California Fish and Game Code
It is hereby declared to be the policy of the Legislature to encourage the conservation, restoration, maintenance, and utilization of California's wild deer populations. Such conservation shall be in accordance with the principles of conservation of wildlife resources set forth in Section 1801 and in accordance with the objectives and elements stated in "A Plan for California Deer, 1976."
As used in this chapter "general deer hunting season" means the annual season for the area in question as is set by the commission under its general regulatory powers, or set by statute, for the taking of male deer.
The department shall designate deer herd management units and designate the manager for the units. Such units may encompass a single deer herd or a group of deer herds having similar management and habitat requirements and characteristics. Boundaries of such units, unless appropriate, need not follow county boundary lines.
The department shall develop plans for such deer herd management units. The objectives of such plans shall be the restoration and maintenance of healthy deer herds in the wild state and to provide for high quality and diversified use of deer in California.
Such management plans shall contain the following program elements:
(a) Document existing information on deer herd management units and programs to obtain information that may be needed.
(b) Develop programs to maintain and increase the quality of deer habitat statewide. Such programs will emphasize cooperative action between the department and the appropriate land management entities, both public and private. Emphasis shall be directed towards identifying critical deer habitat areas and the maintenance and management of such areas.
(c) Develop programs to reduce natural mortalities where such reduction may be critical to meeting deer herd plan objectives.
(d) Develop programs to decrease the illegal taking of deer through modern law enforcement methods supported by public and private cooperative efforts.
(e) Develop diversified recreational use programs, including both hunting and nonhunting uses, consistent with the basic individual deer herd management unit capabilities.
Deer herd management unit plans shall be reviewed annually and shall be the basis for department recommendations to the commission pursuant to this chapter.
(a) The department shall biennially report to the Legislature and to the Fish and Game Commission on the progress that is being made toward the restoration and maintenance of California's deer herds. The first report shall be submitted on or before October 1, 1989. The report shall include program activities regarding deer habitat, particularly addressing problems dealing with identification and preservation of critical deer habitat areas; the amount of revenue derived from the sale of deer tags during the two previous fiscal years; a list of expenditures during the two previous fiscal years and proposed expenditures during the current fiscal year; and a report of general benefits accrued to the deer resources as a result of the program.
(b) The department shall not recommend to the commission any deer management program or any modification of the commission's deer hunting regulations submitted pursuant to Section 460 unless the recommendations are consistent with adopted deer herd management plans.
The department shall determine prior to December 15 of each year its proposed recommendations to the commission, including its recommendations as to whether any antlerless deer hunts should be ordered. The recommendations of the department shall include the number, if any, of antlerless deer that should be taken in units, whether the permits should be either-sex permits, the proposed dates for each such taking, and the number of permits proposed for each unit.
The department not later than December 15 shall notify, by certified mail, the board of supervisors of each county affected of the details of its recommendations under Section 457.
The board of supervisors of any affected county may elect to hold a public hearing on the proposed recommendations of the department. Any such hearing shall be held prior to February 1. The director or his or her representative shall attend the hearing.
The board of supervisors of any county to which this section is applicable may, by resolution, elect not to exercise the rights conferred by this section.
This section applies only to the counties of, and to those districts or parts of districts in, Siskiyou, Modoc, Trinity, Shasta, Lassen, Plumas, Sierra, Alpine, Amador, Butte, Calaveras, Colusa, Del Norte, El Dorado, Glenn, Humboldt, Imperial, Inyo, Lake, Madera, Mariposa, Mendocino, Merced, Mono, Monterey, Napa, Nevada, Orange, Placer, Riverside, San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara, Santa Clara, Tehama, Tuolumne, Yolo, and Yuba Counties.
The board of supervisors of any county specified in Section 458 which has held a public hearing pursuant to Section 458 may, not later than February 1, by resolution, object to the proposed recommendations of the department or may, by resolution, determine that the proposed recommendation should be modified, setting forth the necessary modifications.
A resolution objecting to, or setting forth modifications of, the proposed recommendations shall be based upon the testimony and information presented at the hearing or presented to the board of supervisors at its meeting to consider the resolution.
The department shall not recommend to the commission, and the commission shall not authorize, the taking of antlerless deer in a county specified in Section 458 if it has received from the board of supervisors of that county a resolution objecting to that taking. If a board of supervisors of a county has submitted a resolution determining that the department's proposed recommendations on the taking of antlerless deer should be modified for that county, the department shall either so modify its recommendations and the commission shall so modify its orders or the department shall not recommend, and the commission shall not authorize, the taking of antlerless deer in that county.
Prior to the February meeting of the commission as required in Section 207, the department shall recommend to the commission those deer herd units to be placed under a general deer hunting season. At the same time, the department shall recommend to the commission, subject to the provisions of Sections 458 and 459, whether any antlerless deer should be taken and in what deer herd units antlerless deer are to be taken. If in the judgment of the department there are deer herd units in which hunting pressure would adversely affect the deer herd, impair the hunting experience, or endanger the public safety, the department shall also recommend to the commission those deer herd units where hunter numbers should be restricted and which should be removed from the general deer hunting season designation. The department shall inform the commission of the condition of each deer herd unit. Upon receipt of the recommendations and information required in this section, the commission shall make that material known to the public and its determinations regarding proposed regulations. The recommendations of the department shall, in accordance with the provisions of Sections 458 and 459, include the number, if any, of antlerless deer that should be taken in deer herd units, whether the permits should be either-sex permits, the proposed dates for the taking, and the number of permits proposed for each deer herd unit. At the same time, the department shall recommend the establishment of any hunter-restricted quota units, if needed, and the number of the quota and manner in which the quota permits should be issued.