What's Going On?


New Member
Jan 13, 2011
Alpine, CA.
Hey Guys & Gals,

Aren't Mike and some of you going on a Utah hunt next month?
If yes, how come I'm not seeing any posts about it?

Actually, why is this forum so dead? I check every day and it usually only
takes me 5 minutes at the most to read the new posts. Someone mentioned
on one of their posts that he spends most of his time on Jesse's. That's great!
It's a good site. But this one here is for us SoCal hunters. Lets support it and
the hunting community down here. I'm new and just getting started. I have no
info or words of wisdom to pass on at this time. But I can learn a lot from you
veterans out there. Please post your reports and knowledge for us newbies
to learn and allow us to be able to hunt vicariously thru you until we can get
out and do it ourselves.

I'll start. This past spring turkey season was my first time hunting. I'd just
gotten my hunting license in February. I spent many hours practicing with
my bow out to a comfortable 40 yards. I got a blind and some decoys and practiced
my calls. Since I live in Alpine and the Laguna Rec. Area is only 25 minutes away
that is where I hunted. I went out 6 times. In those 6 times I only saw 2 hens.
No toms or jakes. One morning I was close to a gobbler in a tree. But I couldn't find him
in the dark and once he flew down he shut up. Not much to write about. But that is my first
and only hunt to this point. I must say that even though I didn't see anything to shoot, it
sure was nice getting out there and spending time in the woods. I'm hooked and look forward
to future hunts. Hopefully I can go out with Mike and the guys on their trips in the future.

Good hunting to you all.

Take care!

Hey Joe,

Great post and thanks for the support. I am not sure why Mike does not post often - I do know that he is managing a busy schedule between work and home currently.

Santiago and I have been spending a vast majority of our time building a new and very encompassing hunting website that will hopefully eclipse all current sights on the internet. So that is why we have not been so avid regarding participation.

I have quite a bit of hunting coming up -

Dove season, off to Canada for a week of Honker shooting, quail season, another pig hunt, an Idaho deer hunt, pheasant season, some duck smashing at my duck club, some more waterfowl hunting in AZ. and then finish the season off with a late (January) New Mexico elk hunt. Somewhere in there I will give the D16 deer a whirl too! ;D

I will do my best to keep everyone posted once the action starts. Likely I will duplicate posts here and on the new site (details and videos to come).

Also, the best thing everyone can do for this site to prosper is to get folks to register on the forums. New and more members will create more forum traffic. In the future we may do some sort of membership drive with hunting related prizes going to the member who is able to get the most new (legitimate) members to sign up. Any interest out there?

Again Joe, thanks for your loyalty and for the kick in the butt!


Thanks for the reply. It sounds like you have a lot on your plate.

I leave tonight for 2 weeks in Pennsylvania. I won't have access to the internet.
But I will definitely be back on the site when I get back. I hope to see lots of
posts. And look forward to the day when I can contribute my hunting knowledge
to the group.

Good hunting and take care!

Have a safe and fun trip my friend. We will be here when you return...
I know this thing is dead! Dont know why I keep coming back. Spend all my time on Jesses. Sorry but just boring with nobody on here....
Hey Joe, How have you been? Yes we are going to be going to Utah, we are leaving on August 18 and Mike and I have been talking daily about the trip. We are taking a group of SoCal hunters this year, I think we are up to about 12 to 15 people and Mike has been checking his area maps to see where we can place everyone in stands.

John is correct about Mike, he is busy with a new job that takes the majority of the day and juggling in family time can take away from other important things in life. All of us on the site can post thing on the forum, I my self have been lazy. I do check it daily though hoping to see some new activity.

I know John and Santiago have been investing a lot of ther time and resources on the site and I am hearing that the new site will be awesome. When you have to do all of the owrk yourself it takes a lot more time that hiring someone to do it for you. Hang in there, you will like the new site.

I will make sure we take a lot of video and pics from the Utah trip and post them as soon as we get back.

Happy hunting
Larry Cochran
I don't know about dead.I think most of us know there are some changes coming.
So people are just coming on here and watching to see what happens.
John is right we should be promoting this site to the local guys and trying to get people to contribute.
I would rather spend time chatting with some local guys that I can get together with once in a while than Joe blow from San Fransico.
I’m just waiting to start this season off. I leave for Utah in under 3 weeks. The bow is dialed in and my shit is all out and in a pile in the garage so I can play with it. When I get back home the A22 season starts. I spent 6 hours hanging stands and cutting shooting lanes, and trail cams last Saturday in 90 degree heat, but the trap is set. When that big boy comes by this year he’s getting “Raged” ! Three archery tags and hope to fill all of them.

The hunt is on ! Minus 3 weeks and counting...............
I have been reading them every few days. Sorry I have not been posting much. The season is just about to start and I have a few camera's out already.
Just got back from Pennsylvania. Did some flyfishing the creeks for smallmouth bass.
It was nice but slow. I usually manage 5 to 10 bass each outing when back there. But this
time I only scraped up 2.

My truck broke down just before the trip. And with needing money for the trip I hadn't gotten my
deer tags yet. Of course I look today and see that A22 is sold out. I don't have tree stands, trail cameras,
and haven't gotten out scouting yet. So I don't think I'll be doing any bowhunting for deer this season.
That gives me a year to get the needed gear together.

Everyone sounds like they are all set up and ready for the season to start. Good luck to you all and be
sure to post reports and pics.

I look forward to joining you all out there next year.

Take care!

Hey Joe, It's not to late. You can still get a AO tag and hunt any D zone with your bow.
Yep, get an AO tag and you can still hunt with your bow (buck only) 3-25 September and 22 October - 20 November in the D-16 area. You can also hunt several other zones during their archery and general seasons (bow only).

Bottom of the page: http://www.dfg.ca.gov/wildlife/hunting/deer/tags/docs/2011WEB-APPROVEDDeerAreaSpecificArcheryHuntSeasons.pdf
If you get an AO tag, do you have to relinquish your d-16 gun tag?
I believe you can buy it as your second tag. Call DFG and ask.

Local DFG office phone # (858) 467-4201
Thanks Guys,

An AO tag sounds like the way for me to go since I missed out on the A22.
Since I can't afford tree stands and trail cameras at this time (truck just died on us) what do you recommend
I do? It sounds like everyone uses tree stands down here in San Diego. As I've said I am brand new so I really
don't know what to do at this time. If everything were perfect I would have been scouting via foot and trail cameras for a while and have 3 or 4 tree stands all ready out. But it just didn't come together for me this year. I'll be better prepared next

As always THANK YOU for any and all help and advice.

Take care!

Get out there and scout.You cant hunt Deer if you dont know where they are. Find them and slip into the area and sit against a tree, let them come to you. You will have to be very patient but it works.
I was once sitting against a tree and had a Doe feed within five feet of me. I could see the acorns and here them crunching. She fed right by me and never new I was there.

As I'm sitting here recovering from a bad case of poison oak that I got from scouting last Saturday I thought I might give you a few ideas from my experience. For what its worth, I am a native San Diegan and have hunted this zone every year since 1977.

Let me start by saying, if you hunt public land, San Diego County is not for the faint of heart. Its very difficult to hunt here but once you figure a few things out you can be successful with regularity. Truthfully, as nice as it is to have access to private land, anyone can whack a trophy sized buck in an area where there is little or no hunting pressure. I have much more respect and admiration for the public land hunter who consistently goes out and takes a legal buck on public land.

Personally, I don't think you need all that gear although it does give you an advantage. I have trail cams, ground blinds and tree stands but honestly, any kind of stand hunting drives me nuts. I do not look forward to spending dozens of hours in a tree waiting for a buck to walk by. I much prefer the excitement and intensity one gets from glassing the hills and using the spot and stalk method. What drives me (reluctantly) into a blind or tree stand is a picture of a huge buck on my trail cam. Once I see him I'm on a mission. No other buck will do.

In San Diego's split archery season all my early season kills have been spot & stalk. I just don't see to much buck activity on the trail cams in September. (I set my cameras up in oak groves or near secluded watering holes. I do see lots of does and fawns though.)

To spot and stalk you'll need a good set of binos, a willingness to climb/hike through steep and nasty terrain busting thick sage brush as you go. You'll need a ton of patients too. Expect to see nothing and be pleasantly surprised when you spot even one doe. Look for small patches of bright green vegetation where a spring or small seep may be. Then check them to make sure there is surface water (even a 2" puddle will do) then check for mature buck sign (I.E. splayed 2.5"-3" hoof tracks, rubs on scrub oak branches and larger sized droppings.) Now establish an elevated vantage point that is far away from the seep (minimum 300 yards).

The vantage point needs to be easy to get to (meaning you can access it quietly), the prevailing wind should blow away from the seep and in your face obviously, it should give you good concealment and there needs to be a trail that offers a downward angle of approach to put a sneak on the buck (you may have to make your own trail).

Recognize that your scouting effort probably spooked all the deer out, so make a plan to go back on another morning and glass from the vantage point you chose. Going in, stay out of sight and avoid stepping on dry leaves or breaking twigs. The Gray Ghost sees, hears and smells all but the most disciplined predator, so show him respect or he will make you pay.

In the early morning look for the bucks to be out feeding on scrub oak leaves or new growth in the fire areas. In the midday heat glass the shady spots of trees, bushes and rocks. Learn to glass into the brush rather than around it. Look for the shape of an ear, a leg, an antler or a white patch from their muzzle or rump. (You seldom see a whole deer.)

When you spot a buck count his points to make sure he's a fork or better. You don't want to waste time on a spike. If its preseason be sure you don't spoke him or he won't stick around. Stay put until he leaves or beds down. Then you crawl out. You don't want to spoil your new spot. Now repeat this process 3-5 more times on other hillsides in the area to give yourself some more options before the opener. DO NOT FALL IN LOVE WITH ONE PLACE BECAUSE YOU LIKE THE LOOK OF IT. (I.E. food, water, cover.) If there are no bucks move on!

If its open season, attempt a stalk but be prepared to back off if the wind changes or you can't get to him without making a lot of noise. As it goes with bow hunting, be prepared to blow 90% of your attempts. Its just part of the deal.

This time of year mature bucks stay secluded in their bachelor groups keeping hunkered down in thick sage brush on steep hillside ledges. Again, they typically water on tiny seeps in the hillsides and avoid does and people all together. (To summarize - Other than having access to private property, the secret to hunting SD Co. is to go out and find a your own seep on a brushy hill where there is buck sign. Then put yourself in a position to ambush him during the season.) Its hot, dry, dirty work but I love it!

Towards the end of the early A22 season the immature bucks start to rut and the bachelor groups begin to break up. By the second week of D16 rifle season the big bucks are in rut and they start to get careless. This is a critical time to be out hunting. I hunt all day during the rut and try to get out 3 times per week. Most of my big deer have been killed during this time (*last week of October and the first two weeks of November. Sometimes earlier if the weather turns cool early.) All I do during this period is look for does. Eventually, a horny buck will show up.

At the beginning of the second half of archery season the acorns start to drop in big numbers and my strategy changes again. As a bow hunter you start to lick your chops because you know all the deer will be making a beeline for the nearest oak grove . The deer will be in the oaks eating acorns ravenously for the the balance of the season so all my strategies are centered around figuring out how to ambush deer in the oak groves. (Seriously, its like hunting over bait...only legal.) The two big challenges when hunting in the trees are scent and noise control. In the trees your scent tends to linger so a tree stand really helps. The other problem is piles of dry oak leaves that sound like hand grenades going off when you step on them. So, here too you have to plan ahead about where you are going to hunt just like you do when hunting around a hillside seep. What I do is look for a stand of oaks what are in a big flat area where the trees are well watered. Now look for the trees that have lots of deer tracks under them or are dropping acorns in the greatest numbers. (BTW- coast live oaks and black oaks are the deer favorites. The deer will return to feed. They do so all day long too. I look to see where the prevailing winds are in the early morning hours which tells me how to make my approach, then I rake clean a one foot wide path to my ambush spot. I have ambushed many deer this way using nothing more than a stool and a blind made from dead tree limbs.

Now for the big question , WHERE DO I GO?

Answer, Bucks is where you find 'em.

Here's some ideas for you:
1) The hanglider port above the Buckman Springs exit off I-8.
2) The backside of Vulcan Mt. from S2.
3) McCain Valley
4) La Posta Road
5) North end of Lake Henshaw.
6) Lost Valley near the Riverside Co. border line.
7) Granite Springs from Old Miners Rd. on the east side of Cuyamacha State Park.
8) Boulder Creek between Stallion Springs and indian reservation land.
9) Mt. Laguna Rec. Area.
10) Lake Sutherland

*FYI- Stay off private property! Get a map from the US Forestry Service.

What I just gave you took years of scouting to figure out. I have seen or killed big bucks in all of these areas. Now its up to you. Go out there and do some scouting like lungpopper just said.

Happy Trails!
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