"Video Log" contains photos and information on some of the latest bucks we have seen and photographed. This will make it possible for you to follow Blacktail's as they progress through the year. There will be no information on where these bucks were filmed, this is obviously necessary to continue to have access to our filming areas.

2003 Blacktail Country Video Log, July 27th

Another month has passed and opening day of California's A-zone is fast approaching. Since I updated this section last we have been fortunate enough to see and film some incredible bucks, some of which are pictured below. I am totally amazed at the number of quality bucks we have seen in the last couple months. In the last three years it seems the average size of Blacktail bucks in this part of California has grown significantly. Many of the long time locals agree, saying they have never seen so many quality bucks.

In years past I felt lucky to get video of one good buck in an evening filming. I always saw a lot of bucks, and many of them I considered respectable, but it was rare that I saw a four point of any type and when I did, they were most often under the magic 20 inch mark. Now days I find myself not even bothering to film three points because I know right around the corner there is a good chance of finding a much bigger buck.

This year it seems like bucks sporting four point racks (not including eye-guards) are the rule rather than the exception. I have no idea how many big bucks I have seen so far this year because I don't keep track, but I have seen a lot. When I say big bucks I'm talking about bucks in excess of twenty inches with at least four points on one side. Granted I travel much greater distances in search of bucks and have access to better pieces of property but none the less, the average horn size of bucks is just bigger. I don't even bother with many of my old spots. Most of the bucks pictured below were photographed on a piece of proper I recently gained access to in a B-Zone. This ranch is simply loaded with deer and located in an area well known for producing big Blacktails. I can't tell you how many big bucks I have filmed there in the last month and a half.

We have been lucky enough to video some very respectable bucks and I have included a few video captures below. There is a very heavy high horned 5X4. I filmed him accidentally about a month ago and had been looking for him ever since. I was filming another big buck and he walked by in the background, I put the camera on him but only got 4-5 seconds of video before he disappeared. It wasn't until I watched the video that I realized just how big he was. I again saw him about three weeks ago but again I wasn't able to get any video. He was bedded in four foot tall grass and let me get within about fifty feet before jumping up and making a B-line for the nearby brush. Finally three weeks ago I found him again and was able to get some decent video. We also ran in to him about a week ago but my wife was stricken by buck fever and forgot to push record. I am not making fun of her because I can't tell you how many times I have done the same thing. I have never gotten buck fever while hunting but I have lost my composure many times while filming. I don't shake and babble like people I have seen with buck fever. I just do dumb things, like forgetting to push record, or film the wrong deer. Last year I had a huge 26-27 inch wide buck run by behind a smaller 20 inch buck I was filming. He stopped only 10 feet from the smaller buck but I never noticed him. It wasn't until the smaller buck nearly ran me over that I saw the bigger one standing there staring at me. By the time I got the camera on him he too was running straight towards me. The only video I managed to get of him was a flash as he ran by 20 feet away.

While Linda and I were checking out one of the ranches we hunt in B-Zone we came across and filmed a huge buck. He's an awesome 30 inch wide 5x5, with long tines and incredible mass. The people that have seen the video all say the same thing "oh my god, is that a Blacktail". In all my years of hunting and filming I have never seen any thing like him. He is definitely going to become the new BTC poster child and will be in our soon to be released "Velvet Blacktails" Video, along with many other bucks and the ones pictured below. If anyone is skeptical that this buck is anything other than a pure California Columbian Blacktail I intentionally left his tail visible.

One of the reasons we have been seeing so many bucks is because we have been spending a lot of time patrolling for trespassers on various ranches. We haven't caught any trespasser while we were out , yet, but the trail cameras on one of the ranches have now caught two. Both believed to be members of a well known club. Most people don't realize landowners, including us, are now using trail cameras (motion sensing cameras) to get proof for prosecution. These cameras have become so cheap (as little as $80 in some catalogs) I'm sure this will become an even more common practice. One fence jumper has already been identified and prosecution has begun. It's pretty funny, both guys are totally clueless they're being photographed. Keep that in mind if your one of those hunters that doesn't pay attention to boundaries. What are you going to say when a warden shows up at your door with your picture in hand. I know a guy that was caught this way a few years ago and I couldn't have been happier. He was also a frequent trespasser on other local ranches.


2003 Blacktail Country Video Log, June 28th

It has been far to long since I updated this section of the site and since deer season is fast approaching I figured now would be a good time. We haven't really gotten serious about filming just yet, although if my last two trips are any indication it is time to start. By all accounts this looks to be another great year in our area. Even though many bucks antlers will continue to grow for another few weeks we have already seen some exceptional bucks in our short time spent in the hills. The main reason I haven't been out filming much or working on the site is because all of my free time has been going into our next two videos,"Velvet Blacktails" and "High Country Blacktails". In case you aren't familiar with our next two scheduled videos 'High Country Blacktails" will be our first hunting video and "Velvet Blacktails" will be much like "Ruttin' Blacktails" but it will made up of video of big velvet covered bucks. A few of them are pictured below.

Like I said earlier we haven't been out much but in the last few days we have been lucky enough to see a few good bucks. The biggest so far I filmed last night, right at dark. The video captures are pretty much useless, so he is not pictured below, but with the editing capabilities of our video editing system, the video should be usable and will appear on our Velvet Blacktails video.

The below video captures show some of the better bucks we have seen recently. The two buck pictured on the top row aren't really anything special, although the three point on the right has some good tine length and mass. I Believe the buck pictured in the middle is one we call "Flyer". If you have seen our "Ruttin Blacktail" videos you might recognize him. He is the buck that turns around and kicks it into high gear almost instantly. He goes from 0-60 in about two seconds, while jumping a creek bottom and a climbing a hill. It's hard to tell just how much ground he covers by watching the video but I guarantee it would take a person 10 minutes to cover the terrain he traverses in 10 seconds. I never cease to be amazed at what an incredible animal the Blacktail deer is.

We filmed the bachelor group of bucks on the bottom in a new area. The 4x4 is a real beauty, he's not real wide, probably around 20 inches, but he is very symmetrical and already has pretty good tine length. Even though he lacks eye-guards, I would suspect by the time he is done growing he will make B&C. The buck standing with him looks to be an old buck possibly regressing. It is not very noticeable in the stills but he is pretty wide, in the neighborhood of 22 inches and very heavy. It will be interesting to see how these two progress through the rest of their horn growth. That is assuming we ever see them again.

Good luck with your pre-season scouting. Hopefully with the California archery opener being only a couple weeks away we will have some new photos to post on the site in the near future.


Click on images for larger view.


2002 Blacktail Country Video Log, September 1st-8th

I went hunting this morning and didn't see a single buck, which is a pretty rare occurrence. I have only been out a few times lately and haven't had any luck, even though I have seen plenty of bucks. I am probably being a little to picky.

It finally seems to be cooling down, so hopefully the big bucks will begin to show themselves. This is usually the case as the season draws to a close in my area. The bucks become more active. I suspect it has something to do with the approaching rut, which will likely begin right after the season closes in a couple of weeks. I have seen some pretty good bucks but nothing big enough to shoot.

My brother missed a big 4x? yesterday. He jumped it out of a patch of whitethorns, where a big three point (19-20 wide) has been hangin. He at first assumed it was the big three point and could have killed it easily. After the buck spotted him it jumped up and took off down the canyon. When it first got up it was picking up speed and quartering away at 75 yards, a fairly easy shot . After the buck got to full speed it turned slightly and Dave could see it wasn't the 3 point, it was a very big heavy horned 4x?, he was only able to see the facing side of it's rack clearly. He then decided it was plenty big enough to shoot and fired, hitting right over it's back. The buck then dove head long into an impenetrable (by human standards anyway) pocket of sage brush.

This is getting to be a rather common scenario for Dave. Every year for the last four years he has missed an easy opportunity at a big buck because he was initially unsure of it's size and waited for a better view of its horns before he shot.

Two years ago a huge buck stood and looked at him for several minutes with its horns conveniently buried in the over hanging limbs of the oak. He could clearly see the first few inches of horn but nothing else. He immediately sat down and got a solid rest across his knees. After holding the cross hairs on the buck chest, which was only a hundred yards away, for several minutes he decided to look through his binoculars to see if they would give him a clearer view of the bucks rack. Big mistake. As soon as he got his binoculars to his eyes the buck exploded from its hiding place. By the time Dave got his crosshairs lined up on the buck it was on the dead run and again he shot high. As if that wasn't bad enough after the shot the big buck hit a shallow creek bed and turned broadside, still running full out, leaving Dave a great view of nothing but his awesome rack above the grass. Dave still has the occasional nightmare about that unfortunate incident. Its not easy being a trophy hunter.

Dave has been hunting Blacktails for years and definitely knows a good buck when he sees one and besides that he is not prone to exaggeration. I have no reason not to believe him when he comes back with the latest "you should have seen the one that got away" story.

I am sure there are many of you out there who don't agree with the whole concept of trophy hunting, after all a buck is a buck, right. Not necessarily. We are fortunate to have a few great places to hunt and taking a lesser buck is not much of a challenge. Not to mention, in my opinion, all that great for the deer herd. In the last five years between Dave, Doug (my nephew) and myself we could have theoretically taken thirty bucks. Instead we have taken eight and of those only four would probably be considered trophy class. I can't help but feel the deer population is better off with those additional 22 bucks roaming the hills.

Well that's all for now folks, its getting late and I gotta go buck huntin'.... Heck maybe I'll even find one of the ones that got away. 

Not the buck mentioned above, but very simular position................Nice buck from about a month ago

Passed up buck .............. Headin for the brush


2002 Blacktail Country Video Log, July 14th - 28th

The weather has continued to be extremely hot. In the last two weeks it has seldom dropped below 90 degrees during the day. This hot dry weather has really slowed down deer movement. We have still regularly been seeing bucks but not in the numbers we were a few weeks ago.

The lack of buck sightings might also have something to do with the fact that the bucks are beginning to loose their velvet. In the last week we have seen several hard-horned bucks. It always amazes me how the mature bucks just vanish about this time every year. I don't believe it has anything to do with hunting pressure, I believe it is just their mature. It is two weeks until California A-Zone rifle season opens and by opening day most all of the bucks will have shed their velvet and of course become very hard to find.

I have often heard the reason so many big blacktails are taken in California is because the country is much more open than the rain forests of Oregon and Washington. There are however a couple things people with this belief don't understand about California.

Number one. Not all of California is open oak grasslands and even if it was big blacktails are seldom found in the open this time of year. Much of California consists of the same dense rain forest conditions that cover much of Oregon and Washington and what isn't rain forest is probably thick.

California has some of the nastiest brush know to man. If you have ever hunted California's, Chaparral, Manzanita, Sage Brush, Madrone, White Thorne or Short Oaks you will certainly know what I am talking about. They are unbelievably thick and quickly impale any hunter who attempts to pass through them. Unfortunately this is also where many of the best bucks are found, which means, if you want a buck, be prepared to deal with these extreme conditions

Number two is the often unbearable heat that goes hand in hand with hunting blacktails in California. Temperatures between 90 and 100 degrees are the rule rather than the exception. To make matters even worse, during August, September and October, it seldom rains in California's Blacktail Country. Conversely In the states to the north of California hunters more often get the benefit of rain fall during their seasons.

These two factors combine to make Blacktail hunting in California every bit as challenging as it is in Oregon, Washington and British Columbia and even though the conditions are tough, with hard work and planning the outcome can be extremely rewarding

Below are a few pictures of some of the bucks we have photographed lately. I have a lot more video that I haven't had time to down load on to my computer yet. When I get that done I will add more captures to the photography section.




2002 Blacktail Country Video Log, July 7th - 13th

It has obviously been a long while since I updated the Video Log section of the site, the main reason being, I don't really get much into the photography aspect of scouting until the bucks horns have developed enough to make them worth photographing. This year I got an exceptionally late start in my video taping/scouting trips because of family commitments and a family reunion in Michigan.

Another thing that has helped put a damper on our videoing excursions is the extremely hot weather that has been plaguing northern California. In the last two weeks temperatures of over a hundred degrees have been common with the thermometer reaching 114 just a few days ago.

Even with the hot weather and lack of time I have managed to see quite a few bucks in relatively few trips. In five filming trips totaling little more than five hours we have seen 36 bucks and my brother Dave have seen roughly fifteen more in his travels. Of the 36 bucks I have personally seen, ten plus have been truly exceptional.

Three evenings ago we located the largest bachelor herd of bucks I have ever seen. I can't tell you exactly how many bucks there are in the group, somewhere between 12 and 15 is the best we have been able to come up. Let me tell you a group of fifteen bucks is an amazing site. In all my years in Blacktail Country I have never seen such a sight. There are so many of them they remind me of a covey of quail as they move up and down the canyons they call home. What is even more amazing about the group than their number, is the size of the racks some of them carry on their heads. Incredible! is the only word too accurately describe them.

Of the bunch the five biggest are 20 plus inch 4x4's and a 22-23 inch wide 4x3, I believe at least three of the 4x4's would go book. There are two bucks in particular that stand out from the others. The biggest and most impressive is without a doubt one of the highest scoring typical blacktails I have ever seen on the hoof. I estimate he would score close to 160 B&C. His sidekick, although not as high scoring, is equally impressive. He too is a big 4x4 but instead of long high scoring tines he has unbelievable height. After watching him for a considerable amount of time last night I would put him at easily 22 inches high and 22 inches wide, with lots of mass. I don't think he would go book because he lacks long tines, none the less he is an awesome animal. There are also two other beautiful 4x4's in the group that would likely make B&C, but they pail in comparison to the big guys.

Enough said, check out the captures below and judge for yourself. Believe me when I say, the photos don't do them justice.

Part of the bachelor group................Nice buck filmed two weeks ago

B&C 4X4 ...............Wide 4x3

Two biggest bucks from the group................High 4x4


2001 Blacktail Country Video Log, Oct. 12th - Nov. 2nd

.The rut is once again going strong. The big bucks did become scarce for about 10 days. Most likely recuperating and waiting for the second bunch of doe's to come into season, as well as the ones that weren't successfully bred the first time around. With the new full moon the big bucks have once again reappeared and begun to chase the doe's

The strangest thing about this late rut is that as far a filming goes it has been feast or famine. Two days ago I went out on an evening filming trip and in little more than two hours saw 13 bucks and tons of doe's. I shot some of the best video of the year. Because the filming was so good, I figured I would spend most of the next day looking for bucks. That was exactly what I did, I looked for bucks, and I looked, and I looked and I looked. After having no luck in the usual areas, I tried other areas, I tried new areas, I tried old areas, I tried everywhere I could think of but to no avail. The deer were nowhere to be found. That is something that has always amazed me about blacktails. One minute they are everywhere and the next their extinct. No matter how hard you hunt there is not a deer to be found, even though the same area was crawling with blacktails just hours before. If it hadn't been for "Binky" (Autumn's semi-tame 3pt) waiting for me at the gate, the day would have been totally buckless.

The photos below show a few of the many bucks we have filmed in the last couple weeks. The first photo shows a good sized buck, hot on the trail of a doe. The second photos is also of a good sized blacktail, unfortunately the photo doesn't do him justice. The third photo shows a good buck that we have become very familiar with this season. We have been seeing him for several years now, but this is the first year we have seen him chasing doe's. The final photo shows a very wide racked 3x3 with a small drop-tine. Since I was filming downhill at the time, his horns don't look as high as they really are. I did get a lot of video of him, but most of the time he was frantically chasing doe's. He never held still long enough to allow me to get a good still off the video tape. He showed up for one afternoon and has yet to be seen again. It is hard to say just how wide he is, conservatively I would guess him at at least 24 inches.



2001 Blacktail Country Video Log, Oct. 7th - Oct. 12th

WOW !! What a difference a couple of weeks make. Since the rut got serious last Sunday, we have seen nearly 60 bucks, including some real wallhangers. There are literally deer everywhere! I have never seen anything like it. Unbelievably, we have almost become bored filming them. The most amazing thing is they just keep getting bigger. Six of the best bucks are pictured below.

The first buck is the one I hunted for all season, he is about 18 wide and 16 high. The most impressive things about him are his multiple eye-guards.

The second buck is the heavy horned, palmated, 3x3, that my brother passed on during the season. What an impressive buck. His 18-20 inch high horns nearly touch in the middle.

The third and fourth bucks shown below are very similar to each other. Both are heavy horned 22-24 inch wide 3x3's that appear to be regressing. I can only imagine what they might have looked like in their prime.

The next two bucks are the biggest we have filmed this week. You can decided for yourself which is bigger. The first of the two is a Boone and Crocket 4x4, I am sure he would easily score in the 140's. He is at least 25 inches wide and 17 inches high. But depending of the size of his ears (in our area we have what we call "little headed" bucks and "big headed" bucks. The little headed bucks have an ear width of 15-16 inches, while the big headed bucks have an ear width approaching 18 inches. This does not change with age, they are just a smaller bodied animal) he could be close to 26 inches wide. The only thing he is lacking is an eye-guard on one side

The last and in my opinion, the most impressive, is a 24 inch wide 6x4, with 3 "cheaters". His right side has 3 main points with a 4 inch "cheater" hanging down. His left side is a typical four point rack with two additional 2-3 inch cheaters. These additional points are known as "cheaters" because of the additional width they add to the outside spread measurement.

There will be many more photos of these bucks on the site in the future, as well as photos of the numerous other bucks we taped this week.

Heavy horned 4x3................Very heavy horned 3x3, tips nearly touch in center

Another heavy horned 3x3, 21-22 inches wide ................Another big 3x3, 24 inches wide

B&C 4x4 5 inches outside of each ear.................24 inch 6x4 with 3 cheater points


2001 Blacktail Country Video Log, Sept. 28th - Oct. 5th

The rut is definitely starting to kick in, with bucks of all sizes now chasing does. This is considerably earlier than usual. Normally it isn't until, at least, the middle of October that we see the big bucks get serious about the does.

In the last week we have seen and photographed four very respectable bucks. The widest was a 20-22 inch wide 4x3 with high heavy horns and one eyeguard. Dave did have an opportunity to take this buck during the season, but chose not to. He passed (after seeing the video I thought he was crazy), hoping for a bigger buck, which he eventually did take.

We have had numerous people ask if blacktails can be called or rattled in successfully. I have tried rattling for blacktails in the past and had pretty good success, but I had never tarried calling them. We are considering putting it to the test and making a video to find out if calling and rattling really works.

So far we are one for one. After spotting a giant forked horn at 200 yards we began calling and rattling. It took him 15 minutes to close the distance, but by the time it got to dark to film, he was only 50 yards away and still coming. The most amazing thing was that we were able to get him to forget all about the does he was hanging with and come to us. This buck is pictured below.

I also took some video of a nice 4x2 apparently working a scrape. He was sniffing and spraying and rubbing the sent glands, near his eyes, on low hanging branches. Last night I also shot some more video of the buck I looked for throughout the season. Now that the rut is on, he is as tame as a dog. He was with a doe and refused to leave her. Instead after seeing us, he bedded down on an open hillside a hundred yards away. What a difference a few weeks make.

I stopped by Diamond Jims to take a look at this years A-zone photos, wow, is all I can say. There were several incredible bucks. The biggest being a 28 inch wide 4x4, followed by a 7x8 non-typical. Hopefully, I will have the pictures to add next week.




2001 Blacktail Country Video Log, September 15 - 23rd

California's A-zone deer season ended last Sunday, so our local hunting is over for the year. All and all it wasn't a great season, we only took one buck off the ranch. We did however have numerous opportunities to take other bucks but we chose not to.

Ever since we have begun trying to increase the size of the bucks on our property, the total take has dropped dramatically. But along with that drop the average horn size has increased significantly. As demonstrated by the buck my brother Dave took a couple weeks back. When we purchased the ranch we rarely saw bucks of any size but since we have taken over and become very selective, bucks like Dave's have gotten much more common. The buck that I set my sights on this season wasn't as pretty as Dave's, but it may have well been more impressive. Hopefully I will get some video of him during the rut, so you can all see what he looks like.

During the last few days of the season the bucks began to show an interest in the does. On several different occasions we saw bucks with their noses to the ground in hot pursuit of a doe. One big 3 point was oblivious to his surroundings as he frantically chased a doe, not more than a hundred yards from my jeep. Even though he was an exceptional buck, I chose to film him (see below) rather than shoot him. I have a hard time pulling the trigger on a buck that has lost all of his innate weariness because hormones have invaded his brain (as well as other parts of his body) and he is not thinking rationally. Having experienced similar uncontrollable urges, especially in my teenage years, I can easily sympathize with these poor blue balled bastards ( A.K.A. rut crazed bucks) and prefer to let then pass.

Although I didn't get the buck I hunted all season long, it was still a memorable one. There was the bachelor herd of six bucks that stood up out of one small brush patch, not 50 yards away. There was the big 4x3 with the extra points that appeared regularly at first light and then bedded in the same rock pile, day after day, just out of reach on our neighbors property. Early one morning he did make a mistake but I wasn't there to see it. Dave could have easily taken him as he fed under an old oak tree only 150 yards away. With the dead rest he had it would have been a simple shot, had he chose to take it. Instead he elected to pass on the trophy buck. He knew how much time and effort I had put into trying to get the buck and said he "wouldn't have felt right shooting it". I had a similar opportunity on a wide antlered 3x3 Dave had been chasing and also let it go. I guess that's just what brothers do.

Undoubtedly my most cherished memory this season was the last day I spent, with my closest hunting buddy of the last thirteen years, my Australian Shepherd Matty. Shortly after the trip Matty died. Fortunately she was able to see the big buck my brother got. Oh how that dog loved to hunt bucks. Her passing has left a hole in me that can never be filled and probably shouldn't. Good bye Matty.

The success of a season can't only be measured in the number or size of the deer taken, there is much more to it than that. It is the hole experience, good and bad, as well as the life long memories that occur along the way. Even though I didn't take a buck this season I wouldn't have missed it for anything and I am sure many of the memories will stay with me for the rest of my lifetime.

Rutting 3x3 chasing a doe................

Matty and her buck................


2001 Blacktail Country Video Log, September 9 - 14th

After lot's of hard hunting my brother finally found a buck big enough for him to shoot, as for me I am still looking. Monday morning we got up well before daylight and went looking for bucks. The fog was ever heavy, which left us with limited visibility. Around 10:00 the fog began to lift and visibility slowly improved. I decided to go and try a new area, while Dave and my wife Linda headed for our favorite "honey hole". Since we regularly see bucks in the area, Linda took the video camera and accompanied Dave, hoping to film a successful hunt. An hour later my cell phone rang, it was Linda, who excitedly told me the story of the big buck Dave had gotten. I am not going to go into much detail about the hunt right now because Dave is working on a story for the site.

The buck is definitely trophy class, they just don't get much bigger in our area. His heavy symmetrical rack has four long points on each side (not including eye-guards) and measures 20 1/4 inches wide by 16 inches high. What a great buck. As far as Boone and Crockett goes, even though the buck is trickily exceptional it didn't quite make it. B&C requires a minimum score of 135 and Dave's fell just short with a score of 133. Who cares its a great buck no matter how you measure it.

All and all last week was a pretty good one. The bucks seen to have once again begun to get up and move around. In a few hours of hunting this morning we saw four bucks, including the one I have been after. But as usual, no shots were fired. Good luck to all you California hunters who take to the field this weekend If you are successful remember to send in those photos, we can use all we can get.



2001 Blacktail Country Video Log, August 26 - 31st

This week was a pretty uneventful one as far as buck sightings go. We only saw a few bucks and most of them were small forks and three points. As usual the bigger mature bucks have disappeared. Ever year about this time this seems to happen. It could have something to do with the approaching rut, which in our area usually begins towards the end of September. I think the bucks may simply be laying low and building up their fat reserves, in preparation for the upcoming breeding season.

In another couple weeks the bucks appearances will begin to change, their coats will begin to turn "blue", they will bulk up and their white throat and facial markings will become much more prominent.

Although the the bucks are ready, rarely do we experience rutting behavior during the season. It usually begins shortly after the season closes in late September. Blacktails seem to have a very long breeding season. We often see bucks chasing doe's well into December.

The first buck below, was one we passed on, even though he was a pretty good buck. The video was taken at about 500 yards. Somehow the buck knew we were there, even though we were well hidden. He is showing a common blacktail trait. In the mornings bucks can often be found bedded among the rocks on ridge tops.

The next photo is of a small three point that I took with the "NightShot" feature of my camera. I wish I had a few more photos, but as I said, things have been pretty uneventful.



2001 Blacktail Country Video Log, August 18 - 24th

The last week was a pretty productive one, although we didn't take any bucks, the opportunities were definitely there. We have been seeing quite a few bucks. I have only been out four mornings for about 2 1/2 hours each time but have seen 21 bucks so far (some of them undoubtedly the same bucks).

I went out Tuesday morning and saw seven legal bucks (forks or better). Two were real nice. I again saw  the one I am holding out for (a four point with eyeguards) but couldn't get a shot. I also watched him for a long time opening morning but he was just off our property.

The other morning we took some great close-up video of a bachelor group of six bucks (five were legal). The biggest was tempting, he was a 20-21 inch wide three point, not very high or heavy with eye-guards. Three of the other bucks were nice big high pacific forks (big mature forked horns) 16-18 inches wide. I was planning on adding some stills of the group to the Scouting Log, but unfortunately I accidentally recorded over it.

Tuesday morning my brother Dave also went hunting and he saw four other bucks, including one nice one with "lots of points" but it put the slip on him. He also saw three bears, a sow with two cubs, so he didn't shoot. Not a bad morning considering we were back to the house by 8:30 A.M.

Yesterday morning Dave could have easily taken the palmated 3pt from the the June 27-28 Video Log. He was within 100 yards of the bedded buck, who had no idea he was there, but he chose not to shoot. He said the buck was impressive, with very heavy black horns, "about two feet high" and nearly touching at the top. He would make a very unique mount but he is not quite what we are looking for, yet!

The bucks pictured below were filmed this past week. The first one is a classic example of a "Pacific Fork" about twenty inches wide. The second photo (taken at about 600 yards) is of the 4x3 I am hoping to take. The third and fourth photos are of a few of the smaller bucks we have seen. Good luck and see you next week.

Pacific Fork...................



2001 Blacktail Country Video Log, August 11 - 17th

Sorry again for the long delay in the video log update, there hasn't been much to write about. Most of the bucks have shed there velvet, so as usual they have become much harder to find.

Rifle deer season opened here last weekend, but unfortunately I haven't gotten a chance to do much hunting. I did get out for a couple of hours Saturday morning and saw five bucks and 14 does.
At first light I was able to locate the big four point I have had my eye on. He was in the draw where I had expected to find him, but unfortunately he doesn't pay as much attention to property lines as I do and was just on to the neighboring ranch. One of these days he will make a mistake.

I did get some video but he was to far away for any decent footage. My brother has had the opportunity to get out a little more than I have and as a result has seen a few more bucks than me. The biggest to date is a 20 inch wide 3x3, but we still have a long season left and the hunting usually gets better towards the end. We will keep you posted.


2001 Blacktail Country Video Log, July 17 - 19th

We are once again out looking for bucks. Unfortunately we were not able to do any filming in the last couple of weeks. This is even more unfortunate because it is one of the times we get some of our best video. The bucks antlers are pretty much full grown, but they can still be found in bachelor groups out in the open. We did manage to get out a couple of times towards the end of the week. We saw quite a few bucks and some were pretty nice.

The first buck pictured below was one that walked up a creek bottom, that we had built a ground blind along. He is a nice 2 x 4 17-18 inches wide and probably 16 inches high. I shot about ten minutes of video of him and a smaller buck as they fed 30 yards away. The 4 x 2 has a unique set of horns. He has 3 points growing of of his left main beam which is quit palmated. We have noticed this characteristic more and more over the last couple years.

Archery season is open and the buck was easily in range, but my brother chose to hold out for a bigger one and I was glad he did. The big 4 x 3 is a buck we have filmed several times in the past. I am familiar with his habits and he is now fairly easy to find. He is also the 4 x 3 pictured below with the long eye-guards. As I suspected he has turned into an exceptional buck. He is still a 4 x 3 but he has really grown in the last couple weeks. He is not real wide, 18 -19 inches , but he's high, with a lot of hook. His horns are nice and heavy. The most unique part of his rack is his eye-guards. He has a bunch of them, several on each side, with some of them 3 or 4 inches long. He also appears to have a fifth point about 3 inches long growing straight back, below the main fork on his 4 point side. You can barely see it in the capture below, but it shows up clearly on the video we took of him.

That about covers the bucks we've seen in the last couple days. Sorry again for missing the last couple updates. Now that things have settled down we will be able to spend more time on the site.




2001 Blacktail Country Video Log, June 27 - 28th

The weather cooled down this week and we even had a few days of rain. We were only able to get out filming a couple of times. As we suspected bucks were everywhere. In little more than three hours of filming we saw 18 bucks and several were exceptional. The biggest being a 4x4 about 22 inches wide with a cheater point sticking off one side. Although we did get some video of him, he was running and the quality wasn't good enough to let us take stills off the video and add them to the site.

We did shot some good video of a nice bachelor herd of bucks, the largest of which was an 18-20 inch wide 4x3, with a nice high set of horns. We also took video of a unique looking 3x3 that we have been filming for the last three years. He is easy to recognize because his somewhat palmated horns are very high and narrow, nearly touching at the top.

Every year before he sheds his velvet we see him in the same small area. Once his horns are hard we rarely see him and he disappears altogether once the rut starts, but he must do some breeding because he had another buck with him that look very similar, only younger. We did see lots of other bucks but as I said last week its not easy getting them on film, but what the heck, we'll keep trying. See you next week.




2001 Blacktail Country Video Log, June 15 - 22nd

The temperature climbed back into the 100's this week and as a result the bucks have become a little more difficult to find, although we have been pretty successful even with the heat. Earlier in the week we were seeing five to seven bucks each time we went out. By the end of the week when the temperature shot up we were not seeing much of anything. In the last two evenings all we managed to film was one good fork, and we didn't see him until it was nearly dark.

Earlier in the week we shot some good video of a heavy horned 3 x 2 and another soon to be 4 x 4, as well as a few smaller bucks. On Tuesday we did see a couple bomber bucks but were unable to get any decent video.

For those of you who have never tried to film deer, it is a lot harder than you might think. The light conditions have to be good, the deer need to be clear of obstruction, the camera needs to be set properly and most importantly your camera has to be steady. This process takes a considerable amount of time and that is why we see many more bucks than we are able to capture on film, but we have a lot of fun trying.

22 inch wide 3 x 2..................Nice young 4 x 4

3 x 2..................Small 3 x 3


2001 Blacktail Country Video Log, June 11-14 th.

The weather has remained fairly cool all week with highs in the 70's. As a result the bucks have been fairly active, especially in the evenings. We have been seeing 6-8 bucks on our evening videoing trips. The bucks horns are finally big enough to make the trips worth while.

The photos below show some of the better bucks we have filmed in the last few days. The biggest being a 4x3 with four inch long eyeguards. I think he is the same buck I mentioned last week (when we didn't have a camera). He was also accompanied by a decent three point and a small fork. Another bachelor group of three bucks that we filmed consisted of two 20-21 inch wide three points and a smaller forked horn. We took some interesting video of the biggest three point standing on his back legs eating leaves from a tree overhead.

Because it is only the middle of June, the blacktails in our area still have a lot of antler growing time left and this time of year there horns grow externally fast. When bow season opens in mid July, their horns are usually close to being fully developed. Hopefully we will be able to get more video of the bucks pictured below. Since they have nearly a month to go before their horns are complete, they should all turn into pretty good bucks.

For more photos of these and other bucks look on the photography page.

..Heavy 4 x 3 with 4 inch eye-guards... ..............Nice 20 inch 3pt eating leaves out of a tree

. Another nice 3 point, with good eye-guards.................Good sized fork with eye-guards


2001 Blacktail Country Video Log, June 6th.

As expected the weather has cooled down considerably, with daytime highs only reaching the mid 80's. The nights have remained cool with temperatures in the 40's. Cool nights are common in our area even during the heat of summer. In the valleys temperatures often vary as much as 50 or 60 degrees between daytime highs and nighttime lows. The ridge top temperatures remain much more constant, usually varying only 15 to 20 degrees. Since the cool down, deer have become much more active. We only went out looking for bucks for a couple of hours this week and still managed to see quite a few.

On Tuesday we saw four small bucks in about an hour. Last night was a little better as we saw six bucks in only 45 minutes. One of them was a beautiful four point with long eyeguards standing not 50 yards away posing for the camera. Unfortunately we didn't get any video because our camera is in the shop, but I am sure we will see him again. Another group of three bucks took off on a run as soon as we saw them. They all appeared to have good-sized racks, but because they were running we were unable to determine just how good.

The other bucks were just small forks. We pick up our camera later today, so by next week we should have some good photos to add to this section.


2001 Blacktail Country Video Log, May 31st

For the last week the days have been extremely hot. Yesterday the temperature soared to 105 degrees, with several other days this week being over 100. When it gets that hot it is hard to find bucks, let alone photograph them. The biggest problem as far as filming is that the deer don't become active until just before dark.

In those poor light conditions it is difficult to take quality photos. Even though it's been hot we have still been seeing quite a few bucks. Last night we saw six bucks but were unable to get any decent video.

We almost got video of one group of three, but just as we were getting ready to begin, a coyote showed up and spooked them. The only video we got of them was quick glimpses here and there, as they ran through the oak trees. The weather is supposed to cool down next week and hopefully we will be able to take some better video then.


2001 Blacktail Country Video Log, May 17th

We went out looking for bucks this evening and had some success. We saw quite a few deer, mostly does and fawns. We did however, see five bucks including two pretty nice ones. One with antlers 15 to 16 inches high and close to 20 inches wide. The other was low and wide, with newly developed forks on each side. He was also close to 20 inches wide.

Being early in the year it is hard to tell just how big these bucks will eventually get, only time will tell. Sorry about the quality of the photos. Both bucks were filmed just before dark at long distances. As the bucks get bigger we will spend more time filming them and hopefully add many more photos to the site.


2001 Blacktail Country Video Log, May 8th

After decided to take a quick drive and see how the local local deer population was doing. We saw our first bachelor herd of bucks today. They all appeared to have good sized horns for this early in the year. All three Bucks had velvet covered antlers nearly out to their ear tips. Two of them had eye guards. All were obviously going to be at least forked horns. Judging by their body size two appeared to be older bucks in prime condition and the third a younger buck, also in excellent condition.

We also saw lots of does with fawns, most of which had twins. There seems to be an abundance of food and as usual water is not a problem. Another heavy rain would be nice. It would help to ensure good horn growth as well a high fawn survival. Rains at this time of year can make or break a season, especially in this part of California.

As the bucks horns get bigger we will spend much more time filming them. Please be patient and check back regularly, with a little luck we will have photos of lots of nice Blacktails for you to enjoy.