Jim Niemiec's Blog

WON News Column
by Jim Niemic

Passionate about the sporting life, Jim Niemiec has spent his life enjoying the outdoors, hunting and fishing around the world and as a writer he’s just as passionate about  informing the public of opportunities. 

Niemiec has searched out the best destinations and reports conditions accurately, but he has also  dedicated countless hours to conservation groups (national and international) in hopes of “preserving our rights and opportunities to hunt for future generations.”
White geese arriving on time
While the snow and Ross’ (white geese) species hunting season does not open until Nov. 7 for Imperial Valley, that doesn’t mean that there aren’t any of these geese being hunted. This past week saw the comp count from the San Jacinto Wildlife Area report that there were 7 snow geese and a single Ross’ goose shot last Wednesday.

Western Outdoor News checked in with Tom Anderson, Wildlife Biologist for the Sonny Bono National Wildlife Refuge down at the Salton Sea, who filed the following report.

HAPPY SNOW GOOSE HUNTER — Good snow goose hunting can produce lots of happy waterfowlers, as witnessed with Hank Osterkamp of San Clemente. This photo was taken when the white goose limit was still at 6 birds, now it’s up to 20 birds a day. The hunt took place on the south end of the Salton Sea. WON PHOTO BY JIM NIEMIEC

“We are starting to see an earlier-than-traditional arrival of white geese at this wildlife refuge. Our first survey indicated over 1,500 white geese here with more arriving daily. The staff was out this past week and today there are over 5,000 white geese on the refuge, with other geese kind of scattered around the southern end of the Salton Sea,” said Anderson.

WON then asked Anderson about the migration pattern.

“This year’s migration of white geese into Imperial Valley (in big numbers) is a tad earlier than normal, but they are coming into the valley in pulses now. Biologically, I don’t know if this untimely arrival is due to good food conditions to the north or the lack of significant freezing temps. All our ponds are flooded and ready for the arrival of both species of white geese but we were a tad late on planting, which probably won’t affect the number of birds this refuge will handle through the winter. Based on information and the big numbers of white geese that used this refuge last year, we are looking at perhaps 35,000 or more white geese showing up again,” stated Anderson.

Anderson went on to add the following, “When we as wildlife biologists talk about pulses, we refer to small flocks of perhaps 50 geese in a group arriving at the same time. There are not huge waves of thousands of birds all arriving at the same time, but there could be three or more small flocks winging into the refuge about the same time. I would think that by the time the full moon phase comes around Nov. 12, most of the white geese will have arrived at the Sonny Bono National Wildlife Refuge. (Interesting to note: It was way back in the early ‘70s that this hunter started hunting snow geese around Niland. The limit was three white geese back then and my hunting buddies all enjoyed good success at Wister, the Union Tract and River Ranch. Also often hunted was the Elmore Ranch and that little corner between the national wildlife refuges guided by Danny Moss. When the limit on white geese went to six birds, hunting success seemed to slow and now that the daily limit of snow and Ross’ geese is up to 20 birds a day, I have only heard of one super shoot down in the Imperial Valley this past season. The national wildlife refuge is doing its job in keeping geese happy, watered and well fed and thus, less hunting opportunities are occurring.)

Moving up a little to the north, WON checked in with Scott Sewell, Wildlife Habitat Supervisor II for the Wister Wildlife Area, where most of the goose hunting takes place by unattached hunters. Wister also manages hunting on the Union Tract, which is part of the national refuge on adjoining properties.

“We are seeing more white geese arriving daily. We estimate that there are perhaps some 500 mixed white geese on the refuge with likely more to arrive on next month’s full moon phase. The Y14 field has been planted and irrigated and we expect there to be enough feed in that non-shooting site to hold geese on the refuge for a period of time. Right now, there are fields ready to hunt snow geese come opening day for Imperial Valley on Nov. 7,” said Sewell.

Surprisingly, hunters at the San Jacinto Wildlife Refuge in south eastern Riverside County have been shooting a few white geese along with pretty good comp counts of puddle ducks and divers.

The south end of the Salton Sea is not the only wildlife area that offers up snow goose hunting. Moving to the east, the Cibola National Wildlife Area has been attracting more and more white geese every winter. This past season, there were perhaps a couple of thousand white geese that used the national refuge, but offered up very little hunting opportunities for those hunting the Farm Unit, Island Unit or Hart Marsh Mine part of the refuge.

The latest update on new geese showing up in Cibola Valley comes by way of Rick Francis, Wildlife Habitat Supervisor I based out of Blythe.

“Finally, this past week about 150 snow geese show up in Cibola Valley along with a handful of honkers. That cold front that moved down from Canada this past week will surely change the migration of geese into this valley. As for Canada geese, it might be a while before they start hitting Farm Unit 2 that has just been planted and it is expected to be irrigated soon,” said Francis.

This hunting editor has spent time in the pit blinds of the Cibola Sportsman’s Club’s South Ranch over the years. Every morning you could see flocks of hundreds of snow geese moving high over the valley floor as they headed for food on the national refuge. Most of those flights of white geese were flying much higher than Canada geese, offering up little in the way of even a pass shot these geese. When strong winds come in from the southwest or a winter storm makes it down into Cibola Valley — mixed with the arrival of new geese in the valley — is when small flocks can often be decoyed into hunting fields on the South Ranch.

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We hope you enjoyed this article on our no-charge website Of course, this site contains only a small fraction of the stories that Western Outdoor Publications produces each week in its two northern and southern editions and its special supplements. You can subscribe to the print issue that is mailed weekly and includes the easy flip-page full-color digital issues, or you can purchase a digital only subscription. Click here to see the choice.

Modoc mule deer herd numbers of concern
It was nearly 40 years ago when this WON hunting editor lived, worked, hunted and fished in Modoc County. It offered up (and still is a great place in the state to enjoy the outdoors) some of the best hunting across the state especially for huge mule deer, trophy-class antelope, sage grouse and huge flights of greater, lesser and cackling Canada geese.

The northeastern corner of the state lies in deer zone X3b, which includes the Warner Mountain Range starting at the Oregon state line, moving south to the rural town of Madeline, and its western boundary would be all east of Alturas.

MODOC MULE DEER This mother Modoc mule deer and her twin fawns were part of a herd of 16 mule deer in this photo taken last week just west of Alturas. In that group of deer, there was only one “tweaky” forked horn buck — no bigger bucks were anywhere close. WON PHOTO BY JIM NIEMIEC

Going back into the Modoc mule record books, with information obtained by way of the Modoc Record, it was way back in 1939 when the Modoc mule deer kill, based on validated tags, was 937, as reported by National Forest Supervisor Russell Beeson. In the year 1957, during the first six days of the mule deer season the count was upwards of 1,500 bucks, slightly under the last year’s first-week harvest, but considerably higher than years previous to 1956. Moving ahead to 1969 the deer kill was 2,389 bucks as of the 13th day of the season, and (this) was the second highest only to Lassen county in the state for that season.

Based on information supplied by the Department of Fish and Wildlife in the Big Game Digest published for 2019, the total number of quota tags issued for zone X3b for the 2018 season was only 794 permits with an estimated hunter success of only 31 percent. According to published figures, the total mule deer harvest for this zone for the 2018 season was only 202 bucks reported killed. Of this number, 33 percent were just forked horned bucks and the harvest of 5x5 bucks was only a mere 3.5 percent.

While driving the Alturas area last week, this hunting editor only saw one small herd of mules with two small bucks fighting over 10 does in the Modoc National Wildlife Refuge. They were in their dark gray winter coats and looked very healthy. I drove up into the headwaters of the Pitt River east of Likely and saw no deer sign at all, but plenty of cut-down trees and limbs from what must have been, or is, a huge family of beavers. Another location off County Hwy. 71 that always had deer was void of any wildlife.

WON checked in with master deer guide Brent Dolby, owner of Modoc Waterfowl Outfitters (530-640-0411).

“We are just ending our mule deer season (Oct. 20) and it has been tough hunting for trophy class Modoc mule deer in the Warner Mountains. In years past we would spot anywhere from a dozen up to 25 nice bucks a day as we traveled though this mountain range. Today, if we spot 3 or 4 huntable bucks, that’s a lot. I think that hunting pressure over the decades has had some affect on the deer herd, but based on the huge mountain lion and coyote populations we have in this northeastern corner of the state I would have to believe that these predators are responsible for wiping out our mule deer population,” said Dolby.

One important source that WON got in touch with in respect to the Modoc Mule deer herd was Richard Shinn, CDFW’s unit biologist for Modoc County.

Shinn spends most of his time in the field, therefore Peter Tira, Information Officer for the DFW, was able to reach him and passed on the following information.

“Jim, your observations are 100-percent accurate. Our staff biologists have been working that area since 2002, and the deer numbers in X3b have always been fairly consistent until recently. Shinn first started seeing changes during the drought years. He conducts fawn surveys every year and during the drought years he saw fawn ratio rates drop from 45 to down to 30 fawns”, according to the report filed by Shinn.

Shinn then went on to add, “I expect to see a rebound given the return of wet winters the past couple of years and end of the drought. I saw some slight improvements in fawn survival, with the fawn ration back up to the low 40’s to 100 does.”

The report went on to state, “The deer survey in zone X2, which borders zone X3b up in the Devil’s Garden area, was a one-day survey in March 2019 and Shinn counted 740 deer. The anecdotal reports from deer hunters this season has backed this fact up. Deer hunting has been fantastic this past season in zone X2, with the harvest success way up and the number of bucks taken, 4 points or better, was way up.”

Shinn then stated in his report, “We don’t know exactly what’s going on in X3b and why the deer numbers remain down. We hope to do more capturing and collaring of deer in this area to find out what’s biologically going on.”

In addition to the above information on zone X3b, Tira made the following mention, “There are some theories: The black bear population appears to be way up in X3b. Bears are known predators of fawns, especially.

There was also a huge fire back in 2001called the Blue Fire, that resulted in a wide-scale landscape that has matured almost 20 years after that fire. It may just be less attractive to deer than it was prior to that fire.”

In wrapping up the report from Tira, he quoted Shinn as saying, “Incidentally, there was another huge fire in Modoc County’s deer zone X2 this past summer that burned 14,200 acres. It is now contained, the Tucker Fire, which could impact the big deer herds and future success in zone X2.”

Of note: Shinn further mentioned this about the bear population, “With regard to bears, they are also known to steel mountain lion deer kills and caches. So, more bears robbing mountain lions of their deer kills also means those mountain lions have to go out and kill more deer than they ordinarily would.”

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We hope you enjoyed this article on our no-charge website Of course, this site contains only a small fraction of the stories that Western Outdoor Publications produces each week in its two northern and southern editions and its special supplements. You can subscribe to the print issue that is mailed weekly and includes the easy flip-page full-color digital issues, or you can purchase a digital only subscription. Click here to see the choice.

Post-duck opener hunting tips
Opening weekend of the waterfowl season produced mixed results on for those hunting a refuge, at a duck club or public hunting area. Most of the birds harvested were likely locally hatch mallard, teal and gadwall with few spoonbills and pintail added to game straps. As traditionally is the case, Sunday hunting (the day after opener) saw less ducks harvested, although some winds did help in the weekend harvest.

The hatch of local puddle ducks was very strong this past summer due to ample winter and late-season rains which created ideal nesting conditions across the state. Local birds pretty much stick around until numbers are reduced or these birds have found safe refuge in non-shooting waters like: Lake Matthews, the Santa Ana River, stock ponds, some flood drainage lakes that had enough standing water and of course, golf courses.

MIXED PUDDLE DUCK HARVEST — The early part of duck season can produce some pretty good gunning, especially on windy or rainy days when ducks fly within shootable range. Mike Palmer of Newport Beach shot a limit of dabbling ducks while hunting Prado Basin during a past season’s hunt.

Refuge managers did report that prior to opening weekend there were early arrivals of pintail, cinnamon teal and gadwall, but these birds don’t stick around much after lift-off and seem to know that it is time to continue their migration south down into Mexico.

Western Outdoor News caught up with waterfowl guide Gregg Johnson, who guides small groups (1-3 shooters) on public land, stock ponds and small lakes where hunting access has been established, working with other guides who have waterfowl hunting spots, the Lower Owens Valley (Owens River), where he jump shoots ducks off the river and some of the newly created ox-bow lakes.

This veteran guide passed on to WON some helpful hints that might contribute to more ducks on the game strap. After opening day, Johnson said that many of the ducks were pressured off established hunting ponds and likely would only be coming back after shoot time to feed and rest. Before sunrise many of these ducks are likely to lift off in the dark before shoot time and not be around for lift off. If possible, Johnson says to try not to push ducks off where they spent the night and move in at or just after legal shooting time. This will allow time for the sky to get lighter, making for better identification of species, which this season has some added harvest regulations.

No motorized/electronically operated decoys (spinning wings or blades) are allowed to be set up in a spread until Dec. 1. It was suggested that hand operated motion decoys could add life to a decoy especially on a blue bird hunt day. Speaking about blue bird hunting conditions, during the first few weeks of the season duck hunters will see better weather, fewer ducks and only under Santa Ana wind conditions will there be much of a harvest.

Local birds, along those few new flocks that might arrive through the end of the month, are going to be pretty decoy shy and become very aware of a flashing shotgun barrel or faces not covered in a mask or camo make-up. While early season birds might look at decoys, it becomes a lot harder to draw them to within shotgun range, which could necessitate moving up to heavier steel loads with higher muzzle velocities.

Refuge comp counts are also likely to see a significant drop after opening day, which opens up a whole lot of problems for those competing with other waterfowl hunters out in blinds. IF, ducks are not decoying or hunting pressure is heavy, there is a lot of high shooting at passing ducks that makes for a tougher hunt. Johnson suggestion to hunters with a high number draw, that they should check with the local refuge staff to find out what optional shooting sites could be productive after all the good sites are taken. It’s unfortunate that refuge hunters cannot get out onto ponds to see where birds are resting or at least find out if there are feathers on the water or not, which is a good indictor that ducks are using a particular hunting site.

Another suggestion made by Johnson was to attend a local waterfowl fundraiser, CWA or DU and any shotgun shooting event being held in the Southland. If duck hunting has been non-productive in spot a hunter normally hunts, talking with other shooting sports enthusiasts might offer up new duck or goose hunting spots to check out.

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We hope you enjoyed this article on our no-charge website Of course, this site contains only a small fraction of the stories that Western Outdoor Publications produces each week in its two northern and southern editions and its special supplements. You can subscribe to the print issue that is mailed weekly and includes the easy flip-page full-color digital issues, or you can purchase a digital only subscription. Click here to see the choice.

Could be a super waterfowl opener
More ducks arrived this past week at wildlife refuges and duck clubs in the central and southern parts of the state. This was not just an early arrival of lots of puddle duck species, but it was the number of birds that arrived that got the attention of refuge managers, duck club members and those out scouting prior to this coming weekend’s 2019/20 waterfowl season. 

SOUTH RANCH CANADA GOOSE — Darr Colburn of Phoenix killed this huge honker while on a December hunt with master guide Budda Fields. The hunt took place under cloudy conditions at the Cibola Sportsman’s Club South Ranch. WON PHOTO BY JIM NIEMIEC

Perhaps the migration might have been kicked off by that first winter blast that dumped up to four feet of snow in parts of Montana, along with below freezing temps in many parts of the Pacific flyway. Another storm system is predicted to arrive this week, but likely won’t be strong enough to push ducks and geese around much.

It was too bad those strong Santa Ana winds didn’t hold off a week, thus not providing windy duck hunting conditions. The forecast calls for a mild Santa Ana come Friday, but likely the winds will be light and hunters will likely face blue bird conditions over the weekend.

The following update was sent into Western Outdoor News by Nick Stanley, Project Manager for the Kern National Wildlife area.

“Kern refuge was holding over 5,000 mixed puddle ducks and some divers as the refuge is now ready to host hunters. For the opener it will be pretty similar to what was hunted last year with hunt unit 18-19, which has 4 blinds and 1 free roam unit. Unit 2 will have 4 blinds ready for opening day, but there might be an increase in this number IF we flood more acres than expected by Oct. 19. The hunting units and blind sites should allow this refuge to fill its quota of 42, along with the 7 reservations issued,” stated Stanly.

Stanly went on to add, “We have added some additional assigned ponds this year and these areas were very successful last season after we evaluated the hunt results. This should occur when we get enough habitat flooded. Some areas will make for better hunting at assigned ponds, as compared to space open space blinds. Our program goal is to continue to flood new areas and open more hunting areas as flooding targets are achieved. Hunters should check the Kern National Wildlife Areas web site or call our hotline at (661) 725-6504 for additional information.”

Prado Basin was loaded with thousands of dabbling ducks and some geese, according to reports coming into WON. Most all the Orange County Water Districts perk ponds have been holding ducks all year long, which produced a pretty good local hatch of mallards, along with some teal, gadwall and a few wood ducks. The three duck clubs located behind the dam receive over flow water from the Santa Ana River, Chino and Mill creeks. This hunting editor scouted Prado basin this past weekend and can attest to newly arrived ducks feeding in newly flooded ponds and then spending the night. It could be a very decent opening weekend for club members.

Western Outdoor News was able to make cell phone contact with Thom Trakes, Wildlife Habitat Supervisor for the San Jacinto Wildlife Area.

“The refuge is all set to for opening day on Saturday. San Jacinto Refuge is looking really good with a mix of mallards, gadwall and cinnamon teal using our vast wetlands. We will have 65 hunting sites available, plus 14 hunting sites at Mystic Lake. Hunters who decide to hunt Mystic Lake will have to allow extra time to reach shore line hunting spots. At draw time, those hunters opting to hunt Mystic will get a map, directions and GPS numbers to help assist them in finding blind locations. Those who draw a spot at Mystic should allow plenty of extra time to make the long haul out to hunt sites,” said Trakes.

Lake Henshaw, part of My Country Club, will not open its waterfowl hunting season until late November, likely the week prior to Thanksgiving. For information, call (760) 782-3501.

This WON hunting editor checked out parts of the high desert flyway this past week, which didn’t show much in the way of new ducks or geese in the areas. There were only coot on Little Lake but the newly constructed ponds in Owens Dry Lake were holding some ducks.

No ducks were spotted on the upper Owens River or along the shoreline of Crowley Lake, but winds were howling with gusts in excess of 35 mph, which likely forced waterfowl to hunker down on wind-protected ponds.

Likely due to the Monday holiday, no updated reports came into WON from Wister refuge but there was a report from the newly flooded Palo Verde Echo Reserve, located south of Blythe on the California side of the lower Colorado River.

Rick Francis, Wildlife Habitat Supervisor 1, for the Department of Fish and Wildlife office located on Lovekin Road in Blythe offered the following information.

“Part of the Palo Verde Echo Reserve was flooded last week and is now ready for the opening of waterfowl season. No (advance) reservations are necessary, no pass is needed, as this is a first come first severed hunting area. There are already ducks migrating down the river so it could be a decent opener there,” according to Francis. Ed note: This new hunting reserve has yet to be checked out by WON and there has not yet been a new website set up for this refuge, nor a current contact phone number. The refuge consists of land adjacent to the Colorado River.

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We hope you enjoyed this article on our no-charge website Of course, this site contains only a small fraction of the stories that Western Outdoor Publications produces each week in its two northern and southern editions and its special supplements. You can subscribe to the print issue that is mailed weekly and includes the easy flip-page full-color digital issues, or you can purchase a digital only subscription. Click here to see the choice.

A Central Coast hunt that came all together
The Central Coast offers up some excellent hunting opportunities for big game and upland game birds with a vast number of huge working cattle ranches home to very huntable populations of hogs, coastal deer, Tule elk, Rio Grande turkey, varmints, quail, dove and exotics. A call from master guide Clayton Grant, owner of Bitterwater Outfitters, 805-610-4521, based out of Bitterwater Valley, to come up and hunt for the ultimate combo was an invitation too hard to pass on. Western Outdoor News has been hunting with Bitterwater Outfitters for a decade and every hunt has been a true outdoor experience.

Bitterwater Outfitters has over 300,000 acres of prime ranch land under hunting lease in San Luis Obispo, Kern, Fresno and Monterey counties. Each ranch offers multiple species of wild game and good game management enhances hunting opportunities. While a hunt cabin is available at the home ranch at the head of Bitterwater Canyon, due to locations of hunt ranches Clayton advises hunters to book a room in Paso Robles or Atascadero, which makes for a shorter morning drive to a ranch. WON opted to stay Vino Inn and Suites in Atascadero.

It was dark on the drive to the ranch east of Arroyo Grande and upon arrival we were met by veteran Bitterwater Outfitter guide Ty Gonsalves who had the CanAm ATV all ready to head out. It was a chilly morning, the first sign of fall, with the temperature holding at 46 degrees. As the sun broke over a nearby mountain peak, a vast working black angus cattle ranch, with a stubble field of golden wheat, filled the valley floor.

THE ULTIMATE CENTRAL COAST COMBO — Jim Niemiec enjoyed a great hunt with Bitterwater Outfitters last week harvesting a 150-pound boar and dandy coastal blacktail buck the same day. Photo courtesy of Ty Gonsalves for Bitterwater Outfitters

“Let’s try for a boar right away,” said Gonsalves, who added “This fallow field has been holding some nice boar and I think that will start the hunt off right.”

We had just passed through a gate when Grant spotted a herd of a dozen hogs out in the middle of the field. Gonsalves headed the ATV along the side of a hill, when we spotted a lone boar feeding. It didn’t take long for that hog to become alert and head towards some nearby protective cover. With the ATV stopped, I got on the shooting stick and followed the boar until it stopped. The Weatherby Mark V, 7 MM Mag, matched to a Leupold scope, was on target as a single round of a Barnes TSX 140 grain copper bullet found its mark. That hog spun around once and fell over. It was a nice young boar that weighed around 150 pounds and had short tusks just starting to poke out of its upper jowls.

A quick run back to the game locker to offload the boar had the ATV heading off into higher country to look for a trophy class coastal blacktail buck. The drive through stands of oaks, filled with ripening acorns, showed off a very picturesque terrain and the open golden hillside glistened, as the sun continued to rise over adjacent mountains. Small coveys of mountain quail were around the many water sources of the ranch, while mourning dove hung close to fields of dove weed, ducks flushed off full cattle ponds and small flocks of Rio Grande turkey worked through the cover of stately oaks.

Gonsalves wanted to hunt the high country of the ranch and try and catch a buck out in the open before all deer would head for the shade found in oak covered valleys. Grant spotted a buck with couple of does along a hill side. It would be a long poke “uphill”, but I got on the sticks and fired, missing as the bullet seemed to hit over the back of the 3x3 buck. Gonsalves and Grant were not sure about whether the buck was hit or not, as the sound of bullet hitting something echoed back down the canyon. Both guides headed up the mountain side to look for blood, while I stood by the ATV in case a move was to be made. Fortunately, there was no sign of blood and Grant saw that buck bouncing up a nearby ridge. If any sign of blood had been spotted, our hunt party would have to spend the rest of morning looking for that buck and that would have ended my quest for the “ultimate combo.”

The day was warming up but there was still game out and about. We passed on a few smaller bucks, saw lots more quail and dove, a large bobcat, and a lone hog heading towards thick chamois cover.

Topping a ridge, Gonsalves spotted a buck lying in the shade of a big oak some 300 yards uphill. It would be a tough shot for anyone, but that buck was wise to what was going on, stood up and bolted over an adjacent ridge before this hunter could even get on the shooting sticks.

Grant had to head to Paso Robles for a business meeting at noon, but Ty said he had all day to hunt.

“Some of my most successful coastal deer hunts have occurred between 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. Jim, if you are in no hurry let’s spend another couple of hours looking for your buck. I have seen some dandy bucks over in Live Oak Canyon and we’ll give that a try, as there are plenty of oaks to provide ample shade and uphill winds help keep that country cooler.

We crisscrossed now dry stream beds, which earlier in the spring flowed strong after last winter’s heavy rain fall along the Central Coast.

The seasoned ranch hand and veteran guide went on to add, “Last year over 30 inches of rain fell on the ranch, and that’s about double what our normal expectation can be. All game benefited by Mother Nature being so generous. The turkey hatch was the best ever, I think that some of valley quail are just coming off their third hatch, hogs are all fat and the deer are fat, healthy and with good antler mass.”

We both spotted the buck being shaded in the saddle of an old oak. It was a dandy buck, but before I could get on the sticks, he stood up and started to walk up hill. Getting my Weatherby on target at close range, the shot was on its mark again and the buck circled and dropped not 20 yards from where it had been bedded down. The 3x2 buck sported a rack measuring 21 inches wide by 19 inches high, a very good representation of a trophy class coastal blacktail deer.

“Ultimate combo” now complete!

The buck was shot at 2 p.m. and was this hunter ever so happy that he opted to spend another few hours with Ty looking for a mid-day buck.

Based on what this WON hunting editor saw on this 27,000-acre ranch, the upcoming valley quail season should be awesome and there will be plenty of gobblers strutting around come the spring turkey season. According to Grant, he is going to increase the number of turkey hunts that will be available in the spring and that hog populations on all his leased ranches is remarkably strong.

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We hope you enjoyed this article on our no-charge website Of course, this site contains only a small fraction of the stories that Western Outdoor Publications produces each week in its two northern and southern editions and its special supplements. You can subscribe to the print issue that is mailed weekly and includes the easy flip-page full-color digital issues, or you can purchase a digital only subscription. Click here to see the choice.

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