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m.parker_jr's picture
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So Cal Hunting zones

I am new to hunting I am having the hardest time figuring out where it is legal to hunt. I ordered Some BLM maps but the lines still arent clear to me. I am sure the info is right in front of me but i just cant see it. If any one can point me in the right direction I would really appreciate it. I plan on hunting In southern California. Confused

Ca_Vermonster's picture
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That's a great place to

That's a great place to start.  Also, look at the natioanl forests.  Sown in far southern CA, we have the Cleveland Nat. forest, which is hundreds of thousands of acres.  A little furthe north, near LA, is the Angeles NF.  Those will be good places to look around.  It also depends on what tag you have too.

 

Welcome to the site and good luck!

gatorfan's picture
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Location: Chula Vista, CA
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Welcome to the site!

Welcome to the site!

What are you wanting to hunt?  Where in Southern California are you wanting to hunt?  "Southern California" is pretty big.   Do you hunt with bow, rifle, shotgun, muzzle loader, or a combination?  How much time do you have to dedicate?  I know that Vermonster and I both live in "So Cal", but we live about 50 miles apart and, although we sometimes hunt the same general areas, we both have our own favorites. 

I'll admit up front, I won't be giving out very many exact spots, but as Vermonster can attest, I may give you a starting spot.  I have been hunting the local hills and mountains for a little more than 12 years and therefore might be able to turn you in a good direction.

Go to the Cleveland National Forest website for maps of the CNF: http://www.fs.fed.us/r5/cleveland/

The BLM maps can definitely help!

hawkeye270's picture
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first of all, welcome to the

first of all, welcome to the site. This is the place for people like you who are new to the game and need to get advice on various things. Like gatorfan said, most people will not give out exact spots for millions to see on the internet but you can gather some really good information. The BLM maps are the basic starting point and where my scouting for public starts. Google earth can prove very useful once you start narrowing down areas. You should also call the game and fish department for information. They can normally hand out some very good information. Ask to talk to biologists. They can really give you some good starting points. Ask to get contact information for game wardens. They are out there in the field and normally have some very valuable tips too. Good luck.

m.parker_jr's picture
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 Well I would like to hunt

 Well I would like to hunt Turkey, Deer, Rabbits, Quail, and dove. Currently I only have a 12 gauge at the moment and I dont plan on buying any tags untill I feel confident that I would have a succesfull hunt. I live in Ocean Beach and if the surf is bad I go hiking around Julian and Anza Borrego, and a little bit around Palomar Mountain. I have plenty of time to go scouting, I was resently scouting Mt Laguna but I am not sure where the legal hunting areas are. Same with around Julian and Palomar Mountain. I just dont want to accidently go into the wrong area and get my liscense taken away. So on the BLM Maps is every spot that is Highlighted as National Forest, a legal hunting area,  or no? And what about Patented Lands Where they let the cattle free range they are scattered throughout the national forest are they off limits? I really do appreciate the feed back thanks!Thumbs up

Ca_Vermonster's picture
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Okay, you are talking about

Okay, you are talking about Gatorfan and my areas.... About them:

Laguna is archery only.  There is national forest land around it, but the main area is all bow.  There are tons of people that hunt it, myself included, but it's a good area.  Deer and turkeys are there.

Palomar is mostly National Forest also.  There are alot of hunters there too, but that is espected here in So CA.  Turkey and deer here, and a pig recently.

A third option is just before Julian, down Boulder Creek and Eagle Peak roads.  Tons of Deer and turkeys, but tons of hunters too.  I hunted there opening day and saw 28 trucks on one road.  You need to get a map of the Cleveland N.F., which will include all those areas.  You will also need to get an adventure pass, from Big-5 or a place like that.  It's required when parking on NF land, and runs $35 for a one year pass (12 calendar months, not calendar year).  If you like to hike, start looking around those areas and get off road some, away from other people.

Finally, you said you don't want to buy a tag until you are pretty sure that you will get something.  Well, the success rate is only 10% or so for this zone in rifle, less for archery.  I have not shot a deer in 8 years, but I know guys who have gotten them each year.  So, It depends how comitted you are, but I would buy the tag anyway, in case you do see something.

Hope this helps.

m.parker_jr's picture
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So I have ordered my map and

So I have ordered my map and they also have an Atlas, Should I get that too. Already have the adventure pass. Well when I get my map Its time to hit the trails. Thanks for the help.

gatorfan's picture
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Too bad...

Too bad I don't have as much free time as I use to!  I'd hook you up.  It sounds like you are looking for a "mentor" for the area.  I was in your shoes when I first started hunting out here and was fortunate enough to find someone that showed me around.

The maps are going to help you but if you are not that familiar with the different areas, they can be a little overwhelming.  You never know though, you may just end up finding a spot on a map that nobody else is hunting.  The areas that Vermonster mentioned are extremely popular and can be very crowded this time of year with all sorts of yahoos running around with high-powered rifles.  Getting a bow and learning how to use it effectively will open a ton of doors for you (archery season for our zone opens the first Saturday in September and usually runs for 44 days and then reopens up for a second half a little after the closing of rifle season and runs until December 31).  They sold out of D-16 tags this year (3000) for only the second time that I can remember since I started hunting here in 1998.

If you plan on scouting the areas before November 21st (closing of rifle season), I recommend that you stick to trails and wear some blaze orange.

Oh, and by the way, "Laguna" is not an archery-only area.  The Laguna Mountain Recreation Area (LMRA) is an archery-only area on Mount Laguna.  There are areas that firearms are permitted. Whistling

Ca_Vermonster's picture
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Which is why I said it this

Which is why I said it this way "There is national forest land around it, but the main area is all bow." eye roll

lol

You asked about the atlas.  I am not sure what you are referring to with that, but i have a spiral bound atlass, I guess, that is of the Celveland National Forest.  It is about 30 pages long, and is all color coded topo-maps.  It's not the fold out map that is available, but if that's what you are referring to, yes, I would get one of those.  They are much nicer.

And I found out they did sell out of the local rifle tags already, so the next thing is to either try for a pig (good luck) or to use some "scouting time" during turkey season in the spring.  You will actually see tons of deer at that time too, so that will give you a good start.

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Way to go M.Parker_Jr. Now

Way to go M.Parker_Jr. Now you got these guys arguing... we are never going to hear the end of it. Just kidding. Sounds like they are giving you some really good places to start. These two guys are definitely the experts on that neck of the woods.

Hey I have a question for all of you. What is this adventure pass thing that you guys are talking about? So you have to own a pass in order to PARK on National Forsest lands? Can you use national forest lands without a pass as long as you aren't parked in it. I guess it would be kind of hard to do that but I am trying to figure out what this thing is all about. Who administers the pass? Is it required by the state? That would kind of seem wierd since it is federal lands that is is being required on. Out here in colorado we don't have to get any kind of pass to park or use national forest lands. Thanks in advance for clearing this up.

m.parker_jr's picture
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Adventure Pass

Confused Not sure how to sum it up but In one of my hiking guide Books it list which hikes you need it for So I bought one. Pretty much if you are parking on the side of the road to start hiking into the NF you need one. I think!   http://www.fs.fed.us/r5/sanbernardino/ap/index.php

 

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