And so it begins…

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If you guys have been tracking my blog will have probably noticed that for me the best part of Coues deer hunting isn’t the killing of the deer but the  process of trying to get close to North America’s toughest animal to kill with a bow.  This year I spent over 60 days running around the mountains and my GPS tells me that I have covered over 300 miles on foot.  If you want to be a successful Coues deer hunter those miles are all part of the process.  I have often said that bow hunting has saved my life, it has given me a reason to be able to get off the couch, on my feet and out the door.

So where am I hunting this year?  I know and old man that we call, “The White Rat”, that has probably killed more Elk in Northern New Mexico than anybody else.  I once asked him how he was always able to find animals, he would always laugh and say “They are where they are”.  As a young guide I never really knew what he meant but as I get older it all starts to make since.  What he was trying to say is that we can scour maps, spend hours climbing mountains and try to find the best habitat but when it comes right down to it animals don’t really care about that stuff.  As along as their needs are met they have no need to move.  If you want to be a successful hunter you need to figure out where the animals are during the season.  Last year I made  mistake of scouting like a mad man during the summer and the fall but once the “whitetail lull” and the rut kicked in I lost all of the big deer that I was tracking.  It was a real eye-opener, I was two steps behind the deer.  The last day of the hunt I picked up, headed into the high-country and I found deer.  I passed on 3 smaller deer.

This year I spent a lot of time learning new country but I knew that it was just fun and games because the real scouting would start a week before the hunt.   So what happened?  Well, I found a spot early in the summer that I was really looking forward to hunting but there is way too much snow back there, to get in there safely.  I might take the 4 wheeler in one of these days during the hunt just to see what is going on.  Who knows it just might be worth it.  To get to the area it is about a 45 min drive from the house, then a 45 4 wheeler drive and then a 30 min hike.  It is a lot of work to get in there but I am sure that there are a pocket of deer in there that die of old age.  So before the season a good buddy suggested that I look at a spot that he had seen deer before and that he felt might have a good pocket of deer.  Given the chance to learn a new spot I was all over it…  Like usual, I downloaded every map I could find and I started downloading waypoints to my GPS. The race was on.

I like to start by looking for water sources then I look for likely travel routes from the water sources to bedding areas.  So I hung a few cameras to see what I would pick up.  If you scroll down thru some of my previous posts you will see some of the deer, but this is the buck that I would really like to kill.

He probably goes low-90’s.

What you can’t see in this picture is that he is with a doe.

If I don’t’ get a chance at that buck I might see if I can stick this buck that is coming to water.  I cropped the picture alot because this spot has some real potential and I don’t want a million hunters in the area.

The above buck is a little busted on the right side but that is okay…. I like his frame…

Sooo… What am I going to do the first morning?  Well, I am going to hit that spot that has a ton of scrapes… I just want to see what is happening in that area…

So cross your fingers and stay tuned…

J