Best California Deer Hunting Guides – 2021 Overview

| Last Updated June 4, 2021

It is interesting to know that California is home to various species of deer, making it a hunter’s paradise. The species vary from region to region; therefore, the chance of having a successful hunt is highly dependent on the right spot to set up your stakes. 

If you are a hunting enthusiast, it’s time to book a trip and pack your bags. 

Make your way through this review article to pick the best California Deer Hunting guide for your next adventure.

Comparison of the Best California Deer Hunting Guides

  • You get a one on one guided hunting experience
  • Field trophy preparation
  • All meals and snacks are included
View Latest Price →
  • Camping is included with the package
  • All transport is provided
  • A full two-day guide experience
View Latest Price →
  • Full accommodation is provided
  • No need to bring food it is all provided
  • All the hunts are guided for safety
View Latest Price →
  • Four days of guided hunting
  • All transport is provided on site and to airport
  • Trophy preparation in the field
View Latest Price →
  • Private professional guidance is provided
  • Guaranteed spot and stalk hunting experience
  • Trophies are prepared in the field
View Latest Price →
  • A variety of animals to hunt
  • Fully guided hunting experience
  • Camping is available on site
View Latest Price →
  • Field dressing and skinning is provided
  • You get a fully guided hunting experience
  • Accommodation is provided
View Latest Price →

Why California is Such a Great Place to Hunt Deer

California is considered the most popular region for deer hunting among all regions of the state. Read on to find out the main reasons why California is a popular destination among hunters when it comes to deer hunting.


One of the foremost factors that attract the hunters is the great weather of California throughout the year. The weather patterns play an important role in the overall hunting experience as you have to spend most of your time on the field. The nice weather in California makes it a fantastic place to spend time outdoors.

Deer Hunting in California (Source)

Home of Multiple Deer Species

Another reason that contributes to making California quite popular for deer hunting is the availability of multiple species of deer in the region. You can enjoy an exceptional array of deer hunting opportunities. It is the hub of mule deer, rocky mountain mule deer, feral mule deer, Columbian blacktail deer, as well as southern mule deer.

Plentiful Public Lands

California has high desert foothills, alpine meadows, and coastal mountains in addition to various other places in between. These spots are the habitat of subspecies of mule deer so you can easily choose the locations according to your desire.

Review of Best California Deer Hunting Guides

If you are planning a hunt, it’s better to approach a guide in order to improve your overall experience. Read on to know all about some of the top-rated California Deer Hunting guides that promise to deliver top-notch services. 

What the Hunt Includes

Blacktail Deer Public Land Hunt offers you great opportunities for hunting blacktail deer across the areas of California. You get to hunt at the finest places with the ultimate guide on this trip. They have a great package, at an attractive price to stand out from their competitors. 

This is a three-day hunting trip that comes with accommodation, training for trophy measurement, and field trophy preparation. You can hunt on 120 acres of private land that are close to Los Padres National Forest to eventually increase your success chances. Apart from eight meals, you can always plan a BBQ after harvesting the target.

Why it Stands Out to Us

This guide mainly stands out to us for providing a safe yet adventurous trip to their clients. Established in 2016, this company operates in one territory to let you hunt blacktail deer for organic meat. They are committed to sound management in addition to offering hunting experience.  

There would be no hassle of accommodation as you get to rest in hunting cabins. You will get full support, including the skinning and butchering of the animal to its transportation. Moreover, this hunting trip would give you an opportunity to get close to nature and even capture some beautiful moments in the camera. So what are you still waiting for?

What the Hunt Includes

Founded in 2018, this company currently operates in three different territories. They offer an opportunity to hunt on 2.5 million acres to bring down your targets such as deer, bear, pigs, grey fox, and even raccoons. However, their specialty is mule deer hunt in the X zone that lies across the eastern region of the state.

During this adventure, you will enjoy a guided mule deer hunt with extremely high potential. The whole package includes a guided trip, rifle hunting, bow hunting, accommodation, transportation, and field trophy preparation to meet the expectations of hunters. 

Why it Stands Out to Us

This hunting guide has our attention for offering a well-managed trip at a very reasonable price. During the two-day adventure, you will not only get to stay in a well-furnished accommodation but also get a top-notch transport facility on the territory. Moreover, the guide provides you transport from and to the airport in order to save you the hassle.

You get to hunt mule deer in the X-zone under the supervision of a professional hunter. Moreover, they train you for trophy preparation in order to boast off your adventure for the rest of your life. In short, they won't disappoint you with their phenomenal service.

What the Hunt Includes

Another great package by John Cravens, this hunting trip allows hunting across various areas of California, including A, A3, B, and C2 zones. The overall package includes a two-day trip to hunt down blacktail deer and mule deer.

You will be guided on rifle hunting, stalking, and bow hunting by a professional hunter. Similarly, they offer nice accommodation and transport facilities in the territory. You will be supported for trophy preparation and assured a great experience during camping as well. Finally, you get a chance to capture some stunning shots of nature.

Why it Stands Out to Us

John Cravens is known for organizing some thrilling hunting trips. This package attracts most people due to its reasonable price. Not only is it relatively pocket-friendly, but it offers tons of opportunities to have an unforgettable hunting experience.

During the hunt, you get to target blacktail deer, as well as mule deer in various zones. Plus, the best thing is that this guide is extremely cooperative with the disabled. You will be guided at each step and provided with all the necessary facilities to meet your expectations. Moreover, you get to take the trophy home as well. What else are you looking for?

What the Hunt Includes

This hunt is specially designed for those who are looking for a great weekend away. This is a four-day hunt, and with the expert's guide and about 2.5 million acres, you are meant to find the game you booked for.

They provide a wonderful hunting experience with four-day accommodations to make your trip more comfortable. The management is cooperative, and you are guided by a professional hunter during the trip. There is a transport facility to and from the airport and on the territory as well. Moreover, the designated zones are just perfect for spotting and stalking Californian blacktail and mule deer.

Why it Stands Out to Us

In case you are interested in a top-quality deer hunt, John Cravens has everything that you are looking for. The trip is reasonably priced and offers great accommodations for four days. Moreover, you can hunt mule deer and blacktail deer in various zones like A3, C2, A1, B2, and A across California.

The camping arrangements are just exceptional and give you an opportunity to get closer to Mother Nature. Additionally, the region has some mind-blowing spots for photography. You are trained for field trophy preparation as well. Finally, there is rescue travel insurance to enhance the confidence of the clients.

What the Hunt Includes

This company, established in 2000, is currently operated by Tim. It offers a guided hunt on a single territory. Their specialty is guided meat hunting for blacktail deer on thousands of acres of private land in California. The hunt covers all the necessities of the client.

It includes a thrilling hunt under the supervision of a professional hunter and five days of accommodation either in hotels or RV camping. You will get a transport facility in the territory. Moreover, skinning and trophy preparation are included as well. Plus, there is a proven record of success in hunting down the prey.

Why it Stands Out to Us

This guide has marked its position for organizing a great hunting spot where hunters can stalk their prey too. They conduct the blacktail deer hunt on the A zone private ranches. The terrains have natural scenery, hills, and forests, making it an ideal place to hunt down blacktail deer.

Most of the hunting is conducted by the "spot and stalk" method. Since the ranches are private, it keeps the hunting pressure off you and lets you target a potential target with maximum potential. They offer multiple facilities in a single package and cover everything from transport to trophy preparation in order to mark reliability.

What the Hunt Includes

A great hunt organized by John Cravens, this four-day trip is ideally designed for hunting down blacktail deer and mule deer under the supervision of a professional hunter. With the guidelines, you have better success chances.

This private hunt is conducted in the X-zone of California, which is known as the hub of mule deer. During the trip, you will get to stay in a hotel or hunting cabins and will be allowed to go on mountain hunts or lake hunts. The package covers sleeping bags, pads, and a tent during spike camping. Moreover, the hunt includes trophy preparation and packing as well.

Why it Stands Out to Us

One of the finest hunts on the vast lands of California, this guide takes care of everything for you. Whether you talk about guided hunt or accommodations, it won't disappoint you. The X-zone offers various opportunities for targeting the prey. You will have a transportation facility from and to the airport.

There would be complete guidance during the trip by a professional hunter. The camping experience on the Shasta-Trinity National Forest is just surreal. Moreover, there would be complete support in trophy preparation and packaging. To put in a nutshell, this hunt will give you some unforgettable memories to cherish for a lifetime.

What the Hunt Includes

This five-day hunting trip aims to deliver outclass services during this private hunt with a professional guide. The whole package includes transportation on the territory in addition to field dressing. After hunting down the prey, you are helped in skinning and trophy preparation to take it with you.

You will get comfortable accommodations in the main camp equipped with necessary things. There is a stove to entertain you with freshly cooked meals. Moreover, you can have a hot water bath and multiple beverages to enjoy every bit of the hunt.

Why it Stands Out to Us

This hunting package by Tim has a great balance of price and facilities. You can hunt down a blacktail deer in the A zone of California under the top-notch guidance of a professional hunter. There is no tension of transportation as the package covers everything for you.

The things that make it stand out from many others are additional facilities like freshly cooked meals, fine accommodations in the main camp, in addition to a toilet and shower with hot water available. Moreover, the ranches have exceptional scenery to capture in your camera. Overall, this is probably the best hunting guide if convenience is your preference.

Quick Take | Best California Deer Hunting Guides

Final Thoughts Before Deer Hunting in California

California is not only about beaches and lovely weather; it has a large population of deer as well for hunting. However, hunters are required to obtain a license and deer tags as per strict regulations of the State.

Before you book a hunt, it is important to consider multiple factors, such as weather patterns and deer-population in the region.

Moreover, there are various designated zones in California based on the location and species of deer found there. 

As the deer hunting season approaches, you can hunt down mule, blacktail deer, and feral mule deer in addition to others. You are always recommended to get the services of a reliable guide in order to have a thrilling hunt.

People Also Ask 

Deer hunting either for meat or sport has been a popular activity among adventure lovers. Although there are plenty of tactics written for deer hunting, people still have their doubts. This section aims to clear the confusion of people by answering some of the frequently asked queries.

Where Can I Hunt Deer in California?

Deer hunting in California can be conducted in different areas, as most of them are pretty great spots for this activity. In this regard, Northern California is the most attractive region for deer hunters. You can check out public lands like the Cache Creek Wilderness area, Jackson State Forest, and Mendocino National Forest for a wonderful hunting experience.  

What Kind of Deer Can You Hunt in California?

California is definitely home to a variety of deer species. You can even find some interesting subspecies and a cross between blacktail and mule deer on this land. The commonly found species of deer include black-tailed deer and mule deer. Others like feral mule deer, rocky mountain mule deer, and southern mule deer can also be found here.

How Much is a Deer Tag in California?

Hunting in California requires you to obtain a license first. Once you are a licensed hunter and start practicing deer hunting, it is essential to pay for deer tags as well. In case you are a resident, you have to pay $31 for the first time, while the second deer tag costs $39. For the outsiders, the deer tag costs around $277 both times. 

Is it Legal to Hunt Deer in California?

Yes, it is legal to hunt deer in California, just like other states of the U.S. However, you must follow some rules and regulations in order to keep it safe and healthy. Deer hunting in California is legal only during particular seasons that, too, in designated zones and areas. However, this hunting schedule can be altered by various factors, including populations, breeding patterns, and weather.

When Can I Buy Deer Tags in California?

To hunt deer in California, you must get two deer tags per license year. The applicant must be at least 12 years old at the time of purchasing the deer tags. It is essential to purchase the first deer tag before or at the same time as applying for the second deer tag.

Can You Hunt Deer With an AR-15 in California?

Yes, it is completely legal to hunt with an AR-15 in California. The versatility and familiarity of AR-15 have increased its popularity throughout California. However, the hunters must follow some strict rules and regulations specific to AR-15 implemented by the State's government in order to continue your hunt.

Is Baiting Deer Illegal in California?

No, baiting deer appears to be illegal in California. You can’t use bait in feeders to lure deer or any other animal for hunting. While other big game animals are illegal to feed in California, deer are only allowed to be fed in other states, but hunters can bait them in some states as well.  

How Many Deer Can You Kill in California?

The state won't offer more than two tags per person. Moreover, it is essential to report the harvest by everyone who purchased a deer tag. Whether you were successful or unsuccessful in killing a deer, you have to report it as per the State's rules. Similarly, a successful deer hunt must be reported within 30 days of harvesting.

Who Can Validate a Deer Tag in California?

A deer tag can only be approved by the categorized individuals as per the California Code of Regulations Title 14, section 708.6. Only they have the authority to sign any deer tag. Moreover, any hunter should have a countersigned license tag by an authorized person before transporting the animal to any place.

My name is Caleb and I am obsessed with hunting, fishing, and foraging. To be successful, you have to think like your prey. You have to get into the mind of your target - and understand Big Game Logic. If you have any questions, or just want chat about your latest hunting score or big catch, you can reach me at Read more about Big Game Logic.