2019 Archery Deer Hunting Maps and California Hunting Report


  • California Bow Hunting Report and Deer Hunting Maps

  • Best Public Land Deer Zones

  • local Hunting Clubs and Ranches

 

  If you’re a bow hunter and if you buy an  archery-only tag,  deer hunters are rapidly learning  that Northern California is the place to be this fall. And, Hunters who purchase archery  deer tags can  actually start hunting deer early in July, when the Zone A deer  season opens. See our hunting map for more deer zone information.
Furthermore, archery only tags allow bow hunters to hunt deer in  nearly every zone in the state,  but check with the fish and game to make sure before going. Rifle hunters, on the other hand, must buy a deer tag for a certain zone and remain in that zone throughout the season while bow hunters can cross boundaries, and extend their hunting season from July until November if they purchase a second archery-only tag. 
Compared to other western states, Northern California is a great  choice for deer with a bow because  it’s such a flexible hunting opportunity.  Around mid-August every year is when all of the North State’s prime bow hunting zones open to archery hunting, and while  most close  late September.

According to our hunting report, the top bow hunting counties, in order, are Plumas, Siskiyou,  Lassen, Trinity, Shasta, Modoc and Tehama:

(Note the prime areas in our hunting map for these zones).
Plumas County: This county is numero uno, as it’s covered with  trees and brush and there’s a lot of cover and deer. Plumas County consists of zones X6 and D3 and both are loaded with mule deer and blacktail cross. The two years dry weather but recent thunderstorms have brought a little rain which has cooled the forest floor. Stalking conditions will be much better in the Plumas National Forest this year.
 Above Lake Davis around Crocker Mountain is always good in the Clover Valley area. Another good area is Grizzly Ridge and the Bucks Lake area is another good bet for bowmen, as is  Mt. Ararat and Lookout Mountain, and finally  the Gold  Lake Basin.    
Siskiyou County: This huge zone that borders Oregon offers some excellent mule deer hunting on public land.  Hunters who have access to horses, or who want to hike in and get away from the road and foot traffic, should consider the Marble Mountain Wilderness Area. Hunters will find  some dandy bucks in this portion of Zone D1 , and those with  horses will have a big advantage over those who don’t. Northwest Siskiyou County looks excellent, particularly along the Klamath River
  The eastern half of Siskiyou County offers good public hunting throughout the Klamath, Modoc and Siskiyou national forests. Our hunting report concludes water will be a key source as the season progresses and springs dry up. Traditionally, top hunting areas are Medicine Lake, Indian Spring Mountain, Harris Mountain and Mt. Dome.    
Lassen County Bow hunting Prospects are good in zones X5a, X5b, X5c,  but hunters need special tags to hunt period  one in these. Archery-only tags are no good here, but  hunters can hunt in X4, X3a and X6, all of which include part  of Lassen County. 
The deer will be concentrated at the highest elevations. Then,  deer will be on the move between now and rifle season  trying to locate new water sources as old ones dry up.  The best hunting in X5b will be  in the north half of  the zone, including thc Cottonwood Mountains,  Observation Peak  and Shinn Mountain,  X5a tag holders will find bucks  on top of Snowstorm Mountain,  Fredonyer  Peak  and Shaffer  Mountain.
 X5c tag holders will find bucks west of Eagle Lake in the timber  will find bucks  west of Eagle  Lake in the timber  of Lassen  National Forest where there are high deer densities. On the south side, hunting should be excellent in zone X6 which is open to archery only tag holders.
Look around  Diamond Mountain and Bass Hill. Deer numbers appear to  be good here.  
Trinity County: The biggest blacktail bucks in the state  are grown here, home of the Weaverville buck herd which  boasts the best buck-to-doe ratios anywhere with more than  40 bucks per 100 does.  The hot bow hunting here is in the Trinity Alps and hunters  willing to put in a little effort will be rewarded with some  dandy bucks, including some that make the Pope & Young  record book every year.  Along the Trinity River, sources are seeing some good bucks during fishing trips. Hayfork and old burns are providing excellent forage this year and antler growth is good. 
   
Shasta County: Some excellent bucks available this year in northeastern Shasta County, tipped biologist Dave Smith in Redding. The Cow Creek herd, you can count on seeing some big, older bucks above Shasta Lake. Burney, Old Station, Hat Creek, Hat Creek Rim  and local farm bucks in the foothills offer prime hunting this  fall.  Don’t overlook the western half of  Whiskeytown  Lake’s and its  heavy cover, big bucks and good access.  
 
Modoc County: Bow hunters  will find some good animals in the Warner Mountains of X3a . Fort Bidwell offers big  bucks, as does the South Warner Wilderness.  Western Modoc County offers fair prospects in X2. Much  of the terrain is wide open, sagebrush and juniper   that’s difficult to bow hunt.
Tehama County: The Yollo Bolly Wilderness in the Western half of the county offers good hunting for hunters willing to pack in.  Zone C4 and lots of bucks are taken below Lassen Park. That’s where the east Tehama deer herd frequents.  It is the largest deer hear in the state. Also we suggest you try Mineral, Mill Creek and Northeastern Plumas County above Lake Almanor.       

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