2006 Blacktail Deer Season

Opening weekend of deer season I headed to one of my favorite spots near Elkhead, Oregon. I’ve been hunting this area for years with my dad and brother, and while I’ve taken several does over the years, I’ve have never been able to take a buck. That all changed within the first 30 minutes of opening day.

I met up with my brother on Friday night, set up camp near a rock quarry, and then settled in for the night. Opening weekend is usually hot and dry, but this year was different. The forecast called for lots of rain, and the meteorologist was right. I awoke about once an hour to the sound of rain hitting the windows. These weren’t small drops, as they sounded liked someone loudly tapping their fingers all over the metal body of my brother’s Jeep. Each time I woke up, I’d pull my head back into the sleeping bag and was fast asleep again.

Camping Out of the Jeep

Camping Out of the Jeep

When 6:30 AM rolled around, I got up and grabbed my gear. By now the rain had subsided and the sky had cleared, but the ground was still a little wet from an entire night of rainfall. I usually like to spot-and-stalk and cover ground, so this would work in my favor in a short amount of time.

By the time my brother and I got to our hunting spot it was around 7:30 AM. We quickly discussed our game plan, and off we went in opposite directions.

My Brother Looking Over A Clearcut

My Brother Looking Over A Clearcut

My plan was to make my way slowly through an area of small tree and work towards a hill that overlooked a bowl. Beyond that was the treeline that stretched from left to right.  The terrain was tough due to past logging operations, and I was getting soaked from the ferns that stretched the entire distance to the treeline. However, I was able to cover a lot of ground while making minimal to no noise.

Finally I reached an old burned-out stump at the top of the hill, and I stopped to glass the bowl below. Not seeing anything after 10 minutes I stepped away from the stump and started walking toward the treeline. Not more than 10 steps later a 3-point buck jumps up and starts running downhill.

Without thinking, I quickly brought up my Remington 7mm rifle, peered through the Leupold Vari-X II scope, and squeezed off a shot. Instantly I knew that I hit the deer, but he kept running and slipped into the timber and out of sight.

I gave it a few minutes and then slowly worked my way to the treeline. It didn’t take long before I saw the buck, laying there just 20 feet into the timber. I was so excited as this was my first blacktail buck, and the hunt was over within the first 30 minutes of the season. I couldn’t ask for a better season.

My First Blacktail Buck

My First Blacktail Buck

Author’s Note: Thinking about it later I wish that I would have had my camera with me, as the setting was perfect. This picture was taken after my brother helped me bring the deer to the road.

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About the Author

Jeremy Henricks

Jeremy Henricks

Jeremy Henricks is a fanatic when it comes to hunting blacktail deer and elk in his home state of Oregon. He is also the editor of Pursue The Outdoors.