BILL ANALYSIS                                                                                                                                                                                                    



                                                                  AB 2132
                                                                  Page  1

          Date of Hearing:   April 1, 2008

                   ASSEMBLY COMMITTEE ON WATER, PARKS AND WILDLIFE
                                  Lois Wolk, Chair
                   AB 2132 (Houston) - As Amended:  March 11, 2008
           
          SUBJECT  :   Wildlife:  Hunting

           SUMMARY  :   Makes it unlawful to remove the collar of a dog with  
          the intent of preventing or hindering the owner from locating  
          the dog, modifies requirements for posting of "no trespassing"  
          signs, and requires the Fish and Game Commission to consider  
          adopting regulations permitting the use of a dog in recovering  
          deer during archery season.  Specifically,  this bill  :

          1)Makes it unlawful for any person to remove any collar,  
            including an electronic or radio transmitting collar, from a  
            dog without the dog owner's permission and with the intent of  
            preventing or hindering the owner from locating the dog.

          2)Requires a court to order any person convicted of violating  
            this section to pay the owner of any dog lost or killed as a  
            result of the collar removal the value of the dog as  
            restitution.  Further authorizes the court to also order  
            payment in restitution of any lost breeding revenues.

          3)Revises the signage requirements for purposes of current law  
            making it unlawful to enter lands posted with signs forbidding  
            trespass for the purpose of hunting, to require that the signs  
            be displayed at intervals not less than one per one-third mile  
            and that the signs be at least 8  by 11 inches in size.

          4)Directs the Fish and Game Commission to consider adopting  
            regulations that permit, during archery season, the use of one  
            dog per hunter to aid in the recovery of deer. 

           EXISTING LAW  :

          1)Makes it unlawful to enter lands posted with signs forbidding  
            trespassing for the purpose of hunting, without written  
            permission from the owner, if signs of any size forbidding  
            trespassing are displayed at intervals not less than three to  
            the mile along all exterior boundaries and all roads and trail  
            entrances.

          2)Provides for an archery season for the taking of deer with bow  







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            and arrow as prescribed by the Fish and Game Commission.   
            Provides that no person taking or attempting to take deer  
            during archery season shall carry or have under his immediate  
            control any firearm of any kind.

          3)Under Fish and Game regulations, prohibits use of more than  
            one dog per hunter in an area where the general deer season is  
            open.  

           FISCAL EFFECT  :   Unknown



           COMMENTS  :

          1)Author's Statement  :  According to the author, the purpose of  
            this bill is to better protect hunting dogs, reduce the number  
            of inadvertent trespass violations, and assist hunters with  
            the recovery of deer.  

           Hunting Dogs  :  Information provided by the author indicates that  
            there have been several cases in other states where members of  
            the public have removed electronic collars of hunting dogs  
            while they are in the field in an effort to prevent the owners  
            of the dogs from locating them.  In response, some states have  
            adopted laws making such action a crime and imposing  
            penalties, including West Virginia, Virginia, and North  
            Carolina.  This bill would make it unlawful to remove a collar  
            with the intent of preventing an owner from locating the dog,  
            and require payment of restitution if the dog is lost.

          In addition, current Fish and Game Commission regulations allow  
            deer hunters during rifle season to use one hunting dog to  
            assist in hunting.  However, this practice is prohibited  
            during archery season, which results in greater numbers of  
            un-retrieved deer.  This bill would encourage the Fish and  
            Game Commission, through regulation, to consider allowing the  
            use of one dog per hunter to aid in the recovery of deer  
            during the archery season.

           No Trespassing Signs  :  The current law requires hunters to  
            obtain written permission from landowners to enter private  
            lands for the purpose of hunting, if the lands are under  
            cultivation, fenced or posted with signs forbidding trespass,  
            provided that the signs are displayed at intervals of at least  
            three to the mile.  According to the author, it can be  







                                                                  AB 2132
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            difficult for hunters to identify property that is posted,  
            particularly in the early morning hours, where private lands  
            are adjacent to public lands, and where the signs are posted  
            too far apart.  This bill seeks to remedy that problem by  
            requiring that the signs be posted at least one every third  
            mile, and that the signs be at least 8  by 11 inches in size.

           2)Support  :  The California Outdoor Heritage Alliance asserts  
            that there have been several recent cases in California as  
            well as in other states of people removing the collars of  
            hunting dogs while they are in the field without the owner's  
            permission, threatening the safety and wellbeing of the dogs.   
            This bill would adopt language similar to language recently  
            passed in Virginia making such action a crime.  This bill also  
            seeks to prevent inadvertent trespass by requiring  
            uncultivated or unfenced lands to be posted with one sign at  
            least 8  by 11 inches in size every one-third mile along  
            exterior boundaries so hunters can better identify restricted  
            lands.  The Alliance also believes that archery hunters should  
            be allowed the use of one dog to assist in recovering deer as  
            other deer hunters are allowed.          

           REGISTERED SUPPORT / OPPOSITION  :   






























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           Support  :                  
           California Outdoor Heritage Alliance (sponsor)
          California Deer Association
          Delta Waterfowl Foundation

          Lower Sherman Island Duck Hunters Association
          Mule Deer Foundation
          PetPAC












































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          Opposition:    None on file
           
          Analysis Prepared by  :    Diane Colborn / W., P. & W. / (916)  
          319-2096