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finley3's picture
Joined: 07/05/2012
Posts: 2
A different newb with the same ole question for the San Diego area...

Hello all,

As my title states, I'm a new hunter and am looking for a little jump start and maybe someone who wants a tag-a-long. I just recently purchased a hunting license and had my first hunting trip last Sunday, July 1st. A friend and I took a trip out to the Cleveland National Forrest, just west of Julian California, for our first hog trip. After some online research we ended up hiking around Eagles Peak Road in the CNF. I believe we saw some hoof tracks but that was it. After a few hours of hiking around, all I came home with were a few ticks. (I'm still itching just thinking about it) Hopefully it was just a bed or brush that i walked through that had them. My friend didn't have any at all. Anywho, I digress... 

All-in-all, I had a great time exploring. Saw, what I think was, a barn owl and a few turkey. The turkey were on private property though. 

My ultimate goal is to help with controlling the hog problem in San Diego County and bringing home a turkey for Thanksgiving this year. I do not have a shotgun yet for Turkeys but I am currently hunting the hogs with a 308 Savage Axis rifle. 

I'm still researching locations and my friend and I will be doing a lot of recon missions trying to locate some game. I've found some maps on the BLM and CNF websites. I'm planning on ordering the official maps but thought I'd start here. Hopefully one day i can contribute fruitful information to a new hunter and share the wealth.

Any tips on general location, what to look for, time of day, must have tools, type of ammo and even a butcher. Oh and tick repellent! If you'd like company, my friend and I would love to tag-a-long. Even alone, I'd still share the meat if I'm lucky enough to put one down. For me, it's more for the adventure of getting out and exploring.

And any tips on a good beginner shotgun for Turkeys would be helpful too. I want to purchase one before November.


Thanks for reading.

Ca_Vermonster's picture
Grand Slam Challenge Winner!Moderator
Location: San Diego, CA
Joined: 07/27/2007
Posts: 5813
First of all, welcome to the

First of all, welcome to the site.  I have hunted this area for 10-12 years.  Not alot of success, but I am out there every year..... Wink

Gun, your's is fine....... Area, just keep south of the Boulder Creek, Eagle Peak Roads where you were.  Try to get into the San Diego River drainage.  Lots of private land though, so be careful how you get in there........Time, well, with this heat, you have to plan on hunting at first light, or right at dark......Butcher, well, one guy named Jim in Lakeside is the most popular, but I can't remember the name of the shop.  I'll see if I can find it.

Truth be told, there really isn't a huge population of pigs out there.  Only a few hundred, and I am sure you saw on your hike why they are hard to find.  Really, really thick out here.  Also, lots are on private land.  You did mention that you may have seen some hog tracks.  Maybe you did, but remember, the mule deer here are smaller, and they can easily be mistaken for a small hog.  Just try and see how rounded the track is.  A hog will be more rounded, as compared to pouinted like a mulie.  It's more pronounced the bigger they get.

And as for turkeys, try going that same route in early March.  You will see flocks of 50, with huge toms, all over the road.  ALL will be on private land.  They like to rub it in like that. 

Good luck.  Just get boots on the ground, and you will hopefully figure this hunting thing out.

Chris O's picture
Joined: 07/05/2012
Posts: 1
Hey Finley I am also new to

Hey Finley I am also new to this site but if you ever want someone to hike around with you I can do that. I am somewhat experienced in pig hunting but have never hunted that area. I have the maps you can buy that show all the property lines and hunting area. Just tossing it out there.

finley3's picture
Joined: 07/05/2012
Posts: 2

Ca_Vermonster - Thanks for the confirmation and tips! Kind of figured it'll be slim pickins' for the hogs. Like i said, I'm more out to hike and explore. Don't get me wrong, I'd love to get into some action but I'm having fun scouting and, legally, carrying around my guns. We scouted around a few ponds. Next time I'm bringing my pole for a little bass and bluegill action...

Chris O - Our next schedule outting will be the 28th. We're either planning for early morning (before sunrise) or late evening (right before sunset). Our plan is to explore more terrain we haven't gotten to yet, then if all else fails, we'll set up at one of the ponds near sunset and hope they're thirsty. 

Hope we'll have some stories to share soon...