The Hunter Wikia
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Species blacktail deer 700.png

The Black-tailed deer, or Blacktail deer, (Odocoileus columbianus) is a species of the deer found in western North America, specifically in the Pacific Northwest and Northern California regions. Black-tailed deer once lived at least as far east as Wyoming. The Black-tailed deer is currently common in northern California, western Oregon, Washington, in coastal and interior British Columbia, and north into the Alaskan panhandle.

The black-tailed deer was once believed to be a subspecies of the North American mule deer (Odocoileus hemionus), however, recent DNA testing has proven this not to be the case. In Valerius Geist's book Mule Deer Country he explains that by testing the mitochondrial DNA of the three species (blacktail, whitetail and mule deer), researchers have now determined that it was the mating of whitetail does and blacktail bucks that gave rise to the mule deer.



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Whitehart Island Redfeather Falls


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Blacktail Deer
Urine Spray
Deer "Bleat" Call Deer "Grunt" Call

Hunting Tactics

Trophy Blacktail Deer buck from c05t4 scoring 195.432

Trophy Non-Typical Blacktail Deer buck from mcgrec scoring 204.172

You cannot miss the Blacktail Deer if you start at the Causeway Lodge in the Whitehart Island reserve and head west. The Blacktails are almost exclusive there. Some deer can sleep during the midday hours, but even then you will come across plenty of activity. The only other animal competing for your attention here is the Roosevelt Elk. You will not regret if you take the necessary time and walk to the northern parts of Redfeather Falls. You can fast travel to the campsite there or to a tent that you placed there earlier. Spotting can be a challenge, as in some areas you have a good distance view on the Blacktails, especially in the swamps. Luring them however and planning a shot is relatively easy compared to the thick woodwork of Whitehart Island.

The Blacktail Deer is a herd animal, however you can also find single bucks. Blacktail bucks can travel alone, in groups of 2-3 bucks, or along with other males and females in larger herds. Any group constellation will not exceed 3 bucks. The does start as a group of 5 or 6, and they can travel along with or without bucks. If you find stray females, they could be from a group that was parted by spooking or getting stuck in certain territory or vegetation.

There is camouflage clothing available that provides various advantages specifically against all deer species.

Sense Reduction Values (1 = some; 6 = excellent)

Camo Visual Scent Sound
Boone & Crockett 5 / 6 2 / 6 1 / 6
Doc Monsignor 3 / 6 2 / 6 3 / 6
Army Outfit 5 / 6 2 / 6 1 / 6
Trapper Outfit 3 / 6 4 / 6 1 / 6
Outback Outfit 1 / 6 1 / 6 1 / 6

You will quickly see a big difference when using any of these outfits with the deer species when you have approached them with a regular outfit before. When in prone, the animals will almost step on you before they notice the danger and run. These clothes have the same effect on any map, environment and vegetation, as opposed to certain camouflage clothes which only unfold their advantages when in certain areas such as forests, but provide zero camouflage otherwise.

Scent Eliminator and Wind Indicator
This species has a sense of smell and will detect players around them. Especially when upwind, you will see close-by animals stick their nose into the wind, then run away. The Scent Eliminator works against all animals with a sense of smell. Apply it when you want to get close to the animal of your choice. Also, make sure to pay attention to the wind direction by observing objects tossed around or by using Wind Indicator. Use it and follow the smoke with your eyes to see in which direction it is blown. As a general rule of thumb, the wind will blow towards the North-East on all maps. If you are not sure about the wind conditions, apply the Scent Eliminator just in case. It doesn't hurt to use it once too often if you want to be on the safe side and not regularly spook animals by your smell.

Weight does correlate somewhat with the score. Follow tracks from heavy bucks. If you find tracks from a group of bucks, always follow those. There is a chance that one of these males will have a decent score. If you hear a call no matter what gender, lure them towards you. It could be a single Blacktail or a group of up to eight of them. The bigger the group the better the chance for a high scoring male.

Use the Deer Bleat or the Deer Grunt to lure Blacktails. Both callers have the same luring effect, and the effect is the same for both males and females. You may use Blacktail Deer Urine Spray which lasts a lot longer than the caller, and lets you safely move into a hiding place or stand.

Field Judging
When you spot Blacktail bucks, look for one with large antlers with long points. Soon you will be able to field judge the antlers and tell a small score from a big one. When luring in bucks, make sure to look out for other males before taking a shot on the first spotted.

Dealing with groups (herds, packs, flocks)
If you fancy shooting any gender, roam around and look for their tracks or listen for their calls. If you are after the big male, leave signs of females behind and keep going until you find the according presence of males. When you encounter a group, check the map and look for a good ambushing location. Call from a 30-50m (100-165 ft.) of your hiding spot or use scent spray if available, then move there and wait. If the group has a big male, it can be the first animal to react to the lure just as much as the last. It is therefore important to always be patient and try to spot all animals in the group before taking a shot. Spotting all animals also has the positive side effect of increasing your spotting skill for this species.

Shooting the animal
The shot must be well prepared. Search a good place where you can stay undetected. Avoid hasty shots. A good spotting skill will support you picking the right animal if there are severals. Wait until the animal of your choice has come close enough for a good shot, or until you can safely hit a vital from the side. It is not always possible to set up an ambush, or to move away on time. Stay alert for other animals (e.g. from a group) that might have come very close to your lure, and make sure to go for a shot before one of these could spook and flush everything around them.

If the animal flees
If you spook the animal of your desire, follow the tracks crouching. Use your optics and try to spot it, and also look for tracks or vocal signs. Do not go too fast. The animal can stop fleeing abruptly and return to roaming, and the roaming can be in any direction including coming right back at you. If you end up bumping into the animal it will flee again. Take your time. If the animal is worth it, a few more minutes will pay off.

Quick Start Locations

Start at the following lodge(s) for quickly finding this species.

Lodge Reserve Walking direction
Causeway Whitehart Island West

Video Guide


Organs and Bones

Image Organs
Blacktail organs.png

1 = Skull
2 = Brain
3 = Neck bone 1
4 = Neck bone 2
5 = Neck bone 3
6 = Spine bone 1
7 = Shoulder bone
8 = Spine bone 2
9 = Spine bone 3
10 = Hip bone
11 = Heart
12 = Lungs
13 = Liver
14 = Stomach
15 = Intestines
16 = Body

Blacktail Deer Missions

Mission Objectives Gm$ Hints
Breaking Ice
  • Harvest a Blacktail Deer.
Dying To Impress 200
By The Book
  • ID 3 tracks from a Blacktail Deer.
  • Spot a Blacktail Deer.
  • Harvest a Blacktail Deer.
300 All objectives must be completed during one expedition.
A Long Distance Relation 400
Anywhere But Here
  • Harvest a Blacktail Deer scoring at least 120 from a distance of less than 30 m.
Making Nice 800
Getting Serious 1000 BTMissionSeven.png
Moving In 1200
12 Counts of Affection
  • Harvest a Blacktail Deer in Red Feather Falls.
  • Harvest another Blacktail Deer in Red Feather Falls during the same hunt.
  • Harvest another Blacktail Deer in Red Feather Falls during the same hunt.
  • Harvest another Blacktail Deer in Red Feather Falls during the same hunt.
  • Harvest another Blacktail Deer in Red Feather Falls during the same hunt.
  • Harvest another Blacktail Deer in Red Feather Falls during the same hunt.
  • Harvest another Blacktail Deer in Red Feather Falls during the same hunt.
  • Harvest another Blacktail Deer in Red Feather Falls during the same hunt.
  • Harvest another Blacktail Deer in Red Feather Falls during the same hunt.
  • Harvest another Blacktail Deer in Red Feather Falls during the same hunt.
  • Harvest another Blacktail Deer in Red Feather Falls during the same hunt.
  • Harvest another Blacktail Deer in Red Feather Falls during the same hunt.
1800 Prepare for a long hunt. It is best to start early in the day. As you can see on the animal map for blacktail deer at Redfeather Falls, they predominantly roam the north of the map. Consider running north, or starting at a tent in the north, or fast traveling to the campsite in the north.

If you choose to use guns, you will only be able to take out one or two deer for each herd you find. The others will flee and you will have to track them down again or move on hoping for other herds or single roamers. It is a better choice to use a silent weapon, e.g. a bow or crossbow. If you manage to drop them on the spot, you can take multiple animals at a time. Even if a shot is bad and the rest of the bunch spooks, at least you are not spooking other animals in the vicinity with gunfire.

Tying Up
  • Harvest a Male Blacktail Deer scoring more than 135 with any Recurve Bow.

In-Game Photos

Non-typical Antlers

Blacktail Deer with Non-Typical Antlers can occur but are rare to find.



Permitted Ammunition

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.50 Ball
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.45 Sab.
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Cartridges 93x62 256.png
Cartridges 9.3x74r.png
Cartridges 7mm magnum 256.png
Cartridges 30r.png
Cartridges 8x57 256.png
8x57 IS
Cartridges 303 british 256.png
Cartridges 308 256.png
.308 Rifle
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Cartridges 3006 256.png
Cartridges 762x54r 256.png
Cartridges 7x64.png
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7-08 HP
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7-08 HV
Cartridges 6.5x55 256.png
Cartridges 30-30 256.png
Cartridges 270 256.png
Cartridges 243 256.png
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.45 Cop.
Cartridges 44 256.png
Cartridges 308 handgun.png
.308 Hand
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Cartridges 357 256.png
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10ga Slug
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12ga Slug
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16ga Slug
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10ga Buck
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12ga Buck
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16ga Buck

See full list here.