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dylbowhunt21
(12 posts)
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Mar-05-16, 
11:30 PM (MST)
"CA X Zones"

Hi, I was just thinking about future hunts and am planning on hunting one of the X zones in about 3 years from now. By then I'll have 7 points built up. I have never hunted any of the X zones but looking at the draw stats, I should have a decent chance at drawing quite a few of the zones. I would like to know what everyone thinks the best zone to try for to have a decent chance at a nice deer. I'm not looking for specific places or anything, just trying to narrow down some options. Curious to what you think! Thanks.

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  Table of Contents  

 Subject   Author   Message Date   ID 
 RE: CA X Zones  sageadvice      Mar-06-16   1 
  RE: CA X Zones  6x7      Mar-07-16   2 
   RE: CA X Zones  dylbowhunt21      Mar-07-16   3 
    RE: CA X Zones  tradarc      Mar-08-16   4 
     RE: CA X Zones  sageadvice      Mar-08-16   5 
      RE: CA X Zones  dylbowhunt21      Mar-08-16   6 
       RE: CA X Zones  sageadvice      Mar-08-16   7 
        RE: CA X Zones  dylbowhunt21      Mar-09-16   8 
         RE: CA X Zones  YBO      Mar-09-16   9 
 RE: CA X Zones  Goindeep      Mar-09-16   10 
  RE: CA X Zones  6x7      Mar-10-16   11 
   RE: CA X Zones  dylbowhunt21      Mar-11-16   12 
    RE: CA X Zones  bullskin      Mar-12-16   13 

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sageadvice
(11970 posts)
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Mar-06-16, 
01:40 AM (MST)
1. "RE: CA X Zones"

LAST EDITED ON Mar-06-16 AT 04:12 AM (MST)

I'd guess that with 7 points, you won't have a chance yet at the "best" zones, unless you draw a random tag, and in a few years, that's a long time to say what the state of hunting will be like here then. That said...

You might be getting close to a X-5a tag, no gimme, tough hunt with lots of potential in beautiful country, or you probably could draw X-3a which also has a lot of potential.

There's other zones, i just know these draw units best from 6-7 years worth of hunts and living close by, can't speak of the units east of Modesto on down as never having hunted there.

Joey

"It's all about knowing what your firearms practical limitations are and combining that with your own personal limitations!"

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6x7
(1201 posts)
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Mar-07-16, 
12:03 PM (MST)
2. "RE: CA X Zones"

X12 or X9A are both great units that don't take 7 points you can draw them with 3 or 4

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dylbowhunt21
(12 posts)
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Mar-07-16, 
02:00 PM (MST)
3. "RE: CA X Zones"

Thanks for the input. I was looking at X9a but I'm in college right now and just don't have the time. So a year or two after I graduate I'll be at 7 or 8 points, and was wondering what zones would be worth it to burn those points on. I was also looking at X5a and didn't even consider X3a.....

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tradarc
(22 posts)
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Mar-08-16, 
08:41 PM (MST)
4. "RE: CA X Zones"

Had X5a last year. saw lots of bucks, but nothing I was willing to pull trigger on. Killed a much bigger Blacktail in B zone than I saw in Unit. That being said I know 30+inchers are in unit..... Only hunted ten days first part of season weather came in last part, wish I could of hunted that part, but....

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sageadvice
(11970 posts)
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Mar-08-16, 
10:47 PM (MST)
5. "RE: CA X Zones"

tradarc, yes, that unit seems to change for the better during and after a good storm. Can you post up a pic of your Blacktail?

The year before last, it took 8 points to be in the running for 5a. i don't see it taking any less points but you never know.

Joey

"It's all about knowing what your firearms practical limitations are and combining that with your own personal limitations!"

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dylbowhunt21
(12 posts)
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Mar-08-16, 
11:04 PM (MST)
6. "RE: CA X Zones"

I realize that you could kill a nice buck in any zone if your lucky, and/or put in the time. The biggest buck I've killed was a 145 buck a few years ago in southern cali, so I would like to have the best chance possible at something bigger with the points I would have at that point.


Sage, you said you try to hunt x5a or X3a when you can. Has there been much point creep over the last few yeas in those zones? Also how have you done hunting those zones in the past, if you don't mind me asking?

Tradarc, would love to see a pic of the blacktail you shot If you don't mind sharing!

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sageadvice
(11970 posts)
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Mar-08-16, 
11:44 PM (MST)
7. "RE: CA X Zones"

LAST EDITED ON Mar-08-16 AT 11:57 PM (MST)

Sure, it helps when i have already taken plenty of nice bucks both muleys and blacktail, i got my share thru over 50 years of hunting cali and outa state. So when i've gotten drawn and even before that, i went to those areas with nothing but getting a Big buck on my mind. there were circumstances where i didn't get the big one, couple times, once in 5a and another in 3a, big monster bucks i had scouted and patterned were poached right before the season and i didn't know about it until i got home so, not the best breaks. I always found and seen bucks, have passed up respectable deer most would shoot, seen a few in the backs of other's rigs that i'd have taken, but aside from a few decent last days bucks, i've done way better on blackies than calif Muleys. Each of those hunts were for the whole season, i had a blast!

7-8 points gives you a chance in good country, to have the opportunity to make the most of your hunt through hard work, scouting, and effort but it sure don't come with guarantees. Some luck would certainly help. It could be a great hunt for you and maybe get the one you're after. I personally have found 5a very challenging and difficult to hunt for a monster. That just makes me want to go back all the more but i probably won't. Personally i would be happy with any of the 4 or 5 zones this year that i might well draw with my 4 points.

Point creep? Yeah maybe but not too much. I'd have to go back and look thru the booklets to say for sure.

Joey

"It's all about knowing what your firearms practical limitations are and combining that with your own personal limitations!"

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dylbowhunt21
(12 posts)
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Mar-09-16, 
00:09 AM (MST)
8. "RE: CA X Zones"

Thanks for the information Sage, appreciate it. I know this is planning a few years down the road and a lot can change in that time, but its nice to get a general idea of things. Sounds like both of these hunts could be challenging and real exiting with a possibility of turning out well!

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YBO
(2205 posts)
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Mar-09-16, 
06:59 AM (MST)
9. "RE: CA X Zones"

Yes, let's see the blacktail picture.

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Goindeep
(75 posts)
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Mar-09-16, 
08:59 AM (MST)
10. "RE: CA X Zones"

Like you said, a big buck can be taken in any zone if you get lucky or put in the time. Don't get caught up in thinking the zones that require the most points have the biggest bucks. Look at all the guys who hold out for gooddale to only shoot a 23" 4x3. I'll take 3 tags in a easier to draw zone close to home instead of 1 tag that takes 9 years to draw half a state away any day. Odds are in those 3 tags I'll kill a bigger buck than with the 1 because I'll know the zone better. That's just me though.

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6x7
(1201 posts)
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Mar-10-16, 
09:11 AM (MST)
11. "RE: CA X Zones"

The unit you finally decide on start scouting it now ,go there durring summer break and do a week back pack trip and glass for deer and fish.Learn the area befor you actually have the tag will increase your odds on success on a decent buck 10 fold.

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dylbowhunt21
(12 posts)
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Mar-11-16, 
00:46 AM (MST)
12. "RE: CA X Zones"

Thats actually a real good idea 6x7. I might have to make some time to do that.

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bullskin
(702 posts)
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Mar-12-16, 
10:42 PM (MST)
13. "RE: CA X Zones"

I have to agree with Goindeep. I see a lot of hunters come to the X zones expecting a big buck and then leave with a forked-horn I would be embarrassed to kill in a C zone or D zone. Find a zone that is near you that allows you plenty of opportunity to scout. You will not find big deer in any X zone unless you know where to look (or just happen to get very lucky). Every zone does have big deer. The key to success is getting away from the roads and other hunters, and it will take a while to learn where such places lie. Once you have done this, you will kill a good buck, whether it be X-1 or X-12. The only thing the X zones have over most of the rest is a slightly larger animal, not better hunting.

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