New to SCH....hunting advice for CNF in Orange County?

May 16, 2013
3
0
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Southern Orange County
#1
Hey,

First time on SCH! I grew up in southern Orange County and had the Cleveland National Forest as my backyard (not literally) growing up. I mostly hunt quail up by Silverwood Lake, but I took down a pronged horned antelope in New Mexico and have trying to get into deer hunting ever since.

I've always seen deer around Trabuco Canyon and see a buck or 2 almost every year in my parent's back yard. I know D15 isn't the most productive zone and the CNF is pretty overgrown and steep in this area, but I can't help wanting to get out and start scouting to see if it's a possibility.

My first instinct is to scout valley's with food and water near Trabuco Creek, Silverado Trail, or by Ortega Hwy that deer might use to come down from the slopes and into the lower regions looking for water. Look for tracks and the usual signs and set up a blind. I've read about hunting in the area and there isn't much, but most people say its a pain in the ass....

Any advice for a newb? Let me know if you have any questions about the area as well.

Thanks,

Bryan
 

Aeon

just a dude who duck hunts
Feb 16, 2011
2,339
362
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#3
welcome to the site! I live in south OC as well. Your plan is a pretty good one. Just get out and look for sign! This has been a very very dry year and finding water will be key.

You need a good map showing the CNF boundaries. A lot of land off Ortega is private and they nail people who sneak in.
 

BuckHunter

“Venison” It’s what’s for dinner!
Feb 3, 2011
1,986
16
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#7
I grew up in this area too. Knowing the CNF boundaries is key and even then there is private land within the boundaries too. It is not a hunter friendly area if you haven't noticed and they have done a good job on making sure that most of the public is land locked by private land and the gate at the top is always locked during deer season. The really good spots they have made into wilderness parks and are closed to hunting. My brother and friends hunt D15 because its close but I pick LA or SD and make the drive instead. When you do find that spot you're looking for just keep it between you and a buddy unless you want it over run the next season.

Good luck and welcome to the site.
 
8

8SteelTown

Guest
#10
Bremblefly, if you go to the CNF station in Corona, you can buy a CNF atlas. It is like $18 and it shows boundry lines, public/private land, elevations, and all kinds of goodies to help plan out a scout. I can tell you that there's no scouting like putting your boots to the ground, but at least it'll show you where you CAN'T go. I can tell you that last week, I saw a deer each morning I was driving down Ortega highway on the way to work: all doe's and 1 of them kissed a bumber and didn't make it. Hard hunting up that area. Buddy and I went from Santiago peak down to almost Fallbrook and it's THICK! Would be very hard hunting. I did see a bow hunter a few years back in the Trabuco district dragging a buck out... Good luck. Hope to see pics of your scouts / hunts.
 

Bremblefly

New Member
May 16, 2013
3
0
1
Southern Orange County
#11
Thanks for the info guys. I went scouting last week and found some promising areas. Going to wait a few months to see if there are sins of deer. One spot actually looked great for calling in a coyote. Every spot looks like it would be a solid ground blind location. Anybody used blinds in this area. I was thinking about setting one up come hunting season along the thick brush of a funneled area.

Thanks again
 

BuckHunter

“Venison” It’s what’s for dinner!
Feb 3, 2011
1,986
16
38
#13
Bremblefly said:
Thanks for the info guys. I went scouting last week and found some promising areas. Going to wait a few months to see if there are sins of deer. One spot actually looked great for calling in a coyote. Every spot looks like it would be a solid ground blind location. Anybody used blinds in this area. I was thinking about setting one up come hunting season along the thick brush of a funneled area.

Thanks again
You'll get more shot angles from a tree stand, and see more, but a ground blind works good too if you can brush it in and leave it there.
 

OCHUNT

New Member
Feb 7, 2018
14
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#14
Thanks for the info guys. I went scouting last week and found some promising areas. Going to wait a few months to see if there are sins of deer. One spot actually looked great for calling in a coyote.


I want to go coyote hunting for my birthday on friday i live in dana point and was thinking of going to ortega. Do you have any tips you could give me? Thanks
 

WaterDawg

Well-Known Member
Nov 20, 2016
622
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#15
Another south OC guy here. Yes it’s tough but I’ve talked to forest personnel who say they’ve seen some of the same guys getting bucks year after year. I’m not a deer hunter but see them regularly in the Forest and on Ortega, Antonio etc. like others said, look at maps, get out there and figure it out. I believe it can be done. Send me a PM if you want to go out together and look around.
 
Likes: OCHUNT

surf88

New Member
Feb 13, 2018
1
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30
#16
Thanks for the info guys. I went scouting last week and found some promising areas. Going to wait a few months to see if there are sins of deer. One spot actually looked great for calling in a coyote. Every spot looks like it would be a solid ground blind location. Anybody used blinds in this area. I was thinking about setting one up come hunting season along the thick brush of a funneled area.

Thanks again
Hey Brimblefly,

While quail hunting the CNF south of Ortega, I saw lots of deer this year. Some good size bucks too. I have a pretty good idea of where to scout and start for deer next season. Further you go from trails and roads, more deer you see. I'm also a south county guy. Shoot me a PM if you want to link up and scout.
 

Truduct

Well-Known Member
Dec 20, 2014
1,584
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#17
Bring your shotgun and some dead coyote rounds makes quick work of close coyotes. Play pup in distress they will come flying into the call it works well this time of year. Try and get the call in a Bush up high they will come right to it in a panic. I always start with rabbit calls for the first 8-10 minutes then make the switch to pup in distress.
Works 10% of the time every time.