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"For the most part, hunters look at fall bears as an opportunity type of species. We all have a bear tag in our pocket during the Fall, but only fill it by happenstance if one presents itself while out elk or deer hunting. Not many solely focus on bear hunting in the fall, especially in the southwest when compared to its trophy elk and mule deer opportunities..."
Put yourself where the animals are and in their travel corridors. Be observant of your surroundings and sign. Know if they have the best eyesight, smell, or hearing. Know when to push it, when to slow down, when to back out, and when to close the distance. This comes with experience in most cases.
The hunter with the gun shot the bear in the hind end, believing he had no other shot option. To take the time for a side shot may have meant a broken neck for his partner. His quick, moxie-rich action saved his friend as the bear leapt away from his victim and slipped into thick brush only five feet away.
Over the years I have noticed that it seems like new technology is always trying to replace a skill to make success easier to come by. Everyone is looking for a hack or shortcut to success. While I have nothing against this and embrace many of those technologies myself. I am a firm believer that there is no shortcut or technology to make you consistently successful or at your core, a more competent hunter.
California offers a lengthy deer season timeline and a generous two tag per hunter allowance in its blacktail zones, making it an appealing yet highly under-recognized hunt opportunity for out-of-staters. If only I had a nickel for every time someone’s head spun in disbelief when I told them that we begin archery hunting for blacktails on the second Saturday in July!
Here are some tips and ideas to narrow down your unit to more manageable chunks and eliminate those days of simply taking your bow or rifle for a hike.
There are some basic tips in hunting that all apply to being successful and there is also information that is more nuanced to hunting mule deer.