Yurok Tribe Wildlife Department - Harvest Management
The Yurok Tribe Wildlife Department (YTWD) plays critical roles in the management of wildlife and other natural resources on the Yurok Tribe Reservation and throughout the region. YTWD surveys, monitors, and conserves wildlife on the Reservation, and partners with external organizations on regional wildlife management and conservation projects. YTWD is also actively involved with Harvest Management, including through the establishment of the YTWD Hunters as Stewards Project, the certification of several YTWD staff as Hunter Education course instructors, the organization of and participation in regional shooting demonstrations and sportsman exhibitions, and the promotion of safe, respectful, and ethical harvest practices, with emphases on ecosystem stewardship and wildlife conservation, to communities in northern California and the Pacific Northwest.
Yurok Hunting and Harvesting
For more information on hunting and harvesting on the Yurok Reservation, including seasons, limitations, prohibitions, and penalties, refer to the Yurok Tribe Wildlife Ordinance, available through the following link:
Yurok Tribal members who harvest big game — deer, elk, bear, mountain lion, and wild pig or boar — on the Yurok Reservation must report that information within one (1) week of the harvest. Any person hunting for those animals must have an appropriate report form with them, and the report form must be completed before the person leaves the field-dressing site.
Hunters have three options for submitting a Reporting Form.
Completed paper forms shall be:
Mailed to the Tribe’s Klamath administrative office at Yurok Tribe, Attn: Yurok Tribe Wildlife Department, P.O. Box 1027, Klamath, California 95548; or
Dropped off in person at either the Tribe’s Klamath or Weitchpec administrative office.
Alternatively, hunters may complete the online Reporting Form available on the Yurok Tribe Wildlife Department – Harvest Management webpage.
To complete the online Harvest Reporting form, click on the following link:
To view the Yurok Tribe Hunt Reporting Ordinance, click on the following link:
For more information on Yurok Tribal Code or Ordinances, contact the Yurok Tribe’s Office of the Tribal Attorney.
Hunters as Stewards
The Yurok Tribe Wildlife Department launched the Hunters as Stewards project in 2010 with the mission of engaging with the hunting community, land managers, and outdoor recreationists in Yurok Ancestral Territory, northern California, and the broader Pacific Northwest region. Hunters as Stewards seeks to create a dialogue with hunters and sportspeople, to discuss strategies for the promotion of responsible stewardship of the ecosystems utilized by these individuals for their sport or livelihoods.
The Yurok Tribe is proud of the relationship they maintain between the natural world and their rich hunting tradition, both of which continue to be inextricably woven into the lives of its people. Yurok are deeply connected to the natural world,
viewing it as more than simply as a place to fulfill temporary human needs. A deeper connection, one in which the Yurok also consider the needs of the ecosystem, guides cultural practices and imbues a respect for the landscape and its many components. The balance between human need and ecosystem health is narrow, and the Yurok understand how seemingly small actions can result in significant negative effects to plants, animals, air, and water.
The highest goal of the Hunters as Stewards project is to embrace the hunting community as partners in the conservation of our wildlands and wildlife. Just as a strong connection exists between many indigenous cultures and the land on which they live, so too were many of the first conservationists in the United States avid outdoorspeople, adventurers, hunters, and anglers. That legacy of stewardship continues today, embraced by all who cherish wild places and healthy ecosystems. This appreciation for nature, and a sense of duty for its protection, drives the Hunters as Stewards project to deliver outreach to hunting communities of both indigenous and western backgrounds, offer information and perspectives on conservation and ecological issues, and promote thoughtful and informed activities, traditions, and land-use practices.
Hunter Education and Safety
Most states require some form of formal education for individuals before they are legally allowed to hunt. In California, hunter education training is required for all persons who have not formerly held a California hunting license; who do not have a hunter education certificate of completion; or who do not hold a current hunting license, or a hunting license issued in either of the two previous hunting years, from another state or province. Hunter Education and Safety classes are offered throughout the State by more than 1,000 certified volunteer instructors, all dedicated to keeping hunting safe, ethical, and available to all Californians.
To find out more information about Hunter Education Program classes in California, including the Traditional Hunter Education Courses and the Online Course option, as well as more specialized education, such as Advanced Hunter Education and Bow Hunting classes, visit the California Department of Fish and Wildlife – Hunter Education website.
Hunting in Oregon? Visit the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife website for more information.
Hunting with Non-lead Ammunition
California Assembly Bill No. 711 established that, as of 1 July 2019, non-lead ammunition is required when taking any wildlife with a firearm in the State of California, including for both hunting and depredation. Neither the Yurok Tribe nor the Yurok Tribe Wildlife Department have ever advocated for or against this regulation, and the Hunters as Stewards project has always promoted voluntary measures to increase the use of non-lead ammunition. The Wildlife Department does, however, acknowledge the increasing evidence, documented in peer-reviewed studies, that lead exposure can be harmful to the health of both humans and wildlife.
For decades, our society has worked to remove lead from our paint, gasoline, and plumbing. Just as those lead sources pose threats to our health, lead in our wild places can threaten the health of wildlife. Following a successful hunt, scavenging birds and mammals arrive on-site to consume the remains of the carcasses and gut-piles that are often left behind by hunters. In many cases, these animals unintentionally ingest small pieces of lead that fragmented from the bullet, with that lead later absorbed into the bloodstream, potentially producing long-term side effects, including death.
Like many of our tools, we have choices when selecting ammunition. It is important for hunters to know all of their available options and be able to make informed decisions about choices that can affect their health, their family’s health, and the health of the wildlands they treasure. The Yurok Tribe Wildlife Department encourages you to visit the links provided, below, and gather more information about this important topic.
Additional Non-lead Ammunition Resources
California Department of Fish and Wildlife: Nonlead Ammunition in California
North American Non-Lead Partnership
Pinnacles National Park: Lead Bullet Risks for Wildlife and Humans
One Percent for the Tetons: Removing Lead from Wildlife and Wildlands
Pacific Coast Science and Learning Center: Lead vs. Copper Bullets
Conservation Media: Hunting with Non-Lead Ammunition