View Full Version : Where did the deer go?

09-29-2012, 11:02 AM
I have always had good success north of Lake Alpine above 8000ft, but this year I haven't even seen a doe much less a buck. Does anybody know if the deer moved down early this year? I am going to backpack hunt Summit Level Ridge this week and hope that there is some movement at lower elevation. It is awfully dry this year and I am hoping the deer are moving down to the Little Mokelume River. Any news would be great.


09-29-2012, 02:08 PM
We spent alot of time in the mountains this year during the early bow season. Most of the deer we were seeing were between 5,500 and 7,000ft. I don't think the deer have moved down early this year. But with that being said we sure didn't see the numbers up high like normal. (7,000ft and up) I hate hunting timber but sometimes you just have to go where the deer are. Hope this helps a little. Oh and welcome to the forum.

09-29-2012, 04:42 PM
It does help, thanks. If I don't see anything on Summit Level Ridge I will move up to Iron Mountain Ridge and hunt that .

09-29-2012, 06:02 PM
Good luck man and make sure to post a pick when you knock one down.

09-29-2012, 06:53 PM
I backpacked into George lake last friday and diddnt see a damn thing. The trail from about miles 3-6 was just hammered with cat tracks. very very dissapointing to see that. Diddnt see a damn thing myself

09-30-2012, 12:41 PM
Still haven't seen any deer, lots of fresh tracks and droppings. I think the deer have gone nocturnal. I am heading back in on Tuesday for a few days, maybe my luck will change. If not, I leave for Montana in the first week of November, no luck needed up there.

Never in Doubt
10-01-2012, 03:13 PM
Above the Lake Alpine on highway 4, right? In D5? (That's the only one I know of...)

I was up above there for the opener and shot a 2x2 opening morning.

What I noticed was how dry it is. Everything was brown. A lot of springs and streams are dried up. If I was going back up there I'd hike several miles off the road in the high country where I can use my optics to cover a larger area, and look for water. You probably won't see them drinking, but you could catch them heading back to their bedding areas at first light. Good luck and let us know what happens!

10-01-2012, 05:27 PM
Yup that's the same Lake Alpine. We didn't go more than two miles north of HWY 4 and covered everything from the camp ground to Cape Horn. I was going to hunt around Arnold and White Pines this week, but it is so hot in Arnold the deer just are not moving. I am going to head back up the hill to Lake Alpine tonight. The plan is to hunt around Wheeler Lake and surrounding meadows, then push up to Frog Lake. We will see what happens. I have to be back to work on Thursday so this will be a short hunt.

10-01-2012, 06:36 PM
Saw two does in X-10 at 7,800 feet, and a coyote that was as big as one of the does. Probably headed for Sacramento to congratulate Jerry Brown!

10-04-2012, 06:34 AM
Nada. It wasn't a total loss, I gained access to private property down in Sheep Ranch that holds resident deer and bears. Hopefully I will be able to get my son his first deer this year.

10-11-2012, 09:34 AM
I found a small bachelor herd in Jackson Canyon (D5), north of Wheeler Lake. I passed up a little 2x3 buck because I was alone and had no way of getting that deer out of the canyon by myself. Oh well, serves me right for going that far in alone. But the deer are starting to move now that the weather has cooled off. I saw a herd of eight does down by Woodchuck Basin trailhead on Monday and Tuesday, and another herd of 12 does and five faws on the south side of Wheeler Lake on Tuesday and Wendsday. I saw a huge buck track that was working in circles around me the whole time, doing his best to avoid me. I didn't see anything below 7000ft. If anyone can get up to the Lake Alpine area this week and is willing to packin a few miles north of HWY 4, you should have some success.

12-19-2012, 09:48 AM
49234922Sorry it took so long to post this pic, but my camera ended up in my buddies truck and he didn"t it until last weekend. I got this guy on the last day of the season in D5, east of Sheep Ranch.

Muleys 24/7
12-19-2012, 06:28 PM
Good job on getting it done in D5, and on the last day! congrats

12-20-2012, 12:58 PM
Way to strick with it. Congrats on a good buck.