I am starting to migrate a lot of stuff from my previous blog…
Good Things to Good People
1/18/08 What a Way to Start the New Year!!
As I created the waypoint for the kill site on my GPS the big number that stood out was 350, that was what my trip odometer read. This year I covered 350 miles of some of the best Coues deer country in the southwest looking for the perfect setup. The Burro Mountains have always had some quality deer hunting and like most well known hunting areas the “usual” spots had treestands on every saddle or game-trail. My goal was to find a nice honey hole off of what we call “the Big Three”, The Big Three consist of Jacks Peak, Burro Mountain and Ferguson Mountain. Throughout the summer I had at least two trail cameras in the field at all times. For the most part they were over springs or game trails, I had decent success and I had several great pictures of some quality bucks. I also found a real nice set of shed that were a little big that 100 inches.
Unfortunately, as December rolled around everything went south. All of my bucks stopped showing up, I still don’t know what happened but it was pretty obvious I was going to need to spend some time locating does or I was going to be in for a long tough hunt. I was pretty much in panic mode. Coues deer hunting is a game of preparation. Unlike Mule deer hunting you need to do your homework upfront. I changed my strategy from worrying about the bucks and I spent a ton of time behind the 15×56 Swarovski’s looking for does. I knew that once the rut kicked in the bucks would be chasing. A few days before the hunt I found three nice groups of does and I knew that I was back in the game. I also found some scrapes and rubs in the general area.
My initial plan was to switch between a spring that the does were hitting and a scrape line. If I wasn’t getting into deer I would change areas and hunt a huge flat in a saddle that I had a feeling was going to have a scrape line in it.
As the hunt started I was hunting with a heavy heart, my dad has been sick and in and out of the hospital. Even though I had planned all year for this hunt it was just hard to leave the house in the morning.
The first couple of the days were extremely windy and the deer were not moving. Trying to make something happened I decided to do some Spot-n-Stalk hunting. I wasn’t able to get on any Coues deer but I was able to get within 30 yards of this Mule deer.
I was able to get these Mule deer pictures during some of my time on one of my stands. I also had a few bigger deer, some Javelina and a coyote come in but I wasn’t able to get pictures of them, these bucks are nothing special but at least I knew I wasn’t getting winded.
Unfortunately, because of the high winds and sleet the Coues deer just weren’t moving. I have always said,” Mule deer see a person and they think he is a stump, Coues deer see a stump and think it is a person”. When the winds are high the deer are just to scared to move.
As the hunt wore on it became obvious that I need to make something happen, so I moved to a scrape line. Below are some pictures of the scrapes and some rubs that I have found in the area. Scrapes during this time of year are a much better indicator of a buck working the area but it is nice to see the rubs.
This is the little patch of trees that I setup in. I ALMOST CLOSED THE DEAL on this scrape line but a buck came from the one area that I couldn’t get a shot. He came from behind me and I think he caught a whiff of me in the swirling winds. Needless to say I was pretty disappointed.
A few days into the hunt my dad was getting stronger and he was released from the hospita on Tuesday giving me one good day to hunt before I had to pack for my Mexico Coues deer hunt. So I figured I needed to push the issue. I hiked into the flat that I had scouted earlier in the season. During the summer months I had seen three different bucks in the area and I found a few sheds.
As I made the .75 mile hike into the flat I found a few rubs and scrapes. My hunch had been correct. After slowing working thru the area I decided to sit the scrape line and rub below.
I have found that for me, the best way to hunt a scrape line is to stay mobile and sit around 35 yards off the scrape. I also carry one of those little stools to sit on for comfort. I had just setup my stool and hung my bow on a bow hanger in the tree when I first caught movement. I hadn’t even knocked and arrow. First it was a flicker of an ear then I was able to pick out a brow-tine. After 6 months of scouting and one day of hunting left it looked like if I could knock and arrow and draw I might have the opportunity at a nice buck. I wasn’t able to determine the number of points but at this point it didn’t matter. If I had the chance to take him I was going to let the air out of him.
I had setup so if a buck came in I would be in his blind spot for a few yards. This would give me the opportunity to grab my bow and knock an arrow. Luck was with me this day. As he went into the blind spot I pulled “Yoda II” (my arrow) from the quiver, knocked him, drew and got ready to pick a spot. I always have a cheesy saying that I say to myself, it is “Confidence is Deadly”. It just reminds me that I have done everything in my power to make the shot. I have the best bow, the best arrow, the best broadhead and I have practiced to to make the shot. As I mutter those words in my mind, he cleared the brush at 30 yards, I picked a spot and I released the arrow. As the arrow flew I knew it was a good shot, it took out both lungs. I don’t think he knew what happened. He jumped a little and trotted off to about 60 yards. I am a firm believe of shoot until they are down so I pulled “Yoda III” knocked, drew and picked a spot again. I hit him high and “spined” him. He dropped.
This was my setup, he came in from the left.
This is the “as they lay picture”.
It is very hard to explain the emotions that come over you when you kill an animal that you have spent so much time admiring. I must admit that I did my little dance and I did a bunch of screaming and yelling but after that I just sat there and admired him in all of his beauty. I always give thanks and remind myself that it is not about the kill but about setting a goal and reaching it. My Grandfather Papo used to say that the outdoors was his church, nothing could be truer.
Stay tuned…. I need to tell you about my Mexico Rifle Hunt… You won’t believe what I killed. A true GIANT…..