This is the first Columbia Blacktail I’ve ever laid eyes
on. Or, at least, a fresh dead Columbia Blacktail. Probably touched someone’s skull or mount. These deer are interesting, because, like, I’ve hunted Sitka Blacktails. Now I’ve hunted Columbia Blacktails. I’ve hunted Mule deer. What they think now, with modern genetics work, is mule deer are kinda brand new
species, in a historical sense. You know, like maybe around the time humans arrived in the New World, that’s all the older that Mule deer are. And they think that it was the result of hybridization between Blacktail bucks and Whitetail does. Whitetails had a more western range. And whitetails have been around forever, man, just expanding and shrinking. Expanding and shrinking their range. Always down in, particularly, the southeast we have the whitetails a lot. And in the deep, deep sense, whitetails were probably all the way across the continent at some point, and then something caused the
middle ground to vanish, and then, what you wound up with over time was Blacktail deer and Whitetail deer. And then, later, they came back together again there’s
hybridization from Mule deer. You just really see it. When you look at one of these Columbia Blacktails, it just seems so much like this kind of a daintier, more slender Mule deer. Moreso than a Sitka Blacktail to the north. And, you know, two taxonomists are like Mule deer and Blacktail belong together. In fact, when it comes to scoring antlers, like organizations that score antlers like Boone and Crockett, they just have an arbitrary the I-5, the Interstate 5 in California. Everything west of that was regarded as a Columbia Blacktail, everything east of that, regarded as a Mule deer. But this guy could’ve crossed that corridor, and he would become, for hunting purposes, he would all of a sudden be a Mule deer. Same deer.