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Are you thinking of hunting blacktail deer? Do you want to learn how to hunt blacktail deer? Blacktail deer is considered the ghosts of the forest by hunters. One minute they are right there and then the very next minute, they simply vanished. In this article, we share information and knowledge to help you be successful in hunting the “ghost of the forest”.
How To Hunt Blacktail Deer
1. Blacktail Deer Scouting
When scouting for blacktail deer, look for tracks, scat, game trails, watering holes, rubs, beds, shed antlers, areas with clear cuts, and narrow trails. They like “edge” habitats where heavy timber is adjacent to meadows, clearings, shorelines, brushy slopes, and clear-cuts.
The home of a blacktail deer is considered the greatest defense strategy it has. When it experiences hunting pressure, blacktail deer retreats to its home which is usually characterized by impenetrable vegetation and is wet and foggy.
Blacktail deer live their entire lives in an area of just a few square miles. Therefore, when you find an area that shows signs of blacktail deer activity, there is a high chance that they live close by. Look for possible entry and exit points from the area.
2. Wildlife Biologist
Contact the wildlife biologist in the area you hunt for blacktail deer to get more information. The wildlife biologist can give you information like their movement patterns, migration routes and times, the age range of the deer in the area, what they eat often, their behaviors, etc. A wildlife biologist is one of the most trusted sources of information you can ever have. Always get to know the wildlife biologist for an area you want to hunt.
3. Trail Cameras
You can take advantage of technology by setting up trail cameras to collect information on the movements and patterns of blacktail deer. Blacktail deer are patternable as they have habits that they repeat over and over. You may also be able to figure out their bedding and feeding areas as well as their most used trails. With this information, you can set up treestands or ground blinds between the bedding and feeding areas to ambush the deer. We did a review of the best trail cameras on the market that you can read.
4. Predator Calls
You can also use predator calls to lure blacktail deer from their impenetrable cover. Fawn bleats can be used to attract does as well as bucks. Most of the time, fawn bleats are used by hunters that implement still-hunting strategies. With so many brands and models of predator calls, we reviewed the best predator calls available today.
Bait can also be used to hunt blacktail deer. However, you must know the hunting laws in the state where you intend to hunt blacktail deer. Not all states allow the use of bait when hunting blacktail deer. You can learn your state hunting laws by going to this website.
After scouting an area and you find signs of blacktail deer, you want to find an elevation a little distance from the area you think blacktail deer resides and glass for them. The best time to glass for blacktail deer is the first and last minutes of daylight. You can also glass clear-cuts and burns. Use binoculars, or spotting scopes to glass the area for blacktail deer.
7. Wind Direction
Always be downwind of the area you want to hunt for blacktail deer. This will prevent the wind from taking your human scent to the deer. If they pick up your scent, they will disappear.
8. Ambushing Blacktail Deer
You can collect information from trail cameras and satellite images to determine possible bedding and feeding areas. With this information, you can find a good hunting spot between the bedding and feeding areas, possibly closer to the bedding areas, and set up and wait for the deer. Hunters refer to this as ambushing the deer. Many hunters believe the best way to ambush blacktail deer is with a treestand.
Find a good spot with a lot of views and shooting lanes to set up a treestand. The treestand should not be too close to the area where you expect blacktail deer to hang out. Additionally, it must be in your shooting range. You will have a higher chance of success if you use a treestand to hunt blacktail deer. A review of the best climbing treestands can be accessed from this link.
10. High-Quality Optics
Use high-quality optics like binoculars and spotting scopes to glass an area for blacktail deer. You want scopes that will allow you to clearly see the blacktail deer. This helps you position yourself to take the best possible shot to take the deer down. If you are interested in binoculars and spotting scopes, we reviewed the best hunting binoculars and the best spotting scopes that you can read from these links.
Blacktail Deer Hunting Tips
1. When hunting blacktail deer, use the spot and stalk or stand still hunting methods.
2. Look for tracks, scat, beds, rubs, antler sheds, and narrow trails when scouting for blacktail deer.
3. Blacktail deer are considered homebodies as they live their entire life in an area that is just a few square miles.
4. In areas where long-distance glassing is not feasible, you should still hunt the deer.
5. When hunting for blacktail deer, always hunt downwind of the deer. This means that the wind should be in your face.
6. Early morning and late evenings are the best time to glass for blacktail deer.
7. You can set up trail cameras to collect information about blacktail deer like their patterns, movements, and possible feeding and bedding areas.
8. With the information you gathered from trail cameras, you can set up a tree stand between the bedding and feeding areas and wait in an ambush for deer.
9. Bait can also be used to hunt blacktail deer but you must know if it is legal in the state you hunt.
10. Setting up a treestand is one of the best ways to ambush a blacktail deer.
11. Talk to the wildlife biologist for the area you want to hunt in to get information about blacktail deer in that area.
12. Use predator calls to lure blacktail deer. The fawn bleats can attract does and bucks.
13. Fawn bleats are usually used by hunting that implement still-hunting strategies.
14. Set up treestands to hunt blacktail deer.
15. The best time to find a blacktail buck is before heavy rain, or right after the rain stops.
16. When glassing for blacktails, look for a horn or an ear twitching.
17. Use binoculars or a spotting scope to glass an area for blacktails.
The Bottom Line
Hunting blacktail deer is very challenging as they reside in impenetrable and tangled cover. They are referred to as the “ghosts of the forest” as no sooner do you see them and the next second, they disappear. Hunting blacktail deer requires, good scouting, planning, and implementing tried and tested strategies.
In this article, we discussed how to improve your chances of successfully hunting blacktail deer using some hunting strategies. If you are interested in hunting mule deer, you can read the best mule deer hunting tips.