A22 Opener Report


New Member
Jul 3, 2011
San Diego
A22 guys,

Give us a report?

The opener was a bit disappointing. Too hot!!! It was 95 degrees at 11:00 AM. Deer were bedding down at 7:00 AM. Nothing much moving during the day. Using the spot and stalking approach I saw 14 antlerless, one spike and a brave coyote that got his morning breakfast interrupted by me. I did see some pig scat and tracks but that was the only excitement. Evening hunt was a bust.

My buddy, hunting from a ground blind on Saturday had one does come into range and that was it.

Its going to have to cool of 10-15 degrees to keep the deer moving during the day.

Anybody do any good?
Had to work on Sat so no opener for me, Went up today and set all my stands and cameras. Looks pretty nice up on top but like you said it is hot and dry, we need to see a cool down to get them moving but from what i can see this is going to be a hot week.

It also seems like half of San Diego is in the mountains this weekend, hiking, mnt. biking and camping, people everywhere.
One of my buddie Bryce was up hanging stands today and meet a new hunter who said he was hunting in a stand over by Thing Valley Rd. This guy asked where is the best place to hunt and had he seen any deer. The guy said he sat in his stand and did not see anything and than when he climbed out of his stand he seen a fork horn buck and raised his RIFLE but could not get a shot, Yes this guys was roaming around the Lagunas with a rifle on the archery opener with no clue that it is not rifle season and you cannot hunt the Lagunas with a bow. The guy also said he had set out several bait piles on a main road.
Truse me if the DFG gets wnd of this they will be all over us.

I seen the DFG talking to a few guys I know up there today and I heard there was a nice 2x3 killed either yesterday or this morning.

Once we get a cool down it should pick up plus this is the last big weekend for everyone so the mountains should calm down with all the tree huggers.

Good Hunting
I usually wait for the crowds and the air temp to die down. I’ll be hitting it hard after the 17th.
It was much better this morning. Temperature is down and over cast skies. (Hallelujah!)

Hiked into a canyon before 1st light. Saw one nice 2x3 drinking in the creek bottom. Waited for him to bed down and put a sneak on him but got busted by a doe I didn't see. (Damn does, get you every $(@#! time.) Great fun though.

I'm beat. Time to rest.
That is a good sign when you see a buck early. That means he is a resident buck and you should get some
good opportunities at him.

Good Luck
Michael Pritzl said:
Yes this guys was roaming around the Lagunas with a rifle on the archery opener with no clue that it is not rifle season and you cannot hunt the Lagunas with a bow.

I assume you meant that you cannot hunt the Lagunas with a rifle? There are areas of the Laguna mountains that you CAN hunt with a rifle (during D-16 general season) and TVR is one of them. Once you pass the reacreation area signs you are safe to pursue lawful game with a firearm but ONLY during approved seasons.

Obviously this guy is clueless and needs a good mentor (or a couple of fines from the DFG).

I was exposed to the area in 1998 by a co-worker who was mentored by a similar bonehead to the one you described above. His "mentor" showed him some areas (just INSIDE the recreation area)and told him that he could hunt it with a rifle as long as he was at least 200 yards from the road. During his 2nd season hunting up there, he killed a huge forky (probably the biggest I have seen from the area) with his rifle. He filled out his tag but didn't sign it because his "mentor" told him that he was suppose to sign it in front of the authorizing agent. Well, when the DFG showed up to sign off his tag, they busted him for 1) hunting with a rifle in the recreation area and 2) not signing (completely filling out) his tag immediately after the kill. The only thing he got from his hunt was a picture of him with his buck in the back of the DFG truck. They fined him and kept his buck (rightfully so IMO).

The 1st season I hunted with this guy, he told me the story (his version was that DFG screwed him over) so I did a little research. From what I learned, if he would have gone in about 100 or more yards or so, he would have been legal (assuming he knew how to fill his tag out properly).

As far as rifle hunters inside the recreation area, I've seen them smack dab in the middle of it and when confronted, they acted like I was an idiot for not knowing the rules ???

It only took me 1 ticket from DFG (my shotgun that I hunted with forever on the east coast was not plugged during turkey season (even though I only had 3 shells on my person) to learn that you have to research everything you can think of just to have a chance to be legal. I sat through the hunter safety course with my son last year and learned quite a few things that are different from where I learned to hunt.

BTW, as to not completely jack this thread, I didn't, and usually don't, hunt the opener. Way too many people and way too hot for me. I like to hunt when it's a little cooler and less busy :)
I agree I try to stay out on the opener, in fact I usually hang my stands on the opener (mid-day not to mess up anyone's morning hunt) because I have to take most of my stands to Utah the week prior.

It seems like every year up in the Laguna's I see guys with rifles roaming inside the boundaries. You would be surprised how far you have to be off the edge to be legal. The DFG can get you so many ways. The fence line that boarders allot of the Laguna's is not the boundary, it is quite far off the edge.

Good Hunting when it cools down, Peace
I killed a nice buck on the opener several years back. The memory of that keeps me going out in the heat. I agree though its pretty tough on the openers.

Laguna is getting to be a zoo. Can't think of a way to fix it though.
teachanother said:
Laguna is gettingto be a zoo. Can't think of a way to fix it though.

I think it started getting real bad when Los Padres NF burned (2002 I believe) and all the OC and LA hunters didn't have anywhere close to hunt. Now, I would guess that at least half of the guys I talk to up there say they are from LA or OC.
Michael Pritzl said:
You would be suprised how far you have to be off the edge to be legal I wouldn't be surprised because I actually look at the map every year just to make sure they didn't throw me a curve ball :D but there sure seems to be a lot of guys that NEVER look at it or they just play dumb, The DFG can get you so many ways. About 3 or 4 years ago, I got questioned and had to show my license to Eric (former DFG for the area) on 3 conectutive days. On the 3rd day I said "Eric, this is the 3rd day in a row that you have asked for my license and tags, what's up?" He just said, "How do you know my name?" "Well, it's on your name tag and I have been saying hi and talking to you for 3 or 4 years!" I guess he didn't want to get know the "locals"

Happy hunting everyone!!!
I was in the B&A Shop this morning and talked to a kid who shot his first ever archery buck in the Lagunas on the opener. I guess it was a nice forky. He told me he had a lion walk right under his stand and right and then went on to a his buddy's stand who still getting in his stand on the ground. I'm hoping he will log onto the site and post his story.

What a way to start off you season!
That is amazing. It seems like the lion sightings are becoming more frequent.
Sounds like a lion problem down there. I here they take a deer a week. Surprised you guys have any deer left to hunt. They need to open a limited hunt in these problem areas. Raise money for the state & control the population.
Here is a pic.(I hope) of one, this little guy was taken on the 3rd day of A22 season ( Labor day ), it was harvested by a buddy, it was his 1st animal w/archery equip. We have two tree stands in the same tree this year in hopes to film a kill ,but I loaned the video camera out to another buddy the same day. I did get the enjoyment of sitting behind him and watch it all go down. It was awesome!


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    Tom's A22- 2011.JPG
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Nice deer TopBuck! Too bad about the camera. That would have been fun to watch. This is the first confirmed A22 I've seen this season. Good job!
Nice work ! Tell your buddy congrats on his first archery buck! A local buck is on the board. Who's next? "Me I hope"

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