Rather, you’re more likely to see just a portion of a deer, an ear, an antler, a patch of hair, a leg. During rut, the blacktail deer faces raging hormones and go out during the daytime seeking out does. Like everything else on Kodiak Island, they are much larger than most people see anywhere else. The animal will be waiting and watching for a telltale noise or smell that says “human.” If you’re careful and a bit lucky, the deer will not get this verification until it’s too late. Kodiak Island harbors some fantastic Sitka black tail deer hunting! We offer self-guided hunts for Sitka Blacktail Deer. I had been sitting just below the crest of the low ridge with my back against a tree for more than 2 1/2 hours, and the close of the day’s legal shooting hours was approaching. You need to make sure you select a gun that won’t get caught in thick brush and that you can aim and fire swiftly if you happen upon your target. $ 1k $ 6.5k $ 12k $ 17.5k During cold weather, the deer will stick to slopes that get sun; during hot weather, they’ll use shaded slopes. Does drop their fawns, typically one or two, in May or June. General Weather Conditions: Unfortunately for hunters, the best weather conditions for spotting black-tails tend to be rainy, foggy, or misty days. Metatarsal Glands — The Sitka blacktail has minute glands on the inner side of both rear legs which are much smaller than a mule deer’s. They are there, within the blink of an eye they have vanished, never to show their whereabouts again. They can be found in North America throughout Alaska, British Columbia, Washington, Oregon and California. When Sitka deer go nocturnal in peak hunting season, you may only be able to track their movements and habits with a trail camera. In comparison to mule deer, blacktail deer have less white on their rumps, more black on their tails, and have shorter ears. The calls will excite and attract does year round, but during the November rut, the annual breeding frenzy, they can be deadly against bucks as well. Local residents use methods like stalking, glassing, hunting from blinds and even road hunting. While it might seem like an obvious tactic to hunt for Sitka blacktail deer, looking for does works like a charm. Within a half mile we saw blacktails filtering away as we moved too eagerly across frosty ground. During the midday, it’s wise to use your optics to pick apart the slopes used by bedding deer. Sitka Blacktail Deer hunting on Kodiak Island is one of the best hunts Alaska has to offer. Hunting Opportunities All on public land during regular open season. There are deer in these places that have never laid eyes or ears on a human, and never will. The best trails are those connecting bedding areas and feeding areas. We have access to roughly 60,000 acres of private land in San Luis Obispo and Monterey County as well as 150,000 continuous acres near the Bay Area out of Hollister, CA. At greater distances from bedding areas, the trails often branch out and grow diffuse. They are there, within the blink of an eye they have vanished, never to show their whereabouts again. Physical Characteristics Hug the edges of these openings rather than trudging right through the middle of them. With time, patience, the right weapon, and a targeted strategy, you can use the vulnerable rut period to your advantage and could very well set your own personal record by snagging a trophy blacktail buck. It is distantly related to the mule deer and closely related to the Columbia black-tailed deer of the Pacific Northwest. When faced with even the slightest hunting pressure, blacktail deer simply vanish into the thick coniferous rainforests of their coastal habitats. Combo Hunting /Fishing Packages The Sitka Black-tailed deer is a smaller specimen next to all of its cousins. The most important thing is to obey the wind. If the latter happens, don’t rush it. Still Hunting Mature bucks make rub lines by rubbing their antlers on low hanging branches and small trees. In other portions of the animal’s range, particularly in northern California and coastal Alaska, spot and stalk is one of the primary strategies used by successful blacktail hunters. Great DIY bear hunting value either spot & stalk or over a bait. The gun should fire just as dependably whether it is dry as a bone or gets soaked in a downpour. Rather than charging directly toward a deer you’ve located, it’s smart to head to a secondary vantage point that lies downwind of the deer’s general location and within rifle range. That is correct Chaz. To glimpse one of these bucks at close range as he navigates his dark world of ferns, moss, and giant timber is a privilege you will want to remember. While still-hunting, behave as though you’re actively stalking a deer rather than walking in the woods. Blacktail deer can live up to ten years in the wild but seldom make it past six years of age. Our editorial process is in no way impacted by partnerships. These rainy forest wraiths are cousins of mule deer, but nothing except their forked antlers resemble their open-country kin. However, due to their keen ability to elude even the most skilled hunters, be prepared for long days and every type of weather condition if you are serious about catching one of these pacific ghosts. A cautious, alert hunter will sometimes hear a deer before the deer hears him. Thank you for this article, very helpful and well written, good luck in your hunts. The average October live weight of adult Sitka black-tails is about 80 lbs (36 kg) for does and 120 lbs (54.5 kg) for bucks, although 200-lb bucks have been taken. We have Columbian black-tailed deer here in WA. Blacktail deer have a presence of that only rivaled by a ghost. A yearling black tail fawn in thick brush. Sitka Blacktail Deer hunts. Your best bet in such circumstances is to watch for fresh tracks and trails as you enter the alpine. If you locate a region with primary rub and scrape lines, you’re very close to your target. They are homebodies, and will often live their entire lives in an area of just a few square miles. As a final note, selecting the right hunting weapon when pursuing the blacktail is just as important as leveraging the right strategies. Pictured is the Bear Abode in Whale Pass on the north end of Prince of Wales Island. When rut happens, it is the hunter who has a distinct advantage over the Sitka deer. DATES: August through October PRICE: $4,500 per/person* DURATION: 5 days/4 nights * Sea Duck Hunting included when in season. For one thing, Columbia blacktail deer achieve larger sizes than Sitka blacktail deer; a big Columbia blacktail buck can weigh well over 150 pounds, while a Sitka blacktail buck will seldom achieve this stature. To hunt the elusive blacktail deer buck is typically a battle of wits, with the buck often coming out the reigning champion. There’s almost certainly a correlation between malnourishment and predation, as starving animals are easier for predators to catch. Odocoileous hemionus columbianus and Odocoileous hemionus sitkensis. Primary predators include black bears, coyotes, wolves, and mountain lions. By doing so, they stake their claim on certain territory letting other bucks and potential mates aware of their existence. Spot and stalk situations in California are a bit different, as you’re not always hunting alpine zones. Your gun also needs to be able to function correctly, even if it gets wet. In pre-rut, the bucks are always checking their scrapes for scent, searching for potential does going into estrus. Coloration ranges from reddish brown in summer to grayish brown in winter. Maximum 4 people. It’s not worth spooking a deer and ruining a good location just to spend an unproductive evening in your stand. Not only does an old growth canopy trap snow that would otherwise bury winter feed, it also lets through enough sunlight to enable the growth of a mixed and vibrant understory of edible plants. Unless there are newer clearcuts for the deer to migrate to, the animals face an increased risk of malnourishment and predation. If your vantage point is good, one of two things will happen. Another helpful tactic when blacktail deer hunting is to look for rubs and scrapes. Particularly if you decide to use the trail camera on night mode, position your camera 20 feet at the most from the area where you anticipate the deer will activate the camera. Hunt into the wind, or perpendicular to it. Remember, blacktail deer tend to be homebodies. Excellent and mild, one of the best big game species. And keep your upper body movements to a minimum. The first couple hours of the day and the last couple hours are the best. Whenever you check your trail camera for shots, consider wearing latex gloves and rubber hunting boots so your scent won’t remain on the camera and alert the Sitka blacktail deer. Blacktail Bob's Base Camps offers cabin rentals in four remote Alaska locations and one location in Arizona. Rather than agricultural fields that are so familiar to hunters who target whitetail deer from tree stands in the East, blacktail hunters along the West Coast typically hunt near well-used deer trails in terrain that is often brushy or heavily timbered. Sitka Black-tailed deer can weigh in at over 200lbs. If you intend to hunt pre-rut, you must look for a region with a high populace of does. One of the largest black tail bucks ever harvested in British Columbia Canada. SITKA BLACK TAIL DEER HUNT PRINCE WILLIAM SOUND. Face — A blacktail’s face is dark and short, with smaller ears when compared with a mule deer. They frequent “edge” habitats where stands of heavy timber meet meadows, clearings, shorelines, clearcuts, and brushy slopes. Antlers — A Sitka blacktail has shorter antlers that are noticeably smaller and denser than those of a mule deer. The big, chocolate-colored boar was exactly the type of bear I’d dreamed of for years. Kodiak has high numbers of deer with possibly spotting hundreds of deer daily during October, November and December. Life and Death Trey is a lifelong hunter and avid camper. Such natural funnels might include primary ridgelines that divide drainages, finger ridges that branch off from primary ridges and drop down into canyons or valleys, and even passages between rock outcroppings or along the bases of cliff faces. Sitka blacktails have a strong physical resemblance to whitetail deer, while Columbia blacktails have an appearance that seems more aligned with mule deer. Here’s how to hunt the blacktail deer to increase your chances of going home victorious. Look carefully and listen carefully. Be particularly vigilant about glassing during the first and last minutes of daylight, as pressured blacktails are notorious for going nocturnal when faced with the extra disturbances that come with hunting season. The smart ones emerge from hiding only in the last moments of shooting light and return to their haunts within minutes of daybreak. The Silver Salmon fishing in July is outstanding. Kodiak has world-class Sitka Blacktail hunting, most all of the record book bucks come off Kodiak Island. Your email address will not be published. Trail cameras are efficient and dependable tools for scouting that you can use when hunting year-round. Telltale Sign Besides tracks and scat, look for narrow trails as well as rubs and beds. If you want to snag a mature Sitka deer, you’ll want to situate your trail camera on a game trail in high-pressure areas with plenty of rub lines and scrapes. Because blacktail deer travel relatively short distances between their bedding and feeding areas, ideal ambush sites are quite close to bedding areas – sometimes just a hundred or so yards away. Glassing Look for does in regions with lower elevation where you’ve previously found does during your scouting expeditions pre-season. Choices like lever rifles, open-sight pump guns, and short-barreled bolt guns are some of the most popular options among seasoned Sitka blacktail hunting enthusiasts. In high-pressure areas, particularly near large urban centers, productive clearcuts get so hammered by competition that serious hunters ignore them altogether in favor of still hunting in heavily timbered areas that are hard for other hunters to access because of a lack of roads, difficult terrain, or questionable property boundaries. A fine record book class black tail successfully stillhunted. And remember, you’re not necessarily looking for a whole deer. Alaska has some outstanding blacktail opportunities, including many areas where you can legally harvest more than one buck. Sitka Blacktails offer a unique hunting experience and Prince of Wales Island is the best place to get your trophy. When wind conditions are unfavorable, either blowing the wrong direction or swirling unpredictably, either move your stand or go hunt in an altogether different location. This vessel based hunt on the extreme southern end of the island puts you in the most productive hunting grounds in the state. Glass hill sides and throughways is great way to spend a November afternoon. Hunting the secretive Sitka Black-tail Deer in the rainforests of southeastern Alaska is a relaxing, yet rather stimulating hunt. This was the... Our picks for the week’s best hunting, fishing, wild foods, and conservation content. Big bucks, land management, rut reports, and tips for the whitetail obsessed. The Sitka blacktail deer often has a distinct advantage over the hunter in that it blends well in the dense cover and woods. A majestic hunt in the islands of Southeast Alaska hosting the highest density of Sitka Black Tail Deer in the world! And because of the blacktail deer’s habit of becoming nocturnal during hunting season, these more distant portions of trails might not see any buck activity at all until well after dark. But blacktail deer are not without vulnerability. They are also closely related to the white-tailed deer, well-known throughout the eastern and Midwestern U.S. Habitat: Blacktail deer are particularly common on the edges of forests where there is adequate shelter and ample meadowland. Glass beneath every tree, and into every little nook and cranny where you can see through the overhead canopy. The singular anomaly to this nocturnal pattern is during rut, which occurs from late September and lasts until the middle of October, depending on what weather conditions are at play. For some avid deer hunters it is an opportunity to take a different species of deer. The general rifle hunting season for Western Washington blacktail deer will start Saturday and run through the end of the month. Unlike mule deer, which are prone to long seasonal migrations, blacktail deer make only relatively minor shifts in elevation to avoid heavy accumulations of snow. A large part of the price of such hunts is the travel to these remote destinations; one way to save is to book a combination hunt or go with a few friends. I knew why, but we all hunt for different reasons. Sitka Blacktail Deer hunting is one of many exciting activities at Larsen Bay Lodge. A.K.A. In good country, you should seldom find yourself taking more than ten steps without raising your binoculars to study the surrounding areas. I’ve observed and participated in multiple tactics while hunting. During the rut, bucks sometimes come in aggressively to the calls, stomping and circling and providing multiple shot opportunities. Blacktail Deer and Elk Hunting on Private Land of Cottrell Ranch. Sitka Black-tailed bucks come into rut and begin chasing doe’s late October, with the peak rut being mid-late November. Bar Room Banter These under estimated deer are a enjoyable and challenging hunt. The habitat consists of rolling oak woodlands that surround fertile valleys. The Sitka blacktail deer often has a distinct advantage over the hunter in that it blends well in the dense cover and woods. Because of low hunter success rates and relatively limited hunter interest (due in large part to the thick, wet environments frequented by blacktail deer) tags are fairly easy to acquire in those states that have blacktails. Direct your travel so that you pass through likely feeding areas such as forest openings, small meadows, and, in the north, muskegs. Jones as quoted in "One Man, One Rifle, One Land" Blacktail Deer Hunting. The camera should be positioned to waist height on the tree so it won’t be triggered if smaller game walks by. One of the greatest advantages to this strategy is that you’re likely to get closer and longer looks at a species of deer that seems almost magical in its ability to escape our attention. This helps explain why the calls are so much more effective on Sitka blacktails than Columbia blacktails. If things aren’t perfect, back out and try again another time. These altitudes can be reached in a matter of hours by physically fit hunters starting out at sea-level. When you locate the does, the bucks certainly won’t be far behind. ... Best black-tail deer hunting ranch. Take advantage of that fact. While, in which sunlight can no longer penetrate to the forest floor, understory growth is greatly inhibited. Ambush hunting is not associated with blacktail deer in the minds of many hunters, but some of the best blacktail hunters in the country swear by it. Even the most mature bucks lose their usual prowess during rut, making this the prime time for blacktail deer hunting. The most productive times are those when deer are naturally on the move, as the animals will be close to their trails and they’ll be expecting to see and hear movements from other animals as well. Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment. While a few blessed big game hunters have reported being able to snag a blacktail buck in the open during the early morning period, but these bucks are usually not fully matured. Mule deer developed as a hybridized species between blacktail deer and whitetail deer, probably on the Rocky Mountain front. There are two recognized forms of blacktail deer, Columbia blacktail and Sitka blacktail. Steve has over 20 record class black tail bucks by both bow and rifle. Concentrate your glassing efforts on edge and fringe habitats, where multiple features such as feeding areas and bedding areas come together. It’s even better during periods of drizzle and heavy cloud cover, or in the wake of a heavy rain. In areas where glassing long distances is out of the question due to thick vegetation, still hunting for blacktail deer is often the most productive strategy. Habitat Fawn bleats can be very effective for calling blacktail deer, particularly Sitka blacktails. There are noticeable physical differences between Columbia blacktail deer and Sitka blacktail deer. Sitka blacktail bucks have antler growth that is more similar to whitetail bucks, with unforked tines extending from a main beam. To make this system work, you do have to stop often and sometimes for lengthy periods of time to study your surroundings. Minimum of 2 people. Our website contains affiliate links, which means we may receive compensation if you purchase from websites we link to. You will have the opportunity the hunt trophy sized Sitka Black Tail Deer, a variety of Sea Ducks, and all three types of our local fox (red, silver, and cross). In Southeast Alaska, where the calls work especially well, there are literally hundreds of mountains—and even entire islands—that commonly go years or even decades without being visited by a hunter. My name is Mike Lee, I am passionate about pursuing blacktail deer and making your next hunt one to remember. Suitable for all red meat applications. Sitka Black-tail Deer hunts start the 1st of October on Kodiak Island. The elusive Columbia Blacktail Deer of Southern Oregon.This area has long time been known as today's "hot spot" for hunting world class blacktail deer.Douglas County is one of the county's in the area producing the biggest bucks of all. Participation in these programs helps us keep the site up, and to continue to help you find great products. These, as with most all of our hunts, are a yacht based hunt. For the most part, does tend to stay close to the region they have chosen for their home range. You’ll either see the deer and make your shot, or you won’t see the deer and you’ll hunker in for the waiting game. Hunting Methods For archery hunters, a secondary vantage point should be used in order to fine-tune your plans for a final stalk that will hopefully deliver you into bow range. 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