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CA Archery Deer D3-5 Hunt Report

Birddog916

Active member
Joined
Jan 13, 2020
Messages
135
Location
Sacramento, CA
Hi HTers,
I've been hitting the woods since the season opened on Saturday 8/15, and thought I would start a thread on it in hopes of finally getting a CA archery buck. This season I scored permission on a managed wetland in the Sacramento Valley and it has a lot of deer. I have yet to see any bucks in archery range, but have had a few does. The property is pretty small with lineal strips of bedding habitat along the edges think cottonwoods, valley oaks, blackberry and typical wetland grasses, tules, willows and sedges in the middle of the property. The place lends itself to treestand hunting well and I have setup 2 stands. I have put up a few trail cameras near the stands and did catch this dude: IMG_3915.JPG

I've hunted 2 sits so far the first one on Sunday and the second last night. I'm seeing a lot of does and fawns from the stand, but have yet to see a buck. I don't think this current heat wave is helping. It was 99 degrees when I left the truck last night, dead calm with no wind. Between the heat and the mosquitoes it was a pretty brutal sit last night, and that ice cold beer I had after dark was so good...anyway I digress... Within 10 minutes of getting on stand I had a little doe under me who came into about 25 yards. Sunday was much the same except cooler with a thunder storm and a little rain... which were great conditions considering how hot it has been here the last few weeks. If you know this part of the world, we rarely have rain in August so it was different that's for sure. I'm thinking the bucks will start moving when we get some cooler nights which might be as soon as tomorrow. Here's the view from my favorite of the 2 stands:

IMG_3916.JPG

Anyway, that's about it for now and I'll make another post after my next sit.
 

Runnin_Chupacabra

Well-known member
Joined
Mar 10, 2020
Messages
228
Location
San Luis Obispo, CA
With the weather being what it is, I've been hearing from a buddy who guides that you have 10-15 minutes after sunrise and before sunset to find one before they bed down with this heat. Crazy window. Looking forward to the updates. Good luck!
 

Birddog916

Active member
Joined
Jan 13, 2020
Messages
135
Location
Sacramento, CA
Last night I had my third sit on stand at the property. It was incredibly smokey from all the wildfires burning to the west of the Sacramento Valley, but it was down right cool compared to the previous sit....it was only 91 degrees when I left the truck, with absolutely zero wind. Not ideal conditions, but better than last time. I was optimistic to see some deer last night while in the stand, because there were 2 does and a fawn near the main gate entrance when we parked the truck. Unfortunately, noting was moving while on stand except for a bobcat. The cat came into the stand and could sense my presence but didn't bolt right away he slinked around at about 25 yards for a while. About 15 minutes before last light a pack of coyotes lit off with a chorus of yips, howls, and screams. I really hope this weather pattern changes and we get some cooler nights. I'm going to try again over the weekend, and possibility move a stand closer to water.
 
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Rodzilla

Member
Joined
Apr 9, 2016
Messages
71
Location
Nor Cal
Best of luck! I am hoping to get my first D3-D5 buck with a rifle this year, scouting has been the pits in this weather. Hope you archery season goes well!
 

Birddog916

Active member
Joined
Jan 13, 2020
Messages
135
Location
Sacramento, CA
Yesterday (Sunday) was my 4th sit at the property. It was nice to be out, but the bucks seem to have disappeared. Like clockwork they became hard-horned and up and quit moving. We saw a few does and fawns again, but no bucks. It seems one of my stands is in the general area of an owl's roost. I have seen a pair of what I think are Western Screech Owls. One landed in the tree next to my stand and I got a pretty good look at it. They come out at dusk nearly every time I've been in that stand. I'm going to try again on Tuesday night. Hopefully a buck makes an appearance. Northern CA is supposed to see some cooler temps this week with highs in the mid 90's and lows in the mid 60's and prevailing SSW winds, which will be a welcome change to the triple digits we have experienced the last few weeks. Being that the property is a managed wetland there are a lot of mosquitoes and with more wind they might be kept them at bay a little. Also, with dove season opening up on Sept 1, I'm thinking some dove hunters might push deer off the public areas towards my stands. I'll definitely be on stand come Sept 1, unless I luck out and fill my tag before then.
 

glass eye

Well-known member
Joined
Sep 3, 2012
Messages
1,572
Location
El Centro, CA
Following this thread.
I grew up in Placer County and hunted there when it was just D4. I haven't hunted deer there in over 25 years but I got a tag for it this year.
I'm all the way down by the Mexican Border so it's a long drive for me. I'll only get one shot at it so I think I'll wait for the last week of rifle season. I miss the archery season real bad.
 

NickCNC

Member
Joined
Aug 20, 2020
Messages
36
I spent first 3 weekdays of opener way up D5 close to X8 and even there in the 80degree everything was bedded down by 30minutes after sunrise... only things i saw were deer that i bumped from their beds.. hope we get a temp drop!
 

Birddog916

Active member
Joined
Jan 13, 2020
Messages
135
Location
Sacramento, CA
Yeah, it’s been rough with the smoke, and heat. Though last night’s archery league was beautiful the delta winds blowing, a cold beer and relatively little smoke.

I went out to my valley spot again on Tuesday for my 5Th treestand sit. We see deer nearly every time out on the drive in, but when in the stands there have been very few the last 2 trips. I think I’m going to rest the property for a week or so to see if the bucks move back in. In the meantime I’ll head up the hill to about 3000 feet and try my luck at deer and bear. This spot is loaded with blackberries and seems to hold bears somewhat regularly.

I did shoot a coyote on Tuesday at the valley spot, at the request of the landowners. I don’t normally shoot them, but apparently the coyotes had eaten one of the kid’s 4h lambs. The coyote was 41yards and my arrow flew true. The landowners were appreciative and surprised I had killed one with a bow. I think I solidified my hunting permission for a few seasons...
 

Birddog916

Active member
Joined
Jan 13, 2020
Messages
135
Location
Sacramento, CA
So, I've been out twice since my last post. I headed up to a spot at 3000 foot elevation and found a small buck. He was moving towards me side hilling a little ridge I was sneaking down. He was in some pretty tall grass under some Doug fir trees and just could not put a fork on him. He had about 14 inches of antler still velvet covered and I thought there could have been a fork, but didn't want to chance it. I spotted him at about 100 years as he was moving through the trees and grass. He got to 59 yards and spotted me moving trying to get a better angle to see if he was legal. He stood there looking right at me for 30 seconds or so before he turned an trotted off. While looking straight at me he looked like a 11 pointer for sure, when he turned to trot off he looked like a small forky. Oh well... We did see some pretty fresh bear sign in the same area, but no bears. Last night (9-1) I hunted a spot near Lincoln, CA with a friend. We saw a few does on a great looking oak woodland property. The moon was super red colored last night for its assent, I assume because of all the fires and smoke filled air. The delta breezes picked up and it was nice to be outside. I have made 9 trips to chase deer this archery season and have seen very few bucks. I have one more CA archery hunt before I leave for my AZ elk hunt. I hope to make it count.
 

Birddog916

Active member
Joined
Jan 13, 2020
Messages
135
Location
Sacramento, CA
So, I've been gone for a while. I just got back on Wednesday (9-23) from my 16 day AZ archery elk hunt. Look for my report in the elk section, but not until I have time to write it up. I'm actually still processing what happened in AZ and how to do it better next time I draw an archery elk tag. I did make it out over the weekend and was lucky enough to fill my CA d3-5 tag. This is the first d3-5 tag I've filled in a few years and am delighted to have a nice pile of meat to last me the year It doesn't make up for not being successful in AZ, but it helps a little. Anyway, I ran up to my spot at about 3000 feet Saturday morning, the same spot I had an opportunity to shoot at a little buck in archery season and killed a small forky with rifle. I was still hunting a small ridgeline when 5 does and fawns, a spike and this forky came running down the ridge. They must have been spooked by something. I had about a 50 yard running shot and my bullet hit true. Buck didn't make it far and my D3-5 tag was filled. I made some of the top loin into shawarma kebab last night. Field to table in a day. Heart tacos on the menu tonight. I still have an A/O tag and a bear tag. I'm probably going to get after bears this weekend.
 

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NickCNC

Member
Joined
Aug 20, 2020
Messages
36
Well done sir, still looking to fill my AO tag as well as my bear tag. And my son is looking to fill his d3-5 tag also. Spent weekend up in high altitude, saw tons of sign, but zero animals. Except for the couple does that strolled along the highway.
 

Birddog916

Active member
Joined
Jan 13, 2020
Messages
135
Location
Sacramento, CA
Well done sir, still looking to fill my AO tag as well as my bear tag. And my son is looking to fill his d3-5 tag also. Spent weekend up in high altitude, saw tons of sign, but zero animals. Except for the couple does that strolled along the highway.
Supposed to be slightly cooler this weekend, but I'm sure it will still be an early and affair. During hot days I like to be in known areas where deer are before the sun is totally up. On Saturday morning I'll leave the house at 3am to be in my hunt area before grey light. I think this time of year you have about the first half hour to catch deer moving then they won't move again until about noon. If you are hunting in a glassable area make sure you look under every shade tree. I don't know how many deer I have busted because I didn't look into the shady areas.
 

Hunting101

New member
Joined
Oct 22, 2020
Messages
4
Supposed to be slightly cooler this weekend, but I'm sure it will still be an early and affair. During hot days I like to be in known areas where deer are before the sun is totally up. On Saturday morning I'll leave the house at 3am to be in my hunt area before grey light. I think this time of year you have about the first half hour to catch deer moving then they won't move again until about noon. If you are hunting in a glassable area make sure you look under every shade tree. I don't know how many deer I have busted because I didn't look into the shady areas.


Hi everyone, does anyone know of anyone that has any D5 tags that they won’t be able to use before the end of season? I’ve hunted there several times and want to take a buddy who’s about to have a baby for a last trip. Of course would pay for them. Please let me know it would be greatly appreciated and willing to drive to get them. Thanks and good luck!
 

Birddog916

Active member
Joined
Jan 13, 2020
Messages
135
Location
Sacramento, CA
Hi everyone, does anyone know of anyone that has any D5 tags that they won’t be able to use before the end of season? I’ve hunted there several times and want to take a buddy who’s about to have a baby for a last trip. Of course would pay for them. Please let me know it would be greatly appreciated and willing to drive to get them. Thanks and good luck!
That is a bad idea. You can't transfer deer tags to other people in California that is a no-no. Here is the F&G Code:

FISH AND GAME CODE - FGC

DIVISION 2. DEPARTMENT OF FISH AND WILDLIFE [700 - 1940]

( Heading of Division 2 amended by Stats. 2015, Ch. 154, Sec. 21. )

CHAPTER 3. Other Powers and Duties [1000 - 1227]

( Chapter 3 enacted by Stats. 1957, Ch. 456. )


ARTICLE 2. General License Provisions [1050 - 1110]

( Article 2 enacted by Stats. 1957, Ch. 456. )

1052.

It is unlawful for any person to do any of the following:
(a) Transfer any license, tag, stamp, permit, application, or reservation.
(b) Use or possess any license, tag, stamp, permit, application, or reservation that was not lawfully issued to the user or possessor thereof or that was obtained by fraud, deceit, or the use of a fake or counterfeit application form.
(c) Use or possess any fake or counterfeit license, tag, stamp, permit, permit application form, band, or seal, made or used for the purpose of evading any of the provisions of this code, or regulations adopted pursuant thereto.
(d) Predate, fail to date, or alter any date of any license, tag, or permit.
(e) Postdate the date of application or the date of issuance of the license, tag, or permit. This subdivision does not apply to the date that a license, tag, or permit is valid.
(f) Alter, mutilate, deface, duplicate, or counterfeit any license, tag, permit, permit application form, band, or seal, or entries thereon, to evade the provisions of this code, or any regulations adopted pursuant thereto.
(Amended by Stats. 2007, Ch. 285, Sec. 14. Effective January 1, 2008.)

Here is a list of available tags as of 10/13/20:

 
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