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Old 04-21-2008, 12:49   #1
Schmalzy
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Hunting in Southern California

As a Virginian living in SoCal, Ive been trying for the past year to find some decent areas to hunt(deer, duck and upland game) in the San Diego area. Ive recently received access to hunt on Camp Pendleton and also hunt in the Julian area. Any one here have any luck in these areas or know of any other options in the greater SoCal area? Thanks in advance, it's great to see a hunting and fishing forum on this already great website.
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Old 04-21-2008, 15:26   #2
BravoAlpha
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Laguna Mountain is a good area with plenty of deer, you just have to put in your time. A lot of people say there is no deer up there, but they road hunt or just walk into the woods about a 1/2 mile. If you go up there go to the top of the mountain to a place called Horse Haven, stick around there and you will see deer. Good Luck!
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Old 04-22-2008, 08:32   #3
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People with access to private land generally have more and quicker success, Pendleton might be the best exception. The deer tend to be small. A friend of mine was the PH at Pendleton for a couple years, his primary job was Coyote control. He was kept busy.

I have had some success in the area around Thing Valley road (East side of Laguna). If you are willing to work, out towards the end of Buckman Springs road can be worthwhile.

The Imperial Valley along the Colorado river though rough country has yielded quail, duck and mulies. It is generally tough going all the way around.
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Old 04-22-2008, 14:08   #4
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Mumbleypeg and BravoAlpha, Thanks for your responses. I'd assumed that it was going to be a rough time regardless, but I didnt want to give up on it. Sounds like putting in your time and patience is the name of the game. Ive been to Mount Laguna to camp, I guess next time I'll have to bring my rifle. Pendleton is a pretty sweet deal, hunting pressure is low and succes rate, at least from what the game warden says, is rather high. Thanks again, if you're ever in the area during season and want to go, drop me a PM.
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Old 04-22-2008, 17:49   #5
BravoAlpha
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You can count on it. I'm always looking for a hunting partner. Little busy these days though.
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Old 05-20-2008, 12:09   #6
sterling
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Imperial Valley / Imperial County

With the large wheat crop this year in I.C. dove hunting should be excelent this season.

I. Dove - the growing regions of the county.
II. Quail - North end of the county in the desert. River bottom areas with in the growing region. ***NOTE*** the rivers in the Imperial Valley(New River & Alamo River) are very polluted.
III. Duck - River areas. Alfalfa fields near the lakes, rivers, and Salton Sea. There are also several duck clubs in Imeprial county.
IV. Pheasant - The south end of the Valley. Around asparagus fields(the few asp.field remaining).
V. Raccoon - River areas, Salton Sea and around the lakes.
VI. Deer - desert / Mountain areas. Desert side of the Highline canal.
VII. BAJA CALIFORNIA - Topic for another day.

***NOTE*** Lots of angry / crabby land owners(Landed elite) in Imperial County. Permission to hunt is a must.

Feel free to PM me.
Good Luck
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Old 06-14-2009, 20:36   #7
mark46th
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Schmalzy- There should be some Turkey around Julian. I go out to Blythe and hunt the C.R.I.T. indian reservation for the dove opener on Sep 1st. I also go out there for Gambel's Quail in the Fall. There are mountain quail up behind Alpine with valley quail at the lower elevations and more Gambel's as you move out into the desert. Along the Colorado River, there is a Sub-species of Mule deer called "Burro Deer". They are heavy bodied, with shorter legs than the regular Mulies. This is tough hunting because the deer hang out and move through the heavy brush along the river. The two guys who are successful that I know use custom McMillen rifles, taking 500-600 yard shots. I saw one of them hit a hog on the run at 400 yards, so I know they are not lying about the shots...

There are some big Mule deer out in the desert. There aren't a lot of them but they can get big. They are descendants of some transplanted Mulies from the Rockies. Drawing a tag for those areas can be tough.

In a couple of weeks, my son and I are going pig hunting up by King City, along the Central coast, north of Paso Robles. I don't hunt deer any more, I got tired of putting in for tags and going through all that crap. I do go to Arizona to hunt quail. Az has some great quail areas for Gambel's, Mearns and Scaled quail...
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Old 07-04-2009, 15:53   #8
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Here are the pigs my son and I got the last weekend of June- Mine is the smaller, about 100 pounds, the other about 125 pounds. We both used Remington 700's in .308. Hand loaded Barnes solid copper 168g bullets(Condor Country so no lead allowed). We hunted just south of Fort Ord....There were bigger pigs around, but these eat better...
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Old 07-05-2009, 20:17   #9
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Well hopefully this winter when I get my bow out here I can give it shot out here in SoCal also. I'm looking forward to it I haven't really hunted before so it should be a real treat.
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Old 07-06-2009, 09:49   #10
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If you want to hunt pigs and don't mind a little drive then Fort Hunter Liggett (King City) is ideal.
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Old 07-06-2009, 22:02   #11
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Yeah- We had tags for Hunter-Liggett last year but my son's days off changed and it was too late to get any vacation time. The good news is, our licenses and pig tags from last year were good until June 30, 2009. We used Nessen Schmidt Guide Service out of King City. Nessen Junior does the actual guiding, Nessen Sr had double knee replacement and has slowed down a little. We hunted a 53,000 acre private ranch. It cost $575 for a weekend hunt but they have a +90% success rate with 4X4's, ATV's and dogs. We saw 10 to 15 pigs in the first hour, choosing these meat pigs. One of the guys hunting there got a 250+pound hog with 4 inch tusks... It may seem a little expensive but Nessen and his son provide a quality hunt...Good folks.

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