California Blacktail B Zone


Apr 28, 2012
So I wanted to share my Brothers buck with you guys and the story that goes with it!

So two years ago I was hunting this same exact canyon and got the opportunity to watch a very old buck for over 8 hours. I had the spotting scope on him all day. This buck never moved out of his bed except to eat and stretch. The canyon he was in was steep and the loction he was in did not give us the ability to make a good stalk on him to get closer for a shot. We ended up nicknamed this buck Fat Bastard because he just slept all day and would feed every now and then.

Fast forward to this year, Myself, Brother and a buddy backpacked in to hopefully get one of us a buck before the season ended. My Brother was sick for the past week and during the pack in he almost turned around to go back home. The elevation was not helping his head cold. When we got to our camp spot we dumped everything we didn't need and went out hunting. I put my brother on a rock that was above camp due to him not feeling good this would be a perfect spot. My buddy and myself continued down the ridge. I put my buddy down the ridge from my brother to watch over a big bowl that was open with oaks and timber surrounding it. I continued down the ridge to glass another area. After a few hours I could not raise my brother on the radio. So my buddy went to check on him. I told my buddy that if I did know my brother as good as I think he is in camp sleeping. I then told my buddy I was going to checkout another canyon out. Sure enough I spot a buck. At first the buck looks to be small but from 1000 yard away he turned his head. Thats when I desided to get a closer look. I called my buddy on the radio and told him the news and what I was going to do. He said he will call me when he finds my brother. So proceed down the ridge and get within 580 yards of the buck. He looks like a good buck. My buddy calls me on the radio and told me that my brother was in camp sleeping and they are headed my way. After two hours of watching this buck I then relise I'm watching the same buck from two years ago. He is in the same exact spot! He lost some of his mass and width But was still a good buck. My brother and buddy meet up with me and we deside to go after him. The only problem is there is no easy approach. The ridge we are on has no cover and he is bedded in the wide open. So the odds were stacked against us. I told my brother "we are hunting right" Lets go. We made are way down the mountain side in the shale rock sliding and making a bunch of noise. Every few yard I look at the buck to see if he is still there. I range him as we go and he never moves an inch. I let my bother use my rifle due to the custom turret. I know my rifle is good out to 500 yard but still want to try and get as close as we can. We finally make it to 375 yard and stack our packs to make a good rest. The sun is now getting ot his location and we know that he will stand up and move when he get to hot. When the sun hit his horns thats when i relized this buck is bigger than I thought. But I gave my Brother my word, that he could kill this buck. I wanted to change my mind but could not due that to my little brother. The buck starts to move "ok get ready" the buck stand broadside and I tell my brother "smoke him". The shot rang out and the bullet hit its mark. The buck flips over end over end and finally comes to a stop after doing this for 50 yards down hill. I now think this bucks horns where going to be all busted up. We make are way over to him after some yahoo's and high fives. The buck is lying the dead and can be. His head is tucked under his body and all I can see is one side of his antler. I lift him up and his face is buried in the shale rock uo to his horn. Sweet he never busted a horn. My Brother just smoked a Big Blacktail Buck. Biggest to date!!! We take pictures and bone him out. Now the real work getting him out of that canyon and back to camp. The pack out was a pain. But with the pain came the self satisfaction and reward of doing whay most won't due to take a buck like this. I learned that you don't always have to be the one to pull the trigger to have a hunt of a Lifetime. I felt that I accomplished something, by keeping my word and letting my Little Bro kill a true trophy Blacktail. Sorry for the long story!!!!

This is a picture of him two years ago.

My Brother and Me!!




Dec 2, 2012
Nice Blacktail!. I had to check my trail cam pics when I first saw the pic. He looks very similar to a buck that I was trying to kill this year. Real tall with that 3 point "web" on one side. The one I was after has the web on his right side though :) hope he's still alive for next year.