Any serious bow hunter looking to challenge their skill levels in the art of ‘spot and stalk’ cunning Northern California Black tail deer will find their fill at Red Bank Outfitters in Red Bluff, California. The faint of heart need not apply. I’ve just concluded one of my finest bow hunts of my brief career in archery and thanks to an invitation from owner/operator Brian Riley, I became the first archery hunter ever permitted to hunt a Black tail deer in his 26 years as owner of the Red Bank Ranch. Brian and I go back many years even before he purchased the hunting operation at the ranch when he was just guiding at the time. When we first talked about the possibility of a bow hunt I knew that it might only be a slight chance that this would happen since he allows only a limited rifle season hunt for Black tail. But once Brian thought about after I told my bow hunting philosophy that it’s the entire bow hunt ‘experience’ and not the harvest is the key element of the hunt he relented and the plans began for a hunt 6 months later. The next key to the hunt came in the form of Brian’s Ranch manager, Ric Gould who would also be my guide throughout the entire hunt. Without Ric, a hunt like that would never have happened. Ric has incredible abilities and an extensive background as a professional guide; he was the best I’ve ever had the pleasure of hunting with over the years as a bow or rifle hunter. Let me also add at this moment for any hunter that’s hunted for Whitetail or Mule Deer in the past; the only difference in the type of deer hunting you will do if you’ve never hunted Blacktail’s is their proportion to size compared to their bigger family members. Other than that they are just as difficult to hunt and more difficult to pattern (there is no pattern we could bank on) than most deer. We encountered many bucks in three days of hunting, more than a dozen stalks in the crawling/prone position to no avail. The wind was constantly changing not in our favor or the deer just plain busted us, or they were no longer there where they were supposed to be by the end of our stalk-”Ghost Houdini’s” as we called them. But I was having the time of my life. I was successful with a harvested buck on my third day of my hunt (after a missed opportunity at 40 yards when I mistakenly used my 50 yard pin instead) but redemption showed itself later in the afternoon with shot and kill at 53 yards. But again, the entire hunt starting with Brian’s invite in March, Ric’s super guidesmanship, the experience was way over the top in terms of the opportunity that was “the Bow Hunt of a Lifetime” for me! I can’t thank Red Bank Outfitters enough only to conclude that if they extend another opportunity again next year, I’ll already have my bags packed tomorrow. My best to all who read this! Best regards,
- Roger J. Sabatte
Thanks Ric and Red Bank Outfitters for making all of my hunting dreams come true!
My Story begins in May 2008 when I was diagnosed with stage 4 colon cancer. Soon after diagnosis, my colon ruptured and I went into a coma for 6 weeks and spent 5 months in the hospital recovering. Having been bed ridden for so long, I had to learn to walk again and get my strength back. I then started undergoing Chemo & Radiation treatments. The Chemo has unfortunately left me with feet that are numb and in consistent pain. I wanted to get back to normal as soon a possible, so naturally I couldn’t wait to go hunting this year. I knew I would be deer hunting and have always dreamt of hog hunting and thought I would give it a try during deer season, but I knew that I would have some limitations because of my medical condition and the situation with my feet. So I embarked on the task of finding an outfitter. Sadly, many outfitters wouldn’t even work with me, but I finally thought I found someone so I booked the trip and one week before my planned hunt date, the outfitter backed out. Now in a hurry, I was searching the web and I ran across Red Bank Outfitters accidently while looking at bird hunting opportunities. I soon gave them a call, and a hunt was scheduled after a couple of conversations. Upon arriving at the lodge at about 3pm I was greeted by my guide Ric and within minutes we checked my rifle and were off hunting. Seeing no hogs and with shooting hours ending, we started to head back to the lodge. All of the sudden, two hogs jumped out and I blew an easy shot (Ric was very kind saying it was easy to miss because I was shooting off hand but I knew it was shooter error). That night I had a great meal and went to bed and probably slept for an hour thinking about the shot I blew… The next day’s hunt started at 5:30am when Ric arrived and we embarked on day two. We drove to a different area and within 15 minutes of our hunt we had hogs everywhere and we went after one group. It seemed like forever before the hog presented a decent shot, and I was ready to come unglued but Ric kept me calm and I took my time and scored the hog of my dreams. I would like to thank all the great staff at Red Bank Outfitters. I had great service and a wonderful time.
- Bill C.
I had a wonderful time! The food and accomodattions were great.I took 2 great boars with Bo & Jake. They were tremendous guides for me. They were very concientious of my needs & wants.The hunting was great & we saw plenty of wild hogs,The atmousfere was very friendly & casual like i like for it to be. The processing of my animals was very good & professional. I have been on many hunts inckuding African safaris . My hunt & time at Redbank was one of my most enjoyable times . I will definitely come back again in the near future. I will definitely recommend Redbank Outfitters to my friends & family. Thanks for a great time Brian, Bo, Jake,Ric & all !!