The first deer season requiring the use of nonlead ammunition in historic condor range opens August 9. The law requiring the use of nonlead ammunition in historic California condor range took effect July 1. The law covers major portions of the A-zone deer season from Santa Clara to Ventura counties.

“This is the first of several general deer hunting seasons where nonlead ammunition is required in this range,” said John Baker Assistant Chief of Enforcemnet of the Department of Fish and Game (DFG). “We expect all hunters to understand the importance of this law and follow the regulations.”

Under the new law it is illegal to use or possess lead projectiles (bullets) while hunting big game and non game species in the range of the endangered California condor.

Lead poisoning is a serious threat to wild condors. Lead bullet fragments have been found to be a potential source of this risk to condors. To protect condors from lead poisoning as a result hunting activity, hunters can no longer use or possess lead projectiles while hunting in condor range.

A list of certified bullets, packaged ammunition and a map of the areas encompassed by the ban along with commonly asked questions about nonlead issuesn are available at www.dfg.ca.gov/wildlife/hunting/condor.

Fire closures and restrictions may affect A-zone hunters on public lands. The U.S. Forest Service has implemented major fire restrictions on the Los Padres National Forest and is considering or implemented similar actions for the Angeles, Cleveland and San Bernardino National Forests. In the Los Padres National Forest much of the Monterey Ranger District, including all forest roads and trails, are closed to the public for at least the next several weeks, according to District Ranger John Bradford. For more information on fire closures or fire restrictions go to: http://www.dfg.ca.gov/wildlife/hunting/deer/fire.html.