Sitka black-tailed deer are less well-known than their inland relatives, mule deer and white-tailed deer, but they are incredibly fun and rewarding to hunt. They are also a primary subsistence resource for many rural residents in Southeast Alaska and coastal British Columbia.
Interest in hunting Sitka black-tails is growing, in part due to a recent series of shows produced by Randy Newburg, featuring our own founding member Dr. Jim Baichtal, and they provide a nice introduction to hunting this species.
Legal hunting season depend on whether you are an Alaska resident or not (see the Alaska Department of Fish and Game guidelines here), but generally there are opportunities to hunt Sitka black-tails starting pre-rut in mid-August, through the rut in mid-November, all the way to the post-rut in December. Another great source of information is the Alaska Blacktail Forum on Facebook.
While habitat and local conditions dictate when and where the best places to hunt occur in any given location, we've put together information for Prince of Wales Island, a popular hunting destination with typical Sitka black-tail habitat that should prove useful for hunting across Southeast Alaska. We’ve also included some guidance on Boone & Crockett scoring and boundaries.
We’ve also compiled some of the best and most interesting hunting experiences that Jim B. has had over the years, which he shares as a blog and will add to through time.
Below are more hunting which might inspire, from past adventures…
Sitka black-tail Alpine Deer Hunt August 1, 1999, World Record Sitka w/ Muzzleloader PDF Link
Sitka black-tail Alpine Deer Hunt August 1, 1999 PDF Link
My Second Boone and Crockett Buck and #2 Longhunter Sitka black-tail, October 30th, 1999 PDF Link
Ratz Harbor Rutting Sitka black-tail, November 11, 2000 PDF Link
A Central Prince of Wales Island Sitka black-tail Hunt August 1, 2002 PDF Link
A Central Prince of Wales Island Sitka black-tail Hunt, August 14-15, 2002 PDF Link
It is a Rainforest After All, August 8-14, 2008 PDF Link