All About A Deer & Hog Hunt On Catalina Island


Published: October - 2000

Most southern Californians realize that Santa Catalina Island lies only 26 miles offshore of Long Beach. But what most people don't realize, including hunters, is that there is an active mule deer and wild hog hunting program on the island. Originally owned by the Wrigley family of the chewing gum fame, the island was turned over to the Catalina Conservancy a few years ago. The goal of the Conservancy is to preserve the Island's native flora and fauna. To their credit, the Conservancy realized that sport hunting could be part of the program and used as a tool to help keep populations of deer and wild hogs (both exotics to the island) at manageable levels. The deer were first introduced in the 1930's from the southern California mainland. Pigs and goats arrived earlier. The feral goat population has been eradicated, and the pig population significantly reduced to prevent damage to native vegetation.

This fall will be the third season the Conservancy has contracted with David Morgan to conduct hunts on the island. The hunting program is authorized under the California Department of Fish and Game private lands management program. A California hunting license and a deer tag application or unused deer tag for any zone is all that is needed to hunt. The trips are four days/three nights with three days of hunting, and the cost is $1,800, all-inclusive, once you reach Catalina. Most clients travel to the island on the Catalina Express, a water taxi that departs the Long Beach Harbor and takes about an hour to reach the island. The cost is a reasonable $38 round trip. Hunters are housed in a condominium in Avalon and all meals are provided, including dinners catered by one of the better restaurants in Avalon. Avalon is a small but lively town on the east end of the island, making this trip a good one for spouses.

The island is 20 miles long by seven miles wide and covers about 48,000 acres. Morgan has access to 42,000 acres; the guiding is on a 2 x 1 basis and only six........(continued)

 
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