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Author Topic: Needs tips/mentor for blacktail in the North Olympic Peninsula  (Read 1080 times)

Offline Pack and Boots

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Needs tips/mentor for blacktail in the North Olympic Peninsula
« on: September 25, 2020, 08:48:07 PM »
I am new to the North Olympic Peninsula and I plan to hunt Blacktail General Season (modern firearm). I'm new to hunting but not new to the Olympic mountains and woods. I have many years of backpacking and hiking under my belt. Yes, I have my general tag.

I would greatly appreciate any tips or mentoring for hunting in GMUs 602, 603 or 607. GMU 621 is also in range for me but I see there is already a recent thread with tips for that GMU so I won't ask again.

I have read the Hunting Prospects for District 16, and I see that the blacktail population west of the Elwha is sparse. I noticed Deer Area 6020 but I have also read that it is mostly private land and there are firearm restrictions so I would not have a clue how to tackle that.


Offline MADMAX

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Re: Needs tips/mentor for blacktail in the North Olympic Peninsula
« Reply #1 on: September 25, 2020, 09:38:52 PM »
It’s been going downhill for about 10 years
A shadow of the former herd
You will see nice bucks
Usually in someone’s yard under their Apple trees
 :bash:

My best advise
Cover ground in national forests
Or walk gated roads on the tree farms ( if legal )
And don’t leave anything of value in your vehicle
 Plenty of Meth heads around
Keep the wind in your hair, and the sun at your back.


A gun is a tool, Marion, no better or no worse than any other tool, an axe, a shovel or anything. A gun is as good or as bad as the man using it. Remember that.


What would life be without the thrill of the hunt ?

Offline opdinkslayer

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Re: Needs tips/mentor for blacktail in the North Olympic Peninsula
« Reply #2 on: September 25, 2020, 09:41:16 PM »
Do a little google earth scouting & get out there the next couple weeks glassing clearcuts & checking out prospective areas. Going behind locked gates is always far more productive than driving open roads.

Offline fishnfur

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Re: Needs tips/mentor for blacktail in the North Olympic Peninsula
« Reply #3 on: September 25, 2020, 10:43:55 PM »
Time is short.  Read up by searching this forum for "Blacktail help"  or blacktail tips, or similar.  Go back a year in the deer hunting section of the forum (by clicking on the page numbers at the bottom).  and read all blacktail threads for Oct. - Nov. for the last few years.  There's tons of tips in there if you spend some time going back through the old pages of threads.  The search function is easier, but you will learn and understand more if you concentrate on the threads having 2 or more pages of member input on a BT topic, and reading from the top to the last post.

You should find a couple of clearcuts on google earth in the area you want to hunt, that when you use the history (clock) icon show that the cut was logged six or eight years ago and seems to have newly planted trees that are now around Christmas tree size.  You can hunt the woods in the first 100 yards outside the perimeter of these cuts or find a high spot to sit, wait, and glass between ( hiding under, above or in the neighborhood) the trees in the cut with binoculars till your dream deer magically appears.  You need to do some scouting ASAP to find areas where deer frequent around these cuts, or in mixed timber (alder, maple, fir) and spend as much time in the woods as your situation allows. 

Good luck.
“When I die, I want to die like my grandfather who died peacefully in his sleep. Not screaming like all the passengers in his car.”  - Will Rogers

Offline kball4

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Re: Needs tips/mentor for blacktail in the North Olympic Peninsula
« Reply #4 on: September 28, 2020, 06:33:54 AM »
Hunt clear cut fringes, mostly sitting and glassing.  Alot of cuts are hard to walk through.

Offline Sundance

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Re: Needs tips/mentor for blacktail in the North Olympic Peninsula
« Reply #5 on: September 28, 2020, 08:25:47 AM »
Of the units you listed only one has alpine hunting, the others have midland to lowland hunting. You should decide if you want to hunt alpine bucks that will migrate to lower elevations when the snow/weather pushes them down or if you want to hunt midland/lowland bucks that tend to be residential deer (generally don't travel more then a square mile). These are two drastically different hunting styles and require different gear to accomplish them. Ask yourself if you have the gear needed to complete an alpine hunt or if you need to stay in lower elevations. Anything midland/lowland I'd focus on finding areas that have the following features: clear cut 2-5 years old, bordered by standing timber and a creek bottom with alders. Scout the fringes of the clear cut for sign and the immediate area in the timber for access trails and beds. Then look in the creek bottom for rubs on the alders and any other trails that access the cut. There are elk in all those areas which may confuse the sign. I personally wouldn't consider most of those units to be excellent deer hunting but there is always a monster in every unit- the density of those mature bucks is what separates one unit from the next.

Offline fishngamereaper

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Re: Needs tips/mentor for blacktail in the North Olympic Peninsula
« Reply #6 on: September 28, 2020, 08:41:17 AM »
Be careful allot of that country out there is Rayonier land and they require an access permit. 

Offline Sundance

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Re: Needs tips/mentor for blacktail in the North Olympic Peninsula
« Reply #7 on: September 28, 2020, 09:31:08 AM »
Be careful allot of that country out there is Rayonier land and they require an access permit. 

And Merrill & Ring which doesn't allow any access at all.

Online JimmyHoffa

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Re: Needs tips/mentor for blacktail in the North Olympic Peninsula
« Reply #8 on: September 28, 2020, 09:39:15 AM »
Be careful allot of that country out there is Rayonier land and they require an access permit. 

And Merrill & Ring which doesn't allow any access at all.
Did they discontinue the Physt tree farm permits?  That area had pretty good numbers of deer, including some bigger bucks.  I think the harvest % for 603 will likely increase over the next few years (if kills get reported).  Lots of new people moving out to/building in Joyce.  The deer population seems to go up as the area gets developed.  Probably skew the stats like 621 where so many animals are actually backyard animals, then people look at harvest prospects/reports and think it was spread all across the unit.

Offline Sundance

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Re: Needs tips/mentor for blacktail in the North Olympic Peninsula
« Reply #9 on: September 28, 2020, 09:47:30 AM »
Be careful allot of that country out there is Rayonier land and they require an access permit. 

And Merrill & Ring which doesn't allow any access at all.
Did they discontinue the Physt tree farm permits?  That area had pretty good numbers of deer, including some bigger bucks.  I think the harvest % for 603 will likely increase over the next few years (if kills get reported).  Lots of new people moving out to/building in Joyce.  The deer population seems to go up as the area gets developed.  Probably skew the stats like 621 where so many animals are actually backyard animals, then people look at harvest prospects/reports and think it was spread all across the unit.

M&L went to a draw permit only for elk. No more general access for deer/bear/cat with a permit is my understanding. I think there are a few elk and deer that go unreported on that section of the peninsula. Call it "subsistence hunting" and not by tribal members.

Offline fishnfur

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Re: Needs tips/mentor for blacktail in the North Olympic Peninsula
« Reply #10 on: September 30, 2020, 03:35:08 PM »
A guy's got to eat.  Might as well poach something good!

Good to see you're back Sundance.  I'm looking forward to another mature BT success photo this year. 
« Last Edit: September 30, 2020, 04:02:43 PM by fishnfur »
“When I die, I want to die like my grandfather who died peacefully in his sleep. Not screaming like all the passengers in his car.”  - Will Rogers

Offline Aginor

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Re: Needs tips/mentor for blacktail in the North Olympic Peninsula
« Reply #11 on: September 30, 2020, 04:04:51 PM »
It sounds like you are capable of backpack hunting and you still have several weekends to scout. As others have said, if you want to focus on lowland areas, then drive around and scout as many places as you can. If you want to put your skills to use in a targeted alpine hunt area, look into 621. The Buckhorn/Dungeness areas have a ton of deer sign and numbers. With two or three weekends of scouting in there you will definitely get one picked out.

Offline Webfoot

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Re: Needs tips/mentor for blacktail in the North Olympic Peninsula
« Reply #12 on: September 30, 2020, 08:23:44 PM »
I would suggest spending as much time in the woods as possible the last week of the season. They will be moving at all times of the day. There are plenty of places to hunt in 602,607, 612 and 615.

Offline Sundance

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Re: Needs tips/mentor for blacktail in the North Olympic Peninsula
« Reply #13 on: October 01, 2020, 12:55:19 PM »
A guy's got to eat.  Might as well poach something good!

Good to see you're back Sundance.  I'm looking forward to another mature BT success photo this year.

If I've learned anything over the years it's that I can always count on these blacktail to surprise me. Nothing targeted yet, but I have an overnight pack-in hunt planned and some regular spots to check in on. I took the last three days of the season off, hands down the best time IMO to be in the woods for a mature blacktail.

Offline fishnfur

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Re: Needs tips/mentor for blacktail in the North Olympic Peninsula
« Reply #14 on: October 02, 2020, 11:40:30 PM »
Double overnighter sounds like a great idea.  I'm betting you don't come back empty handed.  Good luck to all heading out for this area.  I wish I lived closer.
“When I die, I want to die like my grandfather who died peacefully in his sleep. Not screaming like all the passengers in his car.”  - Will Rogers

 


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