Coastal Ca archery opener vs rifle opener buck behavior

Yoteassasin

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Mar 20, 2021
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I’m excited for archery opener this year and I’ve seen a few shooters bedding in a canyon I intend to hunt . How long into archery season should I expect before they get hard horned and full nocturnal
 

amassi

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May 26, 2018
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I've killed hard horned bucks on the opener especially in drier years, conversely I've shot velvet bucks (not stags) well into rifle season
I think as dry as this year is they'll have a short growing season and rub velvet early. Plus its going to be extra dry and crunchy out

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Cahunter805

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Oct 8, 2012
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I’ve witnessed the same as amassi. Have had bucks in mid July hard horned while all the others are still velvet. Also have bucks still in velvet by A zone opener and after.
Typically most bucks in my area shed their velvet around the last few days of July/first week of August.
 

Azone

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Apr 21, 2018
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I’ve witnessed the same as amassi. Have had bucks in mid July hard horned while all the others are still velvet. Also have bucks still in velvet by A zone opener and after.
Typically most bucks in my area shed their velvet around the last few days of July/first week of August.
I killed a buck on opening Sunday last year and he still had velvet on both of his back tines. But it also seems by the second Saturday in August every year 95 percent of the bucks are hard horned and hitting the thick nasty stuff to hide from the world.
 

Beendare

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IME, 805 is pretty right on

I havent seen blacktails go 100% nocturnal but they do bed earlier if pushed.

 

Rangerpants

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Apr 9, 2020
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Really Northern California
Depends if you mean coastal A or B zones. A zone deer seems to shed velvet sooner, but only by a few weeks at most. At the archery opener in both areas, they are mostly in velvet, by rifle opener, almost all deer are hard horned. There is a range in the middle, but as others have said, given the water situation this year, I would bet the average date they go from velvet to hard-horned is going to be early...

As far as behavior, I see a lot more deer out and about during archery season than in rifle season. That remains true even in parks and on private property with no hunting pressure.
 
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