E-Mails to the Editor
Ghosts in the Mist

Just wanted to say howdy. I live in Scappoose, Oregon and am glad to see articles on the blacktail deer. I have hunted them most of my life with bow and long gun, they are truly a wonderful animal to see (if you can see them) and a pleasure to hunt. The population in the areas I hunt is slowly declining due to heavy poaching. It sickens me to think my son and daughter will not see the same creatures ghosting through the woods as often as I did when I started hunting 20 years ago!

Please keep up the good work. I am looking forward to reading more about these ghosts in the mist as my son likes to call them.

Thank you for your time.

Joe Van Alstine
Scappoose, Oregon

Blacktail Discussion Continues

I would like to tell Mr. Willie Maciolek that he does not know what he is talking about. There are NO blacktail deer in either record book east of the Sacramento River. He said quote "there are thousands of blacktails east of the Sacramento River."

Maybe he should contact the Boone and Crockett or the Pope and Young clubs to tell them where the pure blacktail deer are. Granted there might be a few on the east side of the river but they might also be crosses. Who in their right mind would call a deer shot in Chester a "Trophy Blacktail"? Or in the Lassen National Forest such, as the picture of a blacktail taken by George Coughran?

Also look in this month's issue. You have another Trophy Blacktail picture, another C Zone buck. Please call Thomas Yount and ask him if it was shot WEST of the Sacramento River. I bet not!

The second response was from Larry Doss, he hit the nail on the head. There are a lot of blacktails on Stony Creek. I know, I live in Orland! However, in the picture of the trophy George shot, it was in the Lassen forest.That is my point, why show pictures of "Trophy Blacktails" that could be crosses? You cannot record them in either book so why say they are trophy blacktails?

If you want to see a trophy blacktail , e-mail me as I would be glad to take you up on the west side to show a true blacktail deer.

Jay Overholtzer

Editor's Comment:

The use of the word trophy does not indicate that an animal has even been submitted for measurement for any record book. It simply means it was a trophy to the hunter who took it (or to us at WesternHunter.com) and yet may or may not be one to our readers.

Discussions like this are probably ones usually reserved for California hunters, as I have heard comments like this, and those about blue deer, for years.

Over 40 years ago we always called the deer we hunted in the D3-5 Zone blacktails. Heck, the tail was even black. But over time our knowledge about the deer we love to hunt has increased to the point that even the DFG tells us there are six or seven types of deer in California.

The ninth edition of the Boone and Crockett Record Book describes the boundary for mule deer and blacktail deer in California much as the DFG describes zone boundaries. Interstate 5 and the Sacramento River are used for a good portion of the boundaries.

When you get down to it, what the heck would you call the buck that crosses the Sacramento River to feed on either side?

I think if you are an older hunter you just naturally fall back into the habit of calling the deer what you called them when you were growing up.

Finally, I would like to thank Jay, Willie, and Larry for their comments. It shows they are interested in the information we provide at WesternHunter.com and only want to improve it. Thanks, guys!!!

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