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B&C World's Record - Typical Columbia Blacktail

World's Record Columbia Blacktail Deer - Typical

Lester H. Miller harvested the World's Record Columbia blacktail deer after hunting the buck for several seasons.

On a dank October morning in 1953, Lester H. Miller found himself face-to-face with an extraordinary Columbia blacktail deer (Odocoileus hemionus columbianus). He'd waited for this moment a long time. In fact, from the first day Miller saw this buck, in 1950, he knew he had to have him, no matter the cost in time and effort. For almost four years Miller stalked, drove thickets, and took stands in the upper Lincoln Creek Area of Lewis County, Washington, all in specific pursuit of what had become a near mythical buck. Despite his efforts, except for an occasional sighting, the buck eluded Miller and every other hunter in the region.


“At Grange meetings, livestock auctions, and wherever people gathered in the nearby towns of Chehalis, Centralia, Fords Prairie, and Adna, it was not unusual to hear someone mention this majestic animal," Miller said. "Mostly, they would talk about his huge antlers, four points or bigger. Of course, the stories grew in the telling and soon he was almost a legend. Although I had twice jumped this deer out of his bed, and had seen him running down a runway on three or four different occasions, I hadn't fired a shot at him, fearful that I might wound him and not make a clean kill.” 

Despite those near misses, Miller didn't give up. In fact, he started spending the greater part of every day in the off-season tracking this buck. Occasionally he was hot on its trail. Gradually, he familiarized himself with the deer’s habits and whereabouts, always hoping to catch another glimpse of the animal. 

Miller kept tabs on the buck right up to that fateful October morning in 1953. On opening day, Miller waited in the shadows as morning light just arrived. Then he followed tracks up a muddy trail and soon saw the ghostly figures of some blacktails dissapearing into the alders. At that time, a huge four-pointer came into range, but Miller held back his shot—it was not “The King.” Miller continued on, making his way up the side of a ridge toward an opening in the timber.

“In the middle of the clearing, 80 yards away, stood my buck," Miller said. "He was quartering away, looking downhill right at me. I raised my gun and fired. The bullet struck him behind the shoulder and went into the heart. He went down in his tracks and never moved.

“I have killed many bull elk in my lifetime," Miller said, "but no animal has had the impact on me that this huge buck had as I looked down on him where he lay on the side of that ridge.

“The antlers were awesome to see with their spread, color, and symmetry," Miller said. "In addition, they were hanging heavy with the moss and lichen that he'd accumulated while feeding or “horning” the alders and willows.” 

Scored at 182-2/8 points, the story behind the World’s Record Columbia blacktail would be retold by Miller for years as an endless stream of visitors admired his legendary trophy. 



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"The wildlife and its habitat cannot speak. So we must and we will."

-Theodore Roosevelt