Monthly Archives: August 2010

Opening weekend in AZ!!!!

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Hmm… Where to start???  Well, the hunt started with rain, and ended with rain…  The area that I am focusing on has a nice tank but right now sitting that tank would just  be a waste of time.  Coues deer barely drink to start with but with this much rain these deer are drinking out of every little dip in the dirt.

Unlike in NM, in AZ it is legal to bait deer.  It is what it is…  Those are just the rules of the game in AZ and believe me, my eyes have really been opened over the last few months.  Just about every ridge that I have seen has some sort of mineral lick.  If the hunters don’t get the deer they are certainly going to die of heart disease. Another thing that is different in AZ is that even though you draw a rifle tag you can still hunt the archery season.  If you happen to kill during the archery season than you forfeit your rifle tag.  I guess the cool thing is that hunters are given more days afield, the bad thing is that you have EVERYBODY hunting during the archery season.  I have never seen soooooo many people cruising the roads looking for deer and coming from NM that means A LOT.

So the plan was to sit in a travel corridor and and get a shot a buck. Pretty easy right.  Well the problem is that with this much feed and water these deer don’t need to move.  I am hoping that the pressure from other  hunters will get these deer moving.

So… Who is on the hit list?   I have picked up a few different deer in the area but nothing exciting..  But if this guys comes thru we are gonna have some words… :)

He probably goes mid-80’s.  Nothing to wild but he is definitely a mature buck.

Oh yah… I am still being chased by bears… Man, I have seen more bears this year than I have EVER seen…

Anyway, stay tuned… I am going to try and make it out again next week.

Oh yah, in a day and a half of hunting…. Two Does… :)

The Chavez Girls Represent!!!!!

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I love stories like this…

Mr. Chavez sent me this story about his girls..



Let me begin by introducing myself, Tom Chavez and the stars of my story, my daughter’s DeAndra (Doj) and Erika Chavez. To begin, my daughters ages are Doj 16 and Erika 15. The photos attached are of their 09 Cow Elk Youth Encouragement Hunt in Unit 53. Both girls are accomplished hunters, Doj has 1 bull elk, 1 cow elk, 1 muley buck and 1 antelope buck under her belt. Erika has 1 cow elk, 1 antelope buck, 1 muley buck and 1 OLT Oryx to her name. I enrolled them together in the NM Hunter’s Safety course at ages 11 & 10. Over the past 5 years, as you can tell we have been rather successful in their hunting careers.
Having not drawn any tags for the 09 season, my girls were fortunate to be able to receive ES elk tags under the new Youth Encouragement hunts. Although the time of year, Dec,  was extremely cold, -17, the first morning out, we were able to get within 75yds of a bachelor group of bulls, 9 of them in all. We were set up in the sage flats north of Questa and watching the bulls as they made their way to their bedding areas. As the bulls approached, I had both girls set up on bi-pods kneeling in the sage. As the bulls got closer I could feel the excitement in both girls as they scanned for the bulls in their scopes. Trying to maintain my composure was not easy when I was asking both of them if they could find the bull they wanted and make sure they weren’t both targeting the same bull. As luck would have it, the clouds began to break and we were set up facing directly East so the sun prevented them from being able to find anything in their scopes!! Chalk that mistake up to dad. With the intnese cold, and sitting out in the sage for over an hour all my girls wanted was the truck and a drive to the Pendleton Station for hot chocolate. That evening we went back out and found the herd but they weren’t coming off private land so we just watched with the spotting scopes from the truck. Knowing the herd would be on forest land in the morning we were back first thing in the morning. With low cloud cover we couldn’t see a thing! The girls began to get antsy and started bugging for their morning hot chocolate, just as I was to give in, our hunting partner, Sancho, spotted the herd about 500-600 yds out and the clouds were beginning to lift. I knew a back road that would put us out in front of the herds route and we quickly skirted around them. As we got to where we wanted to be, we saw the lead cow coming across the sage flat right towards us. We set up both girls on an H-post and had both of them start looking for elk in their scopes. This was a group of cows and calves with one fork antlered bull, of course they both wanted to take the bull!! Being that Doj was the oldest and hadn’t hunted the year before she got the draw of taking the bull if she had the chance. As the herd got within 175yds, the little bull would not get out fo the middle of the herd. As Erika said that she was on a small cow and ready, Doj couldn’t handle the pressure of waiting for the bull and chose to sight in on a cow herself. When they both told me they were on them and ready, I let out a few cow calls and stopped the herd. I didn’t even have time to tell them to take their time, when BOOM – BOOM, BOOM -BOOM, they both fired two rounds at the cows they had chosen! Talk about a rush and fiasco while I was trying to spot where and what they had shot at. Luckily, I had been watching Doj’s cow and Sancho was watching Erika’s. Doj’s cow staggered and fell then regained her feet and fled away from the herd, Erika’s cow came running back and away from us and the herd. We decided that I would go with Doj to track her cow and Sancho and Erika would go after hers. We tracked Doj’s elk about 50yds from where we last saw her, Doj’s .243 wssm had taken her through the ribcage on the first shot and back leg on the second, chalk up another kill for Doj. As we were looking at Doj’s elk we heard Erika’s .243wssm bark one last time, she had connected on her first shot a little back and needed a finishing shot through the neck at 75yds! We were able to get pretty close to retrieve them so the task wasn’t too bad, but as their PROUD Daddy, I would have drug and packed for 100 miles if need be.
I have three girls and have always heard the old addage, a man needs a boy to continue his legacy, well I’ve yet to see any of my friends boys shoot, gut and cut as well as my girls can!!
Tom Chavez
Comments Off on AZ Thieves, Dry Springs and Cages!!!!

I guess there is no other way of saying it…  My camera was stolen in AZ, I have had cameras all over NM for years and I have never had a camera stolen.  I leave one out for 3 weeks in AZ and someone steals it.  If it isn’t yours keep your dang hands off of it.  From what I can tell it is acceptable behavior to steal cameras in AZ.  I just don’t understand!!!!  It does drive me that much harder… I will kill a deer in AZ…

SOOO on our trip Cisco and I were planning on finding a spring that I had found on one map…  This little spring was only on one of the software packages that I use so it was going be a little honey hole that nobody knew about or it was going to be DRY!!!  The spring was about 3 miles in the backcountry. We would have to bushwhack thru a lot of country but it might be worth the hike.

Once we got to the spring we would find a high-point were we could glass the area for game, setup camp and enjoy the the wilderness.  Well that didn’t happen, when we got to the spring we found a WHOLE LOT OF NOTHING… It was dry as a bone.  Here is a picture of the area where the spring should be coming out of the hill.

So we had two options; stick around and glass some not so promising country or “Let’er Buck” and head back to the truck and do some more scouting in a different area.   Well, the determining factor was that we were LOW on water…. I mean LOW LOW..  We wouldn’t have enough water to drink and make dinner… So we bailed.

But we took this cool little picture first…

SOOO… I loaded my 70lb pack and off went…

Here is a picture of some of the scenery…


How about a fried Cisco Kid???

Well we made it back…. Thank God I always carry 7 gallons of water in the diesel.  It made life a lot easier…  So we setup camp and crashed.

The night was pretty uneventful, Cisco didn’t even run around all night… It start raining so Cisco crawled in the tent and crashed out.

SOOOO the next morning we were off to find another little saddle and tank.  Now this is where things got strange, we came across a cage or serious corral of some sort.  Look at these pictures. This cage was really meant to keep something in… Wolves maybe????

Swinging Gate????

This thing is no joke!

After exploring this little area for awhile we took off to find our little spring… Well we found a wet spot…  I bet this will hold some water after a few rain showers.

So that was our 2nd scouting trip in AZ.   I always try to not dwell on the negative so I will just chalk up the camera getting stolen to some dirt bag that is going to be cursed on there next hunting trip.    I am not sure when I will be able to get back into this area but the season starts in a few weeks.  I want to hunt the later part of the hunt so I dont have to deal with the monsoons and the antlers will hopefully not be balled up so much.  We will see….

Take Care.