Introduction to Deer Hunting


New member
Jan 1, 2012
Reaction score
Hi Everyone,

I have been wanting to get into Big Game hunting for some time now but don't know where to start. My friends and I got into Waterfowl hunting 10 years ago and basically learned on the fly through trial and error. However, it seemed like the laws were easier to figure out (at least for me): you just need to get the necessary licenses and Duck Stamp and pay for either Type A or B or go on Type C for free. Then learning to ID ducks, call, set decoys, etc. we were able to learn relatively quickly.

However, deer and Big Game just seems like there are more rules/ the learning curve is a lot bigger. Maybe it's just more intimidating, but if anyone has any advice or can point me in a direction to get started in the world of Deer/ Big Game, I'd really appreciate it.

Thank You,


Well-known member
Apr 29, 2011
Reaction score
It's not that complicated, where you located?


Well-known member
Sep 15, 2006
Reaction score
1 - Buy a hunting license (you have one already)
2 - Decide where you're hunting. Do you have access to private land? Or are you hunting in a national forest like the rest of us plebs? Peep the following link for how the zones are divided in california. Note the one you want to hunt.... if it's an X-zone, try again. Pretty much look for the ones starting in "D" - Deer Hunting zones link
3 - Around April?...Apply for the big game drawing. For mule deer, apply for an X-zone (which you won't get), second choice D-zone, 3rd choice D-zone...There are ways to complicate this with archery and muzzle loaders and harpoon guns but this is the beginners course. You'll get a D-zone which is your basic over-the-counter (OTC) tag. By the time you draw an X-zone, you'll be placing spread bets and all across the board. Results in June.
4 - Do something productive for 3-months until hunting season comes around (research)
5 - OPENING DAY! You have your rifle. You have lead free ammo. You have a hunting license. You have a deer tag. Hell yes. You're hunting now
6 - Wear lots of orange
7 - Try not to get shot

That's the basics. You may get more info if you post a location. Maybe someone is even willing to hang out with you. Be cool.

edit* I'll hang out with you if you have access to private land


Well-known member
Apr 4, 2001
Reaction score
I apply for just a preference point to build up for X zones as first choice and for D7 for second choice. Get D7 every year. Just one point from max points now for deer. Have max points for elk.

Top Bottom