New hunter looking for a mentor/hunting buddy


New Member
Sep 11, 2022
Hey everyone,

Lots of great information on this forum. Wish I found y'all sooner.

New-ish to hunting. I went pheasant hunting in Central Washington - loved it and wanted to explore the hobby. I decided to get into deer hunting/big game in CA (I live in Agoura/Thousand Oaks). I did my due diligence of research and skills honing (deer harvesting, land navigation, marksmanship, etc.). I feel really comfortable but understand that I have basically no practical experience.

Tried my hand with an A-Zone deer tag this year. I went solo this weekend for the first time (didn't know anyone and didn't know about this site). I camped at the Upper Oso Campground in the Los Padres National Forest (Santa Barbara County) and hiked along the Santa Cruz Trail to Little Pine Spring/Alexander Peak. After 3.5 miles of hiking up, saw the trail washes out right before the junction (I know...learned the lesson of pre-season scouting the hard way). Stayed and glassed as much as I could, went off trail to further scout/glass, but couldn't see any deer (saw scat from deer and bear, though - possibly a bedding area). I figured that being 3-4 miles into the forest would help, but I guess there are just too many people/hunting pressure/I smell so bad the deer flee from me.

While I was glassing and looking around, I could hear ATV's in the distance with hunters moving up and down Buckhorn Road en route to Santa Cruz peak (where I guess the action is). I don't much care for using ATV's (I want to earn the experience and hike in/out - leaving as little footprint in nature as I can). I don't mind working for it.

I talked to some other hunters and they recommended D13 for what my desires were. Any information would be most welcome and anyone who would be willing to mentor me, I would be very appreciatve. I work in healthcare and have experience with emergency medicine and orthopedic surgery (hopefully will never need to use that skill when hunting...but better to have than not). I am rifle only (proficient to about 300 meters - my comfort level for an ethical shot). Thanks for your time.
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Active Member
Aug 16, 2014
SO many people hate D13, and talk nothing but trash about it. If you really want to work hard for it, and a willing to do the tough hikes and long days, D13 can be a great place to be.

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