Stealthy, wary, and used to being hunted, the Columbian blacktail lives up to its nickname: “the Ghost of the Pacific.” In its northern range, even expert hunters can potentially return home with empty hands. This outfitter offers a 100% opportunity rate. If you want a good chance at a trophy buck, you should go blacktail deer hunting in California.

About 1.5 million Columbian blacktail deer live along the Pacific coast, stretching from mule deer territory in central California to the Sitka deer range in British Columbia. In California, SCI considers deer part of this subspecies if taken north of Highway 126 and west of I-5.

The Columbian blacktail is a close cousin of the mule deer. However, it weighs much less and looks noticeably smaller. Most bucks weigh no more than 200 pounds.

Other distinctive features include the all-black top of the tail and a noticeably different pattern of antler growth. It will stand apart as a unique addition to your trophy room.  This deer is required for the North America 29 Grand Slam.


Our blacktail deer outfitters base their hunts in the canyons of California. They provide in-field transportation via Jeeps and ATVs, so most expeditions don’t require exceptional physical fitness. You just need to be ready for some light hiking.

Since you may need to shoot across some big canyons, you should practice your marksmanship beforehand. You may get a shot on a serious trophy buck more than 250 yards away. With that said, the guides can reliably get their hunters within 100 yards under most circumstances.

A flat-shooting rifle will serve you well at these ranges. A .270 or a .30-caliber will easily do the job.

One thing you must come prepared to deal with is the heat. Hunts begin in mid-September and end in late October, and in the early part of the season, 100-degree days are not uncommon.

Hunts last five days and typically feature two guides for each hunter. To date, these hunts have had 100% opportunity rates.


You will stay in a rustic two-story cabin with showers and toilets, but no electricity. Bring your own sleeping bag, toiletries, and beer, and the outfitter will provide the rest.


These hunts cost $8,000 per hunter. You will need to pay 50% upfront in order to book your hunt, and the remainder will be due no less than 60 days before your hunt begins.

Going Columbia blacktail deer hunting in California will give you excellent odds of adding the Ghost of the Pacific to your trophy collection. Book your hunt before this year sells out!

1×1 Blacktail Hunt

$8,000 per hunter

Hunt Includes

Lodging and meals during your hunt.
Basic field dressing to prepare your trophy for transportation to the taxidermist and/or butcher
Guide services.
Transportation between the lodge and the hunting areas.

Does Not Include

California hunting license and blacktail deer tag.
Transportation to and from the airport in Sacramento (about 250 miles—available for an extra fee).
Tips for the guides and staff.

North America 29

The Columbia Blacktail Deer is one of the required trophy species of North America 29 and Super Slam of North American Big Game®.

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