Oregon Coastal blacktail

Koda_

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Joined
Dec 19, 2021
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296
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Oregon
I'm not certain Oregon coastal blacktail hunting is popular enough to generate much discussion here but its definitely a skill in its own right. Coastal Columbian Blacktail have their own distinct patterns it seems.

Our season is off to a slow start and I'm hoping for some tips to spark my imagination. Ive scouted and located where some bucks are but like last year they disappear come rifle season, they get a month of bow season pressure to start things off, and the clincher this year is its starting out hot and dry. Nothings moving. 2 weeks into it and have not heard of any taken locally.
I started out sitting in ambush over a known spot with lots of sign and was met with total silence all day. I know there is a buck but don't want to pressure him until we get some rain.
I want to switch tactics but not confident in what will give me an edge. I'm thinking of glassing north aspects clear cuts at first light, but after sunrise I'm back to square one. My guess is the north aspect 'might' be a tad cooler for foraging into the morning hour before they bed or head back to the creek bottoms.

I'm looking for some hot weather inspiration while I wait hoping for some rain late season triggers an early rut, then any tips on finding this "grey ghost" thats haunting my deep timber spot.
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Here at home I have my trail cam out next to the orchard. There's a forked horn that comes out to munch on the fallen apples and the grape leaves. He's out around 6:50 am or so patrolling. I'm close to the cascades so your bucks may act a bit different.

I hope we get some rain soon. I'm heading out on the 28th with my hunting group for Blacktails in SW Oregon. Good luck to you!
 

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He's out around 6:50 am or so patrolling. I'm close to the cascades so your bucks may act a bit different.
Ive only hunted Cascade blacktail a couple of times so I dont have much experience to say, but Im convinced that coastal blacktail at least in the north coast are very unique in their patterns. Im pretty convinced they dont migrate at all and live their entire life in a really small area. Based on my trailcam pics (all on public land) I would say 7am they are moving back to bedding in heavy reprod, brush, or dark timber...
 
Lived in the Portland/Vancouver area from 1999 to 2006. I only had access to public land. Finally the season before I moved I shot a little fork horn black tail. He’s one of my favorite trophies. Here is my very unprofessional hunting advice.

Almost everyone road hunts so find a spot that’s closed to motorized Vehicles.

Most people only hunt on the weekend so hunt all week long.

People mostly hunt in the mornings and evenings.

I found a logging road that was closed to motorized vehicles. I would ride my mountain bike in during the middle of the week and stay all day. I started seeing way more deer.
Again, probably not the expert advice you were looking for but it brought back some good memories. I’d like to go back and hunt them again someday.
 
Lived in the Portland/Vancouver area from 1999 to 2006. I only had access to public land. Finally the season before I moved I shot a little fork horn black tail. He’s one of my favorite trophies. Here is my very unprofessional hunting advice.

Almost everyone road hunts so find a spot that’s closed to motorized Vehicles.

Most people only hunt on the weekend so hunt all week long.

People mostly hunt in the mornings and evenings.

I found a logging road that was closed to motorized vehicles. I would ride my mountain bike in during the middle of the week and stay all day. I started seeing way more deer.
Again, probably not the expert advice you were looking for but it brought back some good memories. I’d like to go back and hunt them again someday.
They are truly ghosts of the forest.
Season ended last friday, I hunted your advice including weekdays... maybe 14 days cumulatively. I filled my doe tag, barely... but didnt fill my buck tag. The spot I hunt that has that 3 point is way off trail. It was a fun but very challenging season for everyone, unusually hot and dry for the first 3 weeks straight.... I heard of nobody seeing or bagging anything in that time, my trailcams went dead all of October.
If I ever get a little fork horn on public lands it will be a favorite like yours.
 
They are truly ghosts of the forest.
Season ended last friday, I hunted your advice including weekdays... maybe 14 days cumulatively. I filled my doe tag, barely... but didnt fill my buck tag. The spot I hunt that has that 3 point is way off trail. It was a fun but very challenging season for everyone, unusually hot and dry for the first 3 weeks straight.... I heard of nobody seeing or bagging anything in that time, my trailcams went dead all of October.
If I ever get a little fork horn on public lands it will be a favorite like yours.
Ghosts is a good word. My little fork horn just materialized out of the fog at about 10:30 one morning at about 40 yards in the middle of said logging road. I almost couldn’t believe I was seeing a legal deer I could shoot.
 
The biggest obstacle IMO is finding land that is open and productive, the permits for timber company land are out of reach for many which crowds a lot of hunters onto the limited public land. I was very fortunate to grow up on the end of the road in blacktail country with ample private ground and have taken my fair share. They are a weird animal for sure, just as apt to see them by the mailbox as you would the deepest timber. "Late Buck" is definitely prime time to score a good one, anytime from now to the end of the month, late muzzleloader was my most productive for blacktails.
 
😂😂😂 I just remembered some sage advise given to me by an old timer that I use to work with. It may be the next big thing in black tail hunting.
He claimed he would walk the roads and trails smoking cigarettes and watching his back trail. He would deliberately let the smoke drift into the trees where he suspected the deer were. He claimed those deer are so curious that they would wait until you pass and then they would stick their heads out of the trees to see what you were.
Never tried it but it might just be the next big thing in hunting techniques.
 
I know several heavy smokers that take deer often......cover scent.....
..and loggers that wear the same dirty grimey clothes they work in....
Yeah..late season archery was the most fun I ever had hunting blacktails....can start at California line and hunt for next 2 months following open/closed open/closed units......takes dedication to have that much fun...and extra money...
 
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