Wow…. What a crazy year…. In years past I had always had a brown is down mentality. I guess I didn’t have the confidence that I would be able to find multiple bucks. Well, this year I found a few bucks that “needed to be killed”. So it was them or bust. I will post some pictures later in this post but I want to tell the story first.
Ok… So the tag, was in Unit 24, my third choice. The season, Jan 1-15. The game, Coues deer. To be specific two Coues Deer; Jordan and Mr. Perfect. Jordan earned his name by having a rack look like a basketball rim, the tips almost touched and Mr.Perfect earned his name because every time I picked him up on camera he always gave me the perfect picture. Mr. Perfect is probably about 95 inches and Jordan is pushing 105. Remember P & Y is 65 inches on these little guys. So these two guys were definitely holding out for. I have only seen bucks like this in Mexico.
This year I hung my trail cams later in the year and I focused on travel corridors rather than water. I really think this paid off, the issue with hanging cameras on water is that you are only see the bucks that are using that particular water source. If you have a monster buck that is drinking from a spring that you don’t know about then you are never going to pick him up. The only way you will get a look at these bucks is by getting them as they go about there daily business. I also think that it is really important to move cameras ALOT. I think it keeps your scent dispersed and I think that you will pick up deer that don’t walk right in front of you cameras. Anyway it is something that you might want to consider. Also, if you are hunting the rut try and find an area that holds a number of different does. These does will “Chum In” other bucks.
So what did my two spots look like? Well, one of them was a little flat at the end of an old logging road. Every year bucks scrape in this little area that is probably 100 sq/ft. The other was on a long ridge. The long ridge is a new spot and I am still trying to figure it out but everyday I sat that spot something came thru. Both spots take about are about a 45 min drive then a 10 min 4 wheeler ride then a 30 min hike to get into. This year the late snow really messed-up the snow and the hunting. It was really dicey getting out of town. There were a few times when I just didn’t know if it was worth risking in. This might sound strange but I think one of the other keys is that there isn’t a lot of mulies or mule deer hunters in the areas that I am chasing bucks. I really think it leads to less foot traffic.
Okay… So here is a picture of Mr. Perfect…
As you can see from the picture he was in some really thick stuff. In years past I have either hunted water or sat a scrape. This year I really pushed the deer hard and I got into their bedding area. This spot didn’t have a ton of action during the hunt but I was able to consistently have shot opportunities on a goofy 2×2 and a busted up 2×3. I let them both walk.
NOW what about JORDAN!!!! AKA… The GOAT! Or Greatest Of All Time… Well here is his mug.
You can’t see his G-2 on the right side but he is completely symmetrical. This is the biggest hard-horned buck I have ever picked up on camera. This is the kind of buck that dreams are made of. Man, he is a monster!!! I also have a picture of a buck that looks to be his son or at least a buck that shares his same genetics. At first I thought it was the same buck buck after looking at the pic a little bit I am convinced that I have two different bucks with the same frame.
I have killed a few Coues deer so I am looking for something special and lets face it, if I was truly a meat hunter it would be a lot cheaper to go down to the local butcher.
So did I get my shot at either of these bucks? Nope, I saw a total of 7 bucks with the largest being in the mid-80 but I held off waiting for one of these guys to show up.
So, where does this leave me? Well, I am pretty excited about next year. NOW that I have these guys located I need to figure out how they are moving. They say that as Coues deer get older there home range becomes smaller. I am about to see if that is true. I don’t care if I have to hang a camera on every tree I am going to find these guys again. The good news is that next year if I can draw a tag in this unit that I will be able to hunt the Fall and Winter.
So was it a good year? Yeah, I had shot opportunities AND I found a true monster. That is all I can ask for…