No Dice On SoCal Mulies So Far
Must...rest...legs... Yepper, that was me on multiple occasions last Saturday. Why? I'll just say that them there hills are steep, I am out of shape and my pack weighed about 35 lbs. It was brutal on my body, but felt so good after we reached each peak. (I have a shirt that reads "I'm in shape... Round is a shape!" But it wasn't as funny as I remembered it when climbing those steep hillsides!)
Fellow DIY Pro Staffer, Eric Welsh and I hit up one of our spots to glass up some mule deer (or Pacific Hybrids if you wish). We parked and hit the dirt road before sun up and started our half mile hike to the rim where we'd be glassing. Along the way we spotted plenty of fresh coyote tracks and plenty of deer tracks. Five sets to be exact. They were fresh, but we had missed them by a few hours so we continued climbing and finally reached the first ridge at 6:15 AM. The middle of nowhere is where I found peace. It was a beautiful, foggy morning with steep valleys, no traffic and no people for miles and miles. For 2 hours we sat and glassed the hillsides, valley floor and deep canyons without even a glimpse of a deer. Nada. Zip.
While we sat we discussed the website, some new things we have coming very soon and just how hard hunting out here can be. After a time, Eric said he wanted to hit up the next ridge to glass. The next ridge was only 500 yards away, but the climb was even steeper than the one we had just made. Sonofabitch! Without missing a beat I said, 'Let's do it!' What the hell was I thinking? So we descended the current ridge, walked down the road and then climbed... and climbed... and sucked wind... and climbed... and about puked... and laughed... and climbed a bit more to reach the top. Again, no deer. It might seem like a huge bummer, and to some extant it was, but it was also an incredible feeling being on top of the world while trying to locate the flick of an ear or twitch of a tail. Sure we wanted to find a deer to shoot, but it was also a learning experience for me. I constantly strive to be better at what I do. Working hard will just make hitting my goal taste that much sweeter.
Another couple hours went by and we made the decision to head back up the road, glassing along the way to see if we could ambush anything. We saw quail, plenty of coyote tracks, more deer tracks and that was it. We chalked the day up to showing me the ropes for SoCal mule deer hunting and made our way home. It was a great morning to get out, see the world and do what I love to do - hunt. I have a new spot to check out this Saturday that sounds promising. I'll be bringing the camera to get some shots, too. Then, in a little over a week I'll be headed to New York for my annual whitetail hunt with my dad and brother. Two more bucks have been spotted on the trail cams and I can hardly contain my excitement. I am looking forward to the hunting stories, the good-natured ribbing, and spending time with my family. Well, that and hopefully filling my freezer with some choice steaks!