Department of Fish & Wildlife this year were late in the printing and subsequent delivery both to vendors and to hunters with the 2014 Big Game Hunting Guide.
Applications are supposed to be in (received by the DF&W) for all special hunts: Antelope, Elk, and Deer zones by June 2, 2014, however this writer received his big game guide on June 3, 2014, one day AFTER that date. It is highly probable that many other hunters also received their booklets late as well. This is an unacceptable situation for many hunters who live in remote areas and far from any DF&W office or if they do not have internet access.
To compound this fiasco, the DF&W site was inundated with online applications, causing some hunters to miss the deadline. One friend of this writer living in Stockton was attempting to log on to the site up until 11:00 PM and finally gave up in disgust.
Fortunately, for this writer, one Licensing Agent; West Point Lumber in West Point, Calaveras county had received the guides, and this writer was able to take care of his licensing and tag application/purchases there.
One has to wonder why the DF&W were so late in supplying the guides to everyone, and how they planned if indeed they did have a contingency plan at all to facilitate those who have been unable to obtain guides. One would hope that the June 2nd deadline was extended, however there has been no announcement to that affect.
The guide has been late in arrival on other occasions due to late arrival of budget but this may be latest it has been.
Naturally, the cost of everything has gone up again as it does each year, and one can expect to spend $240.82 if one applies for the Elk, Antelope and Big Horn hunts, as well as buying a hunting license, two deer tags, a pig tag, bear tag, a couple of Bob cat tags and all the other options available including the special funding hunt, etc.
One thing that hunters can do, is support the Wardens by purchasing the Warden stamps. This funding helps supply Wardens with the latest technology and equipment to help them protect our wildlife. It should be pointed out that of all law enforcement officers in California, DF&W Wardens are the lowest paid, and yet are in contact with many more people who are carrying firearms than other officers, and as such may be at greater risk to themselves than any other law enforcement officer, so supporting them by purchasing the Warden stamp is a way that the hunting public can let them know how much we appreciate their dedication to duty and conservation efforts.