Monday, December 6, 2021

California General season Buck

This is a short story and not too complex. Emily and I knew one area that held some deer in a general zone. It was the last two days of the season and we decided that we would sit and glass a few different basins the entire trip and see what we could turn up. Hours behind the binoculars, only spotting 5 deer and about 100 other hunter later we found the only buck we saw.. he was a giant old buck,, 24 inches wide, heavy with big eye guards. Both Wes and Luke were excited for mom as well!

California Mule Deer with a Bonus Bear!

The first 7 days of the California deer season seemed to be full of more bears than legal bucks. I had seen 7 different bears in those days. That Saturday (bear opener) I had decided that if I saw a bear I would do the deer fawns a favor and put it in my freezer...and that's just what happened. I was able to take a nice 200 lb sow by 8am.
The next 4 days were a grind, I found a few bucks but nothing mature that I wanted to hang my tag on. Day 12 of the season took me to a spot that had some regular does. I had seen a buck bear there acting rutty and I figured checking on the does first thing would be a good was! Before shooting light I could make out a large bodied deer with the does. I got set up and waited for it to get light. The next 15 minutes felt like hours. The light gave way to a beautiful 4x4 that was
31 inches wide with the does. One well placed shot at 370 yards and he was down. I felt so fortunate to have this deer cross my path as well as getting to hunt 12 days in a row for a species that I love. 

California elk Hunt

My pop was fortunate enough to draw a California elk tag, the downfall is that all the usfs public lands were closed due to wildfire! We contemplated turning the tag back but with some BLM and state ground still open we decided to go for it. The first two days of the hunt were tough, we located elk but they were not rutting very hard and seemed to be nocturnal.  On day three we spotted a bull near some state ground. We hiked into a nearby spot and set up and I started calling with hopes to bring him in....and that's exactly what happened. He responded to my calls with screeching bugle and when we first saw him he was at 350 yards running right at us! I called one more time when he was at 150 yards and he let out one last bugle before he stopped at 75 yards. My dad made a great heart shot with the 300 ultra mag and the bull was ours.

My dad's first rutting elk experience and it was a dream to be apart of it. We spent the next 4 hours processing and getting the bull back to the truck. What a way to have your one in a lifetime California elk tag end.

First hunt of 2021- California Coastal Blacktail

July has always been a special month for me. It marks the earliest deer season in the country. My buddies and I decided to try something new and hunt a coastal zone boarding the Pacific ocean. This area was steep but had a decent population of deer. Opening morning found us stair stepping down, 1000 vertical feet towards the ocean. was foggy and visibility would range from one mile to 50 yards as it rolled in and out. I spotted a smaller buck that I decided to make a stalk on. On my way I bumped two bucks out of their beds, they disappeared but I was able to find their beds and a well used game trail that led to them. I decided with the poor visibility that I should sit and wait to see if they would come back. I sat for an hour and was a bit frustrated since the fog was thick and my view of the ocean or anything to pass the time was obscured...but I kept sitting with no other options. After some more time passed, movement caught my eye about 10 feet away! Antler tips waved back and fourth as a buck was feeding on some coyote brush along the trail. I had an arrow knocked and drew back as he came into view. Being that Close the buck immediately spotted me and trotted about 25 yards and stopped. I let the arrow fly and it hit its mark perfectly and the buck disappeared in the fog, crashing towards the ocean. He was a gorgeous full velvet 24" 4x4 blacktail. They don't get much bigger than that for coastal bucks.

My good friends met me at the scene and we took photos and each carried a load the 1200 vertical feet back to the truck.

The trip was amazing and with good company especially to be hunting in July in 65 degrees teps with views of the ocean.

2020 season catch up- displayed In photos

 Well 2020 was a tough year but rewarding for us we had a 1 year old, fires that forced us to evacuate and another boy on the way. We did however draw some great tags. I was able to tag a 86" pronghorn, a great 28" California Mule Deer along with a nice meat buck in Idaho. 

Emily was fortunate to fill her California B Zone tag, a late nevada muzzleloader tag as well as a nice idahoe whitetail!
December rolled around and we welcomed the new addition,  Luke Paxson Ryan. 

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