Address P.O. Box 8295 Red Bluff, CA 96080 Phone +1 (530) 529-9435
The BEST Upland & Big Game Hunts!

Roger J. Sabette

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