How do you deer hunt so cal?

Captaintb

Active Member
Sep 13, 2011
350
44
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Lakeside, Ca.
I was thinking about this today while I was sitting out there. Usually I'll find my spot and try for an ambush untill 9 or 10 then get up and start moving around slowly glassing for a spot and stock. My afternoon hunts are strictly ambush. My question is what method seems to work or not work for you and why?
 

Deadeye

New Member
Sep 22, 2011
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I'm new to hunting here in SD, I did a lot of studying on google maps and an old blm map I have and looked for areas that would have shade after the sun came up (generaly the south depth side of canyons , north side of hills etc.) due to the warm weather we have. Water seems to be abundant now as we have run accross pools in rocks etc. and there is water in their food. Acorns are coming around in places but aren't ready in others so you have to watch for it, observation tells me they eat a grammalike grass as well as a chamise? plant (had to look that up after seeing it live) and leaves off of a small acornlike bearing bush the deer rarely frequent the manzanita and chaparral thickets, I discovered this from the toutre I put my son and I through this weekend. Look for relatively open areas in shade with oak thickets. We hunt spot and stalk mainly and using what we have learned here in two days of hunting we spotted two shooter bucks and twelve does. We spotted the bucks on Saturday but the terrain and brush became impassable to get closer than 1320 yds, so we backed off and chose an alternate route today where we were within a 300 yd shot of where they were on saturday unfortunately all that showed was a doe. Just rememeber, they're like gold, they're where you find them :) Hope this helps little.
 

NBK

Trying to be the man my dog thinks I am.
Mar 8, 2011
8,445
1,603
113
San Diego, Ca.
Deadeye,

That was a great post and very good information. This type reply is why this site is different thank most. Thanks for taking the time.

Mule deer in general are spot and stock type animals regarding public land. Although if you have an area where you know the deer pass through, a stand type hunt is in order.

I enjoy getting into an area, understanding where the high elevation vantage points are and using that as an area to glass. Enough can't be said about glassing. Also knowing how to get into an area without disturbing your surroundings is key. Don't profile yourself on the skyline and try to use other hunters to your advantage (best case is to hunt where nobody else is willing to go if its possible).
 

Captaintb

Active Member
Sep 13, 2011
350
44
28
120
Lakeside, Ca.
Deadeye said:
I'm new to hunting here in SD, I did a lot of studying on google maps and an old blm map I have and looked for areas that would have shade after the sun came up (generaly the south depth side of canyons , north side of hills etc.) due to the warm weather we have. Water seems to be abundant now as we have run accross pools in rocks etc. and there is water in their food. Acorns are coming around in places but aren't ready in others so you have to watch for it, observation tells me they eat a grammalike grass as well as a chamise? plant (had to look that up after seeing it live) and leaves off of a small acornlike bearing bush the deer rarely frequent the manzanita and chaparral thickets, I discovered this from the toutre I put my son and I through this weekend. Look for relatively open areas in shade with oak thickets. We hunt spot and stalk mainly and using what we have learned here in two days of hunting we spotted two shooter bucks and twelve does. We spotted the bucks on Saturday but the terrain and brush became impassable to get closer than 1320 yds, so we backed off and chose an alternate route today where we were within a 300 yd shot of where they were on saturday unfortunately all that showed was a doe. Just rememeber, they're like gold, they're where you find them :) Hope this helps little.
Sounds to me like you got more information in a couple days than a lot of local guys will get in years. I'm with ya on the research, I geek out on all the little tid bits that most people overlook.
What I meant in my question was who's using a tree stand or ground blind or just tucking in some rocks? Do you see the same deer on a regular schedule or are random deer just passing through at random times? Or do some people just just go out blind without any research or scouting?
 

BuckHunter

“Venison” It’s what’s for dinner!
Feb 3, 2011
2,022
124
63
99% tree stand and 100% bow. If I were rifle hunting it would be spot and shoot or still hunt. I have got one out of a ground blind made of brush in A22 a few years ago but now I hang a stand right above that spot to get better angles and get my scent off the ground.
 

boogie

Member
Jan 28, 2011
79
0
6
I TOO PREFERE STAND HUNTING IN SO CAL. YOU CAN HARDLY MOVE ON THE GROUND IT'S SO DAMN DRY AND LOUD DOWN HERE, HOWEVER AFTER A SLIGHT DOWNPOUR IT IS NICE TO GET ON THE GROUND AND DO SOME STALKING.
 

BuckHunter

“Venison” It’s what’s for dinner!
Feb 3, 2011
2,022
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I just read TA's old post again and learned some more. Still the best post ever on here.
 

Captaintb

Active Member
Sep 13, 2011
350
44
28
120
Lakeside, Ca.
Wow! Great read TA. You are a lot more generous with your info. than any other hunter I have ever met would be. I see why Buckhunter says it's the best post on this site.

I was a little bummed to see you give the glider port location, my friends and I used to go up there every once in a while to drink beer when we were in high school. I was thinking about scouting that area next off season.
 

Captaintb

Active Member
Sep 13, 2011
350
44
28
120
Lakeside, Ca.
I forgot to add I have noticed in the last couple weeks the bucks are not getting up and moving until after 8:30 in the morning. I've been working on the powerlink project and this morning came upon 2 bucks sparring in the middle of a haul road at 10 o'clock with 2 trucks waiting for them to move, 1-4x4 and 1-forky, saw 9 other deer wondering around previous to that. The rut is definatly in full swing. Just wanted to share.
 

sch2

Active Member
Mar 1, 2011
866
110
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619
I have had good success using rattle horns and scents. This year I opted out of using my rifle and yesterday I rattled in a tall spike after seeing deer fight on a constant basis. Only issue with rattling is you have to be ready since they will sneak up really quick. At times I'll use a grunt tube but I only use it sparingly. I really need to try using a treestand, I usually just hide in the brush.
 

Lungpopper

GLASS,GLASS,GLASS
Staff member
Mar 2, 2011
5,808
1,842
113
Lakeside
schoutdoors.com
With a rifle try to get to the highest elevation in the area and glass as much and as far as you can.
Then spot and stalk.
If I'm doing spot and stalk with my bow I will wait for the deer to bed down.This will also give you a chance to watch the does bed down if you know where the does are you have a better chance of sneaking in and not getting busted.
Most of the time when I'm hunting with the bow I'm in a treestand.
 

toad

Member
Aug 24, 2011
35
0
6
TA's post was great. I saved it to an email to share with several people. I wonder if the for em should expand on it a do a post on local deer biology. Most deer hunting information is white tail deer related. Even if you study mule deer articles its almost usually anywhere but southern California. I read the biologist Randy did studies years ago on local deer. Anyone know if those reports are available? The part of TA's post I'm trying to focus on this year is glassing the green areas.
 

teachanother

New Member
Jul 3, 2011
304
0
0
San Diego
The green spot strategy works best in dry years. With all the water this year the deer are really spread out. Now's the time to focus on does and acorns.
 

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