Hunting > Whitetails

Penny-Pincher Hunts: Blacktail

If today’s economy has you and your family second-guessing every expenditure, we’ve got your back with 10 quality, yet affordable, hunts.

Though home of “Hollyweirdos” and more, California is a hunter’s paradise. You can hunt blacktailed deer and mule deer from border to border, but for an early start, head north and scout units C1, C2, C3 and C4. These units open in mid-August for archery and the region boasts public land in three forests: the Klamath, Shasta and Lassen national forests.

For the early archery season you need an A1 archery hunt tag. You can order the license or they are available over-the-counter at the California Department of Game and Fish headquarters or the Redding branch office. Tags go on sale in late April. Get yours early as your first deer tag to guarantee your hunt. 

Most of the deer are Columbian blacktailed deer, but in eastern C1 you may run into Rocky Mountain mule deer. You can hunt from roads or access backcountry via hiking or horseback. Be prepared. You’ll encounter steep and rugged terrain requiring stout boots and perhaps four-wheel-drive.

Deer are scattered throughout the region, but are often high before early storms drive them to lower elevations. Look for deer in dense patches of buckbrush, deerbrush and bitter cherry. Also scout for clusters of acorn-producing oaks and open areas created from burns or logging operations. Approximate license fees are $387 for nonresidents and $69 for residents.

Contact Information: California Department of Fish and Game, www.dfg.ca.gov.

Season Dates:
Units C1 and C4: Third Saturday of August for 16 consecutive days.
Unites C2 and C3: Third Saturday of August for 23 consecutive days.

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