X12 2024

jgriffin82

Active Member
Messages
254
Looking to get rid of my 16 deer points next year. Personally, I don't feel there is a unit worthy of 16 points and I'm in no mans land for the muzzy hunts I would be interested in drawing. I'm hoping to split points with a good friend and get drawn with an average of 8. I like X9A and B but, my #1 choice is X12. I have zero firsthand knowledge of the unit. If drawn, I'll be able to get at least one scout trip in next July/August. For the folks that have hunted and/or spent time in the unit, would you mind sharing your knowledge of deer behavior and patterns during the season and possibly what elevation band they summer at? Seems like a really early season. My assumption is get up to timberline and glass the north and east faces for activity. It'll be a backpack hunt. Looking at OnX, seems like drinking water shouldn't be an issue. Thanks.

Jim
 
I think your idea is spot on. I’d recommend doing a scouting trip in the summer. There will be a lot of excellent habitat devoid of wildlife and you’d hate to figure that out on opening day after a long hike in.
 
No experience in X9A and Weiser, I definitely didn't wait 16 years to hunt an X zone! That would be stupid. I'm just done collecting points. It's a silly game to play in California. I don't mind playing the game in 7 other states. I'd like to start hunting C zones more regularly. Of course, to do that on a yearly basis, I need to apply for it with my first choice.

Jim
 
I don't live in the area. I'm about 4 hours away. My 3rd option, if I split points with my buddy, is X7A. It's close to home, I am familiar with the area and terrain, I could scout it multiple times and it is a probably a guaranteed draw with 8 points. With that said, there aren't a ton of roadless areas in the unit. I'm sure I can find a couple drainages to pack into but, it looks like X9A and X12 have a lot of roadless areas. X2 would be my first choice if I apply solo. I've spent time in the unit. It's big buck history is a long lost dream but, it still intrigues me.

Jim
 
Wow no way I’d dump even 8 points on x12. With some scouting you can kill a 175+ inch mule deer in some x zones that take half those points. There might by one buck of that caliber in x12 but you’d have to live in there for a few years before find him.

X2 is about as bad as any general unit or worse anymore.
 
Thanks for the input guys. I am starting my research early for exactly this reason. Advice and criticism is needed! PacificFork, let me know where those 175" bucks are and I'll give you a great deal on 8 points!

Admittedly, I've not invested much time in finding big deer in CA. Simply because I typically hunt a couple other states every year. That's tough enough with a family and job that's traditionally busy in the fall.

I agree that X12 probably isn't worth 8 points. However, a big buck is only one factor of mine in choosing a hunt. The biggest factors are terrain type and the overall experience I will have.

Jim
 
Good luck KG. We're in no mans land in California with 16-17 points. I want to be able to focus on a general unit every year, preferably C zone and really get know it. To do that, I'll have to apply first choice to guarantee a tag. Someone burnt 17 points on C in 2022. I hope they had a monster buck lined up before applying!

Jim
 
I don’t envy your guys position. If you shoot a bow there are a lot of great hunts you can go on…. Outside of that your 1-2 points behind x5b or overpaying for literally everything.

I will say if you have the time that side of state can produce some tremendous animals with a little looking.
 
I don't live in the area. I'm about 4 hours away. My 3rd option, if I split points with my buddy, is X7A. It's close to home, I am familiar with the area and terrain, I could scout it multiple times and it is a probably a guaranteed draw with 8 points. With that said, there aren't a ton of roadless areas in the unit. I'm sure I can find a couple drainages to pack into but, it looks like X9A and X12 have a lot of roadless areas. X2 would be my first choice if I apply solo. I've spent time in the unit. It's big buck history is a long lost dream but, it still intrigues me.

Jim
X6A and X6B are also good options, however I don't think they fit the terrain you're looking for. I also love X2, but like you said, the deer numbers are down, but there are still some great bucks in there. Good luck!
 
Wow no way I’d dump even 8 points on x12. With some scouting you can kill a 175+ inch mule deer in some x zones that take half those points. There might by one buck of that caliber in x12 but you’d have to live in there for a few years before find him.

X2 is about as bad as any general unit or worse anymore.
Show me some of these 175 bucks
 
I used to work as a Range Conservationist for the Forest Service in Bridgeport, and followed the deer with a passion. I shot my first traditional archery buck in X-12. I remember my wife and I both drew the first year we applied and some of the locals were not at all happy...The guy from Ken's Sporting Goods had 12 points when I drew with zero. Anyways, PM me and I will tell you what I know.
 
If you've read any of the posts this year from hunters of x12, you wouldn't burn 3 points on it. If I were you, I would split those points with a buddy/youth and go do an enjoyable hunt in an area where you like the terrain and don't have high expectations. From what I have read, you'll be extremely disappointed with the outcome of an X12 hunt if you're expecting anything good with 17 points. Tough decision on where to hunt but I wish you luck. I don't envy you....especially because I drew G3 this year. I will never have more than 5 points again in Cali...there's no unit worth waiting for.
 
If you've read any of the posts this year from hunters of x12, you wouldn't burn 3 points on it. If I were you, I would split those points with a buddy/youth and go do an enjoyable hunt in an area where you like the terrain and don't have high expectations. From what I have read, you'll be extremely disappointed with the outcome of an X12 hunt if you're expecting anything good with 17 points. Tough decision on where to hunt but I wish you luck. I don't envy you....especially because I drew G3 this year. I will never have more than 5 points again in Cali...there's no unit worth waiting for.
Good luck in g3 just around the corner
 
Looking to get rid of my 16 deer points next year. Personally, I don't feel there is a unit worthy of 16 points and I'm in no mans land for the muzzy hunts I would be interested in drawing. I'm hoping to split points with a good friend and get drawn with an average of 8. I like X9A and B but, my #1 choice is X12. I have zero firsthand knowledge of the unit. If drawn, I'll be able to get at least one scout trip in next July/August. For the folks that have hunted and/or spent time in the unit, would you mind sharing your knowledge of deer behavior and patterns during the season and possibly what elevation band they summer at? Seems like a really early season. My assumption is get up to timberline and glass the north and east faces for activity. It'll be a backpack hunt. Looking at OnX, seems like drinking water shouldn't be an issue. Thanks.

Jim
Just curious what’s the draw to X12 orX9a, Is there a reason it’s your first choice? Tough hunt imo, and even tougher last year. It will interesting to see harvest stats. I’m just curious is all, good luck with whatever you do.
 
Wiz, I agree, nothing worth waiting for in CA. I haven't really scoured the web for posts regarding X12. I'll take a look though. Good luck in G3. I look forward to hearing how that hunt ends up.

I like X12 and X9A for two reasons, the terrain and you can get really far away from roads and people. Regarding "premium" deer hunts in CA, I have low expectations for the deer quantity and quality. With that said, those are my current top choices however, I have a couple other hunts that I am researching/e-scouting as well. I should have my list narrowed down by the draw deadline!

I'm also curious how the harvest and draw stats look for this year, for the entire state. A friend of mine hunted X5A and ended up eating the tag because he couldn't find a deer to meet his expectation. Another buddy, his son had the apprentice tag in X7A and they couldn't find a decent buck. They had a run in with wolves one night at camp.

Jim
 
Which hunt for x12? Rifle or archery or is there a muzzy?

X12 is one of the few x zones I’d hunt, but I’m with you it’s for the area and terrain, not the deer. That said I’m very familiar with the unit and that’s part of my choice why I would hunt it. Iv also seen big deer being packed out and alive as well, but my definition of big deer is simply a 4 point.

Let me know which hunt and i can give you a tip. Also, there’s a pack station in levitt meadows that could get your gear dropped where you’ll wana be.
 
Rie, it would be the rifle hunt. A decent 4x4 is a big buck in California in my opinion. I'd also shoot a big or interesting 3x3. I like big 3 points.

The Leavitt pack station is one of the areas I was looking at for packing in. Seems like it'll get a guy into the wilderness fairly quick.

Jim
 
I don't live in the area. I'm about 4 hours away. My 3rd option, if I split points with my buddy, is X7A. It's close to home, I am familiar with the area and terrain, I could scout it multiple times and it is a probably a guaranteed draw with 8 points. With that said, there aren't a ton of roadless areas in the unit. I'm sure I can find a couple drainages to pack into but, it looks like X9A and X12 have a lot of roadless areas. X2 would be my first choice if I apply solo. I've spent time in the unit. It's big buck history is a long lost dream but, it still intrigues me.

Jim
I scouted 5 days and hunted 11 in X7a this year. Tag soup. only saw a spike and probably 10 doe's.. everyone i talked to didn't see much either..
 
I’ve lived most of my life about an hour away from x-12 and have experience hunting the area since before it was even designated as x-12…when I was growing up it was x-9 and there were no area specific archery hunts either….just get an AO tag and you were good to go.

My how things have changed. Waiting 8 years to draw a tag in x-12 now seems ridiculous! Usually during the summer months, I spend a day or two each week hiking in various areas of the zone. I never have a problem seeing bucks… But definitely not in the numbers that once existed. I love the country, and it is close to home for me. But would I burn 17 points on it… No way.

I did get the chance to help a friend’s daughter with her hunt in x-12 this year. We hiked in only about a mile from the highway to an area where I had spotted a few bucks two or three weeks prior. As we crested into the basin where I had seen the deer, a decent 3 x 2 presented himself at about 100 yards. it was the perfect opportunity for my friends daughter to take her first High Country mule deer and she did not waste the opportunity. It was a beautiful spot with incredible views… And only about a 40 minute hike back to the truck. If all you’re looking for is to kill a nice deer in some pretty country, you can still have this kind of experience in X 12. But if you’re looking for some giant or to see a large number of bucks from which to choose, there are far better choices now.
 
I’ve lived most of my life about an hour away from x-12 and have experience hunting the area since before it was even designated as x-12…when I was growing up it was x-9 and there were no area specific archery hunts either….just get an AO tag and you were good to go.

My how things have changed. Waiting 8 years to draw a tag in x-12 now seems ridiculous! Usually during the summer months, I spend a day or two each week hiking in various areas of the zone. I never have a problem seeing bucks… But definitely not in the numbers that once existed. I love the country, and it is close to home for me. But would I burn 17 points on it… No way.

I did get the chance to help a friend’s daughter with her hunt in x-12 this year. We hiked in only about a mile from the highway to an area where I had spotted a few bucks two or three weeks prior. As we crested into the basin where I had seen the deer, a decent 3 x 2 presented himself at about 100 yards. it was the perfect opportunity for my friends daughter to take her first High Country mule deer and she did not waste the opportunity. It was a beautiful spot with incredible views… And only about a 40 minute hike back to the truck. If all you’re looking for is to kill a nice deer in some pretty country, you can still have this kind of experience in X 12. But if you’re looking for some giant or to see a large number of bucks from which to choose, there are far better choices now.
 
Not that I would recommend burning points on D14, someone burned max 21 points on it last year.

Splitting points and wanting a high country backpack pretty much leaves you with the hunts you have listed. If it's one draw and done, just do X12 if you can hook up with someone who seems like you can do a week with and has hunted it recently and likes your style of hunting all the better.
 
Looking to get rid of my 16 deer points next year. Personally, I don't feel there is a unit worthy of 16 points and I'm in no mans land for the muzzy hunts I would be interested in drawing. I'm hoping to split points with a good friend and get drawn with an average of 8. I like X9A and B but, my #1 choice is X12. I have zero firsthand knowledge of the unit. If drawn, I'll be able to get at least one scout trip in next July/August. For the folks that have hunted and/or spent time in the unit, would you mind sharing your knowledge of deer behavior and patterns during the season and possibly what elevation band they summer at? Seems like a really early season. My assumption is get up to timberline and glass the north and east faces for activity. It'll be a backpack hunt. Looking at OnX, seems like drinking water shouldn't be an issue. Thanks.

Jim
pm sent
 
I don't live in the area. I'm about 4 hours away. My 3rd option, if I split points with my buddy, is X7A. It's close to home, I am familiar with the area and terrain, I could scout it multiple times and it is a probably a guaranteed draw with 8 points. With that said, there aren't a ton of roadless areas in the unit. I'm sure I can find a couple drainages to pack into but, it looks like X9A and X12 have a lot of roadless areas. X2 would be my first choice if I apply solo. I've spent time in the unit. It's big buck history is a long lost dream but, it still intrigues me.

Jim
Be ready for altitude in X9-a it starts at 7000 feet and goes up from there. Those hike in areas some are at 12,000 feet good luck
 

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