But take heart. This does not mean the task of collecting a trophy Columbia blacktail is impossible, especially if you ring up one of the three outfitters I'm going to tell you about this month. Each of them has consistently produced good bucks for clients over a period of several years.
Before I discuss these outfitters, I think it's important to talk about the overall best time and place to hunt this challenging species and your options for getting a permit. Let's start with place. The current Boone & Crockett World Record Columbia blacktail comes from southern Washington, but do not be misled by that fact, as far more entries are recorded from northern California today, followed closely by Oregon. The outfitters I'm going to recommend to you all operate in Oregon.
As for the permit situation, by the time you read this, the 2006 application deadline for Oregon's controlled hunts will have passed. Fortunately, you don't necessarily have to draw a permit to hunt with an outfitter. There are a couple of options depending on where an outfitter hunts. If your outfitter hunts in one of the Coast Buck units with a season from September 30 to November 3, you can simply buy an over-the-counter, centerfire firearm permit.
Another way to get a permit is directly through the outfitter. Again it's too late to get a guaranteed guide/outfitter tag, as these must be purchased by April 15, but you can still get a Landowner Preference Program (LOP) permit. The LOP was established to compensate landowners for wildlife damage. Tags are made........(continued)