hard-core Blacktail hunters are surprised when they look at a record
book and see just how big Columbian Blacktails really get. California
has numerous Blacktails in the Boone and Crockett record book with
spreads approaching or exceeding 30 inches. If you don't believe
me, look for yourself. Can you imagine what a 130 pound Blacktail
(like the one pictured above) would look like with a 30 inch wide
rack on his head? Compared to a 250 lb mulie with the same horns,
he would look absolutely huge!!
grows some extremely wide bucks. These aren't just freaks that grow
low wide racks and have no height or main beam length. They are
truly big in every respect. I realize there is much more to a trophy
class set of horns than just width, but most deer hunters seem to
place a lot of emphases on it, so that's what I am going to talk
number one Columbian Blacktail was taken in 1949 by Peter Gerbo
in Glen County. This incredible buck has an inside spread of 26
5/8 inches, with its greatest spread exceeding 30 inches. The big
5 x 5 also has extremely heavy horns, which measure 5 1/2 inches
in circumference, at the smallest point between its burr and first
point (eye-guard). Main bean lengths of 24 inches, and 8 1/2 inches
of abnormal points. This
buck would be an exceptional mule deer.
buck, taken in Trinity county by A.H. Hilbert measures 26 5/8 inches
inside, 30 inches outside and has 23-inch main beams. In 1961 Brud
Eade took a huge buck in Santa Clara county, with an outside spread
of 28 6/8 inches. This massive 5 x 7 also has 10 5/8 inches of abnormal
points. George Rodgers shot a buck in Mendocino county in 1977,
that has a 30 inch outside spread, twenty six inch main beams and
an inside spread of 25 inches, as well as 9 4/8 inches of abnormal
Columbian Blacktail listed in the Boone and Crockett record book
was also taken by A.H. Hilbert, in Trinity County. Just one year
after taking the 30-inch buck mentioned above. Hilbert took an even
wider one. This tremendous Columbian Blacktail has an outside spread
of 35 3/8 inches, and a 28 6/8-inch inside spread. It has main beam
lengths averaging 26 inches, as well as 9 6/8 inches of abnormal
points. There is not a mule deer hunter out there who wouldn't be
proud to take a buck of this caliber.
I have mentioned in this article are only a few of the big Columbian
Blacktails listed in Boone and Crockett. The book is full of bucks
from California with spreads in excess of 25 inches. Not to mention
the huge bucks that have been taken that don't meet Boone and Crockett's
stringent criteria for one reason or another.
and Washington also regularly produce huge Columbian Blacktails
but they don't seem to have the excessive width that the California
bucks do. Their genetic make-up likely cause their horns to be configured
some what differently, than those of their Northern California cousins.
are looking for an incredible hunt with breath taking scenery try
hunting California's wide-racked, high mountain Blacktails. I guarantee
you, It will be an experience you will never forget.