muzzle-loading shotguns.(d) Falconry.(e) Bow and arrow (see Section 354 for archery equipment regulations).(f) Air rifles powered by compressed air or gas and used with any caliber of pellet, except that wild turkey may only be taken with a pellet that is at least 0.177 caliber.(g) In addition to the methods listed in (a), ( B), (c), (d), (e) and (f) above, firearm rifles and pistols may be used for taking rabbits and squirrels only; except in Los Angeles County where rifles and pistols may not be used.(h) In San Diego and Orange counties only, rabbits may be taken at any time during the open season by means of box traps. Such traps shall not exceed 24 inches in any dimension, shall be tended at least once every 24 hours, and shall show the name and address of the trap owner. All rabbits taken under this section shall be immediately killed and become a part of the daily bag limit.(i) Electronic or mechanically-operated calling or sound-reproducing devices are prohibited when attempting to take resident game birds.(j) Coursing dogs may be used to take rabbits.(k) Archers hunting during any archery season may not possess a firearm while in the field engaged in archery hunting during an archery season.(l) The use of live decoys is prohibited when attempting to take resident game birds.(m) Pistols and revolvers may be used to take sooty and ruffed grouse in those counties only and for the season described in Section 300(a)(1)(E).(n) Crossbows, except for provisions of Section 354(d) and (g).(o) Dogs may be used to take and retrieve resident small game.
Thanks for the info :) I seem to be gtg for the most part.
 

HighlyAdaptive

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Crimson Crusher said:
Musket bunnies...hell ya...please post pics
Will definitely do. This will be quite the challenge considering I'm using a flintlock and shooting a single round ball.
 

HighlyAdaptive

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One more thing, my buddy is gonna be using a 20 gauge shotgun and was wondering where he could find some non lead bb size shotgun ammunition for a 20 gauge? What do you guys use typically? If you could put a link that would be super helpful! :)
 

sierrahunter1

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Yup, socal said it. You don't need anything crazy for bunnies. I use #7.
 

TonyS

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#6 is just fine to roll some bunnies.
 

TheGDog

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Question: Do you guys read this as meaning that air-rifles "pellet guns" also have to utilize lead-free projectiles when hunting?
I'm *pretty* sure it means pellet guns as well... but their use of the word "firearm" in the sentence makes me wonder if you could legally get away with traditional pellets.


§250.1.Prohibition on the Use of Lead Projectiles and Ammunition Using Lead Projectiles for the Take of Wildlife.

  • (a) Purpose. This regulation phases in the requirements of Fish and Game Code Section 3004.5, which prohibits the use of any lead projectiles or ammunition containing lead projectiles when taking any wildlife with a firearm on or after July 1, 2019.
  • (b) Definitions.
    (1) A projectile is any bullet, ball, sabot, slug, buckshot, shot, pellet or other device that is expelled from a firearm through a barrel by force.


I'm asking because it uses the word "firearm" here. But at the same time it just says "by force" which is more broad in meaning and could certainly mean the expelled air.
 

sloth1833

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My $0.02 shoot non led. 1) it prohibits "any lead projectile" for taking wildlife with a firearm. In my state there is a definition for what constitutes a firearm and a pellet and or BB gun is excluded because... Well we know the definition of firearm.
2)the definition of a projectile that is given should answer your own question.
3) if there is any gray area when it comes to a violation of a firearms law I wouldn't take a risk, especially in komiefornia. All it takes is one Warden to read the law against your interpretation and a judge to side with him, to loose your right to hunt and or own a firearm. And those of us that have been on here for a while know all to well about how the courts have the GW backs, even the proven corrupt GW's back... (Big Buck Pool)

In other words it is not worth the risk!
 

Fowl Play

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Air rifles are not considered firearms in California. I just had one I ordered online shipped to my door last week. If you scroll down in this page there's actually that same question asked where one of the warden's says this directly. Maybe print that out and carry it with you just in case. https://californiaoutdoorsqas.com/tag/non-lead/
 

TheGDog

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Fowl Play said:
Air rifles are not considered firearms in California. I just had one I ordered online shipped to my door last week. If you scroll down in this page there's actually that same question asked where one of the warden's says this directly. Maybe print that out and carry it with you just in case. https://californiaoutdoorsqas.com/tag/non-lead/
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Can I hunt with an air rifle and lead pellets in condor country?
Question: I would like to hunt for some critters within the condor area with my .22 cal air rifle and plan to use lead pellets. I have been told that air rifles are not considered firearms and therefore do not fall under the lead ban. Is it true? If not, which law/policy states this information? (Steve Z.)
Answer: Pellet rifles are not considered a firearm, so neither pellet rifles nor their projectiles would be included in the ban. For more questions on non-lead area regulations, please visit the DFG Web site.
 
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