Many hunters find Columbian blacktail deer the toughest animals in North America to hunt. You might think that their numbers are the problem, but this isn’t the reason. These animals are known to move quickly out of your sight as soon as they sense your presence. Some of the hunters begin chasing the blacktail bucks in early July.
You’ll find them close to the edges of the woods during these times. There are certain places and seasons that are ideal for spotting and hunting these fascinating animals. Here we’ve listed some of the best among them:
1. Mendocino County, California
This is the top spot for hunting blacktail deer. Lake Mendocino and Clear Lake can be excellent starting points. The bow season begins in mid-July and the rifle season towards the end of the first week of August. If you want to hunt blacktail deer in California, you must apply for specific zones and units.
The deadline for submitting big-game applications is the 2nd of July. The odds are greater in the A-Zone, and this is followed by areas in the B-Zone. In the open areas, the blacktail bucks would be the hardest to approach. Plenty of time is needed to locate and establish the deer’s presence.
The Santiam and McKenzie zones in Oregon are the top units for trophy blacktail deer hunting. Regionally, the south-western part of the state is ideal for this purpose. The calling and rattling methods can be productive during the period of late-fall. You can also choose any of the other areas like the western foothills of the Cascades. In this region, hunting along the edges of logged forest units can be quite useful.
3. Lewis County, Washington
Located in western Washington, Lewis County is the state’s top spot for hunting blacktails. The best rifle season here is the last few days of October. You can also choose the late rifle season, which usually begins around the 18th of November. It continues for four days and gives you ample opportunities to stalk and hunt the deer.
Bigger bucks are usually spotted in the timbered area between Interstate 5 and Mount Rainier. It is in November when the bucks come out of tight cover. The cold and rainy days during this period would be perfect for hunting. The high countryside is usually abundant with the blacktail bucks when they seek some respite from the heat.
The soaring temperatures force them to move to the higher areas of the mountains. During these times, it would be difficult for you to stalk them in areas of open terrain. You can hide your approach using certain features like boulder fields and ridgelines.
In the regions where there’s heavy timber, you must be extremely cautious. Moving just 200 yards one fine morning can produce better results than tromping through large forest tracts. Another great blacktail deer hotspot can be a patch of young timber with logged units surrounding it.
It is important that you hunt from cover in such areas. The best strategy is to move through the timber slowly at sunrise. You can thus intercept the deer while they move to bedding areas.