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February 23rd, 2010, 12:23 AM
O.K., I just road up past Ice House and 3 miles past Union Valley Reservoir until we hit too heavy a snow. Stopped 4 miles off HWY 50 on Ice House Road to look out over an overlook. Had not hit the snow line yet, and wow, fresh deer tracks. Now that will get you pumped when you've never been to an area before. I'm used to Whitetails in Maryland and in February you can see farms of deer 40 or more at a time. Anyway, I'm planning on Bow Hunting Unit D5 so this has me going. I went up today to get an eye for places to park and go back in on Backpack Bowhunting trips. Any suggestions, please advise. Thanks!

I do know this is a heavy used area in summer, just hope most of them are gone home, come deer season. Will be planning on backpacking in where no motorized vehicles or bicycles are allowed. (Nothing against them, I owned a Grizzly 660).

Share any info you have. PLEASE!!

February 23rd, 2010, 01:48 PM
I hunt right above the reservoir. There's a seep at the top of a ridge that runs down into the reservoir. Archery season is in August, and people are in the campgrounds then, but not many in the woods. Last time I was bowhunting there was 2006. There was onoly one other hunter at that time, and he was hunting back down toward the turnoff to Union Valley.
There's a mountain camp for kids there, and they are still there during the archery season. If you go past the turn in for the main campground, you come to a spot where you either go straight to stay along the lake, or left to head up to Wright's Lake. Just after that left turn the mountain camp is on the right up the hill.
I go straight at that turn to just past the end of the pavement. There's a dirt FS road running up the hill on the left. I park and walk up there to the area of the seep. There's no specific trails for blacktail, they take a different route every day, but they like to move through the area where that dort road splits into three directions. Going straight you will run into the run-off from the seep. Where the water seeps out uphill is VERY thick with cedars, and I suspect deer hide in there during the day.
Kids on mountain bikes will be riding around on the roads of this area during the archery season.
During the gun season, there's tons of road hunters in this area. They drive around on the dirt FS roads with ,oaded guns in their trucks.
Never took anything up there with a bow, only gun.
If you want to get away from others, just hike over the top of the first hill, and you're by yourself. It gets hot in the summer, even in the fall. I've hunted there in September in temps just below 100.
Anotherspot where deer are seen is between Ice House and Union Valley. There's a pipeline that crosses the main road to Loon Lake, and you can park and walk down toward Union Valley. I found a spot there where the deer cross a creek on a dirt bridge.
Driving up, after you pass the road to Grizzly Springs, there's a large valley on your left before you get to the Ice House store. If it snows up there during the gun season, the der tend to use that valley to migrate down to lower elevations. After the snow there will be no deer left in the area.
Many folks tend to drive the roads glassing any logged areas, then try to sneak up on any bucks they see bedded. Spot and stalk is a common method in California.

February 23rd, 2010, 11:50 PM
:77: Wow, now that's hospitality. Thanks for the input. I could have hunted and scouted a whole season and still be confused. I will be checking these places out during my prescouting. Thanks again,

February 24th, 2010, 08:35 AM
Back east, we hunt for sheds during spring. Just as a pastime, it gets rid of cabin fever. Do or have any of you guys done this before or is it a waste of time here? I moved from western Maryland, DEEP CREEK LAKE, and we get over 200 in. of snow per year in Garrett County. Cabin Fever makes you want to get outside and just go.

NEW TOPIC!! What about Turkey season around Ice HOUSE?:chicken01:

March 2nd, 2010, 04:21 PM
:BrownBear: Well, went up on 2/21 and rode all the way to Union Valley to the Hell Hole turnoff. Man, I'm loving the looks of that area. Yes, public land can be a hassle to hunt but, hikers usually keep deer moving for you. Now I'm finding that they have an abundant bear population. Looks like I'm gonna be deer and bear hunting. Any of you have any success seeing bears in that area. Thanks for all input. Griz.

Rode over to Lake Sonoma to check out Hog hunting on Sunday. Oops, need a boat to get to campgrounds. Didn't know that one.

March 4th, 2010, 07:41 PM
Received my map from National Geographic. Was amazed at how much private land is up in Eldorado National Forest. Glad I bought the map, it helps me and that occasional person who says I'm on private property. Happened in Colorado but I was fast to show him map and my coordinates on my GPS. He didn't have much to say to that. Sorta changed his attitude. Guess it must have worked on other hunters around that wallow.

Anyway, what about hunting South of HWY. 50. Seems to be a lot of public land there. I haven't scouted it yet but, get ready, I WILL!!!!!

March 5th, 2010, 01:46 AM
sent you a Pm

March 6th, 2010, 11:33 PM
:typing: O.K. I need help on turkey hunting around Ice House. Gonna go up sometime before season opens. Want to drive 100 yd. blow crow call and keep repeating until I hear a gobbler. What's my chance???

string jumper
March 8th, 2010, 01:00 AM
I've hunted D5 for alot of years and I started applying for A16. and once I hunted A 16 I hard a hard time hunting D5. I liked D5 but A16 yo could hunt from desert to above the tree line. I was on deer everyday.
If you put infor the hunt and get drawn, Let me know and I can tell you where to start.

March 8th, 2010, 08:59 PM
Help me out, is A16 actually an x zone??? Just getting used to the hunting abreviations. Still a little confusing.

March 8th, 2010, 11:07 PM
Never heard or saw any turkeys up there.

March 10th, 2010, 01:46 AM
Thanks about the turkey situation. We took a ride up to Sly Park Dam at Jenkinson Reservoir. A little snow still on the ground. Park Ranger let us ride through Park to scope things out. Was amazed, there were people camping in pull trailers. Man, made me jealous. Beautiful area. Lots of public land between there and Silver Lake, according to Ranger.

March 15th, 2010, 04:01 PM
Hi all! New California hunter (and new bow hunter). My wife's family logged the Ice House areas for years. Her grandmother use to work in the store at Ice House in the summers while they logged. I'll give her grandfather a call and see what tips he has for that area. Anything that's back there I'm sure he'll have seen from the logging roads (if his memory hasn't gone). Being my first year hunting, I plan on sticking close to home with the D3-5 zone. I never have any trouble find them when I'm not looking for them. We'll see what happens when I go looking for them.

IditarodGrizzly - If you're looking for turkey, you might want to look around Auburn, Lincoln, Penn Valley, and Marysville areas. We have plenty, but it takes some looking, and the areas of public land are small or well pressured. I just got my first private land permission with confirmed turkey this morning! Can't wait!

March 16th, 2010, 08:08 PM
Thanks! Wish I could hunt here off HAZEL AV. We rode into the Bluffs overlooking Nimbus Dam. Flocks of turkey, 6 gobblers running together and 1 deer. More wildlife than I've seen since I moved here. Crazy, saw turkeys in Fair Oaks in town also.

March 24th, 2010, 06:35 AM
So decision on Ice House is final. We now wait until July and start doing some prescouting hiking. Still have to get my bearings on all the off highway trails. They will be good connectors for scouting and marking waypoints. Can't wait to find that little pocket that deer hide in during the day.

Wonder if you have many people in campgrounds that have a problem with seeing a deer hanging in camp. Just kidding, according to what I've heard it will still be quite warm during Archery Season.

March 28th, 2010, 09:33 PM
So decision on Ice House is final. We now wait until July and start doing some prescouting hiking. Still have to get my bearings on all the off highway trails. They will be good connectors for scouting and marking waypoints. Can't wait to find that little pocket that deer hide in during the day.

Wonder if you have many people in campgrounds that have a problem with seeing a deer hanging in camp. Just kidding, according to what I've heard it will still be quite warm during Archery Season.

You never can tell who's in camp, but we've never had negative comments made, or the Host come over to say there was a complaint. That was with skinning, we gut them out as soon as we can where we get them.
If you're going to be staying for a period of time, you might want to make reservations now. In the main campground, I like the sites between the main entrance and the outhouse on your left, when you look in at the camp from the entrance.Down the center drive is good, as well as 20-25. 18-21, 24, 26, and 27 could have a bit of steep hill between the tent/table site and your vehicle. I'm looking at this page.

This looks like the reservations site.

Unless you butcher your own deer, you might want to find a shop ahead of time that you can take your deer to.

April 3rd, 2010, 01:36 PM
For some decent turkey hunting fairly close by there are numerous wildlife areas here in the valley.The DFG website( a great place to start.The various parts of the Feather River WA is my personal favorite.Nelson Slough,Abbott Lake and O'Connor Lake all hold good turkey numbers and fairly light hunting pressure.They also hold alot of deer that almost nobody hunts because no rifles are allowed.Fremont Weir WA is also has good turkey and deer populations but gets slammed by hunters on opening weekend of turkey and quail which is during deer season.Daugherty Hill WA and Spenceville WA are also decent areas but get pressured a bunch and is draw only for first 9 days of the turkey season. All of these places are within 60min.from Orangevale.
Another great spot for public land hunting is the Cache Creek WA and the BLM land that surrounds it. I hope this helps some.

July 19th, 2014, 11:54 PM
Any updates? Has anyone got a nice buck up there?