Spent four and a half days scouting in the north country, mostly in Zone X2. Covered a lot of ground – all the way into Oregon.
Departed Monday morning and made it to Devil’s Garden (Deer Zone X2) before sunset, but didn’t make camp until well after dark. Woke up at the base of Blue Mountain on Tuesday morning and headed up the Mowitz-Crowder Flat Road towards Oregon.
Found quite a few hunters camped at Janes Reservoir. One hunter, who had filled his tag the day before, said that most of the hunters were finding deer in a nearby burn. That’s where he shot his buck the day before. He showed me a photo of the buck and it was a good one.
Later on I drove to the burn, but (although I did see some deer there) it was too crowded for my comfort. I headed north into Oregon and got lost.
After a stop in Klamath Falls to purchase a motorcycle helmet (needed to get legal before unloading my ATV), I ventured into the desolate country north of Clear Lake and found a quiet spot to spend the night. It was quite peaceful there, but only found a couple does and their fawns.
After a tire-grinding ride over the lava rock of the Steele Swamp (a misnomer this time of year), I concluded that it was best I to head back towards Tulelake and complete the circle by driving back through the Garden on the south side of Clear Lake and then returned to the Mowitz Road where I headed south and spent the night at the Reservoir F campground.
Got up early on Thursday morning and was parked and ready to go for a walk before sunrise. As the sun peeked over the horizon I climbed a small rise with a great view of the country-side. I could see for miles, but a low fog over clear lake prevented me from seeing the Lake itself. Lots of sage brush, juniper and manzanita.
Found a guzzler that was well charged with water and one pile of elk scat, but no deer tracks. At one point I thought I heard a bull elk let out a short toot, but couldn’t be sure.
One thing that was for sure was that the deer had not yet moved into the area. However, I am quite confident that by November there will be deer and maybe the big one I’m looking for.
Nice to be able to anticipate the possibility of running into what could be a lifetime size buck. Now I need to spend some time shooting my muzzleloader during the next couple weeks.