Could not believe the horde of hunters out . Usually I see 3-6 vehicles parked on the dirt road (8 mi.) that I drive in to my spot and maybe one hunter that hikes into my area .
Counted 47 vehicles , not including quads . Looked like a damn Walmart parking lot ! Two guys sitting in my exact honey hole , could hear them talk mostly nonstop for the first two hours . Wanted to ask them to just zip it but I was out numbered so just kept quiet . They finally quieted down so I headed out ( they left ) glassing real throughly as I went back to the truck. All told I saw ZERO deer , 13 hunters and heard 25-30 shots fired within a mile or so.
Got stopped by a state warden and checked for license/tag and asked him if he had verified any kills , none ! Sounds like 99% of that shooting was not on target . Thats excellent for later hunts , only hope a bunch of deer were not wounded/killed and not found .
In the last two years I have killed 4 bucks in there and seen many more , last opener my son and I both had deer down by 7:30 and saw 1 other hunter a mile off and the only shots I heard were ours . Think my area has been found out ( I DID NOT TELL ANYONE ) , looked like directions had been published in the local paper.
My son has tommorrow off , will give it another try , the crowd should be out of there . Otherwise I will save that spot for late season.
Saturday morning my partner and I hunted the west side of deer valley campground. Saw some very good sign of a buck or two. We headed out at around 4:00 am and station in. This was a mile hike downhill from where we parked. Daylight broke in and load and behold some stupid dogs came rushing pass away us Barking and running like a mad dog. We could see blaze orange mexican hunters (nothing racial here) making plenty of noises and they were headed torward us. Later I realized that their intention was to drive the deers to the other side of the hill because some of their partners were station on the north side of us. I CB my partner for the both of us to move elsewhere. At around 7 AM we moved to a nice creek which is another mile down hill and there were some very good sign of deer activites. We sat and waited for an hour hoping to just stay there til noon but at around 8 AM gun fires broke loose. All day long gun fires from left to right.
Besides the from the non stop gun fires we saw 6 rattlesnakes so becareful out there.
Started the backpack trip in at 4:20am and crested the desginated ridge
right at first light about a hour and forty minutes and 2,000 ft later. There was quite a bit of fog, but it cleared out pretty quickly.
Within 45 minutes, I was having a stare-down with a doe who
busted me about 150yards away as I was walking to a new glassing spot. As I was putting all of my focus on her (hoping a male friend happened to be following her)
It took me a while to notice the other deer about 200 yards below me. It was moving along and I only saw it's head for a second, but I was pretty sure I saw antler. Now my heart was waking up! After some not so stealthly re-positioning and bino work, I confirmed the deer was indeed a buck, and not just a buck, but...
That was the only buck I saw all weekend, with a total of about another 15 or so does throughout the rest of the Saturday and Sunday. The spot we (my non-hunter wife and I) were in, was only about 5 miles from the trailhead, so there were two other parties in the same area hunting. I talked to both parties, they all being very nice people, and nobody else scored either. The closest, was the one party of a father and his two sons had spotted one fork, but couldn't manage to get in range.
Overall a great weekend, just no bucks. I glassed most of the deer I saw from a distance with the spotting scope, which is one of my favorite ways to hunt. My heart always skip a beat when I pick out a deer, whether buck or doe, in-season or just scouting.
Well next weekend I will be out again, but will probably try another spot I have previously scouted.
7 does, 1 spikes, 1 spike fork, and 14 hogs. Could've shot a hog, but I was'nt about to ruin my deer hunt by shooting at pigs. Not gonna tag a fork spike this early in the season. All in all, a pretty good hunt, saw lots of game.
Went to Ventana Wilderness area and hiked in 3½ miles from China Camp to the Church Creek Divide with another hunter in some blazing heat. We didn't see anything. There was 'NO' water in any of the streams, I didn't see much in terms of deer sign but did see a lot of varmit sign.
oh it was a zoo in the mnf. I have lived in potter valley ca for a few year and my property backs up to pine mnt. I heard gunfire all day long Saturday. I heard about 50x the shots than there are deer in that whole forest. Im headed up tommorrow night for my opener with any luck I should avoid most of the crowds. My property backs up to the forest so the area I hunt is a good 5 mile hike from any road in the forest. wish me luck
Welcome aboard mrozman! Thanks for the report on the China Camp trail... if I didn't draw A20 this year, I would have been there for the opener of A-zone archery... sounds like that right choice happened for me.
Had a lovely hunt on the Hedgepeth Ranch. Only saw one legal buck, a forkie, a nice broadside standing shot at about 150 yards. But I still have some venison in the freezer and who wants to end the season on the first morning? Saw one nice 4x4 taken by a father-son team, they were ear to ear smiles! The boy got the shot. (He obviously has a much nicer dad than my sons had) Nice symetrical 4x4, about a 17-18 inch spread, maybe 8-10 inches high, decent eye guards and sturdy beams. Wish I had seen that boy!
I saw a huge forker last night at about 7:45. I made the mistake of looking thru my binoculars at him to be sure he was legal before going after my rifle. He crossed a trail in front of me then went about 15 yards up a steep hill and stared at me for a good 5 seconds, broadside. Just as I got my rifle out of my gun boot he walked behind a bush and disappeared. I was so angry at myself for wasting time with my binocs at that close of a distance--I should have looked at him thru my scope then shot him. I'm going back tonight to get him.
I did the same thing you did on opening morning while sitting on a rock. A 3x3 showed itself at about 200 yards for about ten seconds. I looked at him through my bino then got my rifle. Had the scope crossed-hairs on him but with the scope in low power 3x, I wasn't sure if it was the deer. I looked at him again with the bino and it was him. I cranked up the scope to 10x and found him as he turned and disappeared in the brush. I want to see him again on the next trip.