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Author Topic: Looking to get my first deer in GMU 407/General beginner blacktail tips  (Read 737 times)

Offline Godawgs2017

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Recently picked up hunting, and 2019 was my first season. I went out in GMU 418 and didnít have any luck. After reading some reports from WDFW, it looks like GMU 407 might be a bit better.

Does anyone know of any decent public land spots (or accessible private land) in this unit in the Bellingham area? I have access to a shotgun, so I could be able to hunt parts of the firearm restricted area west of I-5.

I know the season is a long way out, Iím just hoping to get some scouting in the next couple of months.

I would also very much appreciate any general blacktail tips for a beginner! I left last season a bit disheartened without even seeing a doe in the 5 days I spent out.

Offline OutHouse

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Re: Looking to get my first deer in GMU 407/General beginner blacktail tips
« Reply #1 on: January 31, 2020, 11:12:52 AM »
Whenever I hear that someone is not seeing any deer at all, my advice is always to search far and wide for fresh sign. Once you start finding scat that is soft, or even better, still has that dark greenish hue to it, then you have found where they are. Also, buck scat tends to fall in clods as opposed to disbursed piles of pellets, but not always. When you find that three inch wide buck clod, you know you got a decent buck around.

Offline 7mmfan

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Re: Looking to get my first deer in GMU 407/General beginner blacktail tips
« Reply #2 on: January 31, 2020, 11:49:35 AM »
There is not much in the way of public land in 407. The most that is available is up your way. Take a look at the go hunt planner on WDFW website, or better yet, subscribe to OnXmaps for $30 a year on your phone. It will clearly show you where all the available public land is in the unit. Get out and scout during July and August when the bucks are still in velvet and highly visible, and then frequent those areas come hunting season. They will still be there, just not as visible and less likely to expose themselves during daylight hours.
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Offline mburrows

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Re: Looking to get my first deer in GMU 407/General beginner blacktail tips
« Reply #3 on: January 31, 2020, 02:12:34 PM »
buff up on your knowledge of deer habitat and behavior through books, articles and boots on the ground experience.  Get out looking for sheds, berries, mushrooms or whatever. The more time you spend in the woods the more you will be able to translate what you read online and in books into useful knowledge.

Very few people come into hunting without mentor and are instantly successful.  Being successful is HARD when you're just starting out, especially in this state on OTC tags.  Knowledge of the area you hunt (bedding areas, feeding areas, migration corridors, water, etc.) and knowing how animals use that area are the 2 most important things to understand.  Dont chase the ghosts of dead deer. Find an area to hunt that has sign and hunt those deer and that area, dont hunt for spots that guys say are good or that they've killed deer in, find a spot with decent sign and stick to it.

WA is tough but its definitely possible to fill your tag on a black tail every year if you learn an area and stick to it.

Offline Special T

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Re: Looking to get my first deer in GMU 407/General beginner blacktail tips
« Reply #4 on: January 31, 2020, 04:26:17 PM »
Buy the book Blacktail Trophy Tactis 2 by Boyd Iverson. It will help a lot scouting

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Offline RobinHoodlum

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Re: Looking to get my first deer in GMU 407/General beginner blacktail tips
« Reply #5 on: January 31, 2020, 05:51:39 PM »
5 days in the field is not much. Buying the mutiseason tag will allow you to spend more time in the field so you can get to know areas firsthand while maximizing your opportunity. It sucksis to pay that much for a deer tag, but this will up your game.

I also ditto what others have said about scouting and getting to know the biology and behavior of blacktails by reading and trying to be around them as much as you can. Scouting is ideal starting right now when blacktails are feeding more and leaving tracks in snow all the way up through green up while they are more visible. Dont worry about bucks, just find deer and pay attention to the habitat.

As far public access in 407 goes, it's not great. Weyerhaueser fee access is a scam in my opinion and has isolated 1000s of acres of public. Elsewhere there's lots of gates that limit access and an astounding number of people seem to have a means of getting their rigs behind them. That being said, there are still plenty of spots and deer

Remember to enjoy the journey!

Offline Alchase

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Re: Looking to get my first deer in GMU 407/General beginner blacktail tips
« Reply #6 on: January 31, 2020, 07:22:18 PM »
Buy the book Blacktail Trophy Tactis 2 by Boyd Iverson. It will help a lot scouting

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Fantastic read on how to hunt Blacktails!
Changed how I hunt dramatically..
Only 2 defining forces sacrificed themselves for you:
The American Soldier and Jesus Christ. One died for your freedom, the other for your soul.

My rock,
He trains my hands for war and my fingers for battle.
Psalm 144.1

Offline 444Marlin

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Re: Looking to get my first deer in GMU 407/General beginner blacktail tips
« Reply #7 on: February 02, 2020, 04:11:37 PM »
Blacktail are difficult to hunt. 

The good part about them though, is they are relative homebodies...some say they don't travel more than a mile from where they are born unless they are really pushed hard out of the area.  So, if you see them and see sign, you can bet they'll be in that general area again.

Good luck!

Offline 3nails

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Re: Looking to get my first deer in GMU 407/General beginner blacktail tips
« Reply #8 on: February 02, 2020, 05:56:34 PM »
 I've lived and hunted in 407 my whole life. If you want to kill a masher look for areas that border Bellingham or Lake Samish. The deer rut a lot earlier in 407 also. Sometimes full rut by the rifle opener.
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Offline Skyvalhunter

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Re: Looking to get my first deer in GMU 407/General beginner blacktail tips
« Reply #9 on: February 02, 2020, 08:22:18 PM »
Boots on the ground, scout scout scout

 


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