View Full Version : Boar hunting Panoche Hills
03-15-2002, 11:46 AM
I am a fairly new hunter and i wanted to try boar hunting. I am planning on going to Panoche Hills (BLM land) next week. I was suggested that area by the ranger at Tehama Wildlife Area. A the same time I was going to scout for turkey for the upcoming season. Panoche Hills is a large area and I wonder if any of you have any suggestions of specific areas to try there. Any suggestions would be appreciated.
03-15-2002, 04:24 PM
I've heard there may be pigs in the area, but on my couple of excursions there I didn't see anything that remotely resembled sign. ###The drainage from the Panoche Reservoir looks promising, though. ###I didn't get way back into the hills, so it might be better there.
Maybe someone else will have a better report.
If you go, take pix and let us know.
03-15-2002, 04:43 PM
First -- welcome to hunting and JHP!
I explored the first 12 miles from the gate and there's not much around there to support huntable game, let alone hogs. It's fairly barren outside of a few canyons; you're more likely to find the occasional jackrabbit and even those are few and far between.
If you want to explore deeper in, then make sure you have a short wheelbase. I was glassing an area from one peak and saw a Silverado almost high-center after a steep climb and it was very steep on all sides and the guy almost fell down getting out of his truck.
I generally go target shooting about 5-10 miles inside and have seen others do the same; If you plan to do that, make sure you're well away from the roadway and that 3-mile stretch of road that's surrounded by private land on the way in. There are a number of saftey regulations that should be followed re: fire hazards and shooting that are posted outside the gate.
I've also seen an occasional new Jeep/SUV owner attempt to test the offroad capabilities of their new vehicles to some amusement.
Oh yeah if you plan to go, go soon, because BLM will close the area to motor vehicle access sometime in April and it won't open up again until around October. Check the CA BLM website for details.
(Edited by shaginator at 4:45 pm on Mar. 15, 2002)
03-15-2002, 04:48 PM
One more thing. Hearing the name of that place always makes me snicker...
03-19-2002, 12:54 AM
Go down the road about another 20 miles down J-1 to the place known as New idria and go up over the mountain to the top because you cannot hunt for the 4 miles surrounding the little ghost town of new idria until you reach the top of the mountain when you get there you will see the towns little reservoir of drinking water there is always some little freak camped out there from the futures foundation who occupy the town, he is there to protect that water source, get far away from them freaks (Too Long to explain)and go up to clear creek and or the san benito recreation area. This is all BLM land that has good numbers of Hogs and does real well when it has rained a little. If you look at a topo of new idria just a 1/4 mile or so south of the town on the other side of a big mountain down in a valley all the locals call Pig Valley, is a walk in camp with an unlocked cabin and cots to sleep on , I believe it belongs to a guy named Ward but you can use it,Just remove your garbage and leave no trace you were there . there is a ton of mining debris all over the place,IE, tools and old rusted equipment. But you can only access it by foot down a real steep canyon, and getting a Pig out can be hell. I personally over a 17 year period have killed 14 pigs from this area one was a 305 pound tusker with 3 inch daggers who now resides on my wall. Also the clear creek area to the west of the town holds good pigs, as well as the laguna mountain area 7 miles west of new Idria. Just remember that there are a lot of off road people who use the area too, and bring water and a winch because when it gets wet it is like soup and you can get in trouble in a hurry and there is no one around for miles to help. When it is dry and hot there is no drinking water any where .All of this area has good pig numbers and can be hunted with some success, but you got to glass and put in the time the pigs there are spooky due to a lot of yahoos out there but if you glass long and hard early and late you can and will see pigs and other wildlife. My favorite areas are the pig valley I mentioned(the name says it all)And the laguna mountain area near the town of Hernandez look it up on a good topo. The laguna mountain area is a narrow strip of land bordered by private and the pigs wander back and forth across , so just hope to be in place to intercept one as he moves from one to the other. I hope this helps you out a little, as for pig hunting in Little Panoche your wasting your time, you may see a coyote out there or a rabbit but thats about it. head towards new idria,San Benito rec area, clear creek, and mount laguna, about 20 or so miles to the south west of little Panoche.
03-19-2002, 10:56 AM
Good advice, bowhuntin'fool
The area over the hill past New Idria takes you into the Clear Creek BLM area, and yes make sure you got a winch in case it gets wet!
03-21-2002, 08:57 AM
Thank you for your advice. Unfortunately I had to change my plans and I couldn't go. I am saving your advice (esp. bowhunting fool) for later and I hope it will be soon.
03-21-2002, 11:17 AM
Could you elaborate more on Pig Valley? I'm looking at the topo and can't find an area like you describe. Is it behind the Camp 2 pit near Spanish or Wonder mines? I've been going to Clear creek for 30 years and never heard of Pig Valley. Thinking of going down there at the end of the month.
03-21-2002, 12:09 PM
yes you need to go up through the san benito mountain rec area, or if you are at the top of the mountain near the water hole take the road that goes straight ###or south towards spanish lake and Coalinga do not turn right towards the Clear creek area, but go straight up through san benito mountain rec area and continue for about 4 or 5 miles until you see a left turn switchback that heads north east and follow this road north east until it dead ends at a washout about 3 miles in. Once you get to the washout you have to hike the rest about a quarter mile or so to the crest of a huge ridge,that looks east, and when you get to the ridge, look east down in through the trees as you will see a real green glen of trees about a 1/4 mile down the mountain near the base of the mountain where it overlooks a huge oak and riparian habitat meadow filled valley. and down in the middle of that will be an old encampment with a bunch of old mining materials and debris all rusted and strewn about well down hidden in all of the trees is a hunting cabin with unlocked doors and cots I was told several years ago that it belongs to a man with the last name of Ward from merced county, there is a sign on the side of the cabin that says walk in hunters welcome but please remove all trash and evidence you were there. If you were looking at a map of the town of new idria you would see a road that leads from the town south into the valley but the road has been washed out for years and that is why you have to approach from up on top through the rec area, What you are doing is getting up to the top and back tracking towards the town of new idria, your just doing it from higher up and on the BLM land and not the towns. The actual valley I am not sure what is the real name I just know that years ago I had met some folks from the futures foundation who now occupy the town,and they were gutting a pig and one of them told me to try "Pig Valley" he explained to me to go the same way I am telling you up the moountain and then backtracking around. The actual valley is very close to the town Of new Idria it is seperated by a big mountain, there was a road to access right from the town but it is now washed out and has not been replaced, I wish I could better discribe this place to you. Just look for a big meadow down on a valley floor south of the town it is way down there but the hunting is really good because it does not get a lot of traffic because it is steep and isolated, it is one of the greenest places in the area as there is year round water down there and there is nice deer down there as well. I have taken 14 pigs out of there over the years and one nice 2x3 Blacktail buck during an A zone season. I will try to find my old detailed maps of the area with my notes and I will try and post better directions if i can, Sorry if I am confusing you it is real hard to explain the access. But it is there, and good hunting waiting the person with the wherewithall and the legs to get down in there.
03-21-2002, 12:37 PM
I am looking at my map and the area you were asking about camp 2 pit is up in the clear creek area and not near the spot i am talking about. If you go to map quest and type in the town of idria and keep zooming in you will see a biege road off of clear creek rd just a little ways past new idria that heads south across a creek and then there is a left switchback that heads back to new Idria road, well this is the road that is washed out. On the map this road runs along the san Carlos creek well this creek runs right through the edge of "PIG VALLEY" So if you can find this creek just visually follow the draw and you will see Pig Valley. You used to be able to take the road right from new idria road but it is washed out that is why you have to go up and around. I hope this helps you out a little Also just look for a real green valley with a lot of scattered oaks in the meadows and metal mining debris down in a valley just south of new idria, When you find it you will know, If your hunter instincts are like mine you will say to yourself "Yeah there has got to be pigs down here" Once you see it.
Good Luck and I hope you get a monster out of there.
bowhunting fool- is it possible to get a Quad down there? or more importantly get it out?
What about the washed out road,can you manuver a Quad around the wash somehow?
It sounds awesome,but how long did it take you to get that 305 lber out and how?
03-21-2002, 03:14 PM
I know where you are talking about now... I almost ended up in the bottom of the washout a few years ago in my baja bug, close call. I think I'm going to give it a try next weekend, let you know how it turns out. BTW, you probably could get a quad past the washout, just have to scout around awile. I was there a few weeks ago and saw some dirt bike riders heading that way from the little lake at the top, looks like the road behind the lake is open in that direction.
03-21-2002, 08:20 PM
Last time I was there the road from the lake was closed to through traffic, something the futures foundation has done, and it was washed out there as well a few miles back in there. But then again it has been awhile so they might have opened it up or fixed the road. As for getting the pig out I had some muscles back then and after gutting and quartering I carried most of it out myself in about 6 trips up and down ,something I will never forget. I hauled the meat and the head up to the washout and then drove my truck up as close as I could then tied a rope around a huge tarp that I had placed all the parts onto and drove in reverse up a 65 degree grind before i broke my front axle and U-joint, so I had to have a friend help with his truck. All in all it was a hellacious job to do. It would be nice if you could get a quad in there but I have for years searched for a way to get a vehicle in there and have never found a way, each time I think I found a way the road would be washed out or just too steep and dangerous. I tried to walk in once on the road near the lake but it was several miles in and just as rough on foot so I opted to just go down the damn mountain, it is real steep but a lot shorter about a 1/4 mile down a 70 degree grind to the cabin and even further to some of the valley water areas where there is pig sign. Just remember thats why the hunting is good because not too many people have the balls to go down there knowing that if you are successful you will have to haul it back up, and it is steep. When I killed my buck there back in 89' I was able to have several buddies help me pack out the head and quarters. In my opinion I think it is one of the best spots that I have found to hunt pigs and deer relatively undisturbed on Public land in that part of the state. I have friends who recently asked me why would I tell everyone about this honey hole? And the reason is that I have taken many pigs and a buck and many coyotes from there over the years and I now live in San Diego county way too far for me to go for a weekend hunt, Like I used to do all the time when I lived In San Mateo county in the bay area, it was a short 2 hour drive south. Plus I love to help out fellow hunters because I remember hunting before the internet and getting good info on an area was a wild goose chase. So I hope to see someone get the same success and enjoyment from an area as I did. Also the area is definately good enough to plan a long week of hunting because once you are down in there you have access to the cabin which has several cots with mattresses and even a few recliner chairs, with a real nice deck overlooking the valley, there are wooden shutters covering the huge glass windows that unhook to afford a beautiful view of the vally from inside. There are sinks and cabinets but the water is not running. Last time I was there was a hunting log asking hunters who use the cabin to report their kills and give brief general remarks on there stay there. I always thought this cabin to be a neat thing to be able to use and enjoy, that is why I kept it just like I found it and never bothered with any of the magazines and other stuff inside , When I left you never knew I was there exept for my remarks in the Log. Also I wanted to bring up that one time someone from the futures foundation told me I could not go in there and hunt or use the cabin and I was astonished so when I got home I did some research and it turns out that the land is BLM and not the futures foundations and I had a right to be in there just like all of them. I now know the reason they told me this lie is because it was there little honey hole and did not want anyone down there getting "their Pigs". I say B.S and kept going down there for years just don't let them intimidate you, as they have tried with me and my friends for years by obviously taking down Our licence numbers on our trucks and making weird noises at night and closing that one gate near the lake when in reality it is not their land, they are a weird bunch of people there at the future foundation as I was told it is some sort of drug and alcohol rehab. So all in all just go down in there and hunt like hell and have a good time keep it clean so as not to give them any excuses for closing it in any way. I hope this helps out a little. Hunt hard and enjoy.
03-21-2002, 10:36 PM
I too have heard about that Futures Foundation place being a drug rehab camp or somesuch.
03-22-2002, 07:48 AM
I was there a few weeks ago and only saw 1 person in the town. All the signs for the Futures foundation were gone and the buildings looked all closed up. Used to look like a bunch of zombies wandering in the town, bumming cigaretts. No one was around the little shack by the lake at the top of the hill either.
03-22-2002, 07:55 AM
I'm VERY interested in this topic. ###Thank you for spending so much detailed time on it. ###My question is that when I look at the map it seems like the area you're talking about is within the 4 mile area surrounding Idria that you can't hunt in. ###Is that a rule the futures foundation just made up? ###I have the legs and the will to get down in there in the next couple weeks but I want to make sure its all legal. ###
P.S. ###I'm in SD too and am in for a long drive!
I Grew up in Hollister,mainly during high school and have heard a lot of strange things about them folks. Everytime I hear a story or something about them,I change my mind about what it is they believe in or "Whatever"! They also believe that they are political figures that will someday be in the limelight,although at times it seems as though that's what they don't want. Anyways check out these articles that come out every week or two in the hollister paper. Then you can make your own assumption about them like everyone else does. ### http://www.pinnaclenews.com/badland.html ###You can also look at achive article's!! VERY STARNGE PEOPLE INDEED,NO MATTER HOW YOU LOOK AT THEM!!!
03-22-2002, 09:05 AM
Deez and BowhuntingFool,
The more info this thread gives the more questions I have. ###Deez, from those articles it sounds like they are half domesticating a population of pigs and letting them roam free? ###Or is this reporter just writing about the wild pigs in the area thinking that they belong to the Foundation? ###You are right, this is weird. ###These 3 people or so sure get a lot of attention from this reporter. ###I have a very odd picture of this area in my head with all the abandoned mines, hermits and mercury poisoning. ###Now I really have to see it for myself!
The reporter is apparently the sister to them. About the cat,they have always had animals for their mayor. One time the mayor was a Jackass another a Cow.... Definetly STRANGE!!! As for the pigs they are NOT domestic. I have seen a lot of russian boar come out of that area. The whole San Benito county is LOADED with wild hogs. Here's another article ###http://www.pinnaclenews.com/archvs01_p/coyotes110101/coyotemenu.html
03-22-2002, 10:34 AM
I read that pinnaclenews section occasionally for sheer entertainment.
When I was out in Idria there last fall, we saw signs posted regarding possible video surveillance in the area (kind of freaky). Along the way to the town, there are several signs promoting the Libertarian party (not too freaky -- gives you an indication of the local sense of humor and their desire to stay independent). In the old mining town, you will see mercury poisoning signs near the creeks and runoffs (scary). We ran into one guy who looked sort of local, had an old bike and told us about the roads into the mountains (nice guy).
Searching the web, I found some recounts of some bicyclists who were out there and talked with another local who just had his domestic pigs shot up by a bunch of yahoos. They must get a lot of crap from us city folk. That drug rehab place may have made things worse... Finding out about that place helped make sense out of the trio of white vans filled with same-dressed teenagers speeding by on New Idria Rd.
Really interesting place to say the least.
Where exactly is this "drug rehab" at anyways. Are you guy's sure that those van's and/or kids are not just going to the Pinnacle's for a field trip or something? All the schools around here go there all the time.
03-22-2002, 11:16 AM
The rehab was in the old mining co. buildings in the town. They fixed them up a little and I used to see 20-30 guys hanging out at any time of the day or night.
03-22-2002, 12:19 PM
I used to go thru the town almost every weekend for years as I went up to hunt, and I have noticed some real wierd stuff there, I seen the one building where there was a pool table inside and a vending machine where a lot of real winner looking people were hanging out watching you as you drove thru like they have never seen people before, ###I have seen times where there where several russian boar hanging from their meat pole in front of the most modern looking house near the beginning of the town and no one was around and the boar were covered in flys and other bugs you could see buzzing around them.And one time as I came down the mountain to head out some Black chick ran out of one of the buildings and had a pad of paper in her hand and started to write down my licence number as I can see her mouthing the numbers as I drove by, so I stopped and asked why in the hell are you taking down my licence and she said it was none of my business, Also one time I was told the reason that someone was always at the water hole was because someone a few years back was kicked out of there and for revenge he went up and severed the water line that feeds into the town and they lost all of their water, so now they have someone always there to protect it, and I have seen them armed with a shotgun there. Also one night I was there with a few buddies hunting hogs when late at night we heard these weird whistles going all around us up in the trees and they would move around just far enough into the darkness where we could not see them with our flashlights, well this went on for hours till around 3:00am me and a few of my buddies were fed up with this crap and decided to lock and load and go see what their problem was, and we caught one freak sneeking off and when he heard the action of my .06 he stopped dead in his tracks We asked him what the hell their problem was and what did they think they were accomplishing by making all of these whistleing noises around our camp late at night. My buddy told him it was a real good way to get dead fast. So as we were talking to him we heard more whistles and when we turned to look the dude we caught ran like a bat out of hell into the brush and dissapeared.and shortly thereafter the whistling stopped. I seen a couple of toothless ones from there having sex up above the town out on a an old stained mattress one day as I was glassing the area for deer. ###And one day i was coming out of the mountain and as I came into the first turn towards the town I saw a pitbull dog with what looked like blood all over it so I stopped and called the dog over and he came at a trot and when he got to me i can see he had been hooked by a hog tusk and was opened like a tuna can with one rib sticking out and when he breathed you could see his lungs inflating and deflating, so I took him down to the modern house and when I finally got someone to open the door , they said yeah he had been hooked by a pig and they could do nothing for him, so I asked what their intentions with him were and the one dude said take him if you want. So I did and took him to a vet in Hollister and dropped him off and I still do not know what ever happened to that dog to this day.I also know that they were raising all sorts of farm animals there and have seen a bunch of pink baby domestic pigs running around along the road in with no adult pigs or people within sight. Also the area I was talking about "PIG VALLEY" someone posted that they thought the land was part of the 4 mile buffer zone near the town,well I was under that impression too and it turns out they do not own that land and have set up there own So called "PRIVATE" areas and I was told by a BLM ranger that they do not own the land and they try and post it private all the time and he has to go up and tear down their signs all the time. So just be safe around them freaks and watch your back and always lock your vehicle and do not leave anything you don't want to walk away out. I would continue to hunt pig valley till I was told different by the BLM ranger himself that I could not. and in all of my years of hunting there I have never had a legality issue with anyone regarding where I was hunting, and I would not worry about the furtures foundation trying to privatize areas up there as long as your map says it is BLM then it is BLM. ###Good Hunting
03-22-2002, 02:13 PM
Reminds me of a old movie. ###Anyone remember "Deliverance"
03-22-2002, 04:53 PM
The more I learn about New Idria, the more intresting it gets.
Deez: I don't think those vans were any school's. The kids in there looked like a work crew; in the back of one I could barely make out some tools, like shovels and picks. It was also a late Sunday afternoon and they were all driving very fast. I'd think a schoolbus would be yellow and driving a bit slower, with buttloads of signs and letters stating "be careful! there's children!" ... also don't see how a school would take a bunch of kids to what is or probably will be a superfund site, but I'm not from around there.
Yeah, Bishop, I remember that movie :hair-raisin:
03-22-2002, 06:40 PM
I nominate Bishop and Evan to go recon the area for a JHP hog hunt.
03-22-2002, 08:21 PM
Second the nomination.
--Is that Dueling Banjos I hear in the distance?
03-22-2002, 09:00 PM
id bring more than a bow too!:smile-big-blue:
03-23-2002, 05:49 AM
This whole thread shows why us folks in flyover country know that you guys on the coast have a monopoly on strange. ###But, it sounds like a fun hunt. ###If you get something put together, I'd be interested.
03-24-2002, 04:56 PM
Anyone have a map that shows the BLM land borders around Idria? Could you post it?
03-27-2002, 04:11 PM
I'm heading down to Clear creek this Fri. to do a little scouting for pig valley that Bowhunting Fool is talking about. I have a pretty good idea where he is talking about. I'll bring my GPS and let you guys know when I get back. I came across 2 maps of the area... one says it's BLM land, the other says private. I'll be carrying the one that says BLM.
03-27-2002, 06:20 PM
Good Luck Ed, and I hope you get into some pigs I am pretty sure the area I have told everyone about is BLM so I would definately bring the BLM map and do not listen to anyone unless he wears a Dept of the interior uniform that says Bureau of land management ranger or the good old DFG warden those are the only two I would trust if someone was to try and kick you out of that area. I have spent years going down in there and have never been hassled by any law enforcement agency ever and I mean ever. So with the wet weather the state has been having I would give you an excellent chance of seeing some pigs or at least sign they are there. Write to the forum and let me know what you saw.
04-01-2002, 04:54 PM
I found it, your directions were great. Just as you described... green grass meadow with oak trees, and talk about steep! I didn't have time to go down to the bottom, spent most of our time there fixing my friends truck, not a good place to have vehicle problems. Gonna try again in a couple of weeks before it gets too hot. Did'nt see anyone in the town or at the lake this time.
BTW, the road turning off the main road to Spanish lake is called San Carlos peak trail, there is a sign there now.
04-08-2002, 10:13 PM
Anyone know which BLM map has "Pig Valley" listed as public land. I want to go and check it out and prove that i'm on public land just in case any of the locals pester me.
04-08-2002, 10:38 PM
Pig valley is a name given by the locals you will not find a map showing "Pig Valley" And yes it is on BLM land, just follow the directions I gave in previous post's and you should be good. Ed posted he has found the spot so it is not too difficult to get to so your wasting your time in looking for a map listing of the name.
04-09-2002, 03:28 AM
The cheapie newsprint map of clearcreek you get for free from the BLM shows the area as BLM property. I found a map on the BLM website that says not BLM. Just carry the newsprint version. You can see into the valley aways while you are driving in on the road after the town and before the lake. I was there 3-29, 3-30 and only saw 1 other truck the whole time. Only 2 people in town, does'nt look like it used to when the drug rehab was there. I was thinking of going again this weekend if the weather holds and I can figure out what the funny noise in my truck is.
04-09-2002, 11:16 AM
I don't know if they were all the way down in the valley, but when I came through there Sunday afternoon there were three or four trucks parked at various trailheads/campsites. ###There were also several dirt-bikers parked in there, but I'm guessing they wouldn't be a problem down in that valley. ###
I've often wondered about access down there, but it is clearly outside the gates of the marked BLM land. ###It's not posted, not fenced, and not under cultivation, though, so I'd say it's open territory. ###If my knee hadn't been aching so bad, I might've given it a little scouting run. ###It sucks feeling old and decrepit.
I have had to stop and let pigs cross the road just at the entrance to the old mining town (in broad daylight, no less), so I know they're around. ###
04-09-2002, 03:24 PM
It looks like a steep nasty hike into the valley from the direction Bowhuntingfool describes. Almost makes you want to offer the locals a few bucks to let you walk in thru town. I would have tried to drive in more, but it's not a good place for your truck to start making funny bearing sounding noises. I'm looking at the front hubs tonight so maybe I can try again this weekend. Did you come in from the Hiway 25 side and drive over the top to Idria? I think I know where the bikers were, just over the top past the little lake headed toward the town in the grassy meadow? The map shows a jeep trail headed down into the valley from there but I don't know the condition.
Hey, what part of the Bay area? I grew up in Cupertino.
04-09-2002, 03:44 PM
I grew up in Redwood city, and moved to san Diego 3 years ago.
04-09-2002, 06:14 PM
It did look like a steep hike, but I saw some spots that looked like they might wind down the side of the hill...maybe making it a little easier.
The bikes were at that little turnout pretty close to the lake. ###That's the first time I've been there since the landslide, or whatever happened there. ###Pretty different from what I remembered. ###It looks a lot clearer around the lake area now than it did. ###Not sure if it's just bad memory, or if there's been some kind of clearing going on. ###From the hay bales and flats, it looks like there must've been a couple of nasty landslides.
I did come over from the Clear Creek side, since I'd been hunting near Laguna Mtn. ###The last time I tried that detour, I came real close to losing my rig in the mud. ###Ended up turning around and going back down. ###Thankfully, I could turn around. ###The snow was just starting to stick to the ground, and everything was nasty, slick mud. ###I found it easier to take the dirt bike trail around the bad stuff, and actually had to widen the trail a little to get back out. ###Didn't see a choice, though. ###My paint job may never forgive me.
It's all dried up now. ###By following the detour route, I see that I had another solid quarter mile of that bad stuff before it got better. ###I think I'm glad I turned back. ###I didn't have the winch then, and it being a Sunday night, everybody was pretty much gone home. ###
04-09-2002, 06:32 PM
What does the lake look like? I hear some people say it's more like a shallow pond, but that's probably because they were only out there in summer.
04-09-2002, 07:02 PM
The lake at the top of the hill is a small dam, maybe 50 yards across. It is/was the water supply for the town and they used to have someone living there to guard it. The shack is still there but I didn't see anyone around. Spanish lake is another 10 miles out the same road, last time I was there I found a pig skeleton with 1 1/2 inch tusks. Along the road to spanish lake are a few springs if you know where to look.
04-09-2002, 10:21 PM
Ed is right about the pond above the town and that someone used to guard it but i don't know about now, but on that same road is spanish lake just like what Ed has said, about 10 miles or so, and in the wet winters the lake gets so big that is covers the road at certain spot making the road immpassable. because it is under about 3 feet of water.
Well on that road about a mile or two before you get to spanish lake is a huge jumble of boulders that almost looks like Big Thunder railroad at disneyland. Well I have seen some exotic rams on that jumble of rocks, I think they were the mouflon rams and there were about 12 or so and all had huge long curled and twisted horns. and I was told by a BLM ranger that they had escaped an exotic game ranch that was near there several years before. And he said he did not know of any regulations that said you could not hunt them, so I went back some months later to try and hunt one. Well I finally spotted a few and when I got into a shooting position they all scattered before I could squeeze off a shot so I spent the rest of the weekend looking for them but I never saw them again. So I am wondering if anyone else has seen them any time recently. As I think that would be an interesting hunt. If they were still there and had not all been killed yet by either hunters or mountain lions. So has anyone else ever seen these rams there. I have 2 buddies that have seen them with me so I know I was not hallucinating.
04-10-2002, 08:55 AM
Are you talking about the rock outcropping on the top of Santa Rita peak before Spanish lake?
04-10-2002, 12:01 PM
Yes, I believe that is the rock pile I am talking about. It is just before spanish lake and stands out pretty big. it is also a reddish color.
04-11-2002, 03:01 AM
I was too wore out and sore to go over toward Spanish Lake this weekend. ###Hadn't heard of any mouflon rams up there though. ###Doesn't mean they're not there, only that I wasn't told about them. ###If they are there, you can certainly shoot them. ###
04-11-2002, 11:18 AM
Bowhunting fool: ###I just talked to an DFG Warden. ###I asked about the exotic animal question. ###He says you need permission from owner, if you can find him, to shoot them. ###He says it would be the same as shooting an escaped cow. ###They belong to someone. ###He says it is a felony, its considered rustling, if it does not belong to you or if you don't have permission. ###That was one person's though on the subject. ###I'm going to call th eimport /export dept. next. ###
04-11-2002, 11:53 AM
I would understand that if they were on or near Private property but these rams are deep into BLM land and there is not an exotic ranch or any ranch around for miles, as they were escaped animals that have adapted and developed a way of survival out there just like the original pigs in the state, as they were escaped animal at one time as well .Where do you draw the line between a farmers escaped flock or a domestic animal that is now wild and thriving without the farmer. I would really like to see someone try and put a claim on these goats that are running around wild now. I think if you give anybody an opportunity to say "yeah they are my goats" they would take it all the way to the bank, and then want to start charging to hunt them.
My personal belief is they are wild animal now and belong to all of us and the farmere who once owned them years ago has lost claim to them because they have adapted and grown and even bred new goats all without the farmers lands or feed or vet care for that matter therefore making them wild animals now and state property, available to all of us who own a hunting lisence. Thats just my opinion.
04-11-2002, 12:29 PM
bowhunting fool is morally correct.
however we all know that morally correct is not necessarily legally correct -- especially when government bureaucracies are involved.
i'd say a majority of dfg officials just plain don't know because nobody's "studied" the issue. now i'm no legal expert, but at this point what it probably comes down to is which warden you might happen to run into if you decide to harvest one of those goats. one who knows the area and history of these beasts is likely to let you take as many as you can.
may also help to just contact the BLM Hollister field office to see what their take on the situation is.
04-11-2002, 01:20 PM
I'm trying to get as much info as possible from as many people as possible. ###For accuracy, when do you think these animals first escaped and how many generations passed. ###I'm inclined to agree with you that any animals breed in wild are wild.
04-11-2002, 01:36 PM
According to the DFG Mammals & Furbearers regulation book, section 472 "Non-game Animals" states that "aoudad, mouflon, tahr, and feral goats" are non-game animals and can be taken at any time. ###So, if there's no private game farm close by it appears that you can shoot these animals. ###In fact the section doesn't mention anything at all about game farms or privately owned animals. ###
04-11-2002, 01:49 PM
I just talked to a BLM guy in Hollister. ###He says that there was an adjacent ranch that dealt with exotic animals about 7 years ago. ###He's not sure if that ranch is still operating. ###He also said that he has never received any reports of anyone seeing any goats up there....
I'll keep you posted
04-11-2002, 04:05 PM
I think it distinctly states in the DFG guide that they are non-game animals and can be hunted. ###Sad that the official representatives of the DFG don't know their own regulations but I've encountered this before.
04-11-2002, 04:28 PM
Just talked to regional manager of DFG Region 4.
He says. "###They are non-game animals. ###Just need a hunting license and have fun."
So. ###If they are there, I don't think you should have any trouble getting them and worrying about getting in trouble. ###They are non-game animals on public land.
(Edited by bubba at 4:29 pm on April 11, 2002)
04-12-2002, 01:47 PM
So who's going out there this weekend? I may be around that area for hogs.
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