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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

Boone and Crockett welcomes new leaders

08/25/14 -- Thirty-six conservation pros from across the U.S. are about to embark on a training odyssey described as "one of the most far-reaching professional development initiatives ever undertaken" in natural resource... Full Story

Sky Lakes Wilderness 790 fire update

08/24/14 -- Fire activity continues to be moderate as the fire moves in an eastern direction progressing one mile east of the Pacific Crest Trail north of Luther Mountain. The fire has grown to a total size of 1150 acres. Today, crews... Full Story

2014 Modoc Big Buck Contest

Modoc Big Buck Contest flyer
Article by Lorissa Soriano
08/23/14 -- Attention all Buck Hunters!! The 2014 Modoc Big Buck Contest is currently underway. It’s not too late to register for the event as long as you have an unused California deer tag and have not harvested... Full Story

Part of PC Trail closed in OR due to fire

RSF 236 Closure Map
08/23/14 -- The Pacific Crest Trail (PCT) located between Oregon State Highway 140 north to the Crater Lake National Park Boundary will close at 12:01 a. m. August 23, 2014. This portion of trail is approximately 25 miles... Full Story

Feral pig hunting to start on the SRNWR

08/19/14 -- Beginning September 1, 2014, the Sacramento River National Wildlife Refuge (SRNWR) will allow feral pig hunting in authorized areas. This decision will improve consistency of the refuge hunt plan... Full Story

CWA comments on BDCP

08/17/14 -- In late July, California Waterfowl submitted comments on the Bay Delta Conservation Plan. The BDCP is the Habitat Conservation Plan that would provide Endangered Species Act permits for building... Full Story

Kids get their shot at pheasants

Duanne Dungannon photo, bow with shotgun and retriever with duck
By Tyler Dungannon
08/14/14 --  [Story printed with permission from OHA] Young Oregon hunters can take advantage of extraordinary opportunities to enjoy a day or two of pheasant hunting in September, perhaps even with a guide... Full Story

​Kruger Farms/CWA free duck hunt raffle

08/14/14 -- Less Than a Month to go! Kruger Farms and California Waterfowl are offering a FREE duck hunt for two at Kruger Farms Gear Testing farm in western Minnesota during the 2014-15 season! Airfare, lodging, meals... Full Story

Anti-hunting bill still on CA assembly floor

08/12/14 -- SB 53 is currently on the assembly floor where it could be brought up for a vote any day. If you care about the future of hunting and shooting, please contact your assembly and senate representative... Full Story

The buck we didn’t get and two we did

Tyler Low with his 3x4 buck shot at 100 yards with a Weatherby Vanguard .300 Winchester Magnum. Photo by Kyler Olson
By Tyler Low
08/10/14 -- “Can you see him? He is just below the sky line to the left of the big live oak.” The respectable three-point stood only 500 yards away, but my hunting partner, Kyler Olson, couldn’t quite get an eye on him... Full Story

CA waterfowl/dove hunting regs approved

08/07/14 -- California Waterfowl reports the waterfowl and dove hunting regulations for the 2014-15 hunting season have been approved by the California Fish and Game Commission – and overall the situation looks good... Full Story

Oregon Antelope Outlook

lone antelope lying in field, photo by Tyler Dungannon
By Tyler Dungannon
08/06/14 -- Antelope face some dry conditions on the range this year in southeast Oregon. When antelope endure drought, they tend to cluster together, which may make hunting difficult. According to ODFW biologists... Full Story

Oregon bird/fish regs on governor’s desk

08/05/14 -- The Oregon Fish and Wildlife Commission today approved a $357 million budget proposal for the Department of Fish and Wildlife for the 2015-17 biennium that includes a combination of program cuts... Full Story

Help OSP solve Douglas Co. poaching case

07/31/14 -- Oregon State Police (OSP) Fish and Wildlife Division is asking for the public’s help in identifying the person(s) responsible for killing three deer and leaving them to waste in Douglas County, July 18-24, 2014... Full Story

Enter Big R Big Buck Contest now

Numerous Big Game Mounts. Photo taken at Daniken’s Taxidermy in Gold Hills, Oregon, by Jason Haley
07/30/14 -- Pre-Registration is open now for the Top of Form43rd Annual “Big Buck,” “Lucky Buck,” or “No Buck” Contest at the Big R stores in White City, Klamath Falls and Redmond. Bow hunters’ last day to register is August... Full Story

​A-Zone opener great for Alturas archer!

Dan Ryan of Alturas bagged this nice 3x3 buck
Article by Lorissa Soriano
07/29/14 -- Dan Ryan of Alturas and one of his good hunting buddies,"JP,” of El Dorado Hills, bagged these nice bucks during the season opener of A-zone archery. This was a great way to kick off the 2014 archery deer... Full Story

CDFW waterfowl hunting clinic in Redding

07/27/14 -- The California Department of Fish and Wildlife’s (CDFW) Advanced Hunter Education Program and California Waterfowl Association are sponsoring a waterfowl hunting clinic in Redding on Saturday, Sept. 20... Full Story

Sauna Weather Hog

John Higley, author, kneeling at edge of muddy water hole looking for wild pig tracks. San Luis Obispo County.
By John Higley
07/13/14 -- I killed my first wild pig, a toothy, spotted boar in 1965. It was on a hunt with hounds in San Luis Obispo County with guide Eldon Bergman. I’ve never forgotten the commotion when we got close enough... Full Story

Oregon program takes disabled youths afield

Ashley Jensen in wheel chair in front of blind used when she hunts.
By Jason Haley
07/06/14 -- It began decades ago with a prayer and a broken-winged raven, struggling to move across the beach in the Cook Inlet of Alaska. As former pastor, Ken Coreson watched this scene play out: seagulls... Full Story

ODFW: Get controlled hunt draw online

06/20/14 -- Hunters who applied for a 2014 fall controlled hunt can find out now if they drew the tag through the Hunting Resources section of ODFW’s website or by calling 503-947-6102 or 800-708-1782. Calls made... 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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