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A19 (X10) Southern Sierra
I was unsuccessful in my choices but I jumped on left over A19 tags. This is an Archery Hunt in the X10 zone. I've been reading negative comments on the area from another forum. Anyone familiar with the zone and/ or area and would not mind sharing information on the zone will be greatly appreciated.
It's a tough hunt, but there are some big deer in the unit, they are just really spread out. As with any area in the high Sierras, the deer are migratory and the population is limited by wintering grounds/pressure so you can have huge swaths of areas that are completely devoid of bucks and then have a single mountain with a bunch. Then, there are some lower areas that have deer year-round, but their densities are low and the stalking is difficult due to bush/brush.
I know a guy who kills a buck in this unit every year, but he has a spot.
If you are willing to put the time/effort in and hike in more than a mile from the road and glass, you may get lucky on a good buck. I would recommend a couple 3-day scouting trips in late July-early August and a 10 day hunt (opener). Minimal-average effort will get you tag soup in this unit.
It's one of those places that is really not that great of a tag, but if you do the time and learn the unit, you could have a spot that's huntable year after year and the tag is easy to pick up.
Idyllwild, despite the fact that the areas I scouted were desolate of sign, I was with the gut feeling that I was scouting too early and too close to National Forest boundary. My deeper gut feeling kept vibing that the forage deer prefer haven't ripe to the herds palate.
Hiking in is not a problem whatsoever. We're researching Ready To Eat type meals in case even portable stoves are prohibited. We are planning a deep hike around the wilderness meadows just North of Monache Complex. The abyss of my gut feeling reprimands me to return early August. A zone Archery/ General intermission period. We found roads to the back of Los Padres Natl San Rafael Wilderness.