This month I spoke with Wade Derby of Cross Hair Consulting (925-679-9232; www.crosshairconsulting.com) about several interesting opportunities this season that are still available. The first one Derby recommended is a private land hunt for blacktail deer in California. This hunt has produced over 90 percent hunter success and, best of all, is in a deer hunting zone near the Pacific coast where there is no draw! Expect to see a mature 2x2 to 4x4 blacktail scoring from 105-110 points, although you could find a buck with a 24-inch spread, scoring nearly 130 points. The nonresident license and tag fees cost approximately $300, and this five-day hunt costs only $2,500 with 1x1 guiding. A bonus is that you can also harvest one of the plentiful hogs for a trophy fee of $600, or possibly hunt free-ranging exotics (such as water buffalo, yak and bison) on this 80,000-acre ranch. Lodging is at the hunter's expense, with several hotels in Paso Robles ranging from $50-$120 per night. For those within driving distance, campers are welcome to stay on the ranch. Clients can fly into L.A. or San Jose and drive to the ranch.
For Derby's second recommendation, you fly to Fairbanks and then to Anatuvik, Alaska, ($450 roundtrip) for tundra grizzly bear and/or caribou. All subsequent flying is included in the discounted price of $7,500 (regularly $12,500) for this 1x1, 10-day bear hunt. An optional caribou costs $3,500 (regularly $5,000). The license and tags cost $600 for the bear and $400 for the caribou. This is one of the best caribou areas left in Alaska, with bulls averaging 335 B&C and record-book bulls killed........(continued)