Having been fortunate to hunt most of North America’s big game species, I honestly think that taking a mature Columbia blacktail deer is the most challenging hunt of all. These secretive deer–so much like a whitetail but living in big, dense, rugged country–are nearly impossible to pattern, will travel great distances during the rut and have so many food sources to choose from, narrowing down where, even how to hunt them, is a challenge in itself.
Oregon’s late archery season is my favorite, and this is the best time to get on rut-crazed, monster bucks. Unfortunately, I never even got to draw on the two biggest bucks I saw, a 150” monster and a heavy-framed 140” buck. I passed four bucks bigger than the one I eventually ended up with, but hey, that’s hunting...you can’t always tag the big boys, especially when it comes to blacktails.
Scott with his nice Oregon Blacktail
After spending six straight days in the field, and missing another Thanksgiving with the family, I was intent on filling my tag. Temperatures ranged from 10º to a high of 34º, and it snowed every day, a true rarity in blacktail country. Finally, on day six, this buck walked by at 25 yards, and my Gold Tip Velocity arrow with VanTech vanes passed through both lungs. The buck jumped, kicked and sprinted less than 50 yards before piling-up in the snow. The blood trail was easy to follow. Given the setting, the animals and the challenges we faced, this will be one of our best Game Chasers episodes of all time.
I’ve taken many blacktails with Gold Tip arrows over the years, and not once have they let me down. Hunting as a hobby and hunting for a living are two very different things, and I depend on Gold Tip arrows to help me get the job done.