USA: Arizona Coues Deer Hunt

JimP

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Well folks here it is.

This was the hunt that almost wasn't.

20171230211359-c0baf105-me.jpg


20171230211416-57452cf4-me.jpg


Last year on this exact day December 30th we had spotted a very nice coues deer buck about 2 miles away and the stalk was started. We had crawled the last 50 or so yards to get into position and had set the rifle up to bag me a trophy. Just as I got the cross hairs onto the vitals at 400 yards a ATV came past us on a road over a mile away, this deer heard it and was off like a shot. A 2 ? hour stalk ruined, but then what do you expect on public land.

I had cashed in 8 points in Arizona for a chance at this buck in unit 36c down on the Arizona/Mexico border and my partner had cashed in 7 so to say that we were disappointed really didn?t say how we felt. We thought that we would have a good day on the last day of the hunt but woke up to cloud cover in the canyons that we had planned on hunting. So much for 8 years of hope and payers.

This year?s draw came around for Arizona and I was wondering what to do. I thought about just picking up a bonus point and not worry about the draw but on just a whim I put back in for a December coues deer hunt with on one loyalaty point and not worry about it. You should of seen my surprise when I saw a $300 charge on my CC. I went back into my AZG&F portal account and checked my application, yes it was the right hunt number. I then went to the guide book and checked out the hunt number and yes it was for unit 36c, could I of been so lucky to of drawn this tag 2 years in a row? This isn?t the way that my luck usually goes.

Then the official notification came and I was like a kid on Christmas Day with a new train set under the tree. You older members will know what I mean by that. I was going coues deer hunting in December again.

I called my friend and told him the good news, but he was unable to get any time off during December so I would be on my own. I then contacted an outfitter that . I then contacted an outfitter that we had met down there in 2016 but all of his hunts were full, what am I going to do? I was going to go hunting by myself if I needed to.

I spent the summer getting my rifle ready for 500-600 yards shots I loaded ammo and shot ammo at all different ranges. I also got mad at Leopold due to the fact that they didn?t tell me that my VX3 4.5-14 didn?t qualify for the free CDS dial until it was too late to do anything about it. So onward I charged. Come Thanksgiving things started to look up. My friend called and said that he could get the last week of the year off and he was ready to be my spotter. A week later the outfitter called and said that one of his clients was getting iffy on his hunt, I was ecstatic. I told the outfitter that I would work with him out in the unit if needed and he was quite happy to tell me that he would help out. The hunt was on.

I drove to Arizona the day before Christmas and spent the night ??s of the way down. I then spent Christmas day with a friend in his home just north of Tucson with plans of meeting my friend in a small town of Three Points at 7am and then drive into the unit and start hunting. We met up and headed out to the unit and unloaded his side by side. We then headed down to the area that we had the blown stalk the year before to start glassing. Once there we spotted a nice buck with two smaller ones, the stalk was on for a mile. We came up over a small ridge just to the south of the bucks but didn?t see them. After a hour we spotted a spike but the larger buck was gone. It was now noon so we headed back to camp to set it up. That night we were back glassing for the larger buck and found him, only now he was around 2 miles away, so off we went. We finally got as close as we dared, 542 yards and set up. He was laying in some brush with another buck and some does. We watched him for over 3 hours until it got dark and him never moving. I think that he knew that we were there.

The next day we went back in in the dark and started to glass. This time we were only 450 yards from him but he was hidden by cactus and never did offer a good shot. Then a couple other hunters came along the hillside and spooked him. The last we saw of him he was headed strong in the wrong direction never to be seen again.

The next day we went to a new spot, a 7 mile hike up a dry wash to glass some bowls. All this accomplished was some sore muscles and tired feet. That night we went back to what we were now calling buck heaven. The problem was that we were not seeing any bucks and very few does.

Friday morning came and we decided to take it a little bit easy and only go for a 3 mile hike. When we got up onto the knob to start to glass my friend asked what kind of buck I would be happy with? I told him I wanted a respectable one and not a dink. He went back to glassing. A half hour he came running around the hill telling me to pack up, he had found the buck and that he was only a mile away, so off we went. An hour later found us on a small saddle with the buck only 418 yards away so I very quickly and quietly got set up. The buck was working though some high grass and what I call the devils walking stick with no shot possible but as he moved I moved the cross hairs. He finally stopped and my friend said ?shoot?. The word wasn?t even out of his mouth when I pulled the trigger. He said that the buck was down, but then back up as I gathered myself for the second shot, then the buck was down and rolling down the hill. I had my coues.

It took us a 1 ? hours to get up and over to him through all the cat claw and other cactuses that were up there. My arm looked like Edward Scissors Hand had gone to work one me, but I had my buck

After the handshakes and hugging we took some photos and started to quarter him up to get him off of that hill. 4 hours later we were back at camp drinking a cold soda and planning our next adventure.

I have no idea of what he scores and could care less. He had 5 points on one side and 4 on the other counting the eye guards. He is a toad of a coues.
 

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Congrats and that is one great coues deer. Nice you drew another tag so fast after the mess up when you burned your points .
 
Wow nice Coues!! Thanks for sharing your hunt!
 
Nice deer! Congrats on your hunt
 
@JimP, that isn't a nice Coues buck, that's a great Coues buck. Enjoyable patagonia type country down on the border isn't it? I used to hunt 36B to the west of Nogales. Gave that up due to the heavy drug trafficking coming through that country.

I have a Coues buck on the wall that I am looking at as I write this. A friend that was with me on that hunt and knows how to tape Coues deer, raw green scored it in camp. It came in at I think 104" or so. Your buck by my eyeball comparison to mine would score a bit higher and would definitely have fewer deducts than mine. My point being is your buck would score close to the 110" B&C minimum.

If that still doesn't matter to you and you don't want to measure it, enjoy the memories as the score one way or the other will never change those.
 
Excellent buck. Late season Coues hunting is fun, even if we are unseasonably warm lately.

Congratulations on a super buck.
 
Great Coues!
 
Beautiful Coues deer. You'll likely hunt a long time to get a better one. Sounds like you really worked for him. Congrats
Bruce
 
@JimP, that isn't a nice Coues buck, that's a great Coues buck. Enjoyable patagonia type country down on the border isn't it? I used to hunt 36B to the west of Nogales. Gave that up due to the heavy drug trafficking coming through that country.

I have a Coues buck on the wall that I am looking at as I write this. A friend that was with me on that hunt and knows how to tape Coues deer, raw green scored it in camp. It came in at I think 104" or so. Your buck by my eyeball comparison to mine would score a bit higher and would definitely have fewer deducts than mine. My point being is your buck would score close to the 110" B&C minimum.

If that still doesn't matter to you and you don't want to measure it, enjoy the memories as the score one way or the other will never change those.

It is some different country that's for sure. The mule deer live down in the flat grassland so to speak and the coues live up on the hills.

When we showed him to the outfitter that we had met he just said that he was a "toad" and would quite likely make the book from what he was looking at.

On the drug runners, on our way out we saw a ultra-lite flying low following the terrine. We contacted the border patrol and within 5 minutes there was a border patrol helicopter over us trying to find the ultra-lite. I talked to a agent on the way out at their check station and they said that it was quite common to see them flying in to drop their load of drugs. Other than that we had no problems. We did find a couple of observation points that someone had used and then left along with leaving all of their trash and throwaway phone in the bush.
 
It is some different country that's for sure. The mule deer live down in the flat grassland so to speak and the coues live up on the hills.

When we showed him to the outfitter that we had met he just said that he was a "toad" and would quite likely make the book from what he was looking at.

On the drug runners, on our way out we saw a ultra-lite flying low following the terrine. We contacted the border patrol and within 5 minutes there was a border patrol helicopter over us trying to find the ultra-lite. I talked to a agent on the way out at their check station and they said that it was quite common to see them flying in to drop their load of drugs. Other than that we had no problems. We did find a couple of observation points that someone had used and then left along with leaving all of their trash and throwaway phone in the bush.

Orange peels - we'd seem them in the strangest of places. Quite certain it wasn't from hunters / hikers.
 
Well folks here it is.

This was the hunt that almost wasn't.

View attachment 212671

20171230211416-57452cf4-me.jpg


Last year on this exact day December 30th we had spotted a very nice coues deer buck about 2 miles away and the stalk was started. We had crawled the last 50 or so yards to get into position and had set the rifle up to bag me a trophy. Just as I got the cross hairs onto the vitals at 400 yards a ATV came past us on a road over a mile away, this deer heard it and was off like a shot. A 2 ? hour stalk ruined, but then what do you expect on public land.

I had cashed in 8 points in Arizona for a chance at this buck in unit 36c down on the Arizona/Mexico border and my partner had cashed in 7 so to say that we were disappointed really didn?t say how we felt. We thought that we would have a good day on the last day of the hunt but woke up to cloud cover in the canyons that we had planned on hunting. So much for 8 years of hope and payers.

This year?s draw came around for Arizona and I was wondering what to do. I thought about just picking up a bonus point and not worry about the draw but on just a whim I put back in for a December coues deer hunt with on one loyalaty point and not worry about it. You should of seen my surprise when I saw a $300 charge on my CC. I went back into my AZG&F portal account and checked my application, yes it was the right hunt number. I then went to the guide book and checked out the hunt number and yes it was for unit 36c, could I of been so lucky to of drawn this tag 2 years in a row? This isn?t the way that my luck usually goes.

Then the official notification came and I was like a kid on Christmas Day with a new train set under the tree. You older members will know what I mean by that. I was going coues deer hunting in December again.

I called my friend and told him the good news, but he was unable to get any time off during December so I would be on my own. I then contacted an outfitter that . I then contacted an outfitter that we had met down there in 2016 but all of his hunts were full, what am I going to do? I was going to go hunting by myself if I needed to.

I spent the summer getting my rifle ready for 500-600 yards shots I loaded ammo and shot ammo at all different ranges. I also got mad at Leopold due to the fact that they didn?t tell me that my VX3 4.5-14 didn?t qualify for the free CDS dial until it was too late to do anything about it. So onward I charged. Come Thanksgiving things started to look up. My friend called and said that he could get the last week of the year off and he was ready to be my spotter. A week later the outfitter called and said that one of his clients was getting iffy on his hunt, I was ecstatic. I told the outfitter that I would work with him out in the unit if needed and he was quite happy to tell me that he would help out. The hunt was on.

I drove to Arizona the day before Christmas and spent the night ??s of the way down. I then spent Christmas day with a friend in his home just north of Tucson with plans of meeting my friend in a small town of Three Points at 7am and then drive into the unit and start hunting. We met up and headed out to the unit and unloaded his side by side. We then headed down to the area that we had the blown stalk the year before to start glassing. Once there we spotted a nice buck with two smaller ones, the stalk was on for a mile. We came up over a small ridge just to the south of the bucks but didn?t see them. After a hour we spotted a spike but the larger buck was gone. It was now noon so we headed back to camp to set it up. That night we were back glassing for the larger buck and found him, only now he was around 2 miles away, so off we went. We finally got as close as we dared, 542 yards and set up. He was laying in some brush with another buck and some does. We watched him for over 3 hours until it got dark and him never moving. I think that he knew that we were there.

The next day we went back in in the dark and started to glass. This time we were only 450 yards from him but he was hidden by cactus and never did offer a good shot. Then a couple other hunters came along the hillside and spooked him. The last we saw of him he was headed strong in the wrong direction never to be seen again.

The next day we went to a new spot, a 7 mile hike up a dry wash to glass some bowls. All this accomplished was some sore muscles and tired feet. That night we went back to what we were now calling buck heaven. The problem was that we were not seeing any bucks and very few does.

Friday morning came and we decided to take it a little bit easy and only go for a 3 mile hike. When we got up onto the knob to start to glass my friend asked what kind of buck I would be happy with? I told him I wanted a respectable one and not a dink. He went back to glassing. A half hour he came running around the hill telling me to pack up, he had found the buck and that he was only a mile away, so off we went. An hour later found us on a small saddle with the buck only 418 yards away so I very quickly and quietly got set up. The buck was working though some high grass and what I call the devils walking stick with no shot possible but as he moved I moved the cross hairs. He finally stopped and my friend said ?shoot?. The word wasn?t even out of his mouth when I pulled the trigger. He said that the buck was down, but then back up as I gathered myself for the second shot, then the buck was down and rolling down the hill. I had my coues.

It took us a 1 ? hours to get up and over to him through all the cat claw and other cactuses that were up there. My arm looked like Edward Scissors Hand had gone to work one me, but I had my buck

After the handshakes and hugging we took some photos and started to quarter him up to get him off of that hill. 4 hours later we were back at camp drinking a cold soda and planning our next adventure.

I have no idea of what he scores and could care less. He had 5 points on one side and 4 on the other counting the eye guards. He is a toad of a coues.

Working hard for the trophy is just as important and satisfying as the trophy itself. Congratulations.
 
Thank you for sharing!
 
Great hunt report and trophy! Thanks for sharing!
 
Great buck! There is nothing quite like hunting Coues Deer, a true glassing game. When somebody tells me that their $200 binos are all that’s needed, they have never hunted Coues deer and glasses until their eyes bleed. I had a pair of 16X Pentax the first year I hunted AZ and NM and wondered why all the other guys had Swarovski, Zeiss and Leica binoculars? I had a pair the next year and I fully understood why they spent the money, headache gone!
I concur with Phil, your buck should definitely hit 110” if not a bit bigger. Fine job!
Cheers,
Cody
 
That is a cranker.

Congrats on getting the job done. Luck plays a large role in any success.

Thanks for sharing your hunt.
 

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