Department of Fish and Game News Release Date: Nov. 29, 2012
California Outdoors Q&As

Fly-tying with Big Game, Waterfowl and Upland Bird Parts?

Question: My friends that hunt big game and waterfowl often give me deer hide or duck wings and body feathers, which I use to tie flies for fishing. In the past I have given them flies in return for the hair, fur and feathers. In addition, I have sold flies to a few local sport stores, which may contain materials provided by my hunter friends. Would I be violating Fish and Game laws by trading (bartering) or selling these flies? Granted, these hunters provided materials that make a very small portion of the fly materials used to make flies. However, I grew up among sportsmen in a culture that encouraged the sharing of the harvest (taken by hunting or fishing) and an ethic of utilizing the harvest to the fullest extent (meat, fur, hair and feathers). Please let me know. (Terry T., Davis)

Answer: Yes and No. If the flies you tie are made only with the deer hair your friends have given you, then you may sell them (Fish and Game Code, section 4303). Any of the flies you tie that contain bird feathers from birds lawfully taken in California may not be sold as this would be a violation of multiple sections of the Fish and Game Code (including sections 3039 and 3504). 

The law does provide some exceptions for mammals that are taken under a Trapping License or that are raised under a Domesticated Game Breeding License.
Buying and selling parts of bird and mammal species that do not exist in the wild in California are not restricted under this law. For a list of the species that do exist in the wild in California, please go to:  www.dfg.ca.gov/wildlife/nongame/genplantsanimals.html

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