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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Our deer hunting season opens this Saturday! I'm headed out Thursday afternoon with my old Marlin! Taking my 1881 in .38-55 this year, and my 1881 in .40-60M as a backup. Plan on using the .40-60M as my main gun for elk season, and my latest .35 Rem. as alternate choice.
Boy I love this time of year! The days are warm, and the nights are cold, with everything in an Indian summer mode here! Who cares if I shoot anything, when it's this nice outside! The worst day hunting is better than the best day working!
 

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Vall...good luck on your hunt.....I just got back last night from my 1st hunt this year. First time I've hunted this area and it is sure is straight up and straight down. Not a whole lot of flat area. And incredibly dry this year. We could not have any type of campfire and had to get a permit from the ranger to even use a gas stove. Camped at roughly 6800 feet and at times were above 8000 feet. No luck as the ground was like walking on potato chips. But sure was pretty and cold at night. Started out using a Savage 99 in 284 Winchester but switched to a Thompson Contender in 250 Savage as the shots would not be long and sure a lot easier to carry when walking up or down those steep mountains.

All in all a lot better than being at work......

For those who know the area, this is in the mountains above Lake Isabella and Bodfish in Kern County, California.

Wish you luck.....

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks! We're hunting a new area for the first time in 20 years! If the name is any indication, it's called Desolation Unit! We've scouted there a couple times this summer, and it's also mostly up or down. Not as dry as you described, as the rains have come over east in September, so it has been wetted down pretty good. We've dried out again, but it should still hold enough moisture to make things quiet.
Altitude is between 4,000 and 6,000 ft, so lots of variable terrain and cover. Some parts are wide open grassland, while others are part of the John Day wilderness area, and really socked in with thick timber and brush. I hate brush hunting, so I'll stay in the thinner cover, where shots can be anywhere from 50 yds to 200 yds.
Work has fouled up any plans we had of an extended hunting trip, so it will be 3-4 days of hard hunting to make the best of our limited time. It'll be fun regardless, and we're always glad when it's over, as we really wear ourselves out trying to hunt from dawn to dusk!
Headed out Thursday night, so wont talk to you guys until my return!
Be good!
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Well we all got skunked this year! Not even a sighting of a buck, though not for lack of trying.
The US Forrest Service did their best to ruin the hunting again. They were doing controlled burns in the area, which tends to spook all the deer out of the area. This is doubly humorous, as the state of Oregon sent me a letter warning us of the high fire danger, and to please restrict the use of off road vehicles to main roads, and only use those vehicles with spark arrestors.
We hunted all the way up to 7,400 ft and saw lots of truly beautiful scenery, so the hunt sure wasn't a total loss. We saw does, but only a few, and didn't see a single buck. We all agreed in the end that although the area is rugged and beautiful, our old hunting grounds are definitely more productive, so we'll return there next year!
Guess I'll have to go to the range to do more shooting before elk season!
 

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Vall....glad you enjoyed your hunt. I have gotten to the point where I just enjoy getting out to hunt and taking something home is just a great big bonus. Not getting something everytime just makes the successful hunts that much better. Maybe you are destined for elk steak instead of venison this year. Yum!!!!! :roll:

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