G3 Zone 2020

devobrodie

Active Member
Messages
289
I was up there yesterday and no snow up top, very few buck down so far, best we saw was a 26" 3 x 3, and a super tall 4 x 2 with a kicker on the 4 side, pretty heavy rack, kind of a freak buck
 

sagebb

Member
Messages
85
was just there this weekend and drove from end to end of unit and pretty bleak to say the least... saw a couple shooters away from any roads but no weather in the foreseeable future.
 

Yalo

Member
Messages
80
Thanks for feedback. If I read the data right about half the usual rain in the G3 area this year and little snow on peaks! Dry as heck with no storms for a good while I think!
 

Colfax_Hunter

Member
Messages
50
I will be hunting G3 this year, never been down there so I took my dad and my 11 year old son down the three day weekend. Very warm during the day, very little or no snow up on the highest peaks, most of the activity we saw was up to about 10 AM then started again around 3:30 PM. We traveled the roads hitting the trail heads to get familiar with the area.

Ran into some that had tags as well doing the same thing and ran into others that were there just to see the deer.

If you don't mind I will add some of the pictures from the weekend.

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BradA

Very Active Member
Messages
1,682
Good luck on your hunt, hopefully the bigger bucks start making there way out. Be sure to update us on your hunt.
 

Yalo

Member
Messages
80
Sorry Colfax_Hunter....being new to the area should have warned you about that road! You can bypass that road and get to the Armstrong canyon via Taboose road network or at one time anyway! Issue is crossing Goodale creek witch looked to deep for me the last time I was there!
 

Cahunter805

Very Active Member
Messages
2,878
Made it down today, currently doing ratio’s with my son so he keeps up on schoolwork while we are here. Made it up to Goodale creek, that road sucks in a 2500 Ram, went up Division and spent the evening in Onion.
Saw a bear and the usual forks and threes. View attachment 19035View attachment 19036View attachment 19037View attachment 19038View attachment 19039View attachment 19040
No bear tag? Also the buck in the bottom picture on the left side of picture. Is he a deformed horn? Any other pics.
Good luck on the hunt also.
 

Colfax_Hunter

Member
Messages
50
No bear tag, I thought about getting one after seeing the track last weekend but didn’t. I should have gotten a picture with the CHP truck parked 50 yards away from it but facing the other way.
Spent a lot of time behind the glass today. Nice and cool early, but I was in a t-shirt by 9. A lot of deer have moved up and the rut activity has slowed, still a few bucks chasing a doe here and there. Found one decent 4pt but again, forks and threes. Found one buck that had a decent four on his right, but a funky three with a point coming off the second on the left. Most of the bucks chasing does are large forks and threes, saw one buck missing his left antler altogether.

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Colfax_Hunter

Member
Messages
50
4 am wake up, we decided to hunt south of Onion this morning. Found a spot that was holding deer away from the major creeks. An hour hike up into place, passed on two smaller 4 pts. Did a couple more hikes, put in 7 miles, 62 degrees is tough hunting. Seeing about a third of the deer from last weekend. My son wanted a break this afternoon so we made it over to Onion Valley rd. Similar story, deer here and there, same bucks as before. Drove by two wildlife officers and one had a nice three point in the back, wonder what the story is. I didn’t get out the big camera today, just a few from my phone.

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Bumpy

Member
Messages
58
Looking at the posted pics here on this thread is disappointing. No offense meant to any of the photographers but it reinforces the recent opinions of how the overall decline in the trophy quality of bucks on this unit is just no longer worth the amount of points it takes to draw this tag. I don’t think any amount of bad weather is going improve the quality of the bucks who may still migrate into the unit. There might be a hidden nugget or two but the rut should be in full swing and I believe most of them are already at the party. We’ve had years in the past where good numbers of high end bucks were killed here despite weather not coming in until well after the hunt ended.
I think the numbers of giants we used to see years ago on this hunt are so few or maybe just no longer there.
I do wish good luck to the tag holders and hope they enjoy their experience.
If anyone happens to check on the numbers and quality of bucks here January please come back here to let us know what you’re seeing.
 

Colfax_Hunter

Member
Messages
50
Decided today was the day, or I should say my son helped me make the decision.

Another 4 am wake up, made it to the trail head at 5:30 and hiking by 5:45. Took a little over 2 hours to get to the glassing spot. Found about 25 deer and 9 different bucks, small and large forks, a couple smaller threes and a little four. We spent about an hour glassing the area and decided to head up and over the next ridge. My son was heading back to the packs and saw another small 4 pt right below us. A doe had seen us and was getting out of the area when I spotted another buck following her. She stopped at about 250 yards which allowed us some time to look at the buck. I was ready, my son agreed and this is the buck we shot. I know there are bigger bucks, hopefully there will be bigger bucks that eventually come down, but with the weather forecast, it doesn’t look promising.

We were 2.5 miles in and agreed we were not coming back. We packed out the buck in one trip, my son did great packing out a shoulder, backstraps, heart and head. I was a little worried about doing this as I am still a little broken from my Nevada elk backpack trip but everything went well. Had one creek crossing that was a problem but we made it.
My main reason for hunting here was for my son and father to see this hunt, my father is a double transplant survivor and only gets to do these trips when I take him, so it was great to see him excited for the trip and make it down to an area he’s never been.

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Snoopdogg

Very Active Member
Messages
1,326
Seems that you and the boy hunted your keesters off. Congratulations on the experience with your son and Pops. It's really fun seeing all those bucks during this hunt.
 

Yalo

Member
Messages
80
Gosh heartfelt thanks for sharing your family hunting trip with us wish more did. There is hunting and quality outings. Hope yours was a quality outing for the family and seems like it was! Our family hunt in G3 1981 was before points even established and no networking. LOL
 

SlinginLead

Active Member
Messages
525
A job well done. Bottom line, you, your son, and your dad got to have a wonderful experience, and hunt some beautiful country.
Now it's my turn to get drawn for an Open Zone Tag!
 

Big_R

Active Member
Messages
101
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it’s not a giant but there are still a few in there. We saw one buck better than thie top one, just too far for a picture. The bottom picture is a good representation of most of the mature deer running around. Lots of 26-29 inch 3x3 bucks, Finding a true giant in this unit is just like every other unit in the country, it’s not easy. Good luck to the remaining tag holders.
 

BOHNTR

Moderator
Messages
4,081
It sure has gone downhill over the last 10-15 years.......nothing like it used to be. If I had max points, I wouldn’t even think of that hunt anymore. Still fun to see deer, just not the amount of good genetic bucks there used to be,IMO.
 

Bossbrott

Active Member
Messages
373
He was not there in 2013 i watched him get shot in 2010 i have along with many others alot of video of him that picture was taken that same year it was on this site in 2010 you can probably look it up.
I stand corrected, it was 2010 when my son had the tag.
I took that pic the day prior to the hunt, and I watched him go down as well.
Did you ever get pics of the fork that was running with him? He was the biggest fork I've seen to date.
 

Rsully661

Member
Messages
20
It sure has gone downhill over the last 10-15 years.......nothing like it used to be. If I had max points, I wouldn’t even think of that hunt anymore. Still fun to see deer, just not the amount of good genetic bucks there used to be,IMO.
I truly think the unit hasn’t changed as much as people think, yes predators are dragging it down but I think the over all quality is due to the age class and inexperienced hunters. Max point pool is filled with 70yr old hunters and their wives who can’t get to the bucks that represent what g3 is capable of. Also 2016 winter wasn’t great on the herd. But if a pool of younger hunters with alittle grit had the tag big bucks would be falling. I watched 5-8 bucks hit the dirt this weekend that I wouldn’t shoot in D8
 

devobrodie

Active Member
Messages
289
My brother and 3 friends had it in 87, another friend had it in 96, my wife had it in 2016, it has changed, On the earlier hunts, there were many nicer bucks in the same easy to get to areas the smaller bucks and being taken now. There are fewer top-quality bucks these days, but there will always be a few running around hopefully!
 

Yalo

Member
Messages
80
Sort of take exception to the area is the same. And that the deer sighted or harvested is because of elder inexperienced hunters! Of note deer numbers in California have been falling yearly since 1961. That means when I hunted G3 in the early 80s there were three times the deer in the state. I do not have figures for G3 specifically. But make assumption G3 follows suit. Saw 4 pointers at 395 at that time!

Probably the biggest buck I have seen this time of year in G3 a few years was one that stayed well away from perspective admirers but was within a half mile of main roads and at 5500 feet elevation.

Over 70 now and hiked to 11,000 feet just a few years ago in the area and climbed a good deal 2 years ago hunting. The deer are where you find them? But did find a 4 x 4 at 3600 feet as well this time of year in G3. Anyone do that this year? Doubt it seriously but maybe? Because it is not the same as it was!

My assumption is the percentage of hunters willing to climb several thousand feet and the time to pattern deer in several canyons about the same for any hunt in California. Seems to me anyway! Why would G3 be different?

I have always said rain is the key really. Ask anyone that hunted southern Utah or Northern Arizona in the late 80s? Or Nevada for that matter! This year seems drier and snow minimal on peaks. Wore out chasing it but appears the largest percentage of 5 point or better in the last 4 years was 2017 when there was over 200 percent of average rain for the year in the area. 34 percent 5 points or better and 43 percent 4 points. The lowest was 9 percent 5 points or better in 1016 at 75 percent rain for the year. And this year is basically 46 percent average rainfall! Food for thought anyway?

May not have been trophy or monsters but over 70 percent harvest in G3 for 4 points or better in the last four years. Appears not a listing for trophy monster class available though! And assume quality my be down?

G3 is what you make of it. A chance to glass and see many bucks is the draw for me. I like the buck I took in D8 better than most I have seen in G3 but would swap tag with G3 holders any day!

Love the heck out of G3 have videoed hillsides and found deer in them when home now that is enjoyable. Some deer are shy and all you can see is horns over a bush Yalo
 
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devobrodie

Active Member
Messages
289
I agree, we go every year just to see what we can see, we had a great time when I went with the friends and family that have drawn, but we are not all trophy hunters, I never held out for points enough to draw, I prefer to hunt every year with my bow if I can, A20(x12) isn't near what it once was when I started archery hunting it 27 years ago, but I will still enjoy it every chance I get!
 

Colfax_Hunter

Member
Messages
50
Sitting here almost a week out from the hunt, raining and cold here in Colfax, thinking about being down there looking for bucks. I have been looking thru maps, scouting, and hunting since April and it feels strange to not have any more tags or hunts, April seems so long ago.

I will think about this guy for a long time. Found him one night the weekend before the season and spent four days trying to turn him up. Two other smaller bucks had moved into the same area so no idea where he went, maybe the warm temps sent him back up. My son nicknamed him "stickers", he had matching stickers off his back forks. Had him at 350 yards, too bad it was a week early.

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Finishing up on the euro mount of my buck and noticed a few things. He had what looks like an antler point thru his nose at some point, the black spot in the first photo and the offside in the second photo. And his teeth roots have some thru his skull, I have a few other euro's from here and Africa and none of the others have this.

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Yalo

Member
Messages
80
Thanks Colfax_Hunter for info!

On another note my altitudes on my last post are wrong. 5500 and 3600 feet should be 6178 and 4044 respectively. Conversion error from meters to feet. There are basically few if any hunting areas in G3 that are at 3600 feet. A senior moment is my excuse!
 

BradA

Very Active Member
Messages
1,682
Congrats on the buck as well as drawing the open zone raffle tag. It’s always awesome to see those because it feels like sometimes it is rigged and doesn’t actually happen.
 

Gutnskin

New Member
Messages
2
I stand corrected, it was 2010 when my son had the tag.
I took that pic the day prior to the hunt, and I watched him go down as well.
Did you ever get pics of the fork that was running with him? He was the biggest fork I've seen to date.
Yeah i did i bet me and my cousin where the ones that helped you and your son get his buck to the top
 

BOHNTR

Moderator
Messages
4,081

I truly think the unit hasn’t changed as much as people think, yes predators are dragging it down but I think the over all quality is due to the age class and inexperienced hunters. Max point pool is filled with 70yr old hunters and their wives who can’t get to the bucks that represent what g3 is capable of. Also 2016 winter wasn’t great on the herd. But if a pool of younger hunters with alittle grit had the tag big bucks would be falling. I watched 5-8 bucks hit the dirt this weekend that I wouldn’t shoot in D8
Plain and simple; the size and age structure of the bucks on that hunt are not even close to what they were 15-20 years ago.....not even close. You used to see a few real 180” bucks on that hunt.....it is very uncommon to see a legitimate 180” buck there now. Like the older gentleman said, 150-160” bucks were by the highway. Not anymore, even when there is weather.
 

264mag

Long Time Member
Messages
9,606


Plain and simple; the size and age structure of the bucks on that hunt are not even close to what they were 15-20 years ago.....not even close. You used to see a few real 180” bucks on that hunt.....it is very uncommon to see a legitimate 180” buck there now. Like the older gentleman said, 150-160” bucks were by the highway. Not anymore, even when there is weather.

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BOHNTR

Moderator
Messages
4,081
That buck was a good one.....and killed a long time ago. Jim and the boys had some good hunts up there back in those days
 

LIK2HNT

Active Member
Messages
854
yep, and then you look at the phots of deer killed in G3 40+ years ago and you realize that CA produced some monsters!!
 

264mag

Long Time Member
Messages
9,606
yep, and then you look at the phots of deer killed in G3 40+ years ago and you realize that CA produced some monsters!!
There can still be some more great Bucks with all the public land and quotas , just don’t have the predator control in check anymore, just my 2 cents
 

mulebuck

Active Member
Messages
317
Ahhhhh, I remember holding that buck in person at Joe’s house years ago. Absolute giant. It makes you wonder what went wrong in Goodale…

There are so many variables but not one is the sole reason for lack of big bucks nowadays. Of them all, I would put the increase in ‘trophy hunters’, coupled with ‘technology advancement’ at the top. It’s pretty easy to blame it on lions or lack of management. Those are definitely factors. It’s harder to look at ourselves and identify the main culprit. Hell, I’m guilty. I was, and still am given the tag/year, a trophy hunter.

Most hunters many years ago simply shot the first buck (or first decent) they came across. They were more than likely hunting by themselves or with a buddy/family member, using standard optics/rifles. That is happening less and less each passing year. It’s not uncommon now for a G3 tag holder to have a posse along with him (guided or not), combing the hills for the biggest buck possible. It doesn’t take long for a dozen hard core guys with great optics to find the best bucks each year. That has taken a major toll over the years. I don’t know what else to call it but greed.

I guess the question is then, what can DFG do to combat this issue. The quota for G3 was 35 tags for many years. Not to mention the open zone and governor’s tag holders that come out to play. They did drop it to 25 a few years ago. Problem is, this zone has been neglected since its existence in 1981. As hunting tactics and technology evolved, deer management remained stagnant. I’m sure that concept was harder to identify in the present. Maybe it’s a lack of resources or state we live in but the fact remains, little has been done to conform to these rising concerns. The sad truth is, this zone will NEVER be what it once was. At least we have old photographs to show our children what the ‘good ol days’ looked like.
 

264mag

Long Time Member
Messages
9,606
Ahhhhh, I remember holding that buck in person at Joe’s house years ago. Absolute giant. It makes you wonder what went wrong in Goodale…

There are so many variables but not one is the sole reason for lack of big bucks nowadays. Of them all, I would put the increase in ‘trophy hunters’, coupled with ‘technology advancement’ at the top. It’s pretty easy to blame it on lions or lack of management. Those are definitely factors. It’s harder to look at ourselves and identify the main culprit. Hell, I’m guilty. I was, and still am given the tag/year, a trophy hunter.

Most hunters many years ago simply shot the first buck (or first decent) they came across. They were more than likely hunting by themselves or with a buddy/family member, using standard optics/rifles. That is happening less and less each passing year. It’s not uncommon now for a G3 tag holder to have a posse along with him (guided or not), combing the hills for the biggest buck possible. It doesn’t take long for a dozen hard core guys with great optics to find the best bucks each year. That has taken a major toll over the years. I don’t know what else to call it but greed.

I guess the question is then, what can DFG do to combat this issue. The quota for G3 was 35 tags for many years. Not to mention the open zone and governor’s tag holders that come out to play. They did drop it to 25 a few years ago. Problem is, this zone has been neglected since its existence in 1981. As hunting tactics and technology evolved, deer management remained stagnant. I’m sure that concept was harder to identify in the present. Maybe it’s a lack of resources or state we live in but the fact remains, little has been done to conform to these rising concerns. The sad truth is, this zone will NEVER be what it once was. At least we have old photographs to show our children what the ‘good ol days’ looked like.
I agree somewhat but there is a season for hunters and predators have no limit with 24 7 and 365 days a year
 

Yalo

Member
Messages
80
No new present 2020 hunting reports. May do a few videos over holidays while waiting for further reports if of interest? Short clip over a decade ago here. Independence canyon / creek area.
 

MG209

Member
Messages
75
Really great thread on the G3 and a big congrats to the OP!

I met a guy about 20yrs ago who took about 170-180 class toad buck in the G3 on the opener right by the road.
 

Yalo

Member
Messages
80
Deer on Division Creek 2020 North side of hill south side of canyon. Plus view of south side of Division creek from mining road to Armstrong canyon!
 
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Snoopdogg

Very Active Member
Messages
1,326
Sign me up for a 29.5 or 30.5 inch Cali fork. Congrats to the hunter.

PS - 264mag--diggin' your Bob Ross skills.
 

Yalo

Member
Messages
80
Posted some of this video clip before. Notice snow on the ground first week of December! I believe both 4 pointers? Stills at end of part 2
That clip shows what looks like small branches both sides in front to count for 4 points?

 

NE-ELKHTR

Member
Messages
6
The Muzzy hunts in the N/E portion are garbage hunts and honestly a waste of points. IE the M9 hunt is supposed to be a rut hunt that end generally second weekend of Nov, this year temps were in the mid 70's and never had weather till the last 2 days of season. to my knowledge not one buck over the 160" mark was taken this year during the M9/A27 hunt. That pretty pathetic to what that unit used to produce. To many horses and to many tags and people running around out there. Not to mention the F&G management practices. The M3 hunt is also been going down hill as well.
 

BOHNTR

Moderator
Messages
4,081
The Muzzy hunts in the N/E portion are garbage hunts and honestly a waste of points. IE the M9 hunt is supposed to be a rut hunt that end generally second weekend of Nov, this year temps were in the mid 70's and never had weather till the last 2 days of season. to my knowledge not one buck over the 160" mark was taken this year during the M9/A27 hunt. That pretty pathetic to what that unit used to produce. To many horses and to many tags and people running around out there. Not to mention the F&G management practices. The M3 hunt is also been going down hill as well.
Well, I know of two that were officially measured that will make the B&C awards program. A few others in the 170” range. I won’t say which ‘M’ unit, but they ARE letting the air out of a few.....far better quality than those in G3 right now, IMO.
 

NE-ELKHTR

Member
Messages
6
Well, I know of two that were officially measured that will make the B&C awards program. A few others in the 170” range. I won’t say which ‘M’ unit, but they ARE letting the air out of a few.....far better quality than those in G3 right now, IMO.
Im not saying all the "M" units are bad but the M9 hunt specifically is what I am referring to. Yes there was one for sure killed in general hunt that will make B&C but i did not hear or see any over 180" during the M9/A27 hunt being taken this year, not saying it did not happen but being a local, usually hear about those.
 
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Yalo

Member
Messages
80
Well no harvest folks have posted new info for 2020 G3 hunt, so older video to ponder.

 

LIK2HNT

Active Member
Messages
854
Wonder what’s out there now, I think there should have been enough snow to push the bigger bucks down.
 

Yalo

Member
Messages
80
wanted to get that way but not yet but snow is way minimal. conservation of energy or optimum food sources might move any remaining down?
 
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Yalo

Member
Messages
80
assume the 5 by 4 above taken since he was maybe 50 yards from our parked vehicle and 4 days before G3 hunt opened
 

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