The guy in the orange hat killed that buck on the same ridge I was hunting this past season...there was another big buck there plus the 22" 4x3 that I ended up shooting. They're out there!
Try looking in the thickest brush, or the steepest ridges where no other hunters want to go. If the bucks are pressured, they seem to go to the places where no hunter would think about going, and/or want to. Get out in the field well before dawn, and hunt until dark.
Of course, there may not be any bucks in the are you are looking. In that case, look somewhere else. Like another state, because California sucks, or so I'm told.
A lot of different factors to your question TimH. Depends on where you are hunting, deer densities, buck to doe ratios, hunting pressure, time of year, limited entry, private land just to name a few. Some zones and areas are better than others here in California, some not as good. There are places I can go close to home here in a heavily populated area of almost a million people now in population in San Jose and see bucks every day, in meadows, draws, etc that you mentioned but the hunting pressure is pretty much non existent. Add hunting pressure, low buck to doe ratios and you will need to search a bit harder for those bucks.
Cowboy Action Shooter; Endowment Life Member-NRA, NRA certified Range Safety Officer, Pistol Instructor, Rifle Instructor.
The Original Rocket Scientist-Retired
"My Father always considered a walk in the mountains as the equivalent of church going."
Middle one NOT X3B, but not too awful far away..
Hello TimH may i direct you to Official Post Padding Thread hang out there for a bit and help us talk about nothing and before you now it you will have many post under your belt and you gain respect i havent figured out how many points you need but it will help.
Welcome and i hope you find the help your looking for .
What zone are you looking to hunt?
Trying like hell to live the dream,Nomad