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Texada Island
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The Retreat on Texada Island
Oceanfront motel accommodation in Gillies Bay

Deer Hunting on Texada Island

The Columbia Black-tailed Deer, the species common to Texada Island, can be found here in great abundance. Accordingly, from a conservation standpoint, a higher bag limit and a longer hunting season is possible on Texada Island than almost anywhere else in BC. These factors, combined with the very mild weather in late fall and early winter, place Texada Island among the best deer hunting destinations in British Columbia.

For information on open season dates and bag limits click here .

For information or reservations at The Retreat on Texada contact us .

Black-tail deer at the
                      Retreat - Motel lodging on Texada Island BC
Black-tail deer grazing at the Retreat

About The Columbia Black-tailed Deer  ( Odocoileus hemionus columbianus )


The Columbia Black-tailed Deer ranges exclusively throughout the coastal mountain region from the Queen Charlotte Islands in British Columbia south to California. Grassy fields at forest edges and recently burned or logged-over areas where the bracken grows quickly are their preferred feeding areas. 


Columbia Black-tails are generally considered to be a sub-species of the larger Mule Deer. They share many similarities despite the disparity in size. The ranges of these two types of deer overlap in places.
Black-tailed deer derive their name from the black colour of the bottom two thirds of the tail ( in contrast to the whitish under part) .  The overall body colour is reddish to grey-brown (with black hairs interspersed in winter) with white patches on the chin, neck  and underside of belly. The brownish colouration camouflages the deer in the forest and field edges it inhabits.

Females ( does ) weigh from 30 to 66 Kg (70 to 140 lbs). Males ( bucks ) range in weight from 57 to 120 Kg (120-250 lbs). Weight of individuals varies depending on the availability of food. Larger animals generally live in in areas with more food, or less competition for food. Large males may measure up to 90 cm (36 inches) at shoulder.

The branching, tined antlers of the male Black-tail deer are shed in March and re-grown in the summer. In a mature male, the antlers have 5 points on each side.

The life span of a Black-tail deer in the wild is usually about 10 to14 years. In captivity, they may live as long as 20-25 years.

Breeding or rutting season is in November. Males endevour to mate with as many females as possible.

Does usually first bear young at 2 years of age.  Fawns have speckled colouration and range in weight from 1.5 to 2.8 Kg (3 to 6 lbs) . The fawns do not have a smell. This helps in escaping the notice of predators while their mothers are away feeding by themselves, often for many hours. 

Black-tailed deer are most active at dusk and dawn, but also feed at night. They are most inactive during the hottest part of the day, preferring to rest in dense growth near streams. In spring and summer prefered food includes tender grasses, herbs, branch tips, and new leaves. In winter, their main food sources are Douglas fir, Oregon yew, trailing blackberry, western cedar, red huckleberry and salal branches.

The Black-tails two-toed tracks are easy to recognize. Their tracks can most easily be found along stream banks and on moist forest soil about 4 cm (1.6 inches) wide and 6.5 cm ( 2.6 inches) long.  Heavier males usually leave two extra marks behind each hoof print. 

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The Retreat on Texada Island
Oceanfront motel accommodation