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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
At the request of a member here is the story of my son
Joe's first successful deer hunt. edited for clarity and typos

The Scene

California premium deer zone X1, right on
the Oregon/California border. We entered the drawing as
a party of 3 and all had 3 or more preference points from
previous unsuccessful tries for a premium zone. This
year we were successful. It's a 680 mile trip from my home to
Joe's 40 acres in northern California.

Opening Day

Joe hunted alone around the aptly named Deer Mountain.
Although he hunted all day he saw no deer and few signs.
After opening day Joe was not able to hunt for the next
10 days because of Covid. We were not able to get up
there until 2 weeks later.

Recommendation

Joe talked with some locals who have lived in the area longer
than the 1 year Joe since he moved from north from
Southern California. They highly recommended another
peak, Whaleback, so Joe gave it a try. Joe planned to get as
high up as possible on Whaleback.

The Hunt

Using the onX app, Joe drove up forest roads as high as
possible. Then he parked his truck at about 7600' altitude.
From there he still-hunted along the contour lines
for another mile in the forest, taking about 3 hours to
go the 1 mile. He said it was the slowest he had ever walked.
At about 2:30 he intercepted another forest road that he planned
to follow further in and up. Still walking very slowly he suddenly
realized a doe was right in front of him, about 15 yards. He froze.
The doe froze and after a minute or so walked off into the forest.
Then Joe noticed another deer 40 yards into the trees, head
obscured from view. Ah, another doe Joe thought. Then the
deer turned to look at him and Joe realized it was a buck, and a
good one. He dropped to one knee, raised his Marlin XL7 30-06
and fired. The deer dropped and Joe thought he had his first deer.
It took him a few seconds to see the deer again and he started
to approach. The deer got up and went 50 yards down the hill
into the forest. Joe followed but when he got close the deer got
up again and went another 50 yards downhill. Same thing happened
again and Joe though he better finish the deer before it got to the
really steep area. Joe shot again, not the best shot but it anchored
the deer right where it had stopped against the tree in the picture.

The Real Work

Now Joe had his work cut out. He had seen me field dress a deer
but had never actually done it himself. I had just sent him a butt
tool and gut hook/knife set. He said they worked great although he had
made a gut shot for the coup de grace so it was maybe messier
than it could have been. But he did it. Then there was the matter of
dragging the deer another 75 yards further down the hill to the forest
road he had parked on, but a good mile away. After dragging the deer
1/4 mile he realized he better get the truck around a locked gate to
retrieve the deer. Joe found some tire tracks that he followed
bypassing the locked gate. After much huffing an puffing he got the deer into
his truck. Then it was off to his buddy's place where they instructed him on how
to clean and skin the deer, saving the cape for a head mount. The
antlers and cape now sit in a freezer awaiting transport to a
taxidermist in Oregon.

My hunt

On the Friday before the final weekend of the season my wife and I
arrived at about 4 pm at Joe's place. Joe had just got
off work and was anxious to show me where he got the deer. A quick
change to hunting garb, grabbed my rifle, and off we went. Plans were
to have dinner in town with the ladies that night so I had my mind (and
stomach) focused on that. It took about 1 hr 15 minutes to get to the
gate Joe had circumvented retrieving his deer and from there we walked in.
About 1/2 mile in we took a right fork on to the forest road Joe had shot from,
another 3/4 mile in and up. Now here's where it gets 'interesting'.

We were slowly going up the road (I'm 75 after all and this is 7600'
and uphill) and Joe stopped and pointed into the forest and said
"There's a deer. A buck I think." We were behind a small bushy tree and
I peeked around and saw it indeed was a buck, and a good one...
and he was coming straight for us. And he got bigger and bigger as
he got closer. We looked at each other in disbelief. He was huge.
We got the giggles and each wanted the other to shoot. But neither
of us were mentally ready to shoot. Lesson 1: Be ready! I was thinking
of dinner and all the work that would be necessary. But back to the story.
The buck came right up to the tree we were behind and he had still not
realized we were there. Finally he stopped, not 5 yards from us. Did
I mention he was BIG? I mean Bass Pro Shop display big. He was
possibly 30" wide and tall. I stepped out from behind the tree and the buck
and I stared at each other for several seconds before he realized something
was wrong and turned and bounced away. Joe and I just laughed! I didn't
want my weekend hunt with my son to be over, even if it was the deer of
a lifetime. I won't have many father-son hunts left and there will be other
deer.

We did have a nice Italian dinner in town that evening and we had a good
story to tell. We hunted all day Saturday and Sunday in the same general
area. We saw a few does and Joe saw a forkie but no shooter. But still I'd
call it a successful hunt. Do I regret not shooting 'my' deer? Not really. I
had looked forward to and trained for some time in the forest with my son
and that's what I got. We're already planning for next year's hunt. And
that's the good part really.



Plant Military camouflage Camouflage Tree Military uniform


Plant Sky Natural landscape Larch Terrestrial plant
 

· Registered
Joined
·
13,270 Posts
At the request of a member here is the story of my son
Joe's first successful deer hunt.

The scene: California premium deer zone X1, right on
the Oregon/California border. We entered the drawing as
a party of 3 and all had 3 or more preference points from
previous unsuccessful tries for a premium zone. This
year we were successful.

Opening Day

Joe hunted alone around the aptly named Deer Mountain.
Although he hunted all day he saw no deer and few signs.
I, dad, was not able to get up there until 2 weeks later.
Joe was not able to hunt for the next 10 days because of
Covid.

Recommendation

Joe talked with some locals who have lived in the area longer
than the 1 year Joe had been there since he moved from
Southern California. They highly recommended another
peak, Whaleback, so Joe gave it a try. Using onX GPS tool
on his phone he planned to get as high up as possible on
Whaleback.

The Hunt

Using onX Joe planned to drive up forest roads as high as
possible and then still-hunt further in. He parked his truck several
miles back in at about 7600' altitude. From there he followed
the contour lines for another mile in, taking about 3 hours to
go the 1 mile. He said it was the slowest he had ever walked.
At about 2:30 he intercepted another forest road that he planned
to follow further in and up. Still walking very slowly he suddenly
realized a doe was right in front of him, about 15 yards. He froze.
The doe froze and after a minute or so walked off into the forest.
Then Joe noticed another deer 40 yards into the trees, head
obscured from view. Ah, another doe Joe thought. Then the
deer turned to look at him and Joe realized it was a buck, and a
good one. He dropped to one knee, raised his Marlin XL7 30-06
and fired. The deer dropped and Joe thought he had his first deer.
It took him a few seconds to see the deer again and he started
to approach. The deer got up and went 50 yards down the hill
into the forest. Joe followed but when he got close the deer got
up again and went another 50 yards downhill. Same think happened
again and Joe though he better finish the deer before it got to the
really steep area. Joe shot again, not the best shot but it stopped
the deer right where it had stopped against the tree in the picture.

The real work

Now Joe had his work cut out. He had seen me field dress a deer
but had never actually done it himself. I had just sent him a butt
tool and gut hook/knife. He said they worked great although he had
made a gut shot for the coup de grace so it was maybe messier
than it could have been. But he did it. Then there was the matter of
dragging the deer another 75 yards further down the hill to the forest
road he had parked on, but 2 miles away. After dragging the deer
1/4 mile he realized he better get the truck around a gate and
retrieve the deer. After much huffing an puffing he got the deer into
his truck. Off to his buddy's place where they instructed him on how
to clean and skin the deer, saving the cape for a head mount.

My hunt

On Friday before the final weekend of the season
I arrived at about 4 pm at Joe's place (40 acres) and Joe had just got
off work but was anxious to show me where he got the deer. A quick
change to hunting garb, grabbed my rifle, and off we went. Plans were
to have dinner in town with the ladies that night so I had my mind (and
stomach) focused on that. It took about 1 hr 15 minutes to get to the
gate Joe had circumvented retrieving his deer and we walked in. About
1/2 mile in we took a right fork on to the forest road Joe had shot from,
another 3/4 mile in and up. Now here's where it gets 'interesting'.

We were slowly (I'm 75 after all and this is 7600' and uphill) going
up the road and Joe stopped and pointed into the forest and said
"There's a deer. A buck I think." We were behind a small bushy tree and
I peeked around and saw it indeed was a buck, and a good one...
and he was coming straight for us. And he got bigger and bigger as
he got closer. We looked at each other in disbelief. He was huge.
We got the giggles and each wanted the other to shoot. But neither
of us were mentally ready to shoot. Lesson 1: Be ready! I was thinking
of dinner and all the work necessary. But, back to the story.
The buck came right up to the tree we were behind and he had still not
realized we were there. Finally he stopped, not 5 yards from us. Did
I mention he was BIG? I mean Bass Pro Shop display big. He was
possibly 30" wide and tall. I stepped out from behind the tree and we
stared at each other for maybe 30 seconds before he realized something
was wrong and turned and bounced away. Joe and I just laughed! I didn't
want my weekend hunt with my son to be over, even if it was the deer of
a lifetime. I won't have many father-son hunts left and there will be other
deer.

We did have a nice Italian dinner in town that evening and we had a good
story to tell. We hunted all day Saturday and Sunday in the same general
area. I saw a few does and Joe saw a forkie but no shooter. But still I'd
call it a successful hunt. Do I regret not shooting 'my' deer? Not really. I
had looked forward to and trained for some time in the forest with my boy
and that's what I got. We're already planning for next year's hunt. And
that's the good part really.



View attachment 169321

View attachment 169325
The memories are really what it is all about brother, and you are making good ones.
 
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