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Pros and Cons

October 30, 2023 by

Hao peacefully napped at 9:00 a.m. just before it got hot enough to want to find better shade.  He totally understood the ebb and flow of California deer hunting.  He had confidence in me that I would find the bucks in the binoculars.  He had faith in himself that when the opportunity came he would send a bullet through the heart of a mature blacktail buck and complete the cycle of predator and prey going on in  California deer hunting for millenia.  The venison at dinner time makes California deer hunting worthwhile.

The Cons:

He wrapped his mind around the biggest challenge of A zone hunting: there just aren't the density of animals you would like to see after a few hours of glassing at first light.  The bucks move around on their terms.  That means they like to feed at night and in the first hour of daylight when the temperature is comfortable. A  hunter's best plan is to pretend the deer would like to be comfortable just like us.  They like to eat some food, drink some water, and rest in the shade when it gets hot.  There are exceptions to this of course.  Hao finished one hunt and drove to the restaurant for breakfast after hunting all morning.  At that moment by the road no less, he jumped three fat does moving through the shade to another spot.  Deer will do whatever they want.  Its just hunters see more deer when glass the cool shady area of dawn and dusk

The Pros:

Hao is part of a cycle that moved in the San Rafael mountains for thousands of years.  This is the opposite of a hunt that sits him on a corn feeder and waits for deer to come in and feed on an automatic timer.  Now is a good time to mention one of these hunts sounds fun.  When deer disappear and leave only scat I would like to have more predictability on a hunt.  Its just that in California baiting is not allowed, so hunters make of the best of the opportunities they have.  There is something nourishing in participating in the natural rhythms of the mountains.  Sunrise, heat that drives a hunter into the shade and sun set are all conditions that make Hao slow down and pay attention to his surroundings.  He can slow down enough to take a nap at midday.  That is quiet a luxury in this era of 24/ 7 lights and action to move and make things huntable.  

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