October 04, 2013
California Deer Hunting Season 2013: Hunting Forecast - 0
While Columbia blacktails are the most abundant deer species in California, the state has five other sub-species of mule deer, including Rocky Mountain, California, Inyo, Burro, and Southern muleys. Taken together, the Golden States has 450,000-500,000 deer found throughout all six bio-regions.
Last year the deer harvest picked up a little compared to recent years. Hunters harvested 32,954 animals, including 32,419 bucks and 535 does. The overall statewide hunter success was estimated to be 18.9 percent, the highest it has been since 2008.
This year conditions in California are very dry, and fire season started early. Major wildfires in many areas, including the Humbolt-Toiyabe, San Bernardino and Stanislaus National Forests have necessitated the closure of some public hunting lands.
Despite the severe drought and wildfires, deer hunters can expect decent hunting this fall.
“Deer populations are relatively stable, as are most habitat conditions and areas available to hunt,” said Mary Sommer, an environmental scientist with the California Department of Fish and Wildlife. “Weather conditions during hunting season can make a difference in hunter success, especially in migratory herds.”
For example, early winter storms will cause deer to come together and move toward their winter ranges earlier than expected. Greater deer movement often translates into increased hunter harvest.