Archery Blacktail Hunt recap
Play • 47 min

Title:  Blacktail Hunt Recap


Show Notes:

My two nemesis, the Blacktail Deer and the Roosevelt Elk. I've had 4 tries at the Roosevelt, the only one I shot we never found. But after all these years of chasing blacktail, I finally decided to just shoot the first buck that made me happy. I have had plenty of opportunities to kill a Blacktail. I probably could have killed a buck of the  same caliber I got this year, 3 times already. This year I said no more holding out; I'm taking the shot. I am talking with Mr. Phoenix Shooting Bags himself, Anthony Stallone. I am giving him my recap of our hunt in a California A-Zone. 


So last year, I kept going after these big bucks, so different from what everyone else at camp was seeing. I'd get to 100 yards, but I couldn't get that 20 yards to get the ADR pin. I've been way closer, too, and missed the shot. Blacktail Deer do not have that Mule Deer behavior. They don't really ever run out in front of you and look back. 


We were hunting in July, which is odd in and of itself. You're not expecting them to be that big. It's hot. It's dry. The terrain is a steep hillside covered in oak variants. Those big oak trees drop leaves and it's so loud. You're walking and it's crunch-crunch-crunch. You make too much noise and they're gone.


The mornings seemed to be the most stalks. The Blacktail were out under the trees feeding. About 20 minutes after first light, they start making their way to their first bed and lay down for about an hour. As soon as the sun is gonna be hitting them, they're gone to their permanent bed for the day. That bed is impenetrable. They go in this crazy thick brush in a clump of trees. It is impossible to get in at them. When I would use that first tree line, they'd hear me 500 yards away and bolt. It's like, how the heck am I gonna get them? So I started treating them more like antelope, using the terrain as my cover, but I couldn't get any closer than 100 yards. 


Alright, fast forward to this year. It's the same thing, I am seeing big bucks, 110 to 130 range, 3 by 3's and 4 by 4's. The first morning, I found these bucks basically bedded out in the open, just under the shade. I knew that as long as I could get close enough, I could get an open shot on them, but as soon as the sun hit they'd be gone. Sure enough, that's what happens. 


The third or fourth morning, I spot this beautiful 5 by 4, sporting 140 inches. I know in my head I'm not gonna get there in time. I get over there and I am almost on this bench and then a steep grassy cliff. Well, I get over there like 50 yards away, and this doe comes over and just stares at me like 15 yards away and I run out of time. It was the same thing over and over, just running out of time every time. The next day after all day of the same story. We have like an hour of light left. We decided to head back for an early night and start fresh the next morning. 


Well, we're in the Jeep and I see this buck. I'm like woah, woah, stop. I get down in the trees and he spooks back; a doe in the trees busts me and they go. So whatever, we just drive down again and there are three bucks in the road. I decided I wanted to shoot this cactus buck. I did actually shoot at him, but by the time my arrow got to him, he was gone. So I go back and we're in the Jeep. AGAIN, another buck, this time up on a ridge eating a berry patch. 


That's it, I hop out again and I am stalking my way up under the cover of these blackberry vines. I'm thinking this is it, it's so quiet because I am using the trail the deer have been taking. I get up there in the bush and I am 30 yards away. Draw back, shoot. He runs about 40 yards and drops. 


BOOM! I got my deer.


What’s Inside:

  • Getting my first Blacktail.
  • Stories of our hunt in a California A Zone.
  • The 30,000-Foot view of our trip.


Mentioned In This Episode:


Phoenix Shooting Bags, save 20% with code johnstallone

Days in the Wild Podcast & Guide Service 

John Stallone Days in The Wild - Days in The Wild 


Short Description:


After years of holding out for the perfect Blacktail Buck, I took my shot and finally got one under my belt. I am talking with Anthony Stallone about my hunting trip in a California A-Zone. I am giving you the 30,000-foot view of our trip, our shortcomings throughout and the scores at the end.



Big Game Hunting, Blacktail Deer Hunting, Hunting Stories, Hunting Recap, Big Buck Hunting, Hunting Guide, Bow Hunting, Archery, Pig Hunting, 


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