First Deer Tag - D14

TheDuke91

New Member
Apr 27, 2019
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What's up SCH!

I am a new hunter - I've been hog hunting 2 times on public land over the past year- and pulled my first deer tag ever in D14. I've never been deer hunting before and I'm looking for any advice you all might be willing to share.

So far, I've been using Google Earth to find high alpine meadows and areas that might have some water later in the season. I've also talked to the local rangers about recently burned areas and how to access them. I went out hiking in the San Gorgonio Wilderness area this month but didn't see a single deer; just a mountain lion prowling along the edge of Dollar Lake (yikes). I plan on doing one or two more scouting trips before archery season opens but I would really appreciate any advice that could help me narrow down the types of terrain or specific areas I should focus on scouting. Right now, I'm looking at an area about 5 miles in from the nearest drivable road that sustained a pretty serious fire in recent years. This particular area features lots of north-facing hillsides, a creek, and some high terrain to glass from. I realize this is a pretty significant distance to carry a deer if I am lucky enough to shoot one, but I don't mind a little discomfort if it means a successful hunt.

Are there any community members that hunt this area? I'd appreciate any knowledge you'd be willing to share with me. Thanks!
 

HATCHET1

"yes,it killed the hound..ferocious bitch she was"
Aug 2, 2013
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My favorite zone!! Get after it dude!! Thier only deer, and there are plenty!! Post him when you kill him!
 

ilovesprig

Moderator
Staff member
Aug 3, 2012
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Escondido
Duke,

Welcome to SCH...Don't know much about D-14, but a good friend is the biologist in that zone....He might be able to help.

ps....Amazing....I've been hunting these mountains all my life and still haven't seen a lion while hunting.
 

TheDuke91

New Member
Apr 27, 2019
4
1
3
27
Duke,

Welcome to SCH...Don't know much about D-14, but a good friend is the biologist in that zone....He might be able to help.

ps....Amazing....I've been hunting these mountains all my life and still haven't seen a lion while hunting.
Thank you Sprig! I'd love to chat with him if possible.

I was so surprised to see the lion. We were getting ready to get into the tent when I heard something moving at the edge of the campground. I clicked on my headlamp to see two yellow eyes starting at me. It prowled around the edge of the clearing and disappeared up into the bushes uphill from us where we'd see just its eyes now and again. Must have been a young one because it couldn't have been longer than 4 feet from head to tail but I'm sure glad it wasn't any larger.. That might be the only lion I ever see!
 

ilovesprig

Moderator
Staff member
Aug 3, 2012
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Escondido
Duke,

Not that it matters, but did you actually see the lion?....A 4 footer is really small, if that includes tail....Quite a few night time predators show greenish yellow eyes.
 

TheDuke91

New Member
Apr 27, 2019
4
1
3
27
Duke,

Not that it matters, but did you actually see the lion?....A 4 footer is really small, if that includes tail....Quite a few night time predators show greenish yellow eyes.
Yes, it was only 10-15 yards away. I figured it must have been a young one.
 
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klxracer92

New Member
Sep 23, 2015
10
14
3
Read “Open Country” by Dwight Schuh

Highly recommend glassing off of different vantage points. Sun at your back, bino’s on tripod and stay behind your binoculars and glass from first light and until last light. I will usually pick a vantage point and stay there until 12-2pm. Depending on what i seen during the morning. I will also move a few yards to get a different view during this time. Sometimes 5 feet is all you need to see a deer bedded. With my experience, deer will get up mid day and move a short distance.
I will reposition myself with the sun at my back and glass another area until very last light.

I was just up there the last few days scouting and glassed up a forky one evening and a spike the next morning. Don’t over look areas close to the roads either.

I’m using vortex vultures 15x56. They’re not “great” around sun rise/set but for the price i really like them.

D14 is a really fun zone, a lot of variance in habitat.
 

TheDuke91

New Member
Apr 27, 2019
4
1
3
27
Read “Open Country” by Dwight Schuh

Highly recommend glassing off of different vantage points. Sun at your back, bino’s on tripod and stay behind your binoculars and glass from first light and until last light. I will usually pick a vantage point and stay there until 12-2pm. Depending on what i seen during the morning. I will also move a few yards to get a different view during this time. Sometimes 5 feet is all you need to see a deer bedded. With my experience, deer will get up mid day and move a short distance.
I will reposition myself with the sun at my back and glass another area until very last light.

I was just up there the last few days scouting and glassed up a forky one evening and a spike the next morning. Don’t over look areas close to the roads either.

I’m using vortex vultures 15x56. They’re not “great” around sun rise/set but for the price i really like them.

D14 is a really fun zone, a lot of variance in habitat.
Thanks for the tip! I just ordered the book. Looks like I need to invest in a tripod..
 

klxracer92

New Member
Sep 23, 2015
10
14
3
Thanks for the tip! I just ordered the book. Looks like I need to invest in a tripod..
You’ll enjoy it! Lots of great info.

I use 10x42 on a tripod also, which are very good also. Spend as much time out in the field. That will always be the answer to success.