First Blacktail Buck in Years

by nimrod243

I went hunting with my brother early one Saturday morning this fall (2010) during the General Rifle Deer Season on Oregon's wet West Side.  Oregon's elusive Blacktail bucks were our quarry and my brother also toted an antlerless deer tag.

We were accompanied by my niece.  At nine years old, this was her first year hunting, in Oregon's mentoring program. The plan was that if a good opportunity presented itself to shoot a doe, my brother would hand the rifle over to her and let her shoot.

We drove to the top of the clearcut where I shot a small blacktail buck back in 2008 and got out of the car.  We decided to split up so that we could cover both sides of the clearcut better.  So, I walked down to the side where I had shot my deer back in '08 and found a stump to hide behind.

It wasn't but a few minutes later when I suddenly heard a gunshot from my brothers direction.  Then I heard two more shots come quickly thereafter. 

After hearing the first shot, for some reason, I immediately assumed that my niece had just shot her first deer.  As soon as I heard the follow-up shots, I changed my mind.  I was pretty sure it was my brother shooting, and I didn't think he would be shooting like that at a doe!

I was pumped now, so, I quickly made my way over in his direction.  As soon as I saw him, he saw me, and asked me if I had seen that buck! 

I hadn't seen any buck, and I told him so.  Suddenly I feared that a buck had given us the slip.  But then my brother said, "Well, I think I got him." 

Now I was even more excited!  We started looking around where my brother had last seen him and at first didn't see anything.  No blood... no buck.

My brother worked his way down below me a little bit further and looked over the edge of a steep little bluff.  "Here he is," my brother yelled out!  I excitedly responded with, "All right!"

This is how we found him piled up.  It's hard to tell, but this was a very steep hill.
I was so excited for my brother.  He hadn't shot a blacktail buck in several years.  These animals are extremely challenging to hunt, the elusive blacktail buck.

Anyways, the story goes something like this:

My brother was watching the clear cut when all of the sudden he saw a buck running straight up the hill between us. 

I was a couple of ridges over, so he immediately shot once, then twice at the running buck.  Then, the buck stopped and stood on a little knob about 80 yards away from him. 

My brother knew he had to take his time on this shot and make it count.  So he steadied his aim right on the buck's front shoulder and pulled the trigger of his Mossberg .243. 

This time the buck jumped high and ran off out of sight.

Now, I have heard that deer will jump like that when they get shot in the heart, and when he told me that as we were looking around, I was sure that he had himself a buck.

When we made it down to the buck, we gave each other a high five and shared a very happy moment that can only be fully understood by someone who has experienced it.

I snapped a few pictures of my brother and his daughter.  She was very excited about the whole thing.  She is already an excellent huntress. 

I hunted with the two of them on opening day and she wasn't afraid of trekking through any of the thickest brush we found that day.

My brother and his daughter, happy as can be with their trophy.
We admired my brother's trophy.  The last shot had been perfect indeed. One entry hole on the front shoulder. 

My brother did an excellent job of gutting the deer.  When he got into the upper cavity, we were able to confirm my suspicion that the shot had been right through the heart.

The 80 grain bullet did not create and exit hole, but had exacted a lethal toll on the internal organs.  There wasn't much of the heart left at all.  The buck hadn't gone but 10-15 yards- straight down hill.

Soon we both grabbed an antler and began pulling the buck back up to the truck.  It was hard work.  My brother was practically dragging me up the will with the buck.

We figured it would have been better to let the buck keep running straight up the hill, right up to the truck, since he was headed that way, and then shoot him there- would have saved us a lot of work!

After that morning hunt, I considered the season a success, whether I gut a buck or not.  Congrats, bro.


  1. I enjoyed your article. Wish I could have been there. We will be out harassing the elk in few days. Brad and his family is coming down for the hunt and thanksgiving. Keep up the stories.

  2. Nice job guys!!! great story.


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