Moving from KS ---> San Diego, CA

courtks92

New member
Joined
Sep 26, 2017
Messages
17
Location
San Diego, CA
Hey fellow hunters/huntresses!

I recently got married to a US Navy sailor and am relocating to San Diego, California to be with him. Obviously I know there are going to be some pretty big changes between Kansas and California (i.e. non-lead ammo, species, gun registration within 60 days of moving). However, I'm looking for some advice on the following things:

1. Are there any ammunition restrictions in terms of bringing things into the state? I.E. I have a case of sporting clay loads and don't want to just have to throw them away upon entry to the state.

2. What rules and regulations will I need to follow in terms of transporting my self-processed wild game into California? I'll be driving from KS to CA, so I"ll have to travel through New Mexico, Arizona, and California here.

3. Are there rules about bringing in trophies (i.e. self done euro mounts, turkey spurs, etc.)?

4. How do you maintain a "hunting lifestyle" while living in a larger city with tons of folks? We are planning on living near Balboa Park (he's stationed at the medical center there) in part to have some "distance" from the city and be near the archery range there. I've been a follower of "Living Country in the City" so there's a few things I have taken from there but would love any other advice on this.

We also will most likely be looking for hunting mentors in California as all of our current hunting pals and mentors are in Kansas. I've been hunting for about 4 years now and he has gotten involved through me.

Any additional advice (marital and non) is welcome. Thanks in advance!
 
Joined
Sep 8, 2016
Messages
74
Hey Court

I did the exact same move from Herington KS to Ventura CA in 2014 and had all the same questions.

1. cant give you any solid 100% advice on bringing ammo into the state
2. Transporting game meat and mounts into CA is pretty straightforward "no brains or spinal cord"
4. Most of the sportsman and women I know living in the San Diego area rarely travel outside of the Imperial, Riverside, San Bernardino county. Theres great dove, waterfowl and occasional deer hunting in the area. Id look into the D12 or San Diego antlerless deer tag for starters.
5. With AZ being relatively close you can always archery hunt for deer and javelina.

Being the California Coordinator for Backcountry Hunters and Anglers, I know the chapter plans to host a number of events in the SD area in 2019 and would love to help any new hunters or residents in the area.

you can email the chapter at California@backcountryhunters.org
 

JLS

Well-known member
Joined
Mar 26, 2012
Messages
6,076
Location
Somewhere in the basalt rocks
Congratulations on getting married! I can’t help you much with SoCal other than to say hunting Arizona would be a no brainer. I’ve seen a lot of great deer hunting pictures from California, and a backpack hunt in the Sierras is on my “someday” list.

Maintaining a hunting lifestyle in a big city can be a bit of a challenge. We did it in Seattle. Longer drives, ranges weren’t always convenient, weird looks from the neighbors when you bring a critter home. It’s doable though.

Good luck in your new adventure.
 
Last edited:

LopeHunter

Well-known member
Joined
May 31, 2007
Messages
2,182
Location
NW U.S.
You will love winters now. I moved from Missouri and spent a decade in that region and made a point as moved there to have a bucket list of places and experiences as I knew was a temporary residency. I cherish those memories and have all but forgotten the frustration with traffic, crowds and higher prices.

The gun laws are serious and judges not friendly for weapon violations. Almost impossible to get a concealed weapon permit. Transport of a weapon in your vehicle has requirements. Mexico is close by and a few years a go a Marine got in the wrong lane then missed the last exit to remain in California so passed into Mexico with his service weapon. Was jailed there.

I would say less than 5% of my co-workers in SoCal had fired a weapon at an animal. Most co-workers had strong negative opinions about hunting and hunters which was very unlike co-workers back in Missouri where a tiny minority of co-workers had negative opinions of hunting. I grew up trapping, hunting and fishing. Shooting a rabbit was how I viewed harvesting carrots from our garden. I was merely gathering food.

I never encountered Disneyfication of animals back home. Was culture shock in SoCal. I triggered a lot of folks inadvertently. Having mounts and Euros on display freaked a lot of folks out.

I have found the NW up north and SW to east more friendly to hunters than California which is like its own enigma.
 

Europe

Active member
Joined
Dec 26, 2018
Messages
234
Congratulations on your marriage and please thank your husband for his service

As far as hunting and gun ownership is concerned, you are about to experience a bit of a culture shock. I am not up to date on all their rules and regulations, but there is State issued booklets which will give you all that information.

As has been suggested Arizona is close and is a wonderful place to hunt a variety of species, but there is hunting allowed in California as well, albeit you will fin it a bit harder to get to than you did in Kansas.

But this is one of those times where one makes lemonade from lemons, as you and your husband will find a variety of other activities available to you. Exploring Mexico, Las Vegas, Redwoods, Grand Canyon, Hoover Dam, Yosemite, Salton Sea, Josha Tree, Mohave Desert ( if for no other reason this is where the Eagles, got their name (-; ) , Catalina Island, fishing, surfing, scuba diving, sailing in the Pacific and your closer to Hawaii --even Tahiti (-;

Wishing you and your husband much happiness
 
Last edited:

ltdann

Member
Joined
Oct 31, 2018
Messages
52
Location
Fallbrook, CA
I'm a retired Naval Officer and lived in San Diego County for decades.

1. No. On Jan. 1, it will be illegal to import into California ammunition purchased in another state. The legislature passed a bill in 2016 that would have allowed hunters to bring in up to 50 rounds from out of state without taking it to a dealer, but Proposition 63 overrode that, according to the Department of Justice.

Furthermore, as of 1July 2019, there will be a background check on all ammo purchases. Exactly what that entails (gun registration etc) has not been disclosed yet. Interent sales are illegal as well. Oh, and EVERYTHING must be lead free for hunting, and I mean EVERYTHING.

2. IRT to game, the law is geared towards CWD, so no brains or spinal cords on big game. There's a declartion form you can download from DFW.

3. In general, taxidermy/mounts are ok unless a protected species in CA. No mountain lions body parts at all, and If I remember that applies to bob cats. There's a list on DFW.

4. The hunting lifestyle is alive and well in CA, but underground...we generally don't talk about it because the civilians are bat crap crazy. Plenty of shooting ranges, all a bit of a drive though. The turkey, dove, quail and duck huning is the first rate. Duck is popular because we sit on the pacific flyway. Pheasant is a rich mans game here.

Big game is good as well and there are good places to hunt for Service Members. Most of us hunt on the various military bases, Camp Pendleton, Vandenburg Air Force Base, Fort Hunter Ligget. I hunt VAFB almost exclusively as it has a good game program. Be prepared to drive long distances for any hunting.

Balboa park is downtown for all practical purposes. An hour or more commute to work is normal in SD county, living near the medical center will cut that way down, but its not away from the city by any means. I live in Fallbrook, it's considered rural and it's 55 miles to Balboa park area. There are other places to live that are close to the hunting, but the trade off is the daily commute.

That all said, CA has good elk huning, home to the only Tule elk population on the planet. Good deer hunting (forget everything you know about whitetail-we don't have any) and the mule and blacktail hunting is challenging. Hog hunting is popular as well and CA is in the top 5 places in the country. Take the hunter safety course whether you need it or not, it'll answer alot of your questions.

Stick to the military bases for awhile, their game wardens are used to out-of-state folks hunting their bases and will answer endless questions and put you on the path to success.

Congrats to you and your husband and success in your new adventure.
 
Last edited:

kansasdad

Well-known member
Joined
Jul 30, 2011
Messages
3,774
Location
Wichita
Get your Kansas Lifetime hunting license before you make your move official. You will be able to get your Whitetail permits/tags OTC and at resident prices for deer/turkey.
 
Last edited:

BrentD

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 3, 2018
Messages
1,852
Location
In the middle
Get your Kansas Lifetime hunting license before you make your move official. You will be able to get your Whitetail permits/tags OTC and at resident prices for deer/turkey.
I sure wish they had that back when I lived in Kansas. Great advice.
 

ltdann

Member
Joined
Oct 31, 2018
Messages
52
Location
Fallbrook, CA
Get your Kansas Lifetime hunting license before you make your move official. You will be able to get your Whitetail permits/tags OTC and at resident prices for deer/turkey.
This is good advice. I recommend that everyone do this if they move from state to state.
 

Blacktailbc

Member
Joined
Nov 22, 2006
Messages
425
Location
Nor Cal
Buy your lifetime Kansas license.
Take up ocean sportfishing. You will be right there, and it is better than the hunting in CA.
Hunting the military bases is a good suggestion.
Look into Arizona for big game. Its not too far away.
Start building points for the "X zones". Some of the easier to draw X-zones are not too bad. (think 3-4 points).
 

courtks92

New member
Joined
Sep 26, 2017
Messages
17
Location
San Diego, CA
Thanks for the input everyone! Rest easy - I had my lifetime license for KS well in hand before even talking about getting married!

As a bit of a disclaimer here, I don't think we will be stationed in San Diego for more than 16 more months - he's on 2 year orders for San Diego and will start picking new orders this June.

I'm definitely planning on hunting AZ and will look into the opportunity to hunt on military bases. I'm not entirely sure if the bases would reserve the right to hunt exclusively for service members.

Also, I'm more into land activities than he is - he did choose the Navy slightly due to being a swimmer and rower growing up. We've definitely talked about getting more involved into fishing but will need some advice on that front given that KS is fairly different fishing wise than the coast.

Once again, I truly appreciate all of the feedback and advice everyone has provided (and your congratulations as well).
 
Top