My pursuit for "85" Nor-Cal Blacktail.....

trkyslr

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Two years ago I got this trail cam pic of an awesome nor-cal blacktail buck during the night. He had everything kickers stickers a drop tine, but lacked mass. I wanted to hunt him but I also knew he had potential to be better with another year or two. Including his one eye guard he was an 8 by 5, thus I named him “85”. that year I got mostly night pics of him on the far south end of the property. Not knowing his pattern I didn’t pursue him for that reason as well. Another thing I was nervous about was the ranch to the south that bordered the one I hunted, he would go to at night to feed and that ranch was hunted hard during rifle season. So I kept my fingers crossed that he didn’t get killed.
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trkyslr

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last year a couple weeks into the season i got this pic of 85 on the west end of the property about 300 yards away from where i got pics of him during the night to the south. I started to figure out he was traveling these roads to the north to his bed but i didnt know which one. a week later he shed his velvet and disapeared, which they seam to do as they go into their fall patterns... i vowed to check on him the next summer and hope he returned.
 
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trkyslr

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this last june i set my cams up and got a pic and new it was 85 and that he lived another year... and i could tell he had already put on more mass and more points. i now had my sights set on him. i then shifted to locating his bed and after a couple weeks i had located it. it was on a hill top above the golden grass hills side and oaks in some thick cedar and manzanita patch... i had located an old skid road he traveled to and from his bed to his night feeding area again to the south of the property.
 
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trkyslr

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heres pic of him coming from thick wood patch which he bedded in onto the road. i was getting very aggresive by doing this and chancing him winding me or spooking him off but im aggresive when it comes to hunting these blackies. i would also not go in to check cams unless wind was right and it was afternoon.
 
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trkyslr

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so a couple weeks before season i placed the blind for morning hunt on the downhill side of trail he took...
 
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trkyslr

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heres pic of him walking to his bed by my blind at 20 yards before the season was open... he would walk this route 6 out of 7 days between 8 and 830 am...
 
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trkyslr

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here he is on cam about 200 yards away and closing in on opening morning...
 
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trkyslr

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Opening morning joe was with me in the blind videoing the hunt. At 840ish he shows and starts walking right to us. At 30 yards I draw back and was shaking so bad… never shook so bad on an animal before. I settled my 30 yard pin and lettr fly. I hit him far back and went through a bunch of emotions. It was not a good shot and I knew it. Joe and I backed out a took up the blood trail 3.5 hours later. After a slow trail on our parts I located 85 down kicking his last breaths.. I put an insurance arrow into him and he was mine.. Adrenaline rush, then kick in the gut cuz of shot then recovery,,wow!!!! It was a roller coaster ride but man I was happy to get him! Joe and i hauled him up top and drove to the west end of ranch for pics..
 
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trkyslr

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he is by far my biggest nor-cal blacktail... last night i rough scored him 186 1/8"
 
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trkyslr

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joe (joehunter) and i.. we have many awesome hunts with great memories and plan on many more in the future. this blackie was truly a once in a lifetime buck and i am so greatful! over three years of history with him has come to this sweet ending! 85 thanks for the pursuit!
 

IAHNTR

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Feb 26, 2012
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That is an awesome story and great ending. What a stud. That was very cool how you narrowed down where he was spending his time.
 

BigSurArcher

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May 20, 2012
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INCREDIBLE! For those not so familiar with Blacktails, this buck is beyond what even the most hard core Blacktail hunters dream about. There aren't even words to describe the caliber of that buck. A HUGE congrats to you. Where does that green score sit for P&Y Blacktails? #2 possibly? 3? If you ask me, that buck is the equivalent to the Spider Bull in trophy caliber.
 

Nick Muche

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Mar 21, 2012
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Chris... Is... A... Beast!

Bring that good luck to AZ and give some to me :)

Congrats again!
 

OR Archer

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Hey you're wearing one of our shirts!!! haha

That's a stud of a buck. Congrats on getting it done. It's not easy patterning a big old blacktail like that.
 
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