Western hunting on public land in Southern California is no easy feat. Doing it with an over-the-counter tag in low-success areas is even tougher. I recently harvested a mule deer buck in the backcountry of Angeles National Forest. The D11 area covers over 700,000 acres and has a success rate of about 5%.
After two seasons of unsuccessful hunts in the area, I was finally able to pull the trigger on opening weekend of 2017. The adventure started at 3:30am Saturday and ended at 7pm Sunday. The old adage about the work starting after pulling the trigger rings true. We climbed in and out of canyons, made plenty of poor decisions, were glassed by other hunters through rifle scopes, talked to a meth head, became dehydrated, got frustrated, skinned and butchered an entire mule deer, and successfully packed out a fork-buck on our shoulders.
Read the full story: Hunting in California and Butchering a Whole Deer