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B zone buck hunting

Article and photo by Casey Allen
9/21/11 -- The opening weekend of deer season in Northwestern California’s B zone was more productive than previous years. Many camps in our hunting area had bucks hanging and one camp had two. Mike Taylor got a shot at a big, wide racked buck but missed and I had one in my sights but could not get a clean sure shot.

Brad Vallerga glasses the Yolla Bolly Wilderness for blacktail bucks. Photo by Casey Allen, MyOutdoorBuddy.com
Brad Vallerga glasses the Yolla Bolly Wilderness for blacktail bucks.

The weather was warm but not oppressively hot. It seemed, by personal observation that the local deer population had increased over the last few years. There were more bucks running around my neighborhood and more deer seen along our rural roads. We were hunting the Six Rivers National Forest in Trinity County and it was obvious that more water, green grasses, and browse was available than in recent memory.

There were also fewer hunters. The absence of four wheeler ATVs was noticeable. The fact that laws restrict which roads the ATVs can travel on and require the use of a helmet either displaced ATV hunters or they left their vehicles at home.

My partner, Brad Vallerga and I hiked into the Yolla Bolly Wilderness before sunrise on a moonlit morning the first day of the season. We met four other hunters at the trailhead with the same thoughts. After a short conference we learned that we both wanted to hunt the same canyon but Brad and I wanted to hunt the lower canyon while the party of four wanted to go up.

From the top of a ridge I watched Brad and the four hunters disappear into the canyon heading in different directions. Two of the guys no sooner dropped out of sight when a buck trotted out between them heading my way. The tall three point buck snuck through their line without being seen, except by me. I was in the perfect position and was sure I would be shooting this buck. He continued trotting and followed the contour of the slope below me. I followed him through my scope and each time he stopped there was some brush in the way of my shot. I had the safety off and even pulled the slack out of my trigger but I just could not get a clean shot. The buck went from 200 yards to over 400 yards away without presenting me an opportunity before disappearing into a ravine. I gave chase but never saw him again.

Shots rang out up the canyon and I figured the party of four had scored. Brad and I worked our way down the canyon but saw no other deer. It was a long hot walk back to the truck. I was happily satisfied by seeing the buck and secretly I was happy to not be packing him out in the heat.

Mike Taylor and Dan Hopper were in their own canyon near camp. Mike came upon a buck and doe and the buck was wearing a heavy set of wide antlers. Mike, who is 65 years old, had to run 50 yards to get a clear shot. He peered through his rifle scope off hand and tried to hold the crosshairs steady. But the excitement and the 50 yard dash were too much and his only shot sailed high.

We have a comfortable camp with great food and close company. We have many weeks left to hunt and can’t wait to get back out there. I’ll let you know what happens.

More Hunting News

Oregon SP looking for fawn killer

04/23/14 -- Oregon State Police (OSP) Fish & Wildlife Division continues to ask for the public's help for information to identify the suspect(s) involved in the late March shooting of a fawn deer in Douglas County. The reward was... Full Story

F&GC adopts 2014 big-game tag quotas

2014 Deer Zones and Additional Hunts, Northern California
04/18/14 -- The California Fish and Game Commission (FGC) finalized big-game tag quotas at their April 15 meeting in Ventura. A total of 204,337 deer, 316 elk, 200 pronghorn antelope and 14 bighorn sheep tags were... Full Story

Blacktail does captured & collared for study

Red helicopter lifting doe off ground to prepare to attach tracking tag
04/17/14 -- With cooperation from local landowners, the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) recently captured and attached telemetry collars to 10 adult female black-tailed deer before successfully rereleasing... Full Story

Long Beard contest running at Kittles

By Frank Galusha
04/15/14 -- Kittles Outdoor & Sport Co. in Colusa is holding a Spring Turkey Hunting Long Beard contest that will run through May 4th. The largest beard brought in so far measured 12 1/2 inches according to Daniel Vaca... Full Story

CDFW uses K-9 to close poaching case

04/14/14 -- A good tip on the Californians Turn in Poachers and Polluters (CalTIP) hotline -- combined with the well-trained nose of a K-9 wildlife officer -- led to the recent conviction of a deer poacher in Susanville. In June... Full Story

Work Sharp gives a great edge

By Gary Heffley
04/12/14 -- Most of us have the same lament, “I just can’t get a good edge on this knife anymore.” I do know there are some like my dad who could or can work a wet stone with a little oil and produce a shaving sharp edge... Full Story

The Decoy Advantage

Tom Turkey Decoys by John Higley for My outdoor buddy.com outdoor online magazine
Article and photos by John Higley
04/12/14 -- Every experienced turkey hunter knows that calling wild turkeys entails much more than simply making noise in an attempt to lure a lusty tom turkey into shotgun or bow and arrow range. Sometimes, visual... Full Story

Save $50 on some CWA Hunter Camps

By Frank Galusha
04/04/2014 -- CWA's Hunting Heritage Program is bringing members new camps this summer with an offer of $50 off for early registration on their 5-Day Camps if registration is complete by May 1, 2014... Full Story

NDOW explains combo deer/elk tags

04/03/14 -- New combination tags are available only to resident hunters. These combination hunts include an antlered deer tag and antlerless (cow) elk management tag, and a bull elk tag and cow elk management... Full Story

CA 2014 Jr. Duck Stamp winners named

painting of a pair of Ruddy Ducks, Best of show
03/29/14 -- Artwork from 2,699 school-aged waterfowl artists throughout the state was judged during the 24th Annual California Federal Junior Duck Stamp Contest at the Sacramento National Wildlife Refuge... Full Story

Pronghorn capture completed by CA DFW

 A pronghorn antelope is collared during a recent capture.
03/23/14 -- California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) wildlife biologists and veterinarians recently completed two pronghorn antelope captures in an effort to learn more about this species... Full Story

Let the 2014 Squirrel Wars begin!!!

2 men and Lorrisa Soriano rifle hunting for squirrels,
By Lorissa Soriano
03/19/14 -- Modoc County is gearing up for another year of “Squirrel Wars!” This has been an ongoing battle for years. This year in particular we anticipate more terrorist squirrel activity due to the current... Full Story

Shed hunt responsibly to protect big game

Kellen Tanner (left) and Konnar Hancock with some sheds they picked up at last weekend’s 2014 Group Shed Hunt with the Oregon Shed Hunters, a group that promotes ethical shed hunting. Photo by Rob Tanner
03/12/14 -- The hunt is on…for shed antlers, that is. This time of year, many Oregonians head outdoors to look for the antlers that have been shed by the state’s male deer and elk. Deer usually shed theirs from late December through... Full Story

PG&E wins award for habitat improvement

McArthur Swamp Habitat Improvement, PG&E
03/09/14 – Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E) has been recognized for its wetland habitat improvement in the McArthur Swamp in eastern Shasta County by an engineering society. The Sacramento Section of the American... Full Story

Choosing Your First Turkey Call

John Higley, Tom Turkey, Spring Turkey Hunt
Article and photos by John Higley
03/07/14 -- Okay kids, the spring turkey season is just around the corner and I’m sure there are some folks out there who are going to try turkey hunting for the first time. Over the years, I’ve heard the following question... Full Story

California waterfowl fundraising events

03/03/14 -- California Waterfowl (CWA) supports and hosts a wide variety of events every month, such as banquets, camps, clean-ups, clinics, competitions, festivals, junior hunts, and shoots. You are encouraged to... Full Story

Artists sought for CA Duck Stamp Contest

2013 winner of duck stamp, Painting by Richard Clifton Of Milford, Del, American Widgeons are march
02/27/14 -- Artists are invited to submit their original artwork to the 2014-2015 California Duck Stamp Art Contest. The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) will accept submissions from April 25 through May 23. The contest is open... Full Story

Special Turkey Hunts offered by CDFW

02/26/14 -- Hunters seeking opportunities during the upcoming spring turkey season can visit the California Department of Fish and Wildlife’s (CDFW) Upland Game Bird Stamp Program’s webpage to apply online. The CDFW webpage lists... Full Story

Selecting personal optics

Vortex 10x42 Viper Heavy Duty Binocular
By Gary Heffley
02/12/14—Selecting personal optics such as binoculars, spotting scopes and range finders can be difficult for many. There are a tremendous number of options available. For some brand loyalty makes the decision easy, especially... Full Story

John M. Browning

By Don E. Webster
02/05/14 -- One has to wonder how differently the history of not only America, but the entire world would have been if John Moses Browning (January 23, 1855 – November 26, 1926) had not been born... Full Story

Ham on the Hoof

Article and photos by Gary Lewis
12/17/13 -- We were climbing a steep gravel ranch road in Charlie’s Toyota when we saw it, as big as a full-grown bear and on a dead run. Charlie hit the brakes and switched off the engine. There was no time to load the rifle. The shaggy, gray... Full Story

Stay sharp for when the shot counts

Daisy Pellet Rifle, Powerline 1000S
By Jesse Bible
12/01/13 -- I would like to share a method for honing shooting skills. Here in Northern California, the odds are that you will be taking a close shot at a deer that has more than likely seen you first. Once you have determined... Full Story

Back to the Start

heritage, history of hunting, hunting as a family, Jason Haley, Mt. Shasta, Mount Shasta
Article and photos by Jason Haley
10/18/13 -- I got tipped-off about a bachelor group of bucks from an archer I trust. That never hurts. And after spending opening day in the area, glimpsing two good bucks and seeing how the terrain lays out, I knew exactly... Full Story

Me and my shadow

Twin melanistic fawns with doe, Me and my shadow, Jean Bilodeaux, MyOutdoorBuddy.com Article and photos by Jean Bilodeaux
10/06/12 -- It’s always amazing to see the huge bucks reappear in the fields in Surprise Valley right after deer season. Many times locals breathe a sigh of relief as the big bucks that disappeared a month earlier now reappear... Full Story

Hunting trip gone bad

Francisco Garcia, Outdoorman's Diary, bad hunting story 08/28/12 -- if you asked me what I’d rather be doing, most of the time I would emphatically say, deer hunting. For me nothing gets the juices flowing and the imagination spinning like the arrival of bow or rifle season for deer. When... Full Story

The Mudhen King

Mid-Eighties. I’m writing screenplays. They invite me down to Hollywood, and things look promising, but they want the horse in my story to be green. By that, I mean they actually want a green horse. Green in color. Don’t laugh... Full Story

 

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Website Design Photo Credits: MyOutdoorBuddy.com thanks the following individuals for contributing photographs for use on our Home and Section pages: Anders Tomlinson of Tule-Lake.com, Amber Galusha of Nature-Drunk.com, Casey Allen of Bayside, CA; Jason Haley of Medford, OR; Steve Breth of Burney, CA; Tracy McCormack of Eureka, CA; Grant Thompson of Grand Junction, CO; Richard Bott of Shingletown, CA; Ron Loftus of Yreka, CA; Scott Caldwell of Montague, CA; Lorissa Soriano of Alturas, CA and the late Dave Menke, formerly with the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, Klamath Basin National Wildlife Refuge Complex.

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