Skip to main content

5 Biggest Black-Tailed Deer of All Time [PICS]

These are the 5 biggest black-tailed deer kills currently in the Safari Club International record book.

biggest black-tailed deer kills

Black-Tailed Deer are closely related to, but distinct from Mule Deer. Though they appear very similar, and have a similar antler configuration, Mule Deer are slightly larger in both the body and antlers than Black-Tailed Deer. Black-Tailed Deer inhabit the thick, temperate rainforests on the coasts of California, Oregon, Washington, British Columbia, and Alaska.

Black-Tailed Deer are divided into two sub-species: Sitka Black-Tailed Deer, which inhabit southern Alaska and northern British Columbia, and their slightly larger cousins Columbia Black-Tailed Deer which live in southern British Columbia, Washington, Oregon, and California.

Using the Safari Club International measuring system, the length of the main beam of each antler is measured, along with the length of all typical tines, the circumference of the main beam at the smallest place between each typical tine, and the greatest inside spread of the main beams. Only tines greater than one inch long and longer than they are wide are measured. All of the measurements are added together for the final score of the deer. Black-Tailed Deer may be scored as typical or non-typical and when scoring as a non-typical, all non-typical tines are measured in addition to the typical tines.

Unlike the Boone and Crockett Club, SCI does not deduct the score for non-typical points (on a typical deer) or differences in symmetry. Additionally, SCI does not measure the tip to tip spread or the greatest outside spread of a deer. For these reasons, the SCI score may be significantly different from the B&C score for the same animal.

All of the deer on this list were 100% free range; they weren't farm raised deer killed on a high fence hunt. Additionally, it just so happens that all 5 deer were taken on self-guided hunts. So that just goes to show you that it's not necessary to spend a ton of money in hopes of shooting a world record deer.

Featured Image Courtesy of Flickr

Related articles you'll enjoy

View the slideshow to see the biggest Black-Tailed Deer in the record books.

#1 Typical Sitka Black-Tailed Deer (Tied)

biggest black-tail deer kills sitka typical 2

Image Courtesy of SCI

Who: Jim Baichtal
When: August 1998
Where: Southwest Alaska
Method: Muzzleloader
Points: 10 (5x5)
Main Beams: 18 6/8" & 18 3/8"
Greatest Inside Spread: 16 1/8"
125 3/8" overall

There are currently 2 deer tied for #1 for typical Sitka Black-Tailed Deer; this deer by Jim Baichtal was the first one taken. Not only did Mr. Baichtal take this deer on a self-guided muzzleloader hunt, but he also owns the current #10 & #53 (#1, #2, & #3 taken with muzzleloaders) Sitka Black-Tails in the SCI Record book. He also has an awesome beard, but clearly he is the king of hunting Sitka Black-Tailed Deer with a muzzleloader.

#1 Typical Sitka Black-Tailed Deer (Tied)

biggest black-tailed deer kills sitka typical

Image Courtesy of SCI

Who: Walter Woodward
When: November 2001
Where: Kodiak, Alaska
Method: Rifle
Points: 10 (5x5)
Main Beams: 17 5/8" & 18 3/8"
Greatest Inside Spread: 15 5/8"
125 3/8" overall

Mr. Walter Woodward came within 1/8" of knocking Jim Baichtal's deer out of the #1 position in 2001, but didn't quite make it. Though the main beams and inside spread of Mr. Woodward's deer were smaller, the individual tines were long enough to offset those shorter measurements. As you'll see further demonstrated on the next slide, hunting for bears aren't the only good hunting occurring on Kodiak Island.

#1 Non-Typical Sitka Black-Tailed Deer

biggest black-tailed deer kills sitka non typical

Image Courtesy of SCI

Who: Norm Sutliff
When: September 1962
Where: Kodiak, Alaska
Method: Rifle
Points: 31 (15x16)
Main Beams: 13 4/8" & 14 5/8"
Greatest Inside Spread: 17 5/8"
192 2/8" overall

Yes, you read that right: this was a 31-point Sitka Black-Tailed Deer (also taken on Kodiak Island). I'm not sure what the real story was with this gnarly old buck taken by Norm Sutliff, but it is a magnificent deer by any standard, especially for a Sitka Black-Tail. The fact that this deer had an astounding 31 scoreable points probably explains why it is an incredible 53" larger than the #2 deer in the books.

#1 Typical Columbia Black-Tailed Deer

biggest black-tail deer kills typical

Image Courtesy of SCI

Who: Thomas Gogan
When: October 1960
Where: Lewis County, Washington
Method: Rifle
Points: 10 (5x5)
Main Beams: 22 3/8" & 23 1/8"
Greatest Inside Spread: 18 3/8"
183 3/8" overall

Some people look down their noses at Black-Tailed Deer because they are typically smaller compared to their Mule Deer cousins. While this is generally true, there are some real monsters out there, as demonstrated by this old brute. Though this buck was taken over 50 years ago, two deer have come close to surpassing him in the last 10 years but couldn't quite get over the hump. As a piece of personal motivation, this deer was killed about an hour from where I live and not too far from where I hunt. Maybe I'll run into one of his descendants out in the woods one day...

#1 Non-Typical Columbia Black-Tailed Deer

biggest black-tail deer kills typical

Image Courtesy of SCI

Who: Emil "Doc" Frank
When: October 1942
Where: Trinity County, California
Method: Rifle
Points: 18 (8x10)
Main Beams: 24 3/8" & 24 2/8"
Greatest Inside Spread: 24 3/8"
212 6/8" overall

Taken back in the 1940s before California turned into such a hostile state for hunters, this impressive old Black-Tailed buck has owned the #1 slot for an astounding 72 years. Since then, three other deer (two in the last 10 years) have come within 2" of breaking his record, but didn't quite make it. Who knows, this record may stand for another 72 years before it finally gets broken...

you might also like

5 Biggest Black-Tailed Deer of All Time [PICS]