2003 Deer Hunting Journal-

Well, this is year three for my online hunting journals. If you're reading this, thanks. For my part, I'm sure enjoying putting it all together... almost as much as I'm enjoying the hunts that make it up.

I suppose the original intent, to collect data and identify trends (such as weather patterns and moon phases) has kind of gone by the wayside. Most of the time, the weather during the CA deer seasons is pretty much identical anyway.

This season promises to be a busy one for hunting. First and foremost, I managed to draw an X3-A tag for California. That'll put me in some prime mule deer habitat. I've been working with a friend on a 7000 acre ranch in that zone, and that's where we'll be hunting. That hunt begins on October 4.

The X zone hunt overlaps another major hunt, a Colorado elk trip that begins on October 11. I'm planning to leave directly from the X zone hunt to make the Colorado trip. That means I need to score early in X zone, in order to have time to drive to CO without marathon driving.

Finally, I chose an Archery Only tag for my second CA deer tag. This gives me access to the A zone, B zone, and all D zones, both during archery and rifle season. Essentially this means I could potentially hunt from July 16 through the first week of November.

As a surprise, I also got the opportunity to go to South Carolina for the deer opener to bowhunt deer and hogs at the Bostick Plantation.

So here goes!

October 01-08 X3-A Mule Deer Hunt

This is one of those opportunities that I never expected to have. The X-zone hunts are lottery hunts, and odds of getting drawn are pretty tight. There are generally about 290 tags for this particular zone, and usually around 2300 applicants. I've been applying for this hunt with my friend Dave for several years, and it was a true surprise to get drawn for it.

Dave's family has about 7000 acres of property in this zone, and this is where we'll be hunting. The property is in the summer range for the mule deer, and barring unusually early winter weather, it should hold a bunch of deer.

The area is loaded with springs, and there's some great cover. In addition to mule deer, there are also antelope, rabbits, and coyotes. The ponds also hold a few ducks. It's a beautiful place, and a true priviledge to have the opportunity to hunt here.



I plan to arrive on October 1 and scout for a couple of days before the season opens on October 4. I have until October 8 (at the latest) before I have to hit the road for Colorado and my elk hunt.

Anyway, I'll update this entry as soon as I return from that hunt. Hopefully there'll be some more pictures, including my big ol' trophy mule deer!



Next Hunt


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