Recent rains have produced a "green-up" in most Mojave Desert areas that should result in good hunting for about 1,000 deer hunters who hold Zone D17 deer tags, Department of Fish and Game biologists say.
The 23-day season in D17, one of the largest of the state's 27 hunt zones, will start Oct. 11. D17 encompasses nearly all of San Bernardino County and extends north to the Nevada state line, east of Bishop.
Hunter success in D17 varies widely from year to year, but in recent years the zone has produced more deer than average when compared to other Southern California zones. Last year, 1,008 tag holders took 107 bucks. Biologist Bob Vernoy indicated that hunters should find bucks plentiful.
Deer will be scattered, though, he said, and hunting pressure should be heavy in such reliable sections as the Cut Springs area south of the Ivanpah Mountains, Cottonwood Springs and Pinto Valley, near Cima.
In the Inyo County portion of D17, most deer hunting is done in the Inyo Mountains, where the seasonal kill has averaged about 30 bucks the last several seasons.
Greg Cook, DFG game warden who patrols the Big Bear Lake area, has advice for waterfowl hunters planning to try Baldwin Lake: Find someplace else.
Baldwin's water level is at 25% of normal, Cook said. He added that there is little cover for hunters and that the few waterfowl there now probably will leave after the first shot is fired.
He suggested as alternatives the Lake Perris State Recreation Area or San Jacinto Wildlife Area, both in Riverside County, or the Finney-Ramer unit of the Imperial Wildlife Area, Imperial County.
Nevada law enforcement officers are cracking down on reckless jet ski operators on Nevada waters after the death of a swimmer at the Saddle Cove area of Lake Mead Sept. 7. The swimmer was hit by a jet ski, whose driver faces possible criminal charges.
Said Tom Atkinson, state boating safety specialist: "Some of our biggest conflicts around the beaches come when an inexperienced jet skier buzzes a swim beach. Most such encounters lead only to near misses and hot tempers, but some are more serious."
Meanwhile in New York, two participants in the BASSmasters New York Invitational fishing tournament were killed and a third was seriously injured when two boats collided on the Hudson River Wednesday.
The men were among 290 fishermen competing for $137,000 in prize money. Killed were James Atkinson, Lorena, Tex., and Daniel Barragan, Little Falls, N.Y. Injured was Leslie Foster, Fulton, N.Y.
The fatalities were the first in the history of BASSmasters tournaments, which began in 1967, an official said.
Briefly Miserable weather and back country road conditions greeted Utah elk hunters on opening day Wednesday. Most popular mountain hunting areas were hit with high winds and snow. . . . Most of Nevada's general deer season will open Saturday. . . . The first in a series of fishing schools sponsored by California Angler magazine will be held at the Balboa Bay Club in Newport Beach Nov. 14-16. . . . Friends of Newport Bay will begin conducting a series of Saturday morning walking tours of the Upper Newport Bay Ecological Reserve Oct. 18 at 9 a.m. Tours will start near the corner of Eastbluff Drive and Backbay Drive.