Need info for hunting Mulies in CA


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Spot
July 16, 2009, 03:28 AM
A friend wanted some info concerning a deer rifle/caliber for mulies in California. Said rifle will her son's 1st.
As far as the gun goes:
Rough terrain (major California mountain back country.)
Heavy brush
California Mule deer (bucks can get near to 300 lbs.)

Ranges? don't know--depends on the situation--he likely won't get all that close,especially with dry underfoot conditions.

He doesn't have any experience now. He will take our local hunter safety course that Cali Fish and Game likes folks to have. He will go out with his uncles when he goes.

I want him to keep it as simple as possible and not overspend, but I want him to have a good gun because--well, it's a gun. It should last his lifetime.

Any ideas, guys?

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blackops
July 16, 2009, 03:58 AM
Sorry, but if you want Mule deer your going to have to go outside California.

ECVMatt
July 16, 2009, 04:06 AM
I would say a good rifle to hunt CA mulies with, that would work for a young shooter and grow with them would be some kind of bolt action rifle in 7-08 with a 2x7 scope.

The state is so large and the terrain so varied w/o more details it is pretty tough.

Give us some more info please,

Thanks,

Matt

Bwana John
July 16, 2009, 11:36 AM
Sorry, but if you want Mule deer your going to have to go outside California.
Why is that? If you dont know what you are talking about you should refrain from showing everybody else your ignorance.

I have shot LOTS of mule deer in CA (200 lbs+, but never 300 lbs though)

You will find that mulies in CA get smaller the closer to the coast you are (blacktail-X).


Get the kid a M-700 rem or M70 win in 30-06.
Top it with a 3-9 x 40 leuy VX11.

ArmedBear
July 16, 2009, 11:52 AM
Yeah, "California" is so varied that it's not meaningful.:)

Where in California? What terrain?

The mule deer in the southern part of California are a lot smaller than they are up here.

Given the lead bullet ban in parts of the state, I'd start with calibers that offer a variety of good lead-free options.

Paradiddle
July 16, 2009, 12:19 PM
You might also stop by here - www.calguns.net - there is a lot of knowledgeable people on Cali hunting. I bet you could get a couple guys to take you out on your first hunt as well.

You will also of course need to take a Hunter Safety Course and get a valid hunting license. I think the lottery for deer zones is done for this year though so you may be looking at a private land hunt - which can get pricy if you aren't careful.

I'm no expert.

Jeff

Kentucky Windage
July 16, 2009, 12:21 PM
There are technically FIVE different subspecies of mule deer in California (including the typical Rocky Mountain mule deer in certain Sierra X zones), if memory serves me correctly. I've chased most of them. I had to laugh at the reference to 300 lb. deer. It would be a rare specimen, indeed, that achieved that size in California. Most of the subspecies here run considerably smaller than the archtypical Rocky Mountain mule deer.

Anyway, If I were pressed to pick just one rifle/caliber for this job, it would likely be a bolt-action rifle in the 25-06 to 270 Win family. Flat-shooting rifles are generally preferred in this state for long, cross-canyon shots, brush or no brush. Depending on where he's going to hunt, he'll most likely have to use copper ammo now, so if they're buying a rifle second-hand, I would insist on being able to test the rifle first with some copper ammo because some rifles just don't like the stuff and accuracy can be an issue. If they're buying new, then I suggest making friends pronto with an accomplished reloader who can help work up an accurate copper load for the rifle. I don't know how old the boy is or if he has any sensitivity to recoil, but if he does, then she may want to start him out with something lighter such as a .243. Any of the major rifle brands will do, but if they're looking for best value for the $, suggest looking into Weatherby Vanguards. Feel free to contact me directly if they need more info specific to the Peoples Republik.

Bwana John
July 16, 2009, 12:36 PM
I think the lottery for deer zones is done for this year though so you may be looking at a private land hunt
The draw is probably over, but there are usually a lot of deer tags left for unfilled "on demand" tags. (b and d zones usually have tags left over, and you used to get 2 deer tags/year in CA that way and still might be able to)

Kentucky Windage
July 16, 2009, 12:55 PM
There should also be plenty of A zone tags left.

natman
July 16, 2009, 01:08 PM
Need info for hunting Mulies in CA
A friend wanted some info concerning a deer rifle/caliber for mulies in California. Said rifle will her son's 1st.
Quote:
As far as the gun goes:
Rough terrain (major California mountain back country.)
Heavy brush
California Mule deer (bucks can get near to 300 lbs.)

Ranges? don't know--depends on the situation--he likely won't get all that close,especially with dry underfoot conditions.

He doesn't have any experience now. He will take our local hunter safety course that Cali Fish and Game likes folks to have. He will go out with his uncles when he goes.

I want him to keep it as simple as possible and not overspend, but I want him to have a good gun because--well, it's a gun. It should last his lifetime.
Any ideas, guys?

How old is he? How big? Any shooting experience?

Spot
July 17, 2009, 11:38 PM
How old is he? How big? Any shooting experience?

He doesn't have any experience now. He will take our local hunter safety course that Cali Fish and Game likes folks to have. He will go out with his uncles when he goes.

Thank you for your time & answers, folks - will be passing this onto my friend.

Spot

Oldtrader3
July 18, 2009, 11:06 AM
The White Mountains by Bishop on the Nevada border (up very high). Trinity-Shasta Alps by drawing only and good luck with that one. I would enter a non-resident drawing for Nevada if you want a decent Mule deer.

Bwana John
July 18, 2009, 11:31 AM
The White Mountains by Bishop on the Nevada border (up very high). Trinity-Shasta Alps by drawing only and good luck with that one.
Actually.....:rolleyes:

The Trinity Alps are in Zone B-2, ALL of the B zones are unrestricted* tags, probably the easiest to get.

The White Mnts are in Zone X-9C and are a premium** draw tag, much harder to get.

*Unrestricted Deer Tags are defined as any deer tag for which the tag quota did not fill by the first business day after August 1 of the immediately preceding license year. To apply for an unrestricted deer tag to be issued upon request, applicants must use their First-Deer or Second-Deer Tag Application. Unrestricted deer tags are issued on request until tag quotas fill.
**Premium Deer Tags are defined as any deer hunt for which the tag quota filled on or before July 1 of the
immediately preceding license year. Premium Deer Tags are issued through the DFG’s Big Game Drawing. To apply for a premium deer tag issued through the Big Game Drawing, applicants must use a First-Deer Tag Application

jester_s1
July 18, 2009, 11:52 AM
The .270 Winchester cartridge is perfect for this role. It shoots flat, doesn't kick bad, and has enough power. As for rifles, stick with medium weight guns by the mainstream manufacturers. I like Remington 700's in wood myself but there are others. If he's young and will grow more than 6 more inches, you should consider the Weatherby Vangard youth model. It comes with both youth and adult size stocks. If there is a range that does instruction near you, consider getting some professional teaching for him too.

blackops
July 22, 2009, 03:58 AM
Why is that? If you dont know what you are talking about you should refrain from showing everybody else your ignorance.

I will refrain from telling you what I would really like to and concur your lack of self confidence due to your overloaded mouth. That said and my fault, I wasn't meaning Mule deer aren't here, but the chance of landing a solid mulie are few and far between along with white tail for that matter. California doesn't have the best hunting anymore and I know this from first hand experience hunting and living here. Not saying you can't kill a legal decent buck because you can. For the best zones most have to put in for years and aquire a substancial amount of points to land the best zones. Another option is to fork out a substancial amount of money for specific hunts. If your going to pay that kind of money go to Texas or New Mexico and land a monster.

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