Where to Hunt in California or a State Near By

Bros4Brodalen

Private
Minuteman
Sep 13, 2020
3
2
Hi everyone I'm a first time rifle owner and I recently purchased a Ruger American Predator in 6.5 Creedmoor 22" with a Vortex DiamondBack Tactical 4-16X44. I originally wanted to buy the Remington 783 with the manufacture's scope but the gun clerk assured me that the ruger rifle and that vortex scope would be a better beginner rifle set up than the remington783 package. This being said I went to my local shooting range where I was able to hit steel at 600 yards with the Ruger American Predator being my first time shooting at the range. I was able to hit 600 yards because I used the ballistic chart on this webstie https://unclezo.com/2019/08/12/federal-fusion-140-grain-6-5mm-creedmoor/ to give me an idea of how much bullet drop for this caliber 6.5 Creedmoor. It wasn't perfect but it wasn't far off either it gave me a good idea where I should compensate for bullet drop. I brought 80 bullets to the range that day but I wish I would have brought more next time I will bring more for sure. I bought the rifle to target shoot and also to deer hunt in the future because that's something I've always wanted to do but never got the chance to do it. I'm the first one in my family to do something like this where I will go out and hunt a deer to eat and also maybe to taxiderm the deer as well. My question is how do I go about deer hunting in the cheapest way? I saw some ranches online where they go out with you to help you but they charge you a shit load of money. Is there another way to deer hunt where maybe we can split the meat 50/50 using my deer tag? If anyone knows please let me know maybe we can work something out to the effect of splitting the meat or so. Thanks.
 

skierhs

Private
Belligerents
Minuteman
Dec 3, 2017
296
65
Look at the California fish and game website. They’ll have regs you can read about season dates, cost, etc. once you understand the regs and units look at a map and find some public land where you can rifle hunt.
 
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Hobo Hilton

Private
Belligerents
Minuteman
Jun 4, 2011
558
605
69
Pacific Northwest
Just a few "off the top of my head" thoughts....

Mentally divide "hunting" into different components... Getting out into nature is going to be important. Getting out often will help you to adjust. The best hunters are folks that spend the majority of their time in the forest, swamps, mountains, etc. Loggers, surveyors, Game Wardens, biologist are there often and get a feel for what wildlife activities. At first take a camera rather than a weapon. Photos will allow you to "replay" a situation at a later date after you have had time to think it through. Read, study and interact with the bow hunters. The reality of the situation is there are just not that many kill shots at 600 yards... Work on a clean kill at less than 100 yards. To do that, you have to hone your skills as a hunter and not a shooter...

Welcome....

Hobo
 
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Bandit31

Ligma
Hessian
Belligerents
Minuteman
Feb 6, 2018
1,261
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Bakersfield, Ca
Take an approved hunter safety class, which now I believe can be done online fortunately. Read through the CDFW regs and look at a few maps for your zone.

Go to anywhere you can purchase tags and get your hunting license and a tag(s) for what ever zone you plan to hunt that isn't a lottery. You'll also need lead free ammo, like Barnes or Hornady, to hunt in California.

The kicker is, most zone's are starting or nearing the start of general season and still closed down because of the fires. The positive of this is that it'll give you more time to gain experience and time on the range.

The vast majority of OTC zone's in the state have a low success rate, most around 5-8% if that.

Stop listening to the gun store employee.

You're not going to find someone to split the cost of a deer that you take on a private ranch. Most also have to abide by season dates and are over and ending for some that are operating.
 
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HMRamateur

Sorry
Belligerents
Minuteman
Feb 9, 2019
406
446
I agree with the hobo. The cheapest way is by teaching yourself, and the best way is with a camera. You can practice hunting all year long, not just hunting season, with a camera. Depending what type of hunting you want to do will determine your terrain. Spot and stalk/spot and shoot, find a hilly area, with large openings from the trees, sit at a good vantage point, and sit and wait patiently. If you want to shoot from that vantage point, find a good vantage point that is within your comfortable shooting distance (and not your comfortable range shooting distance. Your comfortable distance shooting under pressure). If you want to stalk, read the terrain and walk up in cover with the wind in your face. If you want to still hunt, which can be done anywhere there is lots of cover, search for the animals bedding areas by finding game trails and follow them through the trees and look for areas with a lot of droppings or beds. Learn how to constantly pay attention to wind direction as well as taking your time, and see how close you can get to take a picture. The better the pictures, the better you're getting. Can do it all year round as well. It will take you a very long time if your only practice for hunting is an actual hunt. Most important is finding animal sign. If you arent seeing sign, keep walking til you find it. If you're finding sign but no animals, they're there, they just know that you are too.

Check out howtohunt.com as well. He has some good apps that have a lot of good knowledge on his videos. He also has a bunch of videos on YouTube about sasquatch if you're into that stuff. I'll admit I've watched quite a few...
 
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Bros4Brodalen

Private
Minuteman
Sep 13, 2020
3
2
Thanks guys for the advice but I also forgot to mention that I don't know how to field dress a deer and I know that's an important part about hunting deer. I seen some youtube video of guys doing it not sure how hard it when you need to do it. I also heard from a guy in Texas who ended up getting campylobacterosis which is a disease he contracted from field dressing a pig. That being sad is field dressing hard to do on your own first time?
 

oldfart80

On Duty
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Minuteman
Dec 17, 2019
673
1,950
California in general is very tough. For the most part you hunt hard to get one maybe two opportunities at a legal buck all year. If you are serious about deer hunting you go out of state. On the plus side there is a lot of public land, you can get two tags, plenty of bears, pigs (on private), upland, waterfowl, and great fishing. I would recommend enjoying the variety of options and blasting the first forked horn buck you see. That was my experience living there.
 
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