Yeti

Unique California Blacktail and Thoughts

sureshotshane

Member
Joined
Dec 20, 2017
Messages
29
Location
CA
In the past I've been hesitant to post stories because someone inevitably accuses you of spot burning. Fact is I could give you the coordinates to my deer and bear spots and you probably won't hunt there.

I also would like to go on record and be the advocate for California hunting. We get a bad rap here. Some of it is for good reason no doubt, but California has a lot to offer the hunter for some unique species you can only find in a handful of states and there is some downright world class hunting. I've never seen a nonresident hunter in California, I'm sure they exist but not where I hunt. How many times have you seen CA plates while hunting in Idaho? Too often is my guess.

Someone has to speak for the state because they are doing a poor job of marketing. While the elk opportunities are limited we do have a generous deer season and most the state you can purchase a deer tag (or two) OTC. The cost of NR tags and licensing is on par or cheaper than other states. With blacktail deer you have to re-evaluate what a big deer is, they just don't get as big as Mule Deer. Much like how an Arizona Coues will never get as big as a Kansas Whitetail. A ton of people travel to chase Coues deer for the unique terrain and opportunity (myself included). The Columbian blacktail following is small in comparison. Most who hunt them do so because it's what is available but there are a few diehards. Maybe they aren't as popular because how difficult they are to hunt on public land.

It's worth mentioning the CA bear hunting. The bear season is long, and the quota never fills now that you can't chase them with dogs and we have some big beautiful colorphase bears. Glassing is very successful.

In this post I won't get into the other unique opportunities we have in California, namely quail, grouse, and pigeons.

We've killed and seen some big pure blacktails while hunting in CA but this is the story of an interesting Columbian Blacktail that I killed.

Myself and my good friend, Blake, were on a backcountry hunt in Northern California. We had only a few days to hunt and fog kept us from glassing the first day. On the second morning, we worked our way along a ridge glassing diligently as we went. Being late in the season, we knew the hunting would be hard as the older bucks are dead or educated and hiding in steep nasty thickets. As for bears, we expected to see them fattening up on any food source they could find. What we didn’t expect was the amount of food that would be left that late in the fall. During that afternoon, our excitement leapt and crashed as we glimpsed a bear on the move drift out of range and sight further along the ridge. That bear and any other bears or shooter bucks in the area continued to elude us.

In hopes another would appear, we glassed hard in the direction we had spotted the bear. Rather than being rewarded with the sight of black or brown fur, we spotted the blue denim of another group of hunters working their way towards us on the ridge. Only a little discouraged by the newly discovered competition, we stayed put and continued to glass. We did not want to intrude on their hunt and could tell they were thinking the same about us. Both groups behind the glass, we watched each other until they decided to slowly turn back the way they had come. Being familiar with the area, Blake and I assumed the other hunters would be camping in the saddle further down the ridge where we were planning to camp that night. It being Sunday, we also suspected they might be headed home to start the work week soon.

Our confidence in finding game was at a new low due to the presence of other hunters, we decided to slow down and spend more time behind the glass on the way to our destination, the saddle. This way we would leave the other hunters enough time to enjoy the rest of their hunt and possibly see something they may have missed.

Light was beginning to dim while we were glassing a canyon east of our position. Sitting on a prominent knob I spotted a beautiful golden-brown bear feasting on Ceonothus berries. A mile away, it was too far to make a stalk that evening. On the same canyon face, but slightly closer was another healthy-looking bear. Jet black, it stood feeding just as frantically. With daylight waning, I began to focus my optics on the areas closest to me. A third good-sized bear appeared just as shooting light faded to dark.

We camped near the glassing knob and dreamed of bears in hopes morning light would come with opportunity. Expecting the bears to hold tight and enjoy the bountiful berries, we crept out to the knob at first light. It wasn’t long after the first rays of sunlight hit the canyon that we spotted the closest black bear from the night before. Blake took the shot and his aim was true. The bear dropped and began tumbling downhill. I continued to glass as Blake went to process his bear.

Soon after, I spotted a group of bucks near where the color phase bear was spotted the night before. About a mile away from me, I knew I would need to be quick because the bucks looked like they were going to crest a finger ridge into a sea of brush to bed for the day. At that distance, I couldn’t get a good look at the bucks, but I knew one was a shooter. I practically ran.

The bucks disappeared into the folds of the land as I approached shooting distance. I continued close the distance, maneuvering into the only shooting lane I could find. The bucks were back in view about 200 yards away. I positioned my tripod for a solid rest and took aim at the biggest buck in the group. I cracked off the shot and he ran a short ways downhill before he buckled and fell. I hiked down to retrieve him, excited to get a closer look.

I found the buck and was pleasantly surprised by his impressive and unique rack especially for a Columbian Blacktail. On his left side he had four solid points. His right side totaled seven points with the beam splitting into two near its base. I've certainly seen and killed bucks that would score higher but this one was special. It was a triple beam buck, or as we call it now – the Trinity Fork.

Decent photos were hard to obtain on a grade so steep.
 

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Beignet

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 27, 2021
Messages
546
Location
Missoula
Sounds like you fellas had a pretty swell day! Into the idea of hunting a unique species and look forward to seeing some more posts about what you turn up in CA.
 

sureshotshane

Member
Joined
Dec 20, 2017
Messages
29
Location
CA
The buck was completely just icing on the cake. It’s about the friends.

I’d like to tell the story of my buddy Blake, hopefully somewhere along the line he sees this. He is from the East and moved to CA several years ago for work, he lives in an apartment in big city San Diego but his roots are from small towns, and grew up hunting. A few years ago I took Blake on his first blacktail hunt. I wanted him to be successful because he deserves it.

I took him to my best spot. We woke up early, glassed from the same knob I’ve glassed from for years and I spotted 3 bucks at first light. I wasn’t hunting for deer as I had filled my tags so it was all him… and the two fellows we ran into on the mountain who had the exact knowledge I had. The wind was howling and our new glassing partners didn’t know how to stalk deer. Basically if they couldn’t shoot it from the one rock that provided a good rest for their 15 pound snipers, they didn’t shoot. The wind was just to strong for a 700 yard shot. I offered for them to stalk the deer with us but they declined that they wouldn’t know what to do even if they did get over there. I told them we’d get so close you could shoot off hand. That’s exactly what we did. The wind direction was perfect, the slopes provided concealment and we practically pranced up to 90 yards where my friend dropped the deer that presented the best shot angle. I think I made it seem to easy. Though it wasn’t the biggest deer in the group, he was so excited I couldn’t believe it. I don’t know that I ever have, or ever will exude that much joy after the shot. Blake looked at me in the moment and said “I could kiss you right now!!” It started to get real and I had to shut his offer down.

That day I realized I enjoy watching others hunt more than if I hunt. I’m preparing to leave tomorrow for a turkey hunt, I was about to put my gun in the truck but instead I charged the camera batteries because there are two other newer turkey hunters and if we can get them both a bird in one day, that’s 110% success in my book.
 

ismith

Active member
Joined
Jun 28, 2010
Messages
605
Location
Helena, MT
In the past I've been hesitant to post stories because someone inevitably accuses you of spot burning. Fact is I could give you the coordinates to my deer and bear spots and you probably won't hunt there.

I also would like to go on record and be the advocate for California hunting. We get a bad rap here. Some of it is for good reason no doubt, but California has a lot to offer the hunter for some unique species you can only find in a handful of states and there is some downright world class hunting. I've never seen a nonresident hunter in California, I'm sure they exist but not where I hunt. How many times have you seen CA plates while hunting in Idaho? Too often is my guess.

Someone has to speak for the state because they are doing a poor job of marketing. While the elk opportunities are limited we do have a generous deer season and most the state you can purchase a deer tag (or two) OTC. The cost of NR tags and licensing is on par or cheaper than other states. With blacktail deer you have to re-evaluate what a big deer is, they just don't get as big as Mule Deer. Much like how an Arizona Coues will never get as big as a Kansas Whitetail. A ton of people travel to chase Coues deer for the unique terrain and opportunity (myself included). The Columbian blacktail following is small in comparison. Most who hunt them do so because it's what is available but there are a few diehards. Maybe they aren't as popular because how difficult they are to hunt on public land.

It's worth mentioning the CA bear hunting. The bear season is long, and the quota never fills now that you can't chase them with dogs and we have some big beautiful colorphase bears. Glassing is very successful.

In this post I won't get into the other unique opportunities we have in California, namely quail, grouse, and pigeons.

We've killed and seen some big pure blacktails while hunting in CA but this is the story of an interesting Columbian Blacktail that I killed.

Myself and my good friend, Blake, were on a backcountry hunt in Northern California. We had only a few days to hunt and fog kept us from glassing the first day. On the second morning, we worked our way along a ridge glassing diligently as we went. Being late in the season, we knew the hunting would be hard as the older bucks are dead or educated and hiding in steep nasty thickets. As for bears, we expected to see them fattening up on any food source they could find. What we didn’t expect was the amount of food that would be left that late in the fall. During that afternoon, our excitement leapt and crashed as we glimpsed a bear on the move drift out of range and sight further along the ridge. That bear and any other bears or shooter bucks in the area continued to elude us.

In hopes another would appear, we glassed hard in the direction we had spotted the bear. Rather than being rewarded with the sight of black or brown fur, we spotted the blue denim of another group of hunters working their way towards us on the ridge. Only a little discouraged by the newly discovered competition, we stayed put and continued to glass. We did not want to intrude on their hunt and could tell they were thinking the same about us. Both groups behind the glass, we watched each other until they decided to slowly turn back the way they had come. Being familiar with the area, Blake and I assumed the other hunters would be camping in the saddle further down the ridge where we were planning to camp that night. It being Sunday, we also suspected they might be headed home to start the work week soon.

Our confidence in finding game was at a new low due to the presence of other hunters, we decided to slow down and spend more time behind the glass on the way to our destination, the saddle. This way we would leave the other hunters enough time to enjoy the rest of their hunt and possibly see something they may have missed.

Light was beginning to dim while we were glassing a canyon east of our position. Sitting on a prominent knob I spotted a beautiful golden-brown bear feasting on Ceonothus berries. A mile away, it was too far to make a stalk that evening. On the same canyon face, but slightly closer was another healthy-looking bear. Jet black, it stood feeding just as frantically. With daylight waning, I began to focus my optics on the areas closest to me. A third good-sized bear appeared just as shooting light faded to dark.

We camped near the glassing knob and dreamed of bears in hopes morning light would come with opportunity. Expecting the bears to hold tight and enjoy the bountiful berries, we crept out to the knob at first light. It wasn’t long after the first rays of sunlight hit the canyon that we spotted the closest black bear from the night before. Blake took the shot and his aim was true. The bear dropped and began tumbling downhill. I continued to glass as Blake went to process his bear.

Soon after, I spotted a group of bucks near where the color phase bear was spotted the night before. About a mile away from me, I knew I would need to be quick because the bucks looked like they were going to crest a finger ridge into a sea of brush to bed for the day. At that distance, I couldn’t get a good look at the bucks, but I knew one was a shooter. I practically ran.

The bucks disappeared into the folds of the land as I approached shooting distance. I continued close the distance, maneuvering into the only shooting lane I could find. The bucks were back in view about 200 yards away. I positioned my tripod for a solid rest and took aim at the biggest buck in the group. I cracked off the shot and he ran a short ways downhill before he buckled and fell. I hiked down to retrieve him, excited to get a closer look.

I found the buck and was pleasantly surprised by his impressive and unique rack especially for a Columbian Blacktail. On his left side he had four solid points. His right side totaled seven points with the beam splitting into two near its base. I've certainly seen and killed bucks that would score higher but this one was special. It was a triple beam buck, or as we call it now – the Trinity Fork.

Decent photos were hard to obtain on a grade so steep.
 

gouch

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 29, 2019
Messages
773
Location
SW Oregon
That is a cool looking Buck. Congratulations

But you seem to have strayed away from the officially sanctioned story. Always remember, "Blacktails are too small and too hard to hunt so you might as well not try."
 

sureshotshane

Member
Joined
Dec 20, 2017
Messages
29
Location
CA
That is a cool looking Buck. Congratulations

But you seem to have strayed away from the officially sanctioned story. Always remember, "Blacktails are too small and too hard to hunt so you might as well not try."
As much as I’d like to continue to keep it to myself I think California needs more supporters. The deer could use more attention because despite managers best efforts there is still a decent population of deer in certain areas.
 

gouch

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 29, 2019
Messages
773
Location
SW Oregon
All in jest. I am actually surprised that so few hunters, not on the west coast, seem to have the Columbia Blacktail on their bucket list. The Sitka Blacktail seems more popular. The Sitka is a uniquely beautiful animal, but I think that big mature Columbia Blacktail tend to have the prettiest racks of any deer.
 

@fulldraw

New member
Joined
Jan 21, 2021
Messages
22
Location
Austin, TX
Congrats and thanks for sharing. My in-laws are in SoCal and a frequently debate whether it’s worth it to give it a shot when we’re out that way visiting. You’ve given me the itch to look into it again.
 

MarvB

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 5, 2001
Messages
6,504
Location
₵tral Oar-e-gun
^^^what rocky said! While living/working down there (Cali) I was fortunate enough to draw some pretty limited tags but knowing my OTC backyard B zone was always more successful than the various X and M tags I drew.

Have taken far bigger mulies but these couple blacktails were two of the hardest hunts I’ve ever had in terms of time and effort.

80E624F0-3063-421D-A405-E8C20DDE8160.jpeg BAB9B354-170E-4CAC-BFE6-79BAB1BE8A3A.jpeg 69282221-7A74-4726-9FFF-2EA64E4165C2.jpeg
 

lastlight

Well-known member
Joined
Mar 30, 2018
Messages
371
Location
Northern California
You say out state is doing a poor job at marketing, how and why should we market to nonresident hunters? We don’t have a market for nonresidents for elk, antelope sheep, etc. We don’t have a spring bear season which is the only productive way to hunt bears outside of bait/hounds in the fall (generally speaking). And our deer herds in general are in very poor condition. Our buck to doe ratios aren’t even measured and the latest I’ve seen guessed on average is 12:100. We’ve lost almost 50% of the herd in the past 20 years because of habitat, mismanagement, and predation that goes largely unchecked. If I was a nonresident I wouldnt hunt here for free, and I fill both my deer tags every year in two zones. That’s only because I choose to live part time in the areas I hunt and know how to pattern these deer. But the numbers just simply are not there. One of Last years deer aged out at 7 years old on public land and that is likely the biggest fluke I’ll ever see. I hate to say it but CDFW needs to reduce tag numbers and/or implement some kind of antler restriction. I don’t want nonresidents coming here to join the party of the if it moves kill it with 99% of resident hunters as we already have a struggling age class, every forky dies.

The management of both habitat and deer needs a complete overhaul before you should self elect yourself as our spokesman. I get it though, you killed a nice buck and wanted to boast about it. I’ve been there but never again are my pics of Cali bucks going online lol. BTW you need to use your self timer and get better pics especially of a buck like that. Prop it up on your pack or a rock. They also make these little phone holding devises with legs you can get on Amazon cheap and they don’t weigh anything. Just some advise!
 

sureshotshane

Member
Joined
Dec 20, 2017
Messages
29
Location
CA
You say out state is doing a poor job at marketing, how and why should we market to nonresident hunters? We don’t have a market for nonresidents for elk, antelope sheep, etc. We don’t have a spring bear season which is the only productive way to hunt bears outside of bait/hounds in the fall (generally speaking). And our deer herds in general are in very poor condition. Our buck to doe ratios aren’t even measured and the latest I’ve seen guessed on average is 12:100. We’ve lost almost 50% of the herd in the past 20 years because of habitat, mismanagement, and predation that goes largely unchecked. If I was a nonresident I wouldnt hunt here for free, and I fill both my deer tags every year in two zones. That’s only because I choose to live part time in the areas I hunt and know how to pattern these deer. But the numbers just simply are not there. One of Last years deer aged out at 7 years old on public land and that is likely the biggest fluke I’ll ever see. I hate to say it but CDFW needs to reduce tag numbers and/or implement some kind of antler restriction. I don’t want nonresidents coming here to join the party of the if it moves kill it with 99% of resident hunters as we already have a struggling age class, every forky dies.

The management of both habitat and deer needs a complete overhaul before you should self elect yourself as our spokesman. I get it though, you killed a nice buck and wanted to boast about it. I’ve been there but never again are my pics of Cali bucks going online lol. BTW you need to use your self timer and get better pics especially of a buck like that. Prop it up on your pack or a rock. They also make these little phone holding devises with legs you can get on Amazon cheap and they don’t weigh anything. Just some advise!
I’ll bite.

A few things… I said certain areas are worth it. Which is true in most every state.

I specifically mentioned that we do not offer elk opportunities, residents will never draw; forget about pronghorn or sheep. But what we DO have is big blacktail deer. If you want to kill a big blacktail spot and stalk - I know of no better state. I believe it is fact that we have big record blacktail.

I wish we had a spring bear hunt. That would be awesome and would bring nothing but good things. It will never happen unfortunately. I disagree that the only “generally speaking” effective way to kill a bear is dogs and bait. I’m very confident in getting people on bears. If it’s one things we’ve got, it’s bears. Don’t get me wrong - the later in autumn it gets, the harder it is to find bears. I can all but garauntee a person a bear if they come out in September and early October. If you know where the food is they can be found into November with consistency.

I don’t want to sound rude but just because you can’t find them, doesn’t mean they aren’t here (although you said you do get two every year). Against all odds we have good to great hunting if you know where to look.

I didn’t want to start a deer management discussion. I do think it’s a bit outdated to allow two tags in almost every unit. What western state allows you to buy two general season deer tag OTC? I got out of wildlife biology because the politics and I don’t claim to have all the answer but it’s clear something needs to be done.

Most people kill forked horns because the hunting is so difficult and they take what they can get. It’s an accomplishment in some zones just to kill a fork. When was the last time you saw a mainstream TV show do a public land CA blacktail hunt? I don’t keep up but my guess is almost never. It’s simply hard.

I think we could agree we need to reform our “management.” We can look at some facts though. The number of tags are capped. The tags sell out in the best areas. Most people I know buy two tags and never use them, they just buy the tag “in case.” Most people never use the first tag actually. Every zone would need a different approach. Some of the X zones are worse than OTC units. I wouldn’t mind giving one of my two tags to a non-resident if the desire was there, but it’s not so I wouldn’t worry to much about some NRs ruining your spots.

I’m not suggesting every Joe Hunter come hunt deer but more and more people are hunting for the experience and have a goal. My father it was about the meat. I grew out of that and realized it’s the meat and so much more. Some people want to experience a blacktail deer hunt, just like how I’ve gone to southern AZ just for a tiny Coues deer. What a blast that was. People fly to islands in Southeast Alaska for Sitka Blacktail. These are serious hunters. A little bit more attention can be beneficial, that’s my opinion.

But yes, parts of California are disgustingly low in game. The National Forest nearest to where I’ve lived for the last couple years are horrible (on public land). I wish the managing agencies would do something. I think part of the solution is to bring more attention to the resource and let managers know that this isn’t something that should be squandered. If we valued the blacktail like other states value their special subspecies I think we’d be better off. Perhaps we disagree fundamentally on RRR.

No other state has more mountain quail or valley quail. I’m biased but Mountain Quail is the ultimate game bird. We have a unique ruffed grouse, sooty grouse, band-tailed pigeon, and dove. The turkey season starts early and is long (all you need is a game bird stamp), holy cow the waterfowl, and wild pig. I won’t mention the other species that we can hunt but aren’t all that special or robust.

I think I can speak for my experiences in California however I’d like. No need to take it to personally that I said I’m will be an advocate for California. This is not just about deer. I chose to start with deer because I believe it to be the most underrated. You are proving that point. You have a sour taste like many for California, I want to leave here just as much as anyone. What’s your reason for still being stuck here? Job? Wife and kids? Yup, me too. But while I’m here I will make the most of the wonderful things we do have. And I bought my lifetime hunting license and I will come back and hunt even after I move and maybe even still operate a portion of my business here. Specifically for the things I can’t find in the state I’d like to live. The fishing is a no brainer as well.

Sure I wanted to brag a little but this is just one buck, that is somewhat odd. But not the biggest out there. I used to have your attitude but I’ll post enough photos for the both of us in the future, I’m not worried someone will take my spotsssss. If you read the story you’ll pick up that it isn’t just about being in the spot. You think those 4 other hunters spotted that buck and passed it? Getting there is half the work. I have dozens of areas I’ve scouted and never hunted because I never needed to but would love to go check out. Spots come and go and burn to ash and you know where you’ll find me in two years.

I couldn’t agree more that I need better photos. I’m working on it. There is no excuse but here they are:
1) Do they actually weigh nothing? I cut the end off my toothbrush so I definitely won’t be carrying any phone tripod miles into the mountains. Not that those rinky dink thing you are talking about would have done me any good on that slope.
2) Honestly the last thing I think about is boasting when the animal is down. I hunt for interacting with friends and for my own mental and physical health.
3) You might be able to see from my forehead that it was about 90 degrees that day. The animal needed out, it was miles from the truck and down a the opposite side of a canyon on a southern exposure. I’ve brought a full-size camera before and didn’t use it because it’s just not on my mind.
4)Truth is I had a full size tripod and I left it and any other gear I didn’t need to process the buck where I shot from because it was practically rock climbing to get that buck out.
 

sureshotshane

Member
Joined
Dec 20, 2017
Messages
29
Location
CA
^^^what rocky said! While living/working down there (Cali) I was fortunate enough to draw some pretty limited tags but knowing my OTC backyard B zone was always more successful than the various X and M tags I drew.

Have taken far bigger mulies but these couple blacktails were two of the hardest hunts I’ve ever had in terms of time and effort.

View attachment 218383 View attachment 218384 View attachment 218385
It looks like a couple of them you preserved the velvet? Archery? Them are some hog archery bucks if so. My best friend is a better archery shot than I am, so when we stalked into the the biggest buck I’ve ever seen- I said he should take the shot. His rangefinder said 60 yards and mine said 35 yards, we bickered while 13 bucks sat at 35 yards. It was comical looking back, ultimately I told him to just shoot for whatever he wants and that I wasn’t going to argue. His rangefinder didn’t account for slope, mine did. He shot over. All hell broke loose and we single handedly educated 13 bucks that it was opener.

I’ve wrote off the X zone I used to hunt because I prefer the Coastal zones. In my experience there is more deer in the B zones than in the X zones but it’s a lot easier to see the deer in the more open X zones making it seem more deer dense.
 

sureshotshane

Member
Joined
Dec 20, 2017
Messages
29
Location
CA
Congrats and thanks for sharing. My in-laws are in SoCal and a frequently debate whether it’s worth it to give it a shot when we’re out that way visiting. You’ve given me the itch to look into it again.
Truthfully, I’d drive north further. If you can kill bucks (bigger than a fork) on public consistently every year in Southern California, you are my hero. I’ve thought about getting a tag down there but haven’t wanted to punish myself that much.
 

Beignet

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 27, 2021
Messages
546
Location
Missoula
You say out state is doing a poor job at marketing, how and why should we market to nonresident hunters? We don’t have a market for nonresidents for elk, antelope sheep, etc. We don’t have a spring bear season which is the only productive way to hunt bears outside of bait/hounds in the fall (generally speaking). And our deer herds in general are in very poor condition. Our buck to doe ratios aren’t even measured and the latest I’ve seen guessed on average is 12:100. We’ve lost almost 50% of the herd in the past 20 years because of habitat, mismanagement, and predation that goes largely unchecked. If I was a nonresident I wouldnt hunt here for free, and I fill both my deer tags every year in two zones. That’s only because I choose to live part time in the areas I hunt and know how to pattern these deer. But the numbers just simply are not there. One of Last years deer aged out at 7 years old on public land and that is likely the biggest fluke I’ll ever see. I hate to say it but CDFW needs to reduce tag numbers and/or implement some kind of antler restriction. I don’t want nonresidents coming here to join the party of the if it moves kill it with 99% of resident hunters as we already have a struggling age class, every forky dies.

The management of both habitat and deer needs a complete overhaul before you should self elect yourself as our spokesman. I get it though, you killed a nice buck and wanted to boast about it. I’ve been there but never again are my pics of Cali bucks going online lol. BTW you need to use your self timer and get better pics especially of a buck like that. Prop it up on your pack or a rock. They also make these little phone holding devises with legs you can get on Amazon cheap and they don’t weigh anything. Just some advise!
Dang, dude. I was already planning my fork horn California hunt for this Fall but now I’m second guessing it cause non-residents aren’t super welcome. Montanans are real good at killing fork horns, I’m practically a pro at that. Already ordered my self timer camera thing too. Just don’t want people chasing me down when they see my Montana license plate and telling me to go back to where I came from.
 

sureshotshane

Member
Joined
Dec 20, 2017
Messages
29
Location
CA
All in jest. I am actually surprised that so few hunters, not on the west coast, seem to have the Columbia Blacktail on their bucket list. The Sitka Blacktail seems more popular. The Sitka is a uniquely beautiful animal, but I think that big mature Columbia Blacktail tend to have the prettiest racks of any deer.
That’s precisely my point. I wish I could understand why people will travel across the country for a Coues or even a turkey but Columbian blacktail deer will always be the redheaded step-father of mule deer that us west coasters are stuck with. Maybe it’s the short 2 month long season (archery and general) or the fact the tags are so easy to come by. If they made it limited entry more people would covet the blacktail.
 
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