Go Back  HuntingNet.com Forums > Regional Forums > West
Private and public land options (hog) california >

Private and public land options (hog) california

West MT, CO, WY, NM, NV, UT, CA, ID, WA, OR, AZ, HI, AK

Private and public land options (hog) california

Reply

Old 10-05-2018, 10:46 AM
  #1  
Spike
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Aug 2016
Location: So Cal
Posts: 55
Default Private and public land options (hog) california

Hi,

So first of all I've been hunting for only 3 years whitetail deer and turkey in VT. I recently moved to California and so far it is all been pretty disappointing, but this is what I have. Please don't tell me to move out, I know being a hunter in California is almost a criminal offense, especially near Los Angeles, but this is where I live now. I can't, my wife got her dream job here and I love her, she is happy and that makes me happy.

A little background. I love public land hunting. I love being on my own, camping, hiking for hours and hunting wild animals. It was only my last year in Vermont I almost tagged a buck. I scouted a 12 pointer in a remote area in the green mountains and made a plan to tag him, he did not come near my morning stand, but plan B was to try tracking him on fresh snow. I tracked that buck all day long across the green mountain national forest, miles and miles of hiking in 15 degree weather. Just when I got a sight of him, it was indeed the 12 pointer I scouted, right when I pull up my rifle he smelled me and spooked and that was it, it was too late to keep chasing him. That is the kind of hunt I like. To track a 12 pointer big woods deer in public land in Vermont is a great achievement for me. Out of the 10 years living on Vermont I never saw anything bigger than a spike while in the woods, a 12 pointer is a beast. I used to go out hunting several times a year, during archery I was out about 15 times total, without counting the dozens of scouting trips in summer. I didn't see that deer ever again for the rest of the season.

I didn't get any deer tags for California this year. I got here too late, and I couldn't get any. Also, in VT a deer tag comes with your license, you don't have to go through a lottery. I learned about hogs and got excited about it, until I found out they've been driven off public lands and are becoming a booming business. I learned about private clubs (wilderness unlimited) and it was compelling, but with the mixed reviews and $3,000 for the first year for membership I decided it was a little too much. And then there are the guided hunts, and fort hunter Ligget.

I made the decision I will stick to public land for deer hunting and only bowhunting, as the crowds and hunting pressure during bowhunting season are minimal, and it is also very safe. I won't touch deer rifle season in California. As for hogs, I am considering guided hunts. It is not what I really want, but for the money it really isn't all that expensive. I could also use it as a learning opportunity. Do you have any recommendations of good outfitters? I am looking to pay around $600. I am interested in learning how to hunt the animal, and I really don't want to go somewhere fenced, or where you're hunting almost farmed and released pigs... Trying to navigate around this strange state where it seems like it is all about money and business.

Also, what are your thoughts on Fort Hunter Ligger for pigs and archery deer? the place looks actually really nice.

Thanks

Last edited by entropy4money; 10-05-2018 at 10:49 AM.
entropy4money is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 10-05-2018, 09:31 PM
  #2  
Nontypical Buck
 
MudderChuck's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2015
Location: Germany/Calif.
Posts: 1,987
Default

My info is likely dated been awhile since I was Hog hunting in Cal. I usually headed up around Cachuma lake and Santa Ynez valley. Much of the area is private, some is what I call bully private, because it isn't private but there are people who try to bully you into believing it is. Knowing where you are at and what is actually open isn't easy. And then even if you are right, the Sheriff may side with the lease holder and not a single citizen. Fish and game is fairly neutral. Confrontation isn't something that happened every trip, but often enough, it always left a bad taste in my mouth.

The private paid hunting areas tend to drive the game away, they feed to draw them in. Hogs can cover a lot of territory and those that live more than 18 months-two years have managed to avoid getting shot, so they are by default sneaky and tend to avoid the feeders. What I'm saying is the smart ones don't hang around the heavily hunted areas.

Ranger stations are a good place to call and ask questions. But they are now on days mostly Cops with a Cops attitude, they are used to dealing with nut cases, druggies and arseholes. Many have an attitude.

The thing about So.Cal is water is what controls game movements. NGS topo maps often show anything that has ever been water, it may be dry for years and still show blue on the map. Finding a good spot can be a challenge and require a lot of scouting. If you can find water, often a tiny seep that isn't on private property, you've found a winner.

Getting around in the wild country can be difficult, the Chaparral gets almost impassible. The Hogs kind of bore tunnels through it, rarely big enough to move through, unless you are on hands and knees.

Dry camps are mostly a must, fires are forbidden except in camping/picnic areas. Even shooting is often forbidden because of fire danger.

Anyplace that has water has Rattlers. My hunting pants were snake resistant and leather from just above the knees down.

Do your due diligence, have a map (and compass), do some scouting and enjoy the outdoors. One stupid thing I did was head out with nobody knowing where I was or likely to be, not smart.

Never tried Ligget, I did lottery a Deer tag on Camp Pendleton, a lot of Deer there.

Last edited by MudderChuck; 10-05-2018 at 09:35 PM.
MudderChuck is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 10-08-2018, 05:05 PM
  #3  
Spike
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Aug 2016
Location: So Cal
Posts: 55
Default

Yeah I found out this club called My Country Club which is good for deer and turkey. Apparently dreamland for turkey hunting. $3000 a year, pretty much guaranteed to get a turkey if you know how to call them and put in some time, and huge chances at getting a deer. However I thought about it and realize I rather spend $3000 on gear, and go public. Some good private ranches you can get in for about $200~$250 fee and they'll tell you where the turkeys are, all you gotta do is do the right thing, not that I am doing that, but it is a lot less than $3000.

I've invested on bowhunting over the past years, and I camp and backpack a lot for fun, since there is actually so much public land here and I don't mind getting far, I think the public hunting won't be as bad for me. Specially bowhunting should be a lot less pressure, harder to connect, but if I get to see wildlife and at least get a chance, I am happy. I've been hiking a lot since I moved here and have seem wildlife on almost every single trip, including bucks. There are deer in California for sure. In Vermont, I never saw a deer while hiking, never. I'll be going to military bases to learn hog hunting, and once comfortable and good at it I might pay access fees at good hunting locations in the future.

Anyway.... I decided I am going to go public, we will see how that goes lol... if it is way too frustrating I'll evaluate other options. Hunting is already an expensive sport, and adding the private hunting fees to it, I think it is too much. I can afford it but I can't really justify it to myself.

Last edited by entropy4money; 10-08-2018 at 05:07 PM.
entropy4money is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 10-08-2018, 10:12 PM
  #4  
Nontypical Buck
 
MudderChuck's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2015
Location: Germany/Calif.
Posts: 1,987
Default

Ventucopa used to be one of my go to places, north east side up against the hills. There is a ring road where the agriculture meets the wild country, mostly dirt farm road. Dove, Quail, Chukar, Jack Rabbit, Coyote and occasionally Hogs and Deer.
Jack Rabbit used to be one of my favorites and while doing that I could scout tracks.
Jacks are actually good eating, especially when they live in/near the Alfalfa fields.

https://cdfgnews.wordpress.com/2013/...arbara-county/

Stop in some of the gun shops. Golita, Maricopa shop trade some tales, get friendly.
MudderChuck is offline  
Reply With Quote

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are Off


Contact Us Archive Advertising Cookie Policy Privacy Statement Terms of Service