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CA Outback Newbie
07-31-2004, 10:22 PM
Gents,

How many of you gentlemen hunt blacktail deer, specifically in the Northern California area?

Actually, I understand blacktail hunting is pretty similar regardless of where so if you hunt them in OR or WA I would be interested to know as well.

I am new to the whole Blacktail game having grown up hunting mulies. I get stumped on the really thick Pacific coast forests. Water is everywhere, so you can't hunt water holes. Food is limited since the forest is so thick and the Envirowackos won't hardly let any clear cutting be done to rejuvenate the forest areas. Spot and stalk is impossible if you can't see through the forest blanket. There seem to be a jillion game trails thorugh the forest too, so setting up on a game trail seems about as fruitful as hunting water (seems to be a spring in every draw).

Any and all clear cuts or burn areas are besieged by other hunters during the season, so the animals disappear quickly.

Obviously I am struggling with this so any thoughts are appreciated...

siskiyous5
08-01-2004, 09:39 AM
The Hunting California B Zone thread has some good info on this subject.

Don't overlook tracking. Northern CA seasons wont let you follow them in the snow like they do back east, but it is possible to track and still hunt blacktails. In fact they are in the brushy areas when you cant find them during the day. They will hold very tight as you get near. Use your binoculars alot when the sign is very fresh. The problem is always how do you know it is fresh? Experience of course. Although watching a track fill up with water is a good sign. I concentrate on relatively small areas. Find a band of does using a small area, and dont spook them. Then look hard for the bucks that are also there. Some times you have to back off and come back in a few days. My best buck came from an area of about two hundred acres I hunted for three years. We took small bucks each year out of that spot, but it was obvious there were mature bucks there too. The morning I got him I had to jump out of the pickup while it slowed down because my partners were so tired of the little hill that they refused to stop there on the way to the new "hot" spot.

I consistently get bucks off of our ranch because I know it intimately. But, I also do well on public land. Part of this is spending time. No matter where or what you hunt more time afield equals more opportunities to bag your animal. And, you cant make sense of all the tracks and trails until you put the fresh sign together with the weather conditions of that day.

Francis Sell's books, especially "Art of Successful Deer Hunting" (Stackpole- find it on Amazon's used book service) and Boyd Iverson's Blacktail Trophy Tactics II (Grassroots Publications) have great advice on wind, patterns, and Iverson esspecially describes late evening hunting.

P.S. Those clearcuts are busy with hunters in the day. But get away from the road in the evening and you wont see anyone. You have to be comfortable walkig home in the dark, or camping out. The technique of getting out of the truck in the morning and walking into the clearcuts is unproductive unless you are following fresh tracks and can put the sneek on. Sell does describe this tactic elegantly, but it is harder to use these days.

If the local newspaper would say you were "lost" if an S&R team found you in your favorite hunting spot, you are on the right track.

Finally, dont forget to look at the burns that happened a few years ago. (even if you read this ten years from now, the best spots today may be useless tomorrow) In fact always spend some time looking AT NEW BURNS IN PREPARATION FOR THEIR GLORY DAYS THAT WILL COME IN JUST A FEW YEARS. (I hit cap locks accidentally, but it is so important I will leave it like that.)

Finally food sources. When the young maples turn to fall colors they are cotton candy at a county fair for blacktails. Look for them moving out of sync with the wind. You can be certain deer are eating them. Find a sunny spot on yonder hill far from a road, with small (less than 1/2 inch around, and les than 10 foot high) maples turning lime and yellow. Hunt slowly into the wind, use your binoculars, and be prepared for snap shooting.

Sorry I cant be more specific.

Hog Hunter
08-03-2004, 09:15 AM
I just finished a splendid book entitled "Bowhunting Trophy Blacktail" by Cameron R. Hanes. Cameron is the editor for Eastman's Bowhunting Journal, who in the most recent edition proclaims that he uses something other than a Kifaru backpack, but has heard a lot of good things about Kifaru. (Patrick: This guy evidently need to see or use some of your products first hand.) In any event, the book covers equipment, strategies, and, among other things, hunting the Blacktail of Northern California. Well worth the fairly modest price of $20.00. Got my copy through Amazon.com.

Dale Lindsley
08-03-2004, 01:33 PM
siskiyous5: You are the only other person I've seen recommend Francis Sell's book (the original title is "The Deer Hunter's Guide" should be available from <a href="http://www.abe.com" target="_blank">http://www.abe.com (http://www.abe.com)</a> for about $6.00). I love that book. However, one of its hidden assumptions, it seems to me, is that you know where the deer are feeding. I've seldom been able to figure this out. I have tried, for instance, to look at plants and see whether they look like deer have been eating them. Then about a month ago I took my elderly parents camping in the mountains outside of Bakersfield and had a lot of spare time to wander around looking for deer. I came upon a yearling browsing on wild gooseberry plants. I watched for a while and then, when she left, I went over and inspected the branch she had been brousing on. Apparently, she had plucked the leaves off, but left the leaf stems on the branch. There were no chewed ends. If I had not watched her feeding on that exact branch I never would have guessed that a deer had browsed it. Now it seems to me that the only way to tell where the deer are feeding is to catch them in the act, or maybe by the pattern of tracks (sort of aimless wandering) in an area with food plants.

Kevin B
08-03-2004, 03:12 PM
newbie, in WA there's lots of gated roads on state and timber co lands allmost all allow access just no vehicles. Most if not all of them have cuts beyond of all sorts of ages. Make some calls to your FS and see about road closings, seasonal and permanent. They likely will know about burns and cuts to boot. It's a perfect scenario if you can find an area where there aren't other ways in from other directions. You can walk a road, get back away from the folks and see cuts in varying ages of regrowth. I'm not a blacktail hunter but in WA there's lots of this kind of oportunity.

Dale, I'm in the same state of affairs. I've kind of come to the conclusion that for the most part; there's no food in canopy and no bedding in the open (whitetail/blacktails). Then I look for someplace I'm sure I don't want to try and hike into and figure that's bedding area and try to get between that and some other open areas. Works with whitetails anyhow. Mule deer, well, they're just annoying. They'll bed right smack in the open or in nasty thick stuff and I still can't figure where exactly I should be. Working on it though. The real problem honeslty is the limited time available to be in their backyard. If I had 3 weeks to scout and learn and then 10 days to hunt, pert soon I'd stop whining. I'll be 40 before I have a handle on mulies, at least.

siskiyous5
08-03-2004, 08:10 PM
Dale - Where you see the does eating during the day is where the bucks eat at night. That is what I believe. I too look for the tell tale sign of brush with the ends stripped of leaves when looking for feeding spots. There is usually lots of tracks going in many directions (aimless wandering), and droppings a few hours old, in the feeding areas. I crumble droppings constantly to feel their temperature and alter my scent.

Just like Sell did, I have Blacktails in the back forty. It is a gift from our maker to be able to observe your prey on an almost daily basis. My hunting improved by orders of magnitude when I started watching them on a regular basis. I go out and find Elk in the Redwood National Park just so that I am accoustomed to thinking about where they are. This helps me in eastern Oregon.

My big problem with Francis Sell was that he describes wind and its importance, but not the possibility of deer traveling down wind so they can smell predators stalking them, and using their eyes to check the trail/area ahead of them. This is the secret to catching them in the evening coming to eat according to Iverson, and it makes sense. But, they use their nose to check bedding areas in the morning in case predators are waiting in the brush. In the morning I try to trail watch across the wind, but the best thing is to get behind them and track/still hunt right up to their bed. After all they have both the nose and the eyes pointed in one direction. I think this is why they trot to their beds in the AM. But, if the bed is in really thick brush that last few yards can be a tough nut to crack.

My older buddy Robin Broce waited one out for over 9 hours about 3 years ago. He had heard it bed down after catching a glimpse of it going into the brush. When it stood up it was only about 15 yards away. I hope I learn that kind of patience some day.

Sell was a very interesting man. I understand he did tons of shot shell load development that was put to good use by the major manufacturers. His writing is solid and full of vivid descriptions. I can always picture the Buck he finds just before the morning wind shifts upslope, and the "hot spot" he and his partner spot from another ridge, and the fellow he meets at the clearcut's deer trail. His book is the best on Blacktail I have ever read.

His advice on rifles, esspecially iron sights for rifles, is great. All my front posts have been squared up like he describes. It helped me to shrink my off hand groups in half with my Marlin .44 Mag. I followed his advice to set up the sights on a sweet 336 in 35Rem with a rifle length barrel. It was the ticket in down pours. The guy who sold it to me was getting holy heck from his brothers for the selling of "dad's" rifle, so I sold it back. It was the right thing to do in many ways, but I miss "rambling" with that rifle. They got some quality sight work out of me for next to nothing on that deal.

The BLR in 358Win is its replacement in theory, but in fact the Marlin had real charm that the Browning has not learned yet. Maybe I need to take the scope of the BLR and put a good peep sight on it. It would still be tough to see a torrential rain running off of that glossy stock.

siskiyous5
08-03-2004, 08:44 PM
Oh yes - go afield at night. Don't take a light, don't take a gun, but spend some time driving nocturnally, and hiking on moon lite nights. Then you will know what size bucks inhabit which areas. Then come back in daylight and track them towards their bedding areas. This is scouting work and should be done preseason.

You know there really isnt any one way to do this. That is what makes it so fascinating for the real hunter. You hunt, with all that that implies: curiousity, cuning, patience, lurking, knowledge, story telling, investigation, stillness, deception, etc. all the time. When you are camping you are hunting, when you are driving down the freeway you are deer hunting, when you see game you stop your planned activity and observe it. Those guys who rely on luck burn out quick, get bored, go home or back to camp.

I love swapping hunting stories because it converts the tactics from ideas into thought processes, and then into habits. That is what I believe: you find deer by practicing the habit of deer hunting.

Dale Lindsley
08-04-2004, 08:29 AM
"the possibility of deer traveling down wind so they can smell predators stalking them, and using their eyes to check the trail/area ahead of them." I also noticed this piece of advice when I read Iverson. Have you observed deer behaving as Iverson describes? He seemed adamant on this point.

Dale Lindsley
08-04-2004, 08:35 AM
Sorry for the multiple posts. I don't know why this happened. I never actually clicked on the "Add Reply" button. Could it be the "Tab" key that does this?

Ksnake
08-04-2004, 10:36 AM
<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Quote:</div><div class="ubbcode-body">Originally posted by Dale Lindsley:
…. . I came upon a yearling browsing on wild gooseberry plants. I watched for a while and then, when she left, I went over and inspected the branch she had been brousing on. Apparently, she had plucked the leaves off, but left the leaf stems on the branch. There were no chewed ends. If I had not watched her feeding on that exact branch I never would have guessed that a deer had browsed it. Now it seems to me that the only way to tell where the deer are feeding is to catch them in the act, or maybe by the pattern of tracks (sort of aimless wandering) in an area with food plants. </div></div>Hi Dale,

Actually you have figured out a very important part of tracking here. Everybody has heard the same old speeches before: look for feeding areas, look for fresh tracks, and fresh sign. But not everyone can do that, and experienced trackers know this, and so they always follow up with: it takes practice. Now you know what that means!

This is exactly what you need to do to learn how to track. You cant learn it by reading about it. You have to witness it, check out what the results are, and learn from it. Then the next time you will know what to look for. And through repetition, it will be hard for you to NOT see it. In fact, you can get to recognize it so well, that you will actually be able to see it from a distance.

Now re-read Siskiyous5's post - there is a LOT of information in there. But it will take practice to do what he does. For example, you had to hold the branch in your hand to see where they were feeding, but he's doing exactly what you learned ... from the next hill over. He already knows the sign is there, doesn’t even have to go and look. He's seen it before, and knows what to look for from a distance. Then he kicked it up a notch and looks for the branches moving against the wind. There are many levels to tracking, and the learning never ends. Cool stuff!

siskiyous5
08-04-2004, 07:34 PM
K-Snake - I wouldn't say I do it from the far ridge, just that Sell did it that way. The ridges in this country are pretty far apart. I have found deer by noticing the maples movement though. But, you are right. Some of it becomes seecond nature, but only because of getting out and doing it. Believe me I am in awe of the capabilities of some of the hunters I know who got started much earlier in life, and have never missed a season.

DALE - yes I have noticed this habit of deer coming in to feed downwind. Three years ago in eastern Oregon we had real hotspot going where we took seven deer for seven hunters. Four of them were taken in the evening. They were in the timber feeding downwind toward the open ares. I read Iverson while I was laid up due to injuries. I have been able to watch this behaviour, but I was unable to get out and try it during last year's deer season. It rang true to me because of the Oregon hunt, and because of a couple of bucks I took on the ranch in the evenings that seemed to be in the wrong place. But, because we get a swirling wind on the ranch I never made the conection the way Iverson did. I sort of thought they were going out to feed in some of the neighbors yards.

Dale Lindsley
08-04-2004, 08:36 PM
I don't want to beat a dead horse here but, so many times I,ve stood so close to deer and had them just watch me for a while and then ignore me if the wind was in my favor. I just find it hard to get my mind around the idea that they are relying on their vision alone to scan an open area they are about to enter. If I were a deer I'd walk, in cover, across the downwind edge of an open feeding area, then circle around and approach it downwind. This would give me wind coverage of my backtrail as well as previous wind coverage of the feeding area. By, the way, have you read "The American Deer Hunter" and "Advanced Hunting on Deer and Elk Trails" by Sell. They are very similar to "The Art" but with a few extra bits of info and are much more conversational and fun to read.

Huntsman22
08-05-2004, 06:20 AM
Dale, That's key, 'If I were a deer'.....I'd feed, snooze,water,travel....where,when,how and pressure? Turn into your prey.Don

CA Outback Newbie
08-06-2004, 10:17 PM
Wow, thanks for all the good info.

Let me throw another question out there: I recently read a CA Game &amp; Fish article that said some hunters are having success hunting blacktails like whitetails - with scents and rattling. Have any of you tried either of those tactics with any amount of success?

I like the tracking advice, since that seems to be the only way I can tell where the deer have been and how long ago short of finding them in their own tracks. I assume when you track fresh tracks to a bedding area you are glassing every three steps to (hopefully) get the jump on deer before they see you. How far do the bucks generally go from feeding to bedding areas? I am thinking through the areas where I have seen does and the structure of the surrounding canyons/draws. I know where I would bed if I was a buck, but seldom seem to find many there. Pretty sure that has to do with me scaring them out of the area well before I got there. I don't think I have seen any beds further than a half mile from feeding areas. Any comments?

MontanaMike
08-08-2004, 03:39 PM
Newbie -

I can relate - I hunted blacktail in the "rain forests" of Western Washington before moving to Montana and switching to Mulies and Whitetail.

Blacktail hunting was perplexing at first, but I got the hang of it after a while. A little of my experience might help -

First, hunting a forest where you might be able to see 10' max is far different than hunting the prairies where 200 yard shots are common, as you know. So the task is not to cover a lot of country like you might do for Mulies, but hunt individual animals in their rather small home territories. In other words, find 'em and live with 'em. Look for all the typical signs of deer inhabitation such as browsed plants, fresh droppings, tracks, beds, rubs, etc. Preseason scouting is essential. I would start scouting the first part of September, sometimes even in late August, to prepare for a mid-October hunt.

Second, keep in mind that although in my experience most blacktail have a rather small home area (a square mile or so), they don't follow established trails like whitetail. They use this trail one day, and that trail the next, so stand hunting is not the most productive way to go. Rather, stillhunt. I know this sounds crazy in thick woods where it's hard to be quiet, but once the deer get used to you living with them - and you've spooked them a few times and they come to consider you to be a harmless inconvenience - they often settle down and just watch you out of curiosity, allowing you an eventual shot. The trick here is to bide your time, and wait for a good shot. It will come eventually, if you're patient and don't run the deer out of the area with snap shots at running game (a bad situation for all concerned, in my opinion). Keep in mind that these deer use the heavy cover to their advantage, and they'll often stay put in the thickets and hope you'll not see them and go right on by, even though they can see you, hear you, and smell you (see point #5).

Third, others have mentioned gated roads, but I'd like to add something else. I don't know about California, but in Western Washington a guy can often find old overgrown skidder and cat roads left over from logging days. Slowly drive the FS roads and look carefully for them. They won't be marked, and you'll have to look closely - for a hint of the remnants of an old trail, a faint "parting" of the tree cover, etc. Get a little off the main FS road on these overgrown tracks, and they sometimes open up into fairly open trails you can use to penetrate the backcountry. Walk every one of these out. Sometimes they peter, but sometimes they go on for miles. They are often grassy or covered with soft forest duff, and offer much quieter stalking than bustin' brush. Deer use 'em, too - they don't like to work any harder than you do.

Fourth, hunt in the rain! I've seen far more blacktail while hunting in a downpour than on a bluebird day. Perhaps it's because the woods are quieter then, or perhaps it's because the rain helps cover your sound and scent. Some maintain that blacktail are just more active in the rain. In fact, now that I think of it, every blacktail I've shot has been killed on a rainy day.

Fifth, hunt as late in the season as possible. In Washington, we had a 3-day Late Hunt around Thanksgiving. The leaves would be off the trees, making the woods much more open. Funny thing, too. It seems like the deer still think they can hide out in a Vine Maple thicket and not be seen, even though the leaves are gone! Fatal mistake. I walked right up on a fat little forkhorn once and killed him at 15'. Shot him right at the base of the skull and he dropped like a stone. I think he would have let me go right on by if I hadn't seen him.

Sixth, forget the clearcuts and hunt the woods. That's where the deer will be most times, anyway. Let the other Nimrods fight each other over the clearcuts.

Seventh, once you hit the woods, stay there for the whole day. Forget about coming out for lunch or to see how your buddies are doing. Few deer are shot in camp! They live in the woods, so go live with 'em.

Gee, I kind of miss huntin' Blacktail...

--Mike

siskiyous5
08-10-2004, 01:57 PM
You can't count on rain in CA during deer season. Even on the coast. This is the land of Indian Summer and our September and October seasons can be very hot. When it does rain everybody is in the woods, or at least on the roads. But I have only had good rain during season in good areas a couple of times. And, one glorious day it snowed hard in the Red Buttes and deer were everywhere. Many Whitetail tactics are based around hunting in the rut. That condition does not apply during California's season. Rut comes in late Nov, early Dec at least here in Del Norte County anyway. Yes, some people do rattle, but in their booklets CA Fish and Games advice is pretty superficial.

Do use the old roads. Travel cross country in many areas is pretty tough. When the brush closes in near to the roads go slowly because well used trails often cross where the road is narrow and the banks steep on both sides. Esspecially if the slope is timbered. These are the points where you pick up on fresh tracks to start stalking on.

Yolla Bolly
08-17-2004, 05:35 AM
One factor is the presence of two distinct populations of blacktails using the same large lower elevation area. One is migratory, moving high in the spring and then back down low in fall. The other is resident, like those described by M. Mike. Early hunting the migratory bucks is more similar to "classic mule deer" hunting-----just long enough for them to get pressured some---then they head into the thick stuff, where they act like whitetails, holding very tightly. The resident bucks have home ranges that are quiet small---if they get pressured, they just brush up and get nocturnal. They may move some to take advantage of seasonal food sources, such as acorns.
On the east side of the valley, I have hunted resident deer that move to feed after dark on alfalfa fields, then travel, still in the dark to bedding areas 8-10 miles away, above timberline. Very frustrating hunting, as you are constantly seeing fresh tracks, but not finding the track makers.
The tactic of still hunting old skid trails has worked for me, especially when applied to trails in the wilderness areas in the first days of the season, before pressure alters their behavior. Map searches for areas in old logged areas on timber company land, that are 2-3 miles from open roads have led us to skid trails that were productive in that regard.

Yolla Bolly
09-11-2004, 01:08 PM
Ok, all you blacktail hunters---anyone bring home any venison?

lkhntr
09-20-2004, 08:15 PM
Yes, I did bag a decent buck on opening day. Not sure if you remember me, but I was the guy talking about hunting the Marbles, specifically out of Big Meadows Trail head on one of these threads. I don't post much so you might not remeber. . .

Anyway, my cousin and I backpacked in on Friday evening (out of big meadows) in cold windy weather which soon developed into snow. We made camp just before dark at around 7500'. With the weather scouting was impossible as visibility was about 200 yards. Woke sat morning to about 6" of snow and hunted high on the freshly snow covered ridges. Saw a few does, a spike, a fork and a nice 4 x 3 with good mass that I wound up taking. He was bedded down in a thicket of brush and timber. I was only able to see him because I was high enough to be looking down on his bed. I was able to stalk right up to him and took him at about 40 yards. I'd post a pic of him but I am not sure how to. He has 4 on the left and 3 on the right + an eye guard on the right. 18" - 20" wide with good mass.

He made the pack out even harder than the pack in, but of course well worth it. This was the first time I had put my spike camp to the test and I am definitely happy with it. I'm sure it is the first of many Kifaru products that I buy.

How did everyone else do?

Yolla Bolly
09-29-2004, 11:21 PM
Ilkhntr--I remember you well---your suggestions for the Marbles are archived under "Andy's Info" on my Finder.--Glad you got the buck---sounds like a good hunt.
My bow season foray toward Chicago Camp got prematurely terminated by a conflict between my feet and a set of boots----the feet lost. Did see a couple of forks in velvet laughing at me as I rolled on my Longhunter after clambering over one of many blowdowns on the trail to Pettyjohn Basin.
Spent a week in Siskiyou County with my brother, a friend, and a hanger-on. The friend is quite disabled, so most of the hunting involve setting him on stands and working draws and hillsides toward him. We saw a good number of deer, but nothing legal.
Next installment of vacation starts in 2 days, interrupted by jury duty, but I hope to get at least one more backpack hunt in---some weather would be nice, yes?
Enjoy the rest of the season, sir. Do you have another tag?

Pirate5227
09-30-2004, 05:15 PM
Stayed in Rat Trap Gap. Drove to Tomhead 1 day. Saw some large bear tracks and tons of deer sign and tracks, but came hope empty handed after 4 days of hunting. Discouraged but not defeated yet....

lkhntr
09-30-2004, 09:10 PM
Yolla Bolly-

Funny that I was last on this board 10 days ago, and I just happen to check back in today and it is the day you left a post for me.

I do still have an AO tag which allows me to bow hunt. Problem is that I am a novice bow hunter (at best) so I am not counting on filling it. I do have a drop camp hunt in the marbles coming up next weekend with several guys, but they will all be rifle hunting and I think I'll be spending most of my time "guiding" them as they are not familiar with the area. Should be a good time and I'm cautiously optomistic we will have some success. We are going to be heading in from the "Lovers Camp" trailhead so I'll be interested to see how we do.

Some weather would be nice. The first weekend storm I ran into before made for tougher camping and backpacking, but better hunting. I also have an elk hunt in CO to look forward to.

Good luck the rest of the way. Let me know if you have any good stories/success

lkhntr
09-30-2004, 09:18 PM
Yolla Bolly-

Funny that I was last on this board 10 days ago, and I just happen to check back in today and it is the day you left a post for me.

I do still have an AO tag which allows me to bow hunt. Problem is that I am a novice bow hunter (at best) so I am not counting on filling it. I do have a drop camp hunt in the marbles coming up next weekend with several guys, but they will all be rifle hunting and I think I'll be spending most of my time "guiding" them as they are not familiar with the area. Should be a good time and I'm cautiously optomistic we will have some success. We are going to be heading in from the "Lovers Camp" trailhead so I'll be interested to see how we do.

Some weather would be nice. The first weekend storm I ran into before made for tougher camping and backpacking, but better hunting. I also have an elk hunt in CO to look forward to.

Good luck the rest of the way. Let me know if you have any good stories/success

Yolla Bolly
11-06-2004, 09:43 PM
Just updating this thread so it is easy for ARCHER to find.
Lkhntr---Hope you did well in the Marbles and CO--
not much joy here---brother got a little eating buck down low last week of rifle season.

lkhntr
01-10-2005, 04:56 PM
Yolla-

Our drop camp trip in the Marbles was somewhat successful. We hiked in on the tail end of a snow storm so it was really pretty. Of the 6 of us hunting, 2 got bucks (small fork, and a decent 3x2, and another guy shot at a huge 3x3. I did not take anything.

In CO the Elk hunting was bad. Never saw one, not even a cow. I did hear an Elk bugle the last day when I went way up in the snow. 2 of the guys in our group had deer tags which are much harder to get that elk tags (believe it or not) and they both did very well. Bucks were on top of us every day. One guys got a tall 28" wide 4x4 with eye guards and the other guys shot a monster non-typcial with crazy mass and 23 points. It was a great trip.

Yolla Bolly
01-11-2005, 01:15 AM
Good to hear from you, Andy. We had mixed success also. Archery ramble nixed by bad judgement on my part on boot selection. Siskiyou hunt saw lots of does, no horns. My brother got a little fork late in B zone west of Paskenta.
Stay safe and in touch.