Can restaurants cook wild duck? Can fish of different species mate successfully?
Q. Can different species of trout successfully mate?
A. Yes, although it is very uncommon, some species of trout have been observed reproducing with other species of trout, which scientists refer to as hybridization.
For example, cutbow trout are hatchery-produced trout created from spawning two different species: Rainbow trout and cutthroat trout.
Q: Is it legal for me to bring ducks from this recent waterfowl season to a restaurant to have the chef prepare them for me?
A: Yes, you may take your harvested ducks to your favorite restaurant, assuming they have agreed to prepare them for you.
The California Fish and Game Code states that, except as otherwise provided in this code, it's unlawful to possess a bird, mammal, fish, amphibian or reptile, that may not be legally sold, in a restaurant or other eating establishment. However there are some exceptions if:
- A person who lawfully took or otherwise legally possessed the bird, mammal, fish, amphibian or reptile.
- A person preparing the bird, mammal, fish, amphibian or reptile for consumption by the person who lawfully took or possessed it, or by that person and others, if the person who took or possessed it is present on the premises.
- A bird, mammal, fish, amphibian or reptile tagged with a signed statement of the person who took it, with that person’s name and address, the date taken and the total number and kind taken.
Bringing your hunter-harvested wild game to a professional chef can result in an expanded culinary experience for the hunter and guests, as well as an enjoyable challenge for many chefs.
We spoke with a hunter who harvested a bighorn sheep and had a professional chef prepare his harvest along with domestically reared sheep steaks so he could try them side-by-side. They had dissimilar flavors despite being from the same taxonomical genus. As you might expect, the bighorn sheep steaks were leaner and had a mild wild game flavor.
Be sure to comply with the code if you deliver your sport-taken ducks or other game to a chef ahead of time so that they can prepare for your later return.
Q: When is breeding season for tule elk in California?
A: The breeding season, or rut, for California’s tule elk typically occurs through February, with peak rut being October through November.
Scientists can estimate breeding season for tule elk because they know firsthand that tule elk calving runs from mid-March through October with a peak of around June and July, and a gestation period of about 250 days.
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California’s other two sub-species of elk — Rocky Mountain and Roosevelt — typically rut from September through October.
Email CalOutdoors@wildlife.ca.gov with questions for the CDFW.