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Check Out the Many Different Species of Deer in California


Editor’s Note: Mossy Oak ProStaffer Parrey Cremeans is the owner of Just For Hunting ( This outfitting company out of Redding, California, hunts on 35,000 acres in northern California and guides on  thousands more acres of public land. Just For Hunting also books hunts all over the world, such as dove hunts in Argentina, red stags in New Zealand, British Columbian moose and all the states in North America. Cremeans hunts for elk, blacktail deer, mule deer, hogs, predators, waterfowl and any of the game species in northern California. For his personal hunting, Cremeans hunts outside of California in Oregon and Missouri. 

We probably have the most diversity of deer in the United States here in California – six different species. We have California mule deer, Rocky Mountain mule deer, feral mule deer, southern mule deer, Columbian black-tailed deer and a cross between a black-tailed and a mule deer. 

On the western side of Interstate 5, our hunters can hunt pure Columbian black-tailed deer. On the eastern side of Interstate 5, they can hunt the black-tailed mule deer crosses. You can score these mule deer for the Boone and Crockett and the Pope and Young record books. Unfortunately, Boone and Crockett and Pope and Young score these black-tailed mule deer crosses as mule deer. However, Safari Club International scores them as a separate species, and these deer may have up to 160-170 inches of antler. 

PCremeans3_llWe also hunt the pure Rocky Mountain mule deer that have racks often scoring from 160-200 inches. We let the hunter decide what type deer he wants to take, when he hunts with us. If the hunter wants to hunt Rocky Mountain mule deer, we have guaranteed deer tags for those properties. We get three mule deer tags, because the land we hunt is on a conservation program with California’s Department of Fish and Wildlife. The other mule deer tags have to be drawn. Hunters can buy the black-tailed deer tags over the counter, and we hunt private land that we manage for mature black-tailed deer. To score in the Boone and Crockett record book, a black-tailed deer has to score 130 inches or more. Every year our hunters harvest black-tailed deer that will score more than 150 inches. 

To finish out your Grand Slam of deer, you can take all these different species of deer here in California. I believe the opportunity to take a trophy black-tailed deer is best on some of the private lands we manage. But as I’ve mentioned earlier, some trophy Rocky Mountain mule deer and some big crosses of the mule deer/black-tailed hybrids also are available to hunt. Many easterners don’t realize how much quality deer hunting takes place in California. We do quite a few hunts for deer each year. Call 650-888-0808 to learn more, or check out the website.

Day 2: Taking Monster Elk in California 

Tomorrow: Predator Hunting Plus Taking Black Bears with Parry Cremeans

Everything You Need to Know About Planting Food Plots
Do you plant food plots? Are you interested in planting food plots but not sure where to start? If so, this is your lucky day! The GameKeepers of Mossy Oak are offering a free download of their Food Plot Planting Guide. It’s 96 pages of useful information on how to platn and manage food plots to improve the hunting on your property. Whether you’re up north or down south, you’ll find these tips and techniques

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