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Outdoors

Big game hunting season arrives

By: George deVilbiss, Special to Gold Country News Service
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Packets that provide statewide big game hunting details and applications will be in the mail soon to those who purchased a hunting license and any of the available big game tags last year. It may seem early, but the application deadline for applying for those hunts requiring a drawing is just about a month away, so now is a good time to start your planning for the 2009 hunting season. Special hunts include a wide variety of elk, antelope and big horn sheep. Regular deer hunting in any of the X zones are by drawing only. Any and all applications must be received by the deadline date in early June or you’re just flat out of luck. If you hunt deer in any of the A, B or C zones, the issue is moot. Those tags are simply sold over the counter and you can pretty much purchase them any time. As is usually the case, there’s been a slight fee increase for all licenses and tags, an increase tied to the cost of living index. We’re fortunate living where we do. If you go to your nearest sporting goods outlet, you pay five percent over the cost for each item, per Department of Fish and Game guidelines. If you go directly to the DFG office, now located in Sacramento’s Natomas area, you can save that five percent mark-up. This year, you can expect to pay, without the mark-up: ? Hunting license: $41.20 ? Junior hunting license: $10.75 ? First-deer tag application: $27.55 ? Second-deer tag application: $34.40 ? Bear tag application: $40.45 ? Tag application for elk, antelope, big horn sheep: $7.50 ? If you get drawn for any of the big three, the tags cost: elk: $376, antelope: $125.25, and bighorn sheep: $354.50. ? Individual wild pig tag: $19.70 ? California duck stamp: $17.85 ? Upland game bird stamp: $8.40 ? Federal duck stamp: $15.00 CURRENT FISHING Bay Area: Still no live bait available, but I’ve done well dragging frozen anchovy-herrings on and near the bottom with mooching hooks – one hook through the lips, the second hook near the tail. Still, private boaters and party boats are all scoring on butts, some in the teen class. New Hogan Reservoir: When we had the big spate of warm weather, the stripers turned active. The temperature cooled them down as well. As the weather again warms, the fishing will only get better for these landlocked stripers. If they are boiling, work near the boil but not in the middle of it. Troll jointed Rebels and I’ve done well with the larger, saltwater sized Rat-L-Traps. Or, simply drift with a big chunk of anchovy. Camp Far West: With bass actively in full spawn mode, you can downright waylay bass hand over fist. Camp Far West is not really known for super lunker bass, but there are a lot of bass in the lake and some of them do hit four pounds. Work the backs of coves with jigs, plastics and reaction baits. Still no word, or it’s being kept totally quiet, on any crappie bite. Rollins Lake: The DFG can’t plant this lake any longer, but that doesn’t stop trollers from trying. Yet, up in the Bear River arm, trollers are tallying some holdovers from earlier plants, most in the 12-14 inch range. Haul the tail end of a crawler threaded on a No. 4 hook or most any flashy little lure and you can attract a bite. Davis-Frenchman: Roads to both lakes are fully open and both lakes are fishable. Rainbow bite is only rated fair at Lake Davis but at least you’re not competing with the toothy pike any longer. At Frenchman, two pound ‘bows are being caught regularly, most by the shore slingers using Power Bait or crawlers. Any questions, comments or concerns, contact George directly at GeorgesColumn@AOL.COM.