Black-tailed Deer Hunting on Vancouver Island

Anything you need to know about the best time, places, outfitters, and regulations of Vancouver Island black-tailed deer hunting, you can find them here. We are ready to help you make a rewarding BC hunting opportunity.

The content is valid until June 30, 2024.

Are you looking for a challenge to take over this weekend? Or do you want to fill out your refrigerator with freshly hunted deer meat? Well, Vancouver Island is home to Columbia black-tailed deer, one of three subspecies of mule deer. British Columbia is home to three subspecies of deer, and among them, white-tailed deer don't inhabit Vancouver Island, so for now, you don't have any chance of spotting and hunting this game. We also have another type of mule deer here on the island, that is Sitka black-tailed deer. Columbia black-tailed is medium-sized, and Sitka black-tailed is the small-sized among the three. Deer hunting on Vancouver Island has become very popular for years, and fortunately, there is plenty of deer, including fallow deer. Bucks (stags or male deer) and does (female deer) will mate and have two or three fawns (baby deer).
Besides being challenging, black-tailed deer hunting on Vancouver Island is highly prized because it is the kind of deer that mostly seeks cover. A very funny fact about deer is that they can move their ears independently from each other, and interestingly enough, that is a warning sign for other deer that may be an enemy approaching. You already know that only bucks have antlers, right? However, they are not something they carry with themselves right after birth. Deer antlers would fall during the cold season and grow back again throughout spring and summer. Even the colour of their coat would change in the change of season; the coat colour is reddish-brown during summer, and it transforms into greyish-brown when it is winter. How phenomenal is that?
Deer harvesting on Vancouver Island is one of the hobbies which attracts many hunters, professional or not, to the island. In the following, we will discuss everything you must know to choose the best black-tailed deer hunting strategies on Vancouver Island.

History of Hunting Black-tailed Deer on Vancouver Island

There have been DNA research that identified the migration route of the deer. After the glacial retreat, deer migrated from a refuge near the Pacific Northwest coast and colonized Vancouver Island. This colonization went on to the Alexander Archipelago, where the Sitka black-tailed subsist.
For years, deer meat was one of the primary meat resources for First Nations people, and nowadays, some still enjoy hunting down these cute ungulates and eating the delicate and juicy meat throughout the year. Back then, people would harvest deer on Vancouver Island for the deer's meat, coat, and antlers. Meat naturally was for food. Also, they used to utilize the deer's antlers and bones for their tools and weapons.

Vancouver Island Black-tailed Deer Hunters

If you ask hunters, hunting black-tailed deer is the most challenging deer hunting among other subspecies of mule deer on Vancouver Island. Columbia black-tailed deer would seek cover constantly; that is why it is hard to focus on them and hunt them down right away.
Other than the challenging hunt, hunters, especially professionals, crave meat other than beef. Furthermore, they can decorate their houses, or in some cases their cottages, with the black-tailed deer antlers. Not to mention that the black-tailed deer coat is used to make classy clothing. Overall, black-tailed deer hunting is beneficial in many ways for Vancouver Island hunters.
Also, note that harvesting black-tailed deer on Vancouver Island has a bag limit (the number you can hunt and take away in the open season). In general, you can hunt three black-tailed deer during an open season, regardless the gender.

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Reasons to Hunt Black-tailed Deer on Vancouver Island

If you just read an article elaborating on the benefits of deer meat, or better to say venison, hunting black-tailed deer on Vancouver Island or anywhere else would be one of your annual priorities. To save you time, we will introduce and explain these benefits briefly:
1. It is a complete package of protein; venison contains 24 g (0.8 oz) of protein per 100 g (3.5 oz) of meat, each filled with all the necessary amino acids the human body itself is incapable of producing.
2. Low fat. Nothing is more pleasing than eating food without any stress. Thus, venison is an enjoyable meal for those suffering from blood pressure and blood lipid.
3. It is saturated with Haem iron. Haem iron is one of the essential elements of the red blood cells, of which you can find plenty in venison.
4. It is one of the B Vitamin sources. Satisfy your body's needs for B vitamins with venison.
I bet there's not even a single hunter on earth who doesn't have to put a pair of antlers on their walls. Even the ungulate's male antlers are one of the primary reasons hunters, even amateur hunters. Vancouver Island hunters count the black-tailed deer antlers as the trophy of their hunts.
A black-tailed deer's coat is a suitable material to look fancy. Almost everybody adores jackets and coats made of ungulate fur. So, if you are a person who is constantly concerned about how you look, we recommend you pack your bags and head for black-tailed deer hunting on Vancouver Island.

Vancouver Island Black-tailed Deer Hunting Highlights

1. Black-tailed deer have an alpha doe, the oldest among the does and have given the first birth.
2. Bucks should fight over their status.
3. During the rut (late November), bucks reach their biggest size, and in the cold season, they would lose weight (about 25%).
4. In the rut, a buck will follow a doe two or three days before mating and three or four days after that.
5. Life expectancy in black-tailed deer depends on whether they live in the wild or are being kept captive. In the wild, they would live 9-10 years (of course, the buck would live shorter because hunters are mostly interested in hunting bucks.), and in captivity, black-tail deer would live 17-20 years.

Where to Hunt Black-tailed Deer on Vancouver Island?

While in the province of British Columbia, you can find mule deer in abundance. According to Wild Safe BC, about 20,000 to 25,000 mule deer inhabit the northern parts, and the rest (about 165,000) live in the interior parts of BC. Plenty of mule deer (i.e., Columbia and Sitka black-tailed) live on Vancouver Island.
In general, Columbia black-tailed deer can be found all over Vancouver Island, especially in forested areas. However, deer naturally would inhabit green lands; they are highly adaptable. For now, the management units (MU) or the hunting areas designated by BC regulation for hunting mule deer (Black-tailed deer) are 1-1 to 1-15 on the region 1 (Vancouver Island) map with some restrictions in different classes and hunting seasons. Hunters should be aware of no hunting and shooting areas on Vancouver Island.
You can see how amazing they can adapt to urban life. A great example to support this claim is Nanaimo city, with a considerable number of black-tailed deer feeding on green areas. Although deer prefer to live in places with cool temperatures, they cannot live in the snow. You can find Sitka deer living in the northern parts of Vancouver Island, where we observe a great deal of snowfall annually. So, what is the key to the deer's survival? Old-growth forests! Mass trees in the forests prevent snow from accumulating. Thus, deer can easily walk through the jungle.

When to Hunt Black-tailed Deer on Vancouver Island?

As mentioned before, mule deer are spread all over Vancouver Island. But the open season for black-tailed deer hunting on Vancouver Island is Sept 10 - Dec 10. Note that in this period, only buck hunting was allowed. For antlerless black-tailed deer hunting, the open season is Aug 25 - Sept 9. Remember, you can only choose the bow hunting method in this open season, and for those hunters below 18, the presence of an adult is mandatory. The exact duration is set for Sitka black-tailed deer, but the only difference is that they live in the northern parts of Vancouver Island.

Protected Areas of Vancouver Island, Based on the BC Act

How to Track a Black-tailed Deer on Vancouver Island

Regarding black-tailed deer, well, they can entirely resemble ghosts! One second you spot them right there up on the hill; in a second, they're smoke in the air. It is just like saying Bibbidi-Bobbidi-Boo, and something vanishes. Tracking a mule deer, especially black-tailed deer, is no easy task. If you remember, we noted that the key to black-tailed deer survival is the forests they live in. Therefore, they retreat to their sanctuary when they feel a little danger (i.e., in the forest). But everything in this universe has its own weak spot. Mule deer, in our case black-tailed deer, live nearby their kind, and if you can successfully identify that area, you are the winner.
The good news is that we will provide you with old-school deer hunting methods if you are interested.

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Black-tailed Deer Hunting Methods on Vancouver Island

According to Official BC Regulations, black-tailed deer hunting on Vancouver Island is only possible by rifles (only centrefire), shotguns, and bows. Moreover, you can hunt down these creatures using the "old but gold" approach, spot and stalk. In the following, we will elaborate on each method's definitions and regulations.

Rifle Hunting

The easiest and fastest way to take down a black-tailed deer on Vancouver Island is hunting with a rifle. You put the bullets in, aim and shoot. Provided that you are a professional shooter, you have the chance to fill your bags and return home happily. Black-tailed deer hunting can transfer into a piece of cake using rifles on Vancouver Island.

Spot and Stalk Hunting

The first spot, then stalk! That is the approach which you can combine with the already mentioned ones based on your preference. First, you should spot or, better to say, find your deer. Then it would be best if you ambushed for it, the time you can test your patience. Please wait until it is time and shoot the target. The duration you're staying is full of excitement, and you wonder what the outcome will be!? So, if you love the old-school ways and need to inject a little modernity into them, rifle/shotgun spot and stalk are your approach.


One of the classic hunting methods you can use to harvest black-tailed deer on Vancouver Island is bowhunting (or bow hunting). It is somewhat complicated to harvest these creatures using bows and arrows, but they can benefit you better if you know how to work with them. Why is that? Well, when you throw the arrow, contrary to the guns, no sound is made; therefore, you have the chance to drop more than one black-tailed deer here on the lands of Vancouver Island.

Shotgun Hunting

The deadliest approach you can hunt a black-tailed deer on Vancouver Island. Shoot precisely; you can save the other bullets for the rest of your adventure and make it to the trophy hunting of grizzly or elk. According to the Hunting and Trapping Regulations Synopsis of BC, "Shotgun must have a bore size of 20 gauge or larger, and use shells of shot size No. 1 Buck or larger."

Hunting from a Blind

Some ways of hunting from a blind like blinds treestand or ground blind can be available on request for big game such as black-tailed deer. Guides keep very close contact with you while you are on the stand.

Black-tailed Deer Hunting Regulations on Vancouver Island

Regulations| BC Black-tailed Deer Hunts | Region 1

Vancouver Island Black-tailed Deer Hunting Cost

Costs are never stable. Many factors can affect the price of black-tailed deer hunting on Vancouver Island. Factors include transport on territory, guidance by professional hunters, field trophy preparation, trophies, breakfast, lunch, dinner, and beverages/soft drinks. People's tastes in choosing these factors are also different. So, the cost we offer for person A would differ entirely from person B. However, the price for our incredible black-tailed deer hunting packages on Vancouver Island starts at $6,500.

Choose Among the Best Guide Outfitters for Black-tailed Deer Hunting in BC

To experience a successful hunting tour:
1- Plan for your black-tailed deer hunting in advance.
2- Choose the areas where you intend to hunt for your black-tailed hunting on Vancouver Island.
3- Apply for and obtain the necessary licence.
4- Select the right outfitter to be by your side in a black-tailed deer hunting adventure.
But why does choosing the right outfitter matter before starting a black-tailed deer hunting adventure? They provide their guests with appropriate gear and adequate scouting knowledge to ensure that every hunter involved in that hunting trip would have the best chance of a successful hunt. If you want to make sure that your black-tailed deer hunting adventure on Vancouver Island is going to be the best experience ever, choosing the right outfitter is a MUST! If you need help or have any questions regarding the choice of the best outfitter for hunting on Vancouver Island, please feel free to contact us.

Vancouver Island Black-tailed Deer Hunting Safety Tips

• Blacktail deer are masters at hiding; they may be observing you omit via from a distance of 20 yards and you don't even.
• Deer have an unbelievable sense of smell, and the older the buck, the more it's learned to trust its nose. So wind can attract them to your hunting area.
• Use binoculars; they can help you pick deer out of the tangle.
• A final way to locate black-tailed deer is to look for scrapes and rubs.

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Vancouver Island Black-tailed Deer Hunting Common Questions and Answers

Yes, it is allowed but only during the open season, provided that you follow all the regulations and restrictions in this regard.
The beginning of the day and the end of the daylight are considered the best time to hunt black-tail deer.
Spot and stalk because black-tailed deer are just like ghosts and can vanish in a blink. Therefore, successful black-tailed deer hunting demands patience.
Yes, they can be dangerous, particularly during the rut season, to human beings and other animals, especially dogs.
In general, BC is home to two types of deer, mule and whitetail deer. Black-tailed deer is, in fact, one of the subspecies of mule deer, which by the way, is the only species inhabiting Vancouver Island. Black-tailed deer on Vancouver Island divides into two subspecies, Columbia black-tailed deer and Sitka black-tailed deer. Sitka black-tailed deer inhabits the northern parts, whereas Columbia black-tailed deer spread all over Vancouver Island.

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