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California Blacktail Deer

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Season Dates:
August, September
Columbia Blacktail Deer
Guide Ratio:
1 on 1, 2 on 1, Group, Corporate Groups, Guided
California, United States of America
Trip Methods:
ATV/UTV, Hiking, Spot and Stalk, Vehicle
4 Days, Custom
Easy Moderate
Ranch House, RV Camper/Trailer
Trip Units:
A Zone

This area of the Central Coast runs along the low coastal mountains from below the Monterey Peninsula south toward Santa Barbara. In stairstep fashion along Highway 101 the major towns are San Luis Obispo, Atascadero, and Paso Robles.

California’s coastal or “A-Zone” rifle season traditionally opens the second Saturday in August, the earliest firearms season in the Lower 48. These deer probably have the earliest rut in North America; they’ll be hard into it by mid-September. August days are usually hot, but even in summer the Central Coast has one of North America’s most radical temperature swings: Between dawn and noon a 40-degree shift is normal and 50 degrees not unusual. It’s a short hunting day, a few hours in the morning when a jacket feels good—even in August—but by mid-morning it’s hot and the deer are bedded tight and seeking shade.

The Central Coast deer are typically small in body and antler. SCI recognizes these Central Coast deer as Columbian blacktails. A “legal buck” must have a fork in the upper portion of one antler and, honestly, pickings are slim enough that around here any legal buck is considered a pretty good deer. You might see the occasional three-by-three, but clean four-by-fours are very rare. Regardless of points, antler spread in the upper teens is considered wide, into the twenties spectacular. Dressed weights run around 180 pounds and more, a third larger in body than most of our local deer.

Deer camp is a well-appointed farmhouse in the middle of the vineyards. With long days and short nights some meals are done in camp, others at the headquarters and tasting room, close by on the property. One constant: When a buck is harvested a bottle from the specific vines where that buck was taken is uncorked at the game pole.

This outfitter has had their acreage in the family—and in grapes—since the 1880s. On average, you will see about 100 resident deer a day during your hunt. This outfitter harvests about 6-8 mature bucks that are exceptional for the area…plus a couple of older “management bucks.

There is a variety of activities you can do during your stay, here is just a few:
Winery and Vineyard Tours, Shopping, Sightseeing, Culinary Experiences, Day Hiking, Horse Trekking, Day Spa, and Live Music in the downtown park.

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Airport Pickup and Dropoff, Assistant Guide, Cook, Delivery of Meat to Processor, Delivery of Trophy to Taxidermist, Field Preparation of Trophies, Guide, Lodging, Meals, Scouting, Wifi
Ammunition, Car Rental, Flight(s), Gratuities, License, Tag(s), Weapon Rental

Option #1

$10,500.00 4 Days, Custom 1 on 1, Corporate Groups, Guided

Option #2

$9,000.00 4 Days, Custom 2 on 1, Corporate Groups, Guided

Optino #3

$6,000.00 5 Days 1 on 1, Guided
Management Blacktail Hunt


All packages include trophy fees, one-on-one guiding, airport/hotel transfers, and field preparation of trophies. Additionally, at the farmhouse, your stay is all inclusive and includes all meals, wireless internet, and local beer & wines in moderation.

Non hunter: $250 / day