Deer hunting in California is one of the best areas of the United States if you are looking to hunt for Mule Deer in particularly, but also if you are looking at the black-tailed deer which also inhabits this part of the country.
Over the past 25 years the deer population has decreased by around 50% which has led to many hunters looking elsewhere, but there are still some prime spots that you really don’t want to overlook when it comes to deer hunting in California. For instance, the X Zones on the east of the mountains are hot spots for hunters at the moment.
There are some 15,000 acres of ground in Northern California itself so the chances of bagging yourself a trophy deer is just around the corner. However, we have put together some great tips for you when it comes to getting the best out of your hunting experience in California.
Deer Hunting in California – Tip 1
The first bit of advice we want to offer is to eliminate human odor because this happens to be the biggest thing that will send deer running away from you. Mule and Black-Tailed deer both have sensitive smells and if the wind is against you, your scent can easily drift in the direction of the unsuspecting deer.
Therefore, you will want to shower with a scent-free body wash before you go out hunting, and to help take away human odor or scents from your hunting clothes it’s advisable to put them into a bag with leaves, dry mud and other debris that you would normally see lying on the ground. What this does is blends the smell of a deer natural habitat with your clothing so you have more chance of hunting without spooking any deer off.
The final point on human odor is to carry a bottle of odor eliminator with you which can be used on your hair and your hat. Using these little tips will go a long way to making your hunting experience more enjoyable and successful.
Deer Hunting in California – Tip 2
As any hunter will tell you, you will need to be sure to check out any licenses and tag costs before heading to California, especially if you are a non-resident. General licenses cost anything from $12 for a junior upwards of $163 for a non-resident hunting license. If you are a resident of California then you will only need to pay a $47 license fee.
The tag costs all vary dependant on the amount of deer and whether you are a resident. Costs for a first-deer tag application range from $31 for a resident and increase to $276 for a non-resident. Whilst a second-deer tag application costs $38 for a resident and remains the same price for a non-resident, at $276.
Lifetime hunting licenses are also available and cost from $517 to $844 dependant on your age.
Deer Hunting in California – Tip 3
Check out the hunting area by finding aerial maps of the location as this will give you a better insight into the layout of the land. These days you find this quite easily by heading onto Google Maps and typing in your destination, this will give you some nice aerial shots where you can zoom in and out to check out the hunting zones you want to head to.
You can also print these out to take with you and it will generally give you a much better hunting experience with this valuable information close at hand.
Deer Hunting in California – Tip 4
A lot of hunters prefer to build a tree stand rather than any of the other forms of hunting you can choose from. There are a few tips to consider when it comes to tree stands that we wanted to offer as a round-up to today’s article.
Firstly you should always practice setting up and taking down your tree stand before you even set foot in the Californian deer hunting grounds. As they say practice makes perfect and it is up to you to be able to efficiently put your tree stand up without drawing attention or without fouling up. Therefore, a few weeks before you hunt, find an area that you can put a tree stand up and iron out any issues before you get to the location for hunting.
The second issue is that hunters tend to forget that they need to get in and out of the tree stand as quietly as possible without drawing attention to themselves. Getting to your stand undetected by making your way to and from by using thickets and curtains of forest is a fundamental part to a successful deer hunt.
Finally, the higher the tree stand the better chances you are going to have in spotting your deer and because you are high, any human odor will usually pass above the deer so you want alert them. Being as inconspicuous as possible is the key here, and that big buck trophy won’t be too far from your grasp if you take all of these beneficial tips into account.
By now you should know the areas that are best to hunt in when you come to California, along with all the associated costs involved. These tips have been designed to help you plan the perfect and successful hunting trip so that you don’t return home empty handed. Some of the tips are basic knowledge but you will be surprised at how many hunters fail to take action on such thing as body odor and as we mentioned, this alone can ruin your hunting experience without you even knowing.
So next time you head out to California to hunt for Mule or black-tailed deer, just take a few of our tips into account and see if you can bag yourself a trophy buck.