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Hunting blacktails Grass Valley CA
Planning on heading to my uncles ranch in Grass Valley this year to hunt blacktails. I researched and registered today and from what I see it is otc any comments on that? Also what time of year do they typically lose their velvet out there? He has been sending me nice pictures of some bucks for a few years and figured I would give it a shot. I have typically hunted whitetails so any tactic advice would be appreciated. He has a large spring fed pond on the property and some orchards on the lower portion of it so I figured I would just set up on some trails in between and see what happens. I don't have time to make a scouting trip out there prior to hunting so I will be jumping right into it. Also how bad are the snakes out there? I don't really care for them that much at all. Thanks in advance for the info- Jason
Snakes in the Grass Valley area are pretty rare, it's possible to see a timber rattler, but only during extremely hot weather.
Well used trails are a good bet if the population of deer is good. Blacktails are hard to pattern...they tend to "meander"...so the good bucks may only show up on a particular trailcam once every week or two.
With low pressure...they may hit those orchards well before Sunset, but it's common for them to go nocturnal during the hunting Season with a little pressure.
Best of Luck, Jeff
Velvet will probably be gone by August. Depending on hunting pressure, blacktails can be as tough to get as wise whitetails, or dumb as dirt (typically the younger ones). If you can send and have your uncle set up some trail cams it will help. Anything dropping fruit then? If so, set up there. Otherwise oaks dropping mast are a pretty good bet.
Grass Valley is rattler zone, but numbers/density depend on a lot of local factors (rocky, riparian areas etc.) Pacific coast rattlesnakes are the most laid back and least venomous of the rattlers. I've never had one go agro on me and have encountered dozens over the years. Unless your uncle says they are thick I wouldn't worry about special precautions - watch where you put your hands if climbing in rocky areas and try not to step on any sticks that move.
In that area bucks will shed their velvet from the third week of August into the first week of September. August the bucks can be very pattern able before the shed their velvet. August is also a good time to setup on or near the orchard if it's a preferred food like apples, pears, or cherries. Prepare to have slow evenings until the last 5 minutes of shooting light then that's when you may see the bucks show up. Good luck!
Love August velvet blacktails!! You'll get addicted. Good luck. And listen to Trkyslr advice. He's been known as the king of big bux :-)
"Snakes in the Grass Valley area are pretty rare,..."
About as rare as blacktails. ;-)
Most likely D3-D5 and yes, it should not be a problem getting a tag. You have the right idea about checking out the orchard. Great place for deer, if fruit is dropping. But the time frame would be important.
If you shoot a nice one and would like to have it DNA tested to see if it is something other than a mule deer, let me know. I live about an hour from there and would be happy to test another buck from the d-zones of Northern California.
Any of those 'test' come back Zack? New species found, Western Sierra D-zone type wanna-be! ;-).
Did someone say snakes are rare in grass valley? Lol! You must be thinking of a different grass valley. Keep your eye out for snakes and depending on elevation ridiculous amounts of poison oak. Oh and depending on the year, the yellow jackets living in the ground suck. Nothing like running through the forrst getting stung to ruin a quiet deer stalk.
A friend from the Gold Country got this buck in an orchard in D3-5
Jon's buck is an example of an exceptional deer from that area. That was his second of that size in back-to-back years. Great deer for a hard-working guy.
Ike, yes test results have come back on some. It is up to the hunters to publicly show the results if they want. I will not do that.
I'm going to need one of those test this year Zack....
Jon kills 'smoker' Bucks and stays very low key...Unlike some! :-)
Are ticks rare also ... ha
Ike are you jealous or unable? Lol
Here's a Nor Cal Sierra Nevada foothill buck that test results are pending for. I'll be happy to release the results once they're received.
Nick Muche you're a very smart man... Go play the lottery and pick your numbers.
Jason, again good luck and give me a call if you need some help. Pm sent.
Great buck, Chris......and NICE photo!
Zack feel free to tell them my results. I'm sure you can explain it better than me. Plus like I said I really don't care. But as trkyslr promised you OP... There the guys are we warned ya bout :-) hope you listen to trkyslr advice guy knows big bucks and has taught me a lot. Good luck in August.
Jon is a great dude we talk quite often an share stories. He has killed some beauties. He knows his stuff!
Muche brotha I miss you!! Lol
Nick, jealous of what?!? Good luck on those numbers! Lol
Great buck Chris...
Lol...Ok, ok to answer the 'messages' and Nick's "unable" part of his lil dis attempt...First there's no ill feelings on my part towards the 'Amador boys!' Nothing but mad respect for Chris and Joe and the Deer they kill...They helped me out in a tough time and I'll be forever grateful to them...
I do question the 'Blacktail' issue that's all and now with the DNA test we'll see...Just because a Bucks' tail is Black doesn't mean it's a 'Blacktail' species per se...For every picture you take of one in the lower Sierras with a black one, I'll show you another with a Muley type...That's all...
For Nick's "unable" part...Yes, I'm 'unable' to bring myself to shoot a backyard/back 40 Buck, just doesn't float my boat...That's going to change! I'm curious also with the DNA test, why I asked...If it helps change a 'border' or even a species identification...Sweetness!
Good luck this year and sorry for the thread hi-jack, erase if you'd like...
Mule deer, blacktail, hybrid, muletail, blackmule......no matter what you call them, one thing is for sure; they are BIG. :)
Those are 2 great CA deer.
Ike, is your new place 41 acres? ;-) Good luck this season.
Those are both awesome deer !!
I think Ike would have let them walk....they both have eye guards!
Bucks like that make me want to focus on pig hunting. At least when somebody nails a huge hog you can dismiss it as a 'sausage pig'. Beautiful animals - great job harvesting them. Curious about the DNA.
Jay....bet you didn't expect a innocent question on deer hunting to turn into such a silly conversation...just one other reason the Internet sux....if it wasn't for the free porn I'd never be on the web....
Personally, I enjoy the Bowsite ribbings. What do men do if not give each other some shit. It's all good.
Chris, I'll never tire of seeing that buck. He's a beut! Not to mention the first buck in this thread... another Cali drooler!
"if it wasn't for the free porn I'd never be on the web...."
Or at a library...
Zack should be posting what the DNA of this creature is very soon. Call whatever I call it a "shooter" :-)
Sweet deer Joe !!.....As much as i like the velvet..I like late season capes and hard horns;)
The DNA says.......Damn Nice Animal! :)
Definitely a shooter...Great Buck Joe!
Chris, Joe, sent you guys a PM...
Well I haven't checked this in a few days. I will post a few pics of the bucks my uncle has been seeing when I get a chance!
They'll look good, we have some great growth going this year thanks to some late rains...Stayed green a while here this year...Good luck!