CA Draw Coming Up, What to Do?

BeastN

Active Member
Local to Mendo County.
What to do, what to do... I have 6 deer points, 8 elk, I am a bow hunter. I have two boys now that are eligible for the youth hunts, one with two points. Never hunted x zones before, always thought I would burn my points on A30. Don't have enough points for a rifle tag, pretty rough to turn up bucks in October anyways for mule deer.
Is it just me or is the CA draw just loosing it's luster, or lost it's excitement all together. I know people who have drawn the shared elk hunts - seems kinda cool, although fish in a barrel. Blacktail are still fun but not like chasing mule deer in Nevada. It's a love hate, income is good, lousy hunting in CA, and then there's gruesome Newsom.
Anyone had some good experiences on the youth hunts? More excited about my boys drawing tags in CA than me by a long shot.
 

SlinginLead

Active Member
J-12 is an awesome Junior deer hunt, but very difficult to draw. You can get lucky though. My son drew the tag on his 3rd try, then my nephew drew two years later. The Lake Shasta Junior hunt is good as well. Go luck.
 

BeastN

Active Member
Cool, I’ll check out the odds. J-12 is for blackies yes? I think we may have put in for Shasta.

May go long since both have a New Mexico youth tag. One speed goat one elk.



J-12 is an awesome Junior deer hunt, but very difficult to draw. You can get lucky though. My son drew the tag on his 3rd try, then my nephew drew two years later. The Lake Shasta Junior hunt is good as well. Go luck.
 
Last edited:

CA_Wapiti

Member
Depends on the kind of hunt you’re after and how often you’d like to get out but the Fort Hunter Liggett junior hunt saw some really nice blacktails taken last year. It’s a rifle rut hunt for the juniors so I know the kids got to see a ton of deer each weekend. Honestly, 80% of the kids filled their tags the first weekend and the rest the following weekend. Downside is, it’s FHL so things are always subject to change and you can only hunt on weekends
 

BradA

Very Active Member
I agree California draw has lost its luster.. hate this state and the draw system. There isn’t many tags available and the quality isn’t there either, typically it’s one or the other not both.
 

Padfoot

Active Member
I think you’re right about quality of deer. But desert sheep has been well managed and if you are lucky you have a chance at some B&C sheep. Antelope is pretty good and where else do you get to hunt tile elk? The Rocky Mtn elk are mismanaged in the state, I’m not sure about the Roosevelt elk-they are doing well. But deer hunting public land sucks in California in general.
 

BradA

Very Active Member
Yeah but to be able to hunt antelope it’s like a 30 year wait, sheep lifetime, tule elk lifetime. So we either wait a lifetime to hunt or hunt crap. I just wish we either had more resources or a better herd but we don’t really have either and the crummy part is there are a lot more mtn ranges with sheep but it’s so hard for the department to get approved to open a new unit and that’s a bummer to all of us. Deer they are a lost cause in this state with us protecting every predator know to man here.
 

Padfoot

Active Member
I agree with all that you have said. I didn't mean to say it was peaches and cream. I don't hunt here unless I get a premium tag, just no time to waste on OTC deer here when there are so many better hunts beckoning me from out of state.

This seems to be the way hunting is going to go unless the shear number of hunters declines, as I don't see the numbers of game animals increasing.

I agree it is a head scratcher why CDFW cannot open up more sheep ranges, population validation, ram/ewe ratios, disease testing, and migration potential, etc. make this challenging when resources are need for every other species that needs monitoring and protecting too (that was sarcasm).
 

blktljunkie

Member
California definitely doesn't has the luster of out of state hunting but there's still some trophies around, if u decide to draw the A30 tag pm me I've been on that hunt twice and had a great time both hunts although I don't know that I'd burn 6 points on it as your on the brink of being able to draw some good tags soon
 

Padfoot

Active Member
Except now they arn't holding classes because of CV-19. I took the online portion last year, but couldn't fit in the class when I went down to scout the unit. Not a big deal, and a good refresher.

This year, you have a year (instead of 90 days) to complete the physical class if you take the online portion now. So yes, a good option for someone planning to commit to AZ applications for the long haul. Need to find a physical class you can get into and attend. Then take the online class as it only takes a few hours - I can't remember if it was 1 or 4 hours...I'm getting older :^).
 

LIK2HNT

Active Member
J-12 is a great CA youth hunt.
New Mexico has youth hunts also.
Can not beat CA for turkeys, pigs, and blacktail deer. Look back through the archives, some good J-12 stories.
 

6x7

Very Active Member
You need to start putting you’re kids in for Nevada they reduced the license price for nonresident kids to really cheap now so they can build points at a reasonable cost,tags are still full price if they draw.
 

BeastN

Active Member
You need to start putting you’re kids in for Nevada they reduced the license price for nonresident kids to really cheap now so they can build points at a reasonable cost,tags are still full price if they draw.
6x7 - they are both in for Nevada on the Youth. New Mexico my oldest drew an elk tag and second boy drew a antelope. Therefore, we went way long on odds for Nevada.
 

kalielkslayer

Active Member
I don’t get excited about California draw either. I’m 3 points past the X zone I live in and have hunted for 45 years.

but conflicting out of state hunts always make me apply for X5b. I spend 20-30 days out there every year and feel I could do that tag justice. X5b again this year. But if the tag gods frown on me next year, I’ll apply for X6b.
 

chrisamx

Member
Still havent figured a strategy, with 7 points I'm in no mans land. Could get X9a, but a better zone is just a couple of points away....
 

Padfoot

Active Member
We were in no mans land the last couple of years but if there’s no point creep this year we may cross the the great divide into the promised land.😉

the one glitch is my son’s wife is expecting their first child and instead of a week he’s thinking a long weekend. Just gotta find one before he gets there🤗

mid we don’t get the tag we’re hoping for then next year.😎
 

Twoducks

Member
Am thinking of trying the Doyle muzzy ,M3 hunt as I believe I could draw it. I know it’s weather dependent as a lot of areas are.
Was wondering if anyone has hunted it last couple years or know someone who may have.
I will do the leg work and scouting just wanted some current info and or opinion on the fires and habitat that was there. Thanks, don’t mind pm if prefer that direction
 

kalielkslayer

Active Member
I have never hunted it. But the prime area is 40 miles east of me and some damn good bucks come offa that mountain.

weather dependent? Just a little. No different than the Bass Hill Muzzy hunt, except later.

the does come down, the bucks will follow that time of year.

As good a hint for big bucks as any in California IMHO.
 

Bwht4x4

Active Member
Am thinking of trying the Doyle muzzy ,M3 hunt as I believe I could draw it. I know it’s weather dependent as a lot of areas are.
Was wondering if anyone has hunted it last couple years or know someone who may have.
I will do the leg work and scouting just wanted some current info and or opinion on the fires and habitat that was there. Thanks, don’t mind pm if prefer that direction
I had the tag in 2015 and overall enjoyed the hunt. Part I didn't like about it was all the private property. There's plenty of public areas to hunt, but some of the better stuff is private. Since it's so close to 395 and the town of Doyle there was always people around somewhere. I prefer a bit more secluded areas when I hunt.

Snow isn't needed to kill a big buck either. I killed my buck in 2 feet of snow on Thanksgiving day. However on opening day he was in nearly the same spot without any snow. What I can say is the last 4 days of the hunt were noticeably better than the first part of the hunt. The rut the last 4 days was crazy!!

Just before it snowed I saw a giant 4 pt that I estimated at 180-185, but he was moving too much to stalk and I wasn't able to go back in that same country due to the heavy snow that fell that night.
2015-11-26 16.21.45.jpg
 

Twoducks

Member
I had the tag in 2015 and overall enjoyed the hunt. Part I didn't like about it was all the private property. There's plenty of public areas to hunt, but some of the better stuff is private. Since it's so close to 395 and the town of Doyle there was always people around somewhere. I prefer a bit more secluded areas when I hunt.

Snow isn't needed to kill a big buck either. I killed my buck in 2 feet of snow on Thanksgiving day. However on opening day he was in nearly the same spot without any snow. What I can say is the last 4 days of the hunt were noticeably better than the first part of the hunt. The rut the last 4 days was crazy!!

Just before it snowed I saw a giant 4 pt that I estimated at 180-185, but he was moving too much to stalk and I wasn't able to go back in that same country due to the heavy snow that fell that night.
View attachment 7321
 

buckhorn

Very Active Member
Am thinking of trying the Doyle muzzy ,M3 hunt as I believe I could draw it. I know it’s weather dependent as a lot of areas are.
Was wondering if anyone has hunted it last couple years or know someone who may have.
I will do the leg work and scouting just wanted some current info and or opinion on the fires and habitat that was there. Thanks, don’t mind pm if prefer that direction
It’s a good hunt you should try to draw it.
The only thing that recent fires have hurt is that Fort Sage burned and the migration across the highway over to that side doesn’t happen like it did before the fires.
What the recent fires and Fort Sage burning really hurt is the Nevada 021 hunt.
That’s actually better for that Doyle muzzleloader hunt because the deer mostly stay on the California side now.
I’ve been a local in that area since 1981.
If you draw and want some help hit me up. I know where the big bucks will be that time of year.
Good luck in the draw!
 

buckmster28

Moderator
Am thinking of trying the Doyle muzzy ,M3 hunt as I believe I could draw it. I know it’s weather dependent as a lot of areas are.
Was wondering if anyone has hunted it last couple years or know someone who may have.
I will do the leg work and scouting just wanted some current info and or opinion on the fires and habitat that was there. Thanks, don’t mind pm if prefer that direction
Good hunt hunted it in 14 and been on it a couple other times. I have been on most our best hunts and bottom line you need to get lucky to kill a giant. Doyle like others can be good if the right buck shows up but it is fun with a lot of average deer.
AD0ED971-7BC4-4183-8827-8DF96C27DA87.jpeg
 
Last edited:

Twoducks

Member
Buckmaster28. Very nice deer
I am going to apply and hope for the best. Thanks for replying to my post I appreciate it.
 

buckmster28

Moderator
Buckmaster28. Very nice deer
I am going to apply and hope for the best. Thanks for replying to my post I appreciate it.
No problem, Doyle is like most late ca hunts with lots of deer and lots of average bucks very few 180+ type deer which are rare anywhere just more rare here it seems. I have hunted G3 as well with similar results so there is really no hunt in ca with a good shot at a giant but the late hunts allow you to look over a bunch during a more vulnerable time and maybe a needle in haystack shows up.
 

blktljunkie

Member
PM me and I can give u a spot to try, the last time I hunted it we saw a couple giants on some private 2 days in a row and later found out from some other hunters the owner gave them permission to hunt . We never saw the bucks again and ran into the hunters at the end of the season they said they didn't kill em so it is definitely worth a shot if u draw it. Pray for weather and it's a great hunt!
 

Live2hunt1

Active Member
How do I submit for the refund of the nonresident deer tag. Only wanted a point but I still have to submit fora refund? Cant find it anywhere on the CA website.
Thanks
 

chrisamx

Member
Try this #:
"At a license agent, CDFW license sales office or by telephone sales at (800) 565-1458, you will need to purchase a California hunting license and inform the sales clerk you are applying in the Big Game Drawing. "

Got this out of older digest...it might lead you in rightdirection
 

Live2hunt1

Active Member
Thanks but I already applied. Its a done deal and since the draw is done so fast I was surprised they charged the tag fee too when I applied for a point only. Then I saw how they charge it all and its up to me to request a refund? wth is that? all I wanted was a point and to make it worst they don't make it easy to request a refund from what I can see. Idk? could be real simple but im not seeing it? first time applying in CA so its a learning curve.
 

Live2hunt1

Active Member
im a nonresident trying to get the difference refund thats available but they don't make it easy. Unless im not seeing something?
 

buckspotter7

Active Member
Sorry, but I think your money has already been spent to pay an illegal immigrant unemployment or buy a homeless guy a motel room. I hope you get your $$!
 

buckspotter7

Active Member
I have never applied for a point only. If I didn’t really want a tag, apply for hardest tag to draw. Then you get the option of what’s left or refund after the draw. I might add that I have never drawn that hard to draw tag either.
 

Click-a-Pic ... Details & Bigger Photos

California Guides & Outfitters

Western Wildlife Adventures

Offering some fine Blacktail Deer hunting, Wild Pig hunts, Turkey hunts and Waterfowl hunts.

Oak Stone Outfitters

Hunt wild pig, Rio Grande turkey, blacktail deer, tule elk, and upland game birds. High success rates.

Urge 2 Hunt

We offer the top private land hunts in all of California, for blacktail deer, elk, pigs, bison and turkeys.

G & J Outdoors

Offering Tule elk hunts for bulls and cows on a 17,000 acre Ranch in Laytonville, CA with 100% success.

Top Bottom