SCI Records Book Department recently opened the category for the Baja Black-Tail deer as a distinct specie in the SCI Record Book of Big Game Animals and the new Number 1 may already be in your collection. The distribution of the Baja Black-tailed Deer is found on the Baja Peninsula from the southern boarder of California to Caba San Lucas (southern tip of the Baja Peninsula). If you have taken a deer from this area, please make sure you get it turned in. Only SCI Members can enter an animal in the SCI Record Books. If you are not already an SCI Member, your first Record Book entry is free with your one-year membership. Join for three years and enjoy three free entries. It’s a great way to document your hunting heritage and help with the scientific and taxonomic information that the Record Book Department keeps.
SCI Member Collins K. is 79 years old, has hunted extensively in North America and has taken a number of hunting trips to Africa. He writes:
“I handload all of my ammo. In the .257 I use 100-grain Nosler Partitions, IMR 4831 and Federal 215 GM Match primers for a muzzle velocity of 3,740 fps.
“The .340 I load with 185-grain Barnes X-Bullets ahead of IMR 4350 powder with Federal 215 GM Match primers. It clocks 3,330 fps at the muzzle. Both loads are safe in my rifles, do not show any signs of pressure and both rifles shoot 1/2 inch three-shot groups at 100 yards from the bench and sometimes better.
“With my African rifles, when hunting dangerous game, I have taken a number of Cape buffalo with .460 Wby. Mag., .458 Win. Mag., .378 Wby. Mag and .375 H&H, but my favorite is a Winchester Pre-’64 Model 70 Super Grade in .375 H&H. In fact, on one occasion I took a very nice bull at a touch under 200 yards with one shot. He went only 50 yards after he was hit.
“My .375 H&H load uses a 260-grain Nosler Partition ahead of Win. 760 powder with a Federal 215 GM Match primer. The rifle clocks 2,750 fps at the muzzle and shoots one-inch or better three-shot groups at 100 yards from the bench.
“My African plains game rifle is a Weatherby Mark V Accumark in .30-378 Wby. Mag. I have taken lion, leopard, eland, kudu and a pile of plains game with this rifle. My load is a 180-grain Barnes X-Bullet ahead of IMR 7828 powder with a Federal 215 GM Match primer. Muzzle velocity is 3,320 fps and it prints 3/4 inch three-shot groups or better at 100 yards.
“Mounted on the two North American rifles mentioned above I have a Swarovski 4-12X on the .257 and a Leupold 3.5-10X on the .340. On the .375 H&H I put a 1.5-5X Leupold in QD mounts, and on the .30-378 I use a Swarovski 3-12X scope.
“All of the Weatherby calibers are fitted with synthetic stocks, which are great for their lack of warping and their lighter weight. However, the Pre-’64 Winchester Model 70 has its original fine wood stock that over the years has never failed in changing point of impact.”
Anticosti Island is one of the most diverse places to hunt whitetail deer. On any given day, you could be hunting in a dense spruce forest where a shot will be up close and personal, or glassing a beach where a poke at a buck may be measured in hundreds of yards. One thing’s for sure; you will see deer—lots of them.
Good rain gear is essential. If it’s not raining or snowing on Anticosti, it’s because it’s getting ready to. You will be crossing streams or maybe even marshy, muskeg-like areas, so your best bet for boots is a pair of well fitting knee-high rubber ones with thick insoles you can remove daily for drying.
The deer on Anticosti are not massive and have their own category in the SCI Record Book. Shooting distances tend to be moderate to close, so leave your heavy bean field rifle back in the states. Instead, choose a rifle that is accurate and light, as still hunting is a very effective method there and you could be carrying your rifle for long periods of time. Make sure to use a bullet that exits and leaves a good blood trail because the spruce up there grow so thick that a wounded deer can take a step or two and disappear.