My d14 tag soup summery. lions, foxes and bears oh my

oscar

Member
Feb 2, 2018
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Corona ca.
Well its been a crummy hunting year. Unexpected family obligations took away my time to pre season scout this year. The one day I was able to scout I got growled at by a mountain lion and archers had set up in the area that I wanted to plant my cam. So i backed out quietly and give them that space.
I head in mid week after opening day flying blind, going on last years intel. I hardly see any sign were I saw it last year, very quiet no quail no jackrabbits.... big difference from last year. after 2 days hunting I set my camera up and leave. I did notice a track that I have never seen before but blew it off.... nah couldn't be that. more on that later.
I get one day to go back out. I try a new area closer and easier to get to. I see 4 other hunters out, they grabbed the spots I was looking into first. I pick another spot. Quiet. No shots were heard. With this kind of pressure i'm sure the deer are deeper in. Nice day Learning new country, I think this would be a nice evening hunting spot for another year.
This last week I get out for my last chance to dance. Camera has been soaking for a few weeks. I park, no one around... thats good. i ruck up and am about to walk. I see another vehicle pull up in the dark. A pair of hunters. One guy comes up we let each other know were we are going to be at so we don't step on any toes. I head out in the dark. I'm thinking they are way to close to the road to get lucky. With my headlamp on soft light. Not even a half mile from the truck I got eyes glowing about 150 yards to my front right, halfway up a hill with some low scrub brush. hmm what are you. I keep walking watching the eyes. They are locked on me. If that was a buck it would have bounded out long ago. If that was a doe it either would have left or kept feeding, but definitely not keep eye contact. I keep walking take a look behind me to see if the other hunters are coming this way. nope. He hasn't moved a muscle and is directly to me right side now. that fucker is still staring at me unblinking. Got to be a lion. I have to do something, he is on high ground if I keep going he will be at my back. i stop and flash him with my brighter headlamp beam and try to make him uncomfortable. Its not bright enough to see him but I see his eyes blink slow and his head slowly move. he starts to walk away. he stops I keep flashing him. He finally walks over the hill glancing back at me. I could not make out an outline when he crested the hill. Fuck you I say and keep moving watching my back.
A couple miles later I get in right before first light and set up. Quiet morning. My cam is about 200 yards away. I keep my curiosity in check until about 8am I grab it and get back to my spot to have a look. I see 2 hikers or hunters. could not make out a weapon. birds a cool looking grey fox. and to my surprise a black bear. now I was under the assumption that there where no bears in this area, but I and everyone I talked to out here is now wrong lol. No wonder this area is a ghost town, 2 big predators in the neighborhood. I saw a bear print when I had my lion encounter months ago. blew it off in disbelief. Now I see a few more on the way to my camera. Well thats a wrap for this yea. enjoy the pics. 014.JPG012.JPG
 

HATCHET1

"yes,it killed the hound..ferocious bitch she was"
Aug 2, 2013
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And dude..get after that bear, that big dummy will be in the same general area until he gets boogered by somebody or killed...might as well be you.
 

Hunter527

Active Member
Apr 3, 2018
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I was out on Sunday morning in d14 with my dad, i was sitting on a little hill overlooking a clearing and my dad hiked up a little further to get a different view, and it was already light by now. A half hour later a hunter pulls up, walks right through the clearing I was watching and keeps going towards a hill across the clearing, I can no longer see him. A little while later I hear a shot real close to me and I hope its my dad but then I see the guy on top of the hill opposite the clearing. I head over to see if my dad shot, but I find out he didn’t and then we watch a doe for a while. After the doe leaves we hike up a different hill and I look down the other side and see five guys hiking down to a road and a black truck pulls off the road and they load something in the back and drive off. A while later we head back to our truck and a guy drives by and says he saw a black truck driving by with a six point in the back. So that makes for a disappointing last day when a guy walks up well after sunrise and shoots a buck right over the hill from you.
 

Horto619

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May 17, 2018
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Get yourself a bear tag and get after it! All that hard work will pay off..keep getting after it. I need to get a lock box for my trail cams before I set them out..I dont want them messed with..
 

TheGDog

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Nov 28, 2018
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Check the regs, last year I think it was 11/24 you could start taking Gray Foxes (Probably changes a little each year). Be a good bet to get to that spot where the cam was before daybreak and just sit and wait. Bet you'd see one or the other (Bear) eventually. Maybe try a mouth call?


CCR T14-475. Methods of Take for Nongame Birds and Mammals. Nongame birds and mammals may be taken in any manner except as follows:
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.
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(b) Recorded or electrically amplified bird or mammal calls or sounds or recorded or electrically amplified imitations of bird or mammal calls or sounds may not be used to take any nongame bird or nongame mammal except coyotes, bobcats, American crows and starlings.

So gotta use mouth calls if you want to try to call in Gray Fox. I'm having trouble finding it... but I thought I read that for calling bears it can't be electronic either.
 

oscar

Member
Feb 2, 2018
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Corona ca.
This is only my second year of hunting. The only thing I've tried for was deer. I need to try out other game, got my upland stamp this year but my budget for a shot gun got used elsewhere.
I'm not really into getting the fox. I don't have the skill set to make proper use of that animal.
I am open to the idea of bear, but hunting solo and being a rookie hunter, I can't imagine packing that big bastard out of there. I need more experience before I feel comfortable hunting bear.
I'm not scared of the kitty cat but I am pissed that he set up shop in an area that I put lots of work into. I was hoping my area was the fringe of his territory, but now i'm thinking its the center.
 

YETI

Member
May 14, 2019
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I've seen mountain lion tracks everywhere I've hunted this year in both D14 and D16. Heard one in D14 too. They are everywhere now. Given all the close encounters I've heard about this year, I suspect it's only a matter of time before there's an actual interaction.
 
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FISHNFRANK

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Oct 17, 2017
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If you’ve got a headlamp on the emerald glow of a lions eyes are visible a long way off. I saw a lion at night a few years ago, and it was actually comforting to know that as long as you keep looking at those eyes and he keeps looking at you, you always know where he is. And that’s assuming you’re armed. But I always turn around every hundred yards and check my back trail, day or night.
 
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TheGDog

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Nov 28, 2018
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Well... for me... it was NOT comforting to look down into that Ravine I had to circle around the top of and start counting off those 7 pairs of glowing lion eyes. (3 Adults 4 Juveniles). But I had to go back in and fetch my tent and stuff so I could leave. So... backpack all stained inside with deer blood, onward I pressed. Turns out on the other side there was a Mama Doe and Fawn at the top of that other side of the Ravine. I was very glad to see them there. Half my gear was in the tent. Part of that was my headlamp. Another maybe mile up the trail, the handheld flashlight was acting like the battery was gonna give out. So I hurried up and cut it to conserve it's power. Looked up... half-moon lit night so could kinda see the trail line. Kept going and would briefly turn on the light to scan into turns where couldn't see into them well. Was so relieved when got to the tent and slapped on the headlamp. Nothing quite like the terror you feel at running out of light with a bloody backpack on after having just seen a congregation of 7 MtnLions you had to pass by! All that transpired at last-light going into dark.

I remember when I looked down and first saw that pair of eyes. Brain did a million calculations per second, thinking about the blood on my pack. Figure I'm either Predator or Prey. I chose predator, so I barked up at 'em all gruff like "YEAH!... I SEE YA!!!" Then followed it up with the deepest dog growl I could muster. Figured aggressive posturing be a good idea right about now since my .30-30 only had 6 shots left in it and there were 7 of them.
 

FISHNFRANK

Member
Oct 17, 2017
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Well... for me... it was NOT comforting to look down into that Ravine I had to circle around the top of and start counting off those 7 pairs of glowing lion eyes. (3 Adults 4 Juveniles). But I had to go back in and fetch my tent and stuff so I could leave. So... backpack all stained inside with deer blood, onward I pressed. Turns out on the other side there was a Mama Doe and Fawn at the top of that other side of the Ravine. I was very glad to see them there. Half my gear was in the tent. Part of that was my headlamp. Another maybe mile up the trail, the handheld flashlight was acting like the battery was gonna give out. So I hurried up and cut it to conserve it's power. Looked up... half-moon lit night so could kinda see the trail line. Kept going and would briefly turn on the light to scan into turns where couldn't see into them well. Was so relieved when got to the tent and slapped on the headlamp. Nothing quite like the terror you feel at running out of light with a bloody backpack on after having just seen a congregation of 7 MtnLions you had to pass by! All that transpired at last-light going into dark.

I remember when I looked down and first saw that pair of eyes. Brain did a million calculations per second, thinking about the blood on my pack. Figure I'm either Predator or Prey. I chose predator, so I barked up at 'em all gruff like "YEAH!... I SEE YA!!!" Then followed it up with the deepest dog growl I could muster. Figured aggressive posturing be a good idea right about now since my .30-30 only had 6 shots left in it and there were 7 of them.
I was talking 1 lion. I’ve never even hear d of 7 together, 3 being the most. That is pretty much like a horror movie. I’m glad you’re ok!
 

Cali Ridge Runner

Active Member
Nov 25, 2012
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7 lions?! Oh my...... I carry two flash lights and two head lamps and extra batteries for all... also carry a pair of clear goggles with head strap.... nothing worse than getting whacked in the eye by brush in the dark. Get after that Bear... you have some time left till the season closes for bear.
 

TheGDog

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Nov 28, 2018
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I was talking 1 lion. I’ve never even hear d of 7 together, 3 being the most. That is pretty much like a horror movie. I’m glad you’re ok!
When I first mentioned it the next day on whatever other forum that was... other fellows were talking about routinely seeing congregations of 5 on TrailCams (I wanna say in the more southern part of Cleveland NF on Palomar?). I seriously considered coming back another day in the daytime to fetch that stuff, but I figured some pesky hoomans would no doubt steal what I'd left behind, 'cause I probably wouldn't be able to come back until the next weekend. And when you add up a tent, bivvy and several other things, it adds up quick! I couldn't afford to be replacing all that stuff, so I figured I had to push on in spite of my fears. And ooh boy... I was nervy as hell when I came back past thru that area again even later into the evening that night. Daddy was making sure to check his 6 every 30sec or so! MmHmm.
 
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oscar

Member
Feb 2, 2018
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Corona ca.
If you’ve got a headlamp on the emerald glow of a lions eyes are visible a long way off. I saw a lion at night a few years ago, and it was actually comforting to know that as long as you keep looking at those eyes and he keeps looking at you, you always know where he is. And that’s assuming you’re armed. But I always turn around every hundred yards and check my back trail, day or night.
Its nice to know his location as long as he doesn't move in my direction. Slung my rifle on my left shoulder to free up my right hand for the next mile. yup thats me, I turn around and check my six every so often in the dark.
Funny thing is the one thing that scares me out there is... wait for it... hummingbirds .. lol Those bastards get me every time. On a sit for a while, super quiet..... then in what seems like less than a second, one of them zooms right to my ear. scares the shit out of me lol. sound like an apache helicopter is coming in for a landing in my ear drum. I jump every time and laugh after.
 
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FISHNFRANK

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Oct 17, 2017
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Its nice to know his location as long as he doesn't move in my direction. Slung my rifle on my left shoulder to free up my right hand for the next mile. yup thats me, I turn around and check my six every so often in the dark.
Funny thing is the one thing that scares me out there is... wait for it... hummingbirds .. lol Those bastards get me every time. On a sit for a while, super quiet..... then in what seems like less than a second, one of them zooms right to my ear. scares the shit out of me lol. sound like an apache helicopter is coming in for a landing in my ear drum. I jump every time and laugh after.
or how about flushing a covey of quail accidentally when you’re staking a deer, that will stop your heart. Bantail pigeons tend to blow off their roosts too when you walk under them at night...
 

SurfNHuntSD

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Oct 1, 2013
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or how about flushing a covey of quail accidentally when you’re staking a deer, that will stop your heart. Bantail pigeons tend to blow off their roosts too when you walk under them at night...
Bandtails are so spastic when they blow out of their roosts.. almost louder than turkeys flying down I'd say.
 

TheGDog

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Nov 28, 2018
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Its nice to know his location as long as he doesn't move in my direction. Slung my rifle on my left shoulder to free up my right hand for the next mile. yup thats me, I turn around and check my six every so often in the dark.
Funny thing is the one thing that scares me out there is... wait for it... hummingbirds .. lol Those bastards get me every time. On a sit for a while, super quiet..... then in what seems like less than a second, one of them zooms right to my ear. scares the shit out of me lol. sound like an apache helicopter is coming in for a landing in my ear drum. I jump every time and laugh after.
HaHAA!! I totally know what you mean (re: Hummingbirds)!

OR... they aggressively choose to hover right in front of your face for a second or two... checking you out... trying to assess if you're a threat or not.

In the beginning I used to jump and want to turn my head to look at every rustle that happens nearby. Fast forward a few years, now my ears know it's a "small" rustle and to not bother turning my head, potentially getting me busted on my sit. But you still heighten your attention to listening for a lil bit afterward.

Do you also get the lil lizzards that sometimes crawl up onto your pack investigating, because they don't know you are a human (in a Leafy suit) right next to it?
 
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YETI

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May 14, 2019
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HaHAA!! I totally know what you mean (re: Hummingbirds)!

OR... they aggressively choose to hover right in front of your face for a second or two... checking you out... trying to assess if you're a threat or not.

In the beginning I used to jump and want to turn my head to look at every rustle that happens nearby. Fast forward a few years, now my ears know it's a "small" rustle and to not bother turning my head, potentially getting me busted on my sit. But you still heighten your attention to listening for a lil bit afterward.

Do you also get the lil lizzards that sometimes crawl up onto your pack investigating, because they don't know you are a human (in a Leafy suit) right next to it?
I had a hummingbird land on my nocked arrow during archery season. He buzzed me a few times and then landed on my arrow and just stared at me. Pretty sure he was giving me a bird's version of flipping someone "the bird."
 
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