First yr Deer hunting report from a newbie.

Wildgame

Active Member
Feb 11, 2019
142
138
43
My season has come to an end. I am leaving for sunny Cabo with no more opportunity to get a Deer this year. I will chase some quail when I get back.

It was my first year hunting for big game. I purchased an A22 tag. My hunting partner bailed on me and I had to just run with it. I never scouted for Deer before and had no clue where to start. With the help of this forum, CA DFG, the CNF, Onx and other resources I was able to get to some areas.
I drove to many areas, hiked a lot and got into some very challenging terrain mostly solo until the last couple of outings. I first spooked a couple of Does, then a couple of Bucks and would continue to see more Deer.

I went out about 12 or 13 times, mostly all day from 5:30 am to 6:30 pm. I have seen Deer about 9 times for a total of 11 Does and 2 Bucks. Had I had a riffle and a D16 tag I would have taken a shot to a Buck from 100+- yrs. This one Buck was Big, bigger than all the Deer I had seen.

Recently for my birthday I made a stupid mistake and held off on a shot at a nice Doe from 45yrds because a cabin appeared in my peripheral sight suddenly I believed I may have gotten into private property. Later I found out that was not the case at all and the take would have being perfectly legal...I was bummed because not only it would have being my first kill with a bow but it was my birthday too. Live and learn.

To summarize, in my opinion, I had a great A22 season. I hunted only from the ground with no blind (spot & stalk) and although the terrain was difficult I really enjoyed it. I learned to find Deer tracks and recognize tracks from a small doe to a big buck, and mountain lions. I learned to find animal trails and where to look for them. I learned to spot deer with my binos, I learned where to glass from and how to play the wind. I learned how to be 100% self-reliant although my navigation skills still need work. I also figured out what to bring and what to leave behind. I learned how Deer can hear you from 300yrds in a canyon (that one really shocked me).

I am already looking forward to next year.

I will post a review of the gear I used, I think it would be helpful to the new guys.
 

TheGDog

Well-Known Member
Nov 28, 2018
1,748
1,222
113
XX
Not only that.. but how far away anything shiny can be seen by them (or you) when it glints in the sun. Makes it easy to spot hikers far away over on another ridge. Their trekking poles catching sun and shining with movement.
 
Last edited:

ilovesprig

Moderator
Staff member
Aug 3, 2012
10,399
6,474
113
Escondido
WG,

What a great season despite not getting a deer...This years experience will surely help lead to success next year.

ps...The law reads you can NOT shoot a bow within a 150 yds of any building, outbuilding, or barn.
 

YETI

Member
May 14, 2019
65
51
18
51
San Diego
Wildgame, great write up. This was my first deer season as well and i also didn't notch a tag although I had a couple of close ones. I'm definitely looking forward to getting out and scouting more this year to build on my knowledge base.

Steve, from my understanding, this was an unoccupied cabin on public land. Based on my reading of the regulation (FGC 3004(a)) I think it would have been legal for him to take the doe. The statute reads:

"It is unlawful for any person, other than the owner, person in possession of the premises, or a person having the express permission of the owner or person in possession of the premises, to hunt or to discharge while hunting, any firearm or other deadly weapon within 150 yards of any occupied dwelling house, residence, or other building or any barn or other outbuilding used in connection therewith."

As I understood it, the cabin was not occupied and because it was on public land, there is no legal "person in possession." At least that's how it was explained to me by a warden.
 

HATCHET1

"yes,it killed the hound..ferocious bitch she was"
Aug 2, 2013
1,626
2,633
113
Ca laws are written extremley vague as to confuse the Ca hunter and leave said law open to interpretation of the interigating officer...in a sense..they are open ended ...its a crap shoot..literally...i love Ca.
 
  • Like
  • Haha
Reactions: JakeSCH and YETI

YETI

Member
May 14, 2019
65
51
18
51
San Diego
Ca laws are written extremley vague as to confuse the Ca hunter and leave said law open to interpretation of the interigating officer...in a sense..they are open ended ...its a crap shoot..literally...i love Ca.
So true
 

Jackrabbit

New Member
Jan 5, 2020
3
4
3
36
My season has come to an end. I am leaving for sunny Cabo with no more opportunity to get a Deer this year. I will chase some quail when I get back.

It was my first year hunting for big game. I purchased an A22 tag. My hunting partner bailed on me and I had to just run with it. I never scouted for Deer before and had no clue where to start. With the help of this forum, CA DFG, the CNF, Onx and other resources I was able to get to some areas.
I drove to many areas, hiked a lot and got into some very challenging terrain mostly solo until the last couple of outings. I first spooked a couple of Does, then a couple of Bucks and would continue to see more Deer.

I went out about 12 or 13 times, mostly all day from 5:30 am to 6:30 pm. I have seen Deer about 9 times for a total of 11 Does and 2 Bucks. Had I had a riffle and a D16 tag I would have taken a shot to a Buck from 100+- yrs. This one Buck was Big, bigger than all the Deer I had seen.

Recently for my birthday I made a stupid mistake and held off on a shot at a nice Doe from 45yrds because a cabin appeared in my peripheral sight suddenly I believed I may have gotten into private property. Later I found out that was not the case at all and the take would have being perfectly legal...I was bummed because not only it would have being my first kill with a bow but it was my birthday too. Live and learn.

To summarize, in my opinion, I had a great A22 season. I hunted only from the ground with no blind (spot & stalk) and although the terrain was difficult I really enjoyed it. I learned to find Deer tracks and recognize tracks from a small doe to a big buck, and mountain lions. I learned to find animal trails and where to look for them. I learned to spot deer with my binos, I learned where to glass from and how to play the wind. I learned how to be 100% self-reliant although my navigation skills still need work. I also figured out what to bring and what to leave behind. I learned how Deer can hear you from 300yrds in a canyon (that one really shocked me).

I am already looking forward to next year.

I will post a review of the gear I used, I think it would be helpful to the new guys.
This coming season will be my first for deer,d16 ...have done a lot of deer scouting and seen a lot of deer today. Even had some gobblers in today there are opportunities to be had.looking forward to this season.