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Matt@EntrepriseArms
07-19-2010, 11:11 AM
I wasn't sure if I should post this question in this forum or the Camping one, but here it is:

I plan on camping near Big Bear/Fawnskin later this month. I camp there regularly, and usually just find a spot up in the hills off the beaten path and use and Adventure Pass. I've always brought along pellet rifles and archery equipment for target shooting and the occasional non-game/varmint hunting.

I do posses a current hunting license as well.

I've never had a problem with engaging in these activities before, and in years past when the occasional Ranger came by our campsite, they must have seen our pellet rifles and bows & arrows laying around but never said anything.

However, as I have seen more and more regulations regarding hunting and target shooting go into effect in CA (condor), I decided to call the ranger station at Big Bear and ask them if there were any restrictions.

I was told that I was not allowed to fire any type of air gun or archery in any area of the San Bernadino National Forrest except for designated shooting areas. This is due to the dry conditions and fire hazard.

I then told them that I had a valid hunting license, and would I be allowed to hunt non-game animals in any area (since there is no season fore these animals)? They told me no, that I could only hunt during "deer season," when it was not so dry. They told me that if I was caught hunting our target shooting (even with pellet rifles, paintball guns, or archery) outside of the designated area or season, then it would be a $5,000 to $10,000 fine.

Does anybody have any insight on this?

5shot
07-19-2010, 12:10 PM
I wasn't sure if I should post this question in this forum or the Camping one, but here it is:

I plan on camping near Big Bear/Fawnskin later this month. I camp there regularly, and usually just find a spot up in the hills off the beaten path and use and Adventure Pass. I've always brought along pellet rifles and archery equipment for target shooting and the occasional non-game/varmint hunting.

I do posses a current hunting license as well.

I've never had a problem with engaging in these activities before, and in years past when the occasional Ranger came by our campsite, they must have seen our pellet rifles and bows & arrows laying around but never said anything.

However, as I have seen more and more regulations regarding hunting and target shooting go into effect in CA (condor), I decided to call the ranger station at Big Bear and ask them if there were any restrictions.

I was told that I was not allowed to fire any type of air gun or archery in any area of the San Bernadino National Forrest except for designated shooting areas. This is due to the dry conditions and fire hazard.

I then told them that I had a valid hunting license, and would I be allowed to hunt non-game animals in any area (since there is no season fore these animals)? They told me no, that I could only hunt during "deer season," when it was not so dry. They told me that if I was caught hunting our target shooting (even with pellet rifles, paintball guns, or archery) outside of the designated area or season, then it would be a $5,000 to $10,000 fine.

Does anybody have any insight on this?

Correct on the target shooting, INCORRECT on the hunting. Varmint hunting is year round, as is jack rabbit hunting. The Forest Service cannot restrict state hunting seasons, but they can close the forest to entry during extreme fire conditions.
The immediate area around Big Bear outside of the town of Big Bear Lake is shotgun. The boundary follows the ridge line that surrounds the Big Bear Valley. Go east of Fawnskin into the Big Pine Flat and Coxey Meadow areas and your in rifle areas.

The forest service employee/volunteer you talked to needs to read their own website:

http://fs.usda.gov/wps/portal/fsinternet/!ut/p/c5/04_SB8K8xLLM9MSSzPy8xBz9CP0os3gDfxMDT8MwRydLA1cj72 BTSw8jAwgAykeaxcN4jhYG_h4eYX5hPgYwefy6w0H24dcPNgEH cDTQ9_PIz03VL8iNMMgycVQEAIzTHkw!/dl3/d3/L2dJQSEvUUt3QS9ZQnZ3LzZfMjAwMDAwMDBBODBPSEhWTjJNMD AwMDAwMDA!/?navtype=BROWSEBYSUBJECT&cid=stelprdb5156888&navid=110250000000000&pnavid=110000000000000&ss=110512&position=Not%20Yet%20Determined.Html&ttype=detail&pname=San%20Bernardino%20National%20Forest-%20Other%20Activities


http://fs.usda.gov/wps/portal/fsinternet/!ut/p/c4/04_SB8K8xLLM9MSSzPy8xBz9CP0os3gDfxMDT8MwRydLA1cj72 BTSw8jAwjQL8h2VAQAng7kaQ!!/?ss=110512&navtype=BROWSEBYSUBJECT&cid=FSE_003726&navid=110200000000000&pnavid=110000000000000&position=BROWSEBYSUBJECT&ttype=activity&pname=San%20Bernardino%20National%20Forest-%20Hunting

Hunt
07-19-2010, 2:43 PM
Note: If these Rangers make an error--you will still be found guilty, read the latest management plan.

each area has a unique management plan Big Bear NF may be different than Clevelend NF. Ask the local ranger to verify and show you the language in the management plan. DO NOT assume anything in CA this State is a Nazi Gestapo State and they *will* steal your property, fine you and cage you, this is how many of CA agencies support themselves so it makes their day when an unsuspecting citizen makes an error. Your innocent error is worth $10K to them.

spectr17
07-19-2010, 7:44 PM
I've been in several USFS offices when a customer asked about hunting and listened while the nice USFS worker or volunteer told them there were no quail or bear to hunt in the forest. Many of these workers and volunteers are anti hunters who will try and steer you away from their pets. Trust but verify does not work here. Verify anything you are told by USFS first. They play the same game with locked gates and closures, telling you they are locked or closed and when you drive up you find the area wide open.

LloydXmas250
07-19-2010, 7:56 PM
I've been nothing but hassled when it comes to hunting or shooting up in the SBNF. When I first wanted to target shoot I saw there were designated areas for target shooting and I stopped by the ranger station to pick up a map, asked the employee and they said they that I couldn't go target shooting and refused me a map, all during winter and the week after a nice shower. I found the place anyway and went.

acousticmood
07-19-2010, 9:06 PM
Hopefully the new shooting map will help sort this out.

LloydXmas250
07-19-2010, 11:59 PM
Hopefully the new shooting map will help sort this out.

I'd hope so, but I have little faith. They'd probably say something like, "it's our forest so we can decide if you can shoot or not, not DFG."

Hey 5shot. Is there any way of reporting a NF employee who is refusing to allow me to hunt or shoot when I'm doing it legally? I don't appreciate getting the run around when I know I'm in the right and I'd like to fix it by reporting their mistakes or abuses but I'm not sure to whom I would do that.

5shot
07-20-2010, 1:05 AM
I'd hope so, but I have little faith. They'd probably say something like, "it's our forest so we can decide if you can shoot or not, not DFG."

Hey 5shot. Is there any way of reporting a NF employee who is refusing to allow me to hunt or shoot when I'm doing it legally? I don't appreciate getting the run around when I know I'm in the right and I'd like to fix it by reporting their mistakes or abuses but I'm not sure to whom I would do that.

These are the people in charge:

Jeanne Wade Evans, Forest Supervisor
Tom Gillett, Deputy Forest Supervisor

Supervisor's Office
602 South Tippecanoe Avenue
San Bernardino, CA 92408
(909) 382-2600 (voice)
(800) 877-8339 (TTY)

Matt@EntrepriseArms
07-20-2010, 10:07 AM
Correct on the target shooting, INCORRECT on the hunting. Varmint hunting is year round, as is jack rabbit hunting. The Forest Service cannot restrict state hunting seasons, but they can close the forest to entry during extreme fire conditions.
The immediate area around Big Bear outside of the town of Big Bear Lake is shotgun. The boundary follows the ridge line that surrounds the Big Bear Valley. Go east of Fawnskin into the Big Pine Flat and Coxey Meadow areas and your in rifle areas.

The forest service employee/volunteer you talked to needs to read their own website:

http://fs.usda.gov/wps/portal/fsinternet/!ut/p/c5/04_SB8K8xLLM9MSSzPy8xBz9CP0os3gDfxMDT8MwRydLA1cj72 BTSw8jAwgAykeaxcN4jhYG_h4eYX5hPgYwefy6w0H24dcPNgEH cDTQ9_PIz03VL8iNMMgycVQEAIzTHkw!/dl3/d3/L2dJQSEvUUt3QS9ZQnZ3LzZfMjAwMDAwMDBBODBPSEhWTjJNMD AwMDAwMDA!/?navtype=BROWSEBYSUBJECT&cid=stelprdb5156888&navid=110250000000000&pnavid=110000000000000&ss=110512&position=Not%20Yet%20Determined.Html&ttype=detail&pname=San%20Bernardino%20National%20Forest-%20Other%20Activities


http://fs.usda.gov/wps/portal/fsinternet/!ut/p/c4/04_SB8K8xLLM9MSSzPy8xBz9CP0os3gDfxMDT8MwRydLA1cj72 BTSw8jAwjQL8h2VAQAng7kaQ!!/?ss=110512&navtype=BROWSEBYSUBJECT&cid=FSE_003726&navid=110200000000000&pnavid=110000000000000&position=BROWSEBYSUBJECT&ttype=activity&pname=San%20Bernardino%20National%20Forest-%20Hunting

Thank you very much for the information. One follow up question, though: you mentioned that the area surrounding Big Bear Lake is shotgun only. Does that mean that I could not use an air rifle for hunting varmints, or am I allowed to use ONLY shotguns? Ditto for bow?

5shot
07-20-2010, 11:32 AM
Thank you very much for the information. One follow up question, though: you mentioned that the area surrounding Big Bear Lake is shotgun only. Does that mean that I could not use an air rifle for hunting varmints, or am I allowed to use ONLY shotguns? Ditto for bow?

The San Bernardino Co. Shooting Ordnance only refers to "firearms". There are no restrictions against air rifles and archery equipment in unincorporated county areas. Check the forest service website about shooting close to trails, campsites, etc.

Matt@EntrepriseArms
07-20-2010, 4:35 PM
The San Bernardino Co. Shooting Ordnance only refers to "firearms". There are no restrictions against air rifles and archery equipment in unincorporated county areas. Check the forest service website about shooting close to trails, campsites, etc.

Got it, thanks! I saw that you can't shoot 150 yds from a campsite, etc. I read the information, but it can be confusing - especially when the friendly forrest service employee is telling me something different.

Well, I will be camping there shortly armed with my pellet rifle and archery set, but will limit my firing to hunting only, and no "target shooting" as I don't want to drive down to a designated target shooting area to shoot my "non firearms."

Its a real shame that all these prohibitive rules are in place. Its almost no fun to camp anymore. Back when I was a kid, we could have campfires, shoot bb guns and sling shots, and there was no danger of being fined $10,000 for trying to have a little fun.

Crap, I bet that if I got caught having a campfire while shooting my bb gun, I would most likely end up in Guantanamo Bay!

spectr17
07-20-2010, 5:42 PM
Matt, Big Bear has a nice shooting range that is open to the public for $10 I think it is. They are just north of the airport on Hwy and Division Rd. North side of the intersection. Check their website to make sure they will be open when you are up there.

http://www.bbvsc.org/

Video of the range

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Also be aware that the SBNF just upgrade their fire danger level today. Check their website for what is allowed for fires and BBQs.