Thursday, September 12, 2013

Opening Day of the 2013 CA Archery Deer Season

Hunting on opening day of deer season is like Christmas morning. That's exactly how Brett and I felt last Saturday. It was the opening day of archery deer season in D11, our unit of choice this week, and we couldn't wait to get out there. To be honest, this was the first opening day I have been able to hunt in all my time in Southern California. I was incredibly excited! We had scoped this area out and knew there were bucks traveling the foothills, but we just needed to get set up in a good spot. We discussed, at length, exactly what spot each of us would go to that morning. We hemmed and hawed and finally came to the realization that we needed to both go to one spot and cover two ridges.

Here I am field testing the RZ Mask and trying to look bad ass.

We were set up long before sunrise to allow our bodies to cool down. The wind was perfect, but it was hot. How hot? It was over 80 as the sun came up and climbing. Just as the sun rose over the hills, I noticed a shape about a thousand yards away. Yes, it was that far. Pulled up my MINOX 10x44 binoculars and there was a lone spike horn silhouetting himself. He disappeared as quickly as he had appeared and that was the only deer we would see.

Brett with one of the three Mylar balloons we rescued from the forest.

As I made my way to Brett's location, I looked and looked, but couldn't find him. I gave a short whistle and he stands up not 40 yards away. His Predator camouflage shirt had him blending in perfectly! I had mentioned a few times that we should pick some up because I felt it worked well. I should have followed my own advice because he was very difficult to spot!

By 9:00 AM the temps were climbing near 100 degrees and we opted to bail on the spot. For one, we weren't seeing anything. Second, it wouldn't be fair to shoot a deer in that heat, being that far from our vehicle, and having to pack it out without running the risk of spoilage. We made the call and hiked out. Along the way we picked up three Mylar balloons and spotted two more in the hills. I hate them.

Our plan is to wait until it cools down slightly and hit the same spot in hopes of one of us getting close enough for a shot. Until then it will be finishing up elk meat in the freezer and target practice.

Anyone have any luck in SoCal yet?


  1. I hate those mylar balloons too. All this talk about banning stuff, they should ban those damned things. Or, better yet, they should place a $100 deposit on them when you buy one, and you get the deposit back when you return it. The forfeit deposit fees could go to DFG for habitat maintenance.

    1. What a great idea, Phillip. Those balloons are evil. If I see one this weekend I might have to fling a small game head into the center of it. Just to make me feel better.

  2. Al, it was a hot day for sure. Your hard work will pay off.