California rifle deer - X zone

Rob P

Well-known member
Went back up to hunt the final weekend of my X zone and was able to close out with a punched tag. After seeing only 3 does all of Saturday I decided to try an area that I had never been to that I thought maybe be overlooked by a lot of people. My cousin Jeremy was able to come with me on Sunday to help me glass. We got to a pretty good glassing point just after day break and after glassing for a while we weren’t seeing any deer. I was starting to think that I needed to get to another spot before everything was starting to bed down for the day. I had scanned the area several times over and was giving it another look. Then off about 3/4 of a mile away I found 3 deer feeding in a draw. The ears looked to be hanging wide and low so I thought there was a good chance they were bucks. As one of the deer turned its head you could see the frame of his rack. We watched them for a while to see what direction they were going as they fed. There was three different uphill directions that I thought they might go. We determined that they were coming up the ridge that we were on. I decided to try to cover ground to get to better and closer spot and see if I could get above where I thought they might bed down. I made my way by walking up on the back side of the ridge to stay out of view. My cousin was watching them but we had no communications devices. I told him when I get to my spot I’ll glass him and he can put his arms out wide to let me know if I’m still good on my pursuit. I lost sight of the bucks but I knew they were still around. I made arm gestures to my cousin to make his way to me. I had a perch on a rock outcropping that thought was a good position should they come my way. When he came he said it looked like they were feeding up the next draw. So we went back to the back side of the ridge and ascended higher to look down on the draw we thought the would come up to. We got to a spot and didn’t see anything. Kept moving slow and sitting and glassing. Nothing. I thought they may have went further away so we started to go in that direction. After noticing that the terrain was just becoming a lot scree I started to think that they went to the direction we had come from, to a draw we lost sight of when we hit the back side to make our ascent. By this time it had been a good hour and half since we had seen them. We just walked back slowly thinking we might bust them and that they might give us shot in the open country. As we were walking Jeremy’s eye caught a glisten in the sun. He put up his binos and the three bucks were bedded in the sage all facing different directions as groups of deer always do. We had passed them during our ascent up the backside! We got down low and you could tell the deer were not aware of our presence. I ranged the hill right above them to be 275 yards. The bigger deer was to the left of the other two. I scooted my way to place where I could remain low and get into shooting position. There weren’t really any good places to get a good rest for my rifle. I found bush that I could peek my rifle through and lay the stock for a rest. I ranged them again at 256. I was able to see all three bucks through my scope. The bigger buck I could his his 4x4 rack. I had sighted in my new scope at 100 yards. I knew that if I aimed slightly high I’d be good. I was able to take my time and get a good squeeze on the trigger. After I fired the shot my cousin said it was a great shot. The bucks got up and started running up the hill. For a split second the 4x4 looked as if he was unfazed. Seconds later he started to slow down. At that point I knew I wasn’t going to take a follow up shot. He came to a stop as his buddies kept running. He gave that backwards step as I’m sure many of you have witnessed. Then he took a fall. In seconds he stopped moving. I was happy to have spent the day deer hunting with my cousin doing the thing we love to do.

PS while dragging the deer up the hill. Jeremy yells STOP STOP STOP! I’m thinking he saw rattle snake or something. He reaches down and picks up this old arrowhead. That was the coolest thing ever.

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imperial valley hunter

Well-known member
Great story and congrats on harvesting a great buck... with family to boot. And that not giving up part seems to payoff... last week while bow/scouting I was already driving home and decided to check one last spot... score!! found a deer herd. Going to save them for rifle season next month.
 

OPAH

Well-known member
Great BUCK, great times, great BuckBQ, My american dream lived by you all, Sooo cool
Love to hear the story of getting that big boy on ice ?
 

cjack

Well-known member
That's one heck of a buck! Congratulations! Can't wait to try an X Zone one of these seasons.
 

tylercreek2

Well-known member
Went back up to hunt the final weekend of my X zone and was able to close out with a punched tag. After seeing only 3 does all of Saturday I decided to try an area that I had never been to that I thought maybe be overlooked by a lot of people. My cousin Jeremy was able to come with me on Sunday to help me glass. We got to a pretty good glassing point just after day break and after glassing for a while we weren’t seeing any deer. I was starting to think that I needed to get to another spot before everything was starting to bed down for the day. I had scanned the area several times over and was giving it another look. Then off about 3/4 of a mile away I found 3 deer feeding in a draw. The ears looked to be hanging wide and low so I thought there was a good chance they were bucks. As one of the deer turned its head you could see the frame of his rack. We watched them for a while to see what direction they were going as they fed. There was three different uphill directions that I thought they might go. We determined that they were coming up the ridge that we were on. I decided to try to cover ground to get to better and closer spot and see if I could get above where I thought they might bed down. I made my way by walking up on the back side of the ridge to stay out of view. My cousin was watching them but we had no communications devices. I told him when I get to my spot I’ll glass him and he can put his arms out wide to let me know if I’m still good on my pursuit. I lost sight of the bucks but I knew they were still around. I made arm gestures to my cousin to make his way to me. I had a perch on a rock outcropping that thought was a good position should they come my way. When he came he said it looked like they were feeding up the next draw. So we went back to the back side of the ridge and ascended higher to look down on the draw we thought the would come up to. We got to a spot and didn’t see anything. Kept moving slow and sitting and glassing. Nothing. I thought they may have went further away so we started to go in that direction. After noticing that the terrain was just becoming a lot scree I started to think that they went to the direction we had come from, to a draw we lost sight of when we hit the back side to make our ascent. By this time it had been a good hour and half since we had seen them. We just walked back slowly thinking we might bust them and that they might give us shot in the open country. As we were walking Jeremy’s eye caught a glisten in the sun. He put up his binos and the three bucks were bedded in the sage all facing different directions as groups of deer always do. We had passed them during our ascent up the backside! We got down low and you could tell the deer were not aware of our presence. I ranged the hill right above them to be 275 yards. The bigger deer was to the left of the other two. I scooted my way to place where I could remain low and get into shooting position. There weren’t really any good places to get a good rest for my rifle. I found bush that I could peek my rifle through and lay the stock for a rest. I ranged them again at 256. I was able to see all three bucks through my scope. The bigger buck I could his his 4x4 rack. I had sighted in my new scope at 100 yards. I knew that if I aimed slightly high I’d be good. I was able to take my time and get a good squeeze on the trigger. After I fired the shot my cousin said it was a great shot. The bucks got up and started running up the hill. For a split second the 4x4 looked as if he was unfazed. Seconds later he started to slow down. At that point I knew I wasn’t going to take a follow up shot. He came to a stop as his buddies kept running. He gave that backwards step as I’m sure many of you have witnessed. Then he took a fall. In seconds he stopped moving. I was happy to have spent the day deer hunting with my cousin doing the thing we love to do.

PS while dragging the deer up the hill. Jeremy yells STOP STOP STOP! I’m thinking he saw rattle snake or something. He reaches down and picks up this old arrowhead. That was the coolest thing ever.

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nice buck very cool arrowhead
 

sportyg

Well-known member
Grand story and an outstanding buck hope you get him mounted, a sweet find on that arrow head as well.
 


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