Clearin’ The Air
By Dan Gibson

Numerous times since I've had Blacktail Country the question of weather or not some of the bucks pictured in the California field photos section, are in fact , true Columbian blacktails has come up. I really don't know why some people have such a hard time believing it.

I was checking out another site recently and came across a post on their message board questioning exactly that. The poster said I needed a course in deer identification because obviously many of the bucks pictured on my site are " to big to be Blacktails". All I can say to that is, BULLSHIT !! Show me one. I guess the poster doesn't realize that I spend 365 days a year living with blacktails. In an average year I see over 300 bucks and spend roughly 200 days hunting and photographing them. Not to mention all the contact I have with blacktail hunters all over the country through my website. I would be very interested to find out what it is that qualifies him as such an expert in deer identification

The main reason I started this site was to give the Columbian Blacktail, my deer, the deer that I have grown up with and have been in awe of my entire life, the recognition they rightfully deserve. Then someone who obviously lacks trophy blacktail hunting experience comes along and says “Them deer ain't Blacktails they's muleys”. As I said before B.S. I have no reason to lie and risk the integrity of my site by posting photos of Muledeer, so someone can impress his/her friends. If anyone has proof that any of the bucks pictured in any of the Columbian Blacktail field photos sections are not true Columbian Blacktails let me know and they will be removed immediately.

I am not sure weather it is jealousy or lack of experience with big blacktails, that leads to such an accusation. As I informed the poster of the message, very few bucks pictured in the “California Field Photos” are even record class animals. It seems funny that the skeptics don’t question the fact that the world record and possible new world record Blacktail comes from Washington, the state with the least entries in B&C. Instead they question weather the bucks pictured from California (the state with the most B&C entries, by far) are really Columbian Blacktails, even though few of them would even qualify for the record book.

I think it is time for the non-believers to get a copy of B&C Records of North American Big Game and read it carefully. If they do they will see that California blacktails get very big, California’s 30 Inch Blacktails and Just the facts. That is unless you believe another poster, on another board, who suggested many hunters lie about where the get their bucks and actually enter mulies.

I have lived in Blacktail Country all of my life and I too was a little skeptical when I first heard the stories about the huge Columbian Blacktails that came from the part of California that I now call home. It was in fact these stories that caused me to pack up and move to Mendocino County (and yes it is the same Mendocino County that Willie sings about). After living here for more than ten years I can verify from experience, that without a doubt there are some big honkin’ Blacktails in this neck of the woods. I have personally seen bucks bigger than any pictured on my site. Maybe that is why I am so easily fooled?

One thing that most people don’t realize is that Northern California, especially this far north, is nothing like the California they see on television. There are huge amounts of public and private land that have remained virtual unchanged for centuries and have seldom seen a human. Much of this area is so rugged and spectacular you would think you're in the Rocky Mountains. On the other hand much of it is so dense with vegetation you can’t see as far as the end of your gun barrel. Northern California alone is bigger than some states and in my biased opinion the most beautiful place I have ever been. If you haven’t spent a sunset on a mountain top in Northern California looking for big blacktails you have missed out on a truly memorable experience. If you have you will likely never forget the sight, sound and smell of California’s awesome Blacktail Country.