SHARE: Shared Habitat Alliance for Recreational Enhancement. Although the Share program is not new to hunters, it has expanded to several new properties in the state. The state is also working to provide permitted access to choose, private or previously restricted access for fishing opportunities.

“The California Department of Fish and Wildlife’s SHARE program provides public access for hunting, fishing, and other recreational activities on private land. With 101 million land acres in California, half of which are privately owned, SHARE aims to improve public access to private or landlocked public land through collaborative partnerships with landowners. The program provides economic incentives and liability protection to landowners and is funded with SHARE Access Permit application fees. SHARE recognizes the important contributions made by these landowners and appreciates their investment in California's enjoyment of fish and wildlife resources.” A part of the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) The web site for more information: https://wildlife.ca.gov/hunting/share. I did some digging; the pig hunting properties appear to offer the most opportunities. The closest one time and distance wise is a permit hunt on the East shore of Lake Berryessa. Deer hunting properties have some excellent opportunities, although some are ‘premium’ zones that require an appropriate deer zone tag. These tags are issued by lottery – drawing through CDFW. Which can be tricky because it is a drawing and your application for the SHARE permit is also a drawing. You must win both drawings to set foot on these properties. That little requirement is a choke point to my thinking. However not all are in difficult premium deer zones. Visit the pages to get more information. Some properties also offer some late season goose hunting opportunities.

CDFW issued an update with regard to ocean fishing take restrictions to recreational rockfish sub-bag limits which are expected to take effect Jan. 6, 2022. The emergency regulations were adopted by the California Fish and Game Commission in mid-December to align with federal regulations for these species. Changes to the sub-bag limits within the 10-fish daily Rockfish, Cabezon, Greenling (RCG) complex bag and possession limit include: 1. A decrease to the statewide sub-bag limit for vermilion rockfish (Sebastes miniatus) from five fish to four fish 2. A new statewide sub-bag limit for quillback rockfish (S. maliger) of one fish 3. A new statewide sub-bag limit for copper rockfish (S. caurinus) of one fish. 

The RCG complex has a daily 10-fish bag and possession aggregate limit, meaning that each angler’s catch can be composed of any combination of rockfish, cabezon or greenling, as long as total catch remains at or below 10 fish. Sub-bag limits within the RCG bag limit are implemented when harvest guidelines cannot accommodate the 10-fish bag limit being composed of a single species. Each boat with 5 or more fishermen are advised to bring legal counsel. Not really, just being silly.

 Deer tag holders must submit a harvest report for any 2021 deer tag by the Jan. 31, 2022, deadline. All tag holders must report even if they did not hunt, or they hunted unsuccessfully. Tag holders who do not report by this deadline will be charged a $21.60 non-reporting penalty fee when purchasing a 2022 deer tag drawing application or deer tag. To report your harvest online, please visit www.ca.wildlifelicense.com/internetsales/customersearch/begin. For more information, please visit wildlife.ca.gov/licensing/hunting#9941260-tag-reporting

A final bit of advice Wildlife areas, ecological reserves and other properties may be closed due to wildfires or wildfire damage. Hunters and outdoor enthusiasts are strongly encouraged to check for closures before leaving on any recreational trip. 

Reports of great success in the damp coastal forests are of full baskets of choice edible mushrooms.

Bill Hanson is a Sonoma County native and a lifelong sportsman. He is the former president of the Sonoma County Mycological Association. Look for his column in The Community Voice each week.

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