View Full Version : just bagged a huge coues whitetail!
December 20, 2008, 09:42 PM
ok, second day of the season and the first sucked because I did't get a chance to get out until after 1 and my main spot was full so I had to go to a back up spot (blacktail canyon).
Saturday I got an early start, but hunting on post you have limited hunters allowed per section and my section was full when I got there at 5 in the morning!:mad: well back to my backup spot (same area I had to hunt th day before). this area was not know for big bucks and I had only see a few spike bucks the past few spotting trips.
Well, got to the spot before dawn and I decided to go up the mountain further to glass the opposite side of the mt better. on the way found some fresh scrapes and a few fresher rubs, but the scrub oak and cedars was too thick to get any type of shot off if i would have seen any deer.
finally found a spot overlooking an old deer trail and had a good view of the opposing mt side to glass. after 4 hours of seeing nothing I was getting ready to pack out for lunch, but I heard some rocks way behind me rolldown the mt and thought I would stay for a little more. at 11 I used my quaker boy doe bleet twice in quick succession and then i was startled when i heard a hoof stomp and the exhale of a deer. I turned behind my left shoulder and nothing then to the right and caught a glimpse of the nose and then saw the rack.
long story short 20 ft, off hand over the shoulder (literally) got a glimpse of neck in the scope pulled my head away because again over the shoulder, pulles the trigger with my left thumb (i am right handed) and held on to the foreend real tight with my right hand so the gun would nt recoil too bad and rip my thumb off or something (S&W i-bolt in 30/06 shooting federal powershok sp 150 gr.) anyway bullet took out some twigs on a dead mesquite and then hit the buck at the base of the neck and never made it out the left shoulder (probably because it took out the twigs on the way there).
anyway, a 3 mile drag back to the truck and then weighed him at the ft. huachuca sportsmans center and he was a whopping 97 pounds field dressed (most couse whitetail's are around 100 pounds max with all the internals), :D RAck was decent, but I have spotted bigger racked deer in my main spot, but have not seen one as big bodied as this buck.
was told that he was the biggest this year (weight wise) and he is a nice 4x4 with perfectly identical tines on each side. got him skinned, caped, and just letting him hang over night (will be 35 degrees tonight) and then I will finish cutting him up in the morning. would like to let him hang and age a few days, but down here it will be too hot in the day time and the taxedermist in town has a full freezer (all 3) because some folks brought in a bunch of elk.
got pics, just need to upload them in the morning.
December 20, 2008, 10:03 PM
Totally awesome joe. Just goes to show that you never know when one will show up and you'll never get one on the couch. Good hunt..J.R.
December 20, 2008, 11:20 PM
Congrtaz. I was stationed in Huachuca from 2002-2005. I still regret I didn't ever go after a coues while I was there.
December 21, 2008, 04:53 AM
again over the shoulder, pulles the trigger with my left thumb (i am right handed) and held on to the foreend real tight with my right hand so the gun would nt recoil too bad and rip my thumb off or something
Adapt and Overcome.
You did well my freind. Cant waite to see the picts.
December 21, 2008, 05:44 AM
December 21, 2008, 06:04 AM
I've seen some nice bucks on Ft Huachuca. I'm not military, so don't hunt on the base, but there's some nice bucks there.
I live at the south end of SV, so you're mighty close to me.
Congrat's on your deer. Not sure who you're using as a taxidermist. Stacy Tompkinson, over in St David did my last coues deer (taken in Mexico). I highly recommend his work, and he's usually far more reasonable in price than most. Maybe give him a call (520-720-4240). Bill Saathoff used to do the best taxidermy work I've ever seen on coues deer, but unfortunately he was killed in a plane crash back in August while scouting for an elk hunt.
December 21, 2008, 12:04 PM
here's a pic,
gonna post some vid and more pics on my website later this week (wife and kid are sick, so I am glad I took the deer when I did, otherwise I would be missing the season taking care of them)
December 21, 2008, 12:24 PM
Looks like a nice little buck! It's not huge, but it's certainly a good respectable coues deer.
December 21, 2008, 12:32 PM
yeah rack is a littlebigger than average, but the weight at 97 lbs is huge for around here from what I've been told. most of the other bucks that have been taken in november and now in december are in the 70's. guy before me had a 90 lbs buck, and then I weighed mine and they were just like WOW!. :D
anyway, still gonna get him mounted since he is my first coues buck. and he is respectable for these parts of AZ. Also, the taxedermist will be braggin rights in whetstone (was recommended by woody over at K&H archery) .
December 21, 2008, 12:52 PM
Isn't that Braggin' Rights Taxidermy owned/ran by a fella named Larry?
He's a buddy of mine, and we used to hunt coyotes together many years ago. He's a great guy, but I guess I didn't think about him having gone so far with his taxidermy ambitions. For whatever reason, I didn't think about him until you mentioned his business name.
I saw him at Southerlands a month or so back, but we haven't hunted together in several years. He gave me one of his cards when I saw him, so I recognized the name.
Tell him Daryl said hello when you see him, and ask him about the javalina I kicked in the head when it ran at us out of a mine shaft.
December 21, 2008, 05:40 PM
I never heard of the "over the shoulder" shot, pulled the trigger with the left thumb.
December 21, 2008, 05:58 PM
yeah, i was sitting infront of an old scrub oak that went in a w shape and I didn't have the chance to turn around completely, just lean enough to be able to get the gun over the shoulder and forward (or backwards depending on how you want to put it) enough so I could see the reticle with my left eye, then pulled my head out of the way and boom! he was dead on the spot and just rolled down the mt about 10 feet before landing against a fallen dead oak tree. :cool:
foregot to mention he was coming down wind of me and the team fitzgeralds deer dander really hid my smell well. combined with the doe in need and the VX that I had put on the trail about 20 yards in front of me that helped to cover my smell. If that wasn't what brought him in, then it was the smell of my peanut butter and jelly sandwich I had sitting out and was snacking on from time to time. :D
anyway, got him quartered and am working on the legs. man there is a lot of meat on this coues deer. he is almost the size of a nice doe up north (originally from south dakota).
anyway, ran into a father and 10yr old son who are hunting on post and I let them in on my secret spot that I had not had a chance to hunt, so hopefully the kid can bag one of the big deer in there (have seen 2 big racked 5x5's and some nice 4x4's) .
anyway, still have january archery to look forward to and then I will get a chance to hunt my primary spot. will let you know how that turns out.
December 22, 2008, 07:22 PM
Also, check the team fitzgeralds site in a few days, they will be posting my pics on their site.
Also from http://www.muleymadness.com/deerinfo/coues.php :
A large field-dressed buck will rarely exceed 80-90 lbs. (some can exceed 100 pounds) and usually weighs about 65 lbs.
December 22, 2008, 08:08 PM
Way to go! Nice pictures to pick me up on the hunting front. I am bummed because I was hoping to get the last weekend in Ohio - I'm sure a deer this nice was waiting around for me - but got guilt-tripped into calling it an early holiday. Such is life. Glad to see some of us out there are still cleaning up. :)
PS - did you make sure your iBolt's not one of the ones that got recalled?
December 22, 2008, 08:43 PM
yup, that was the first thing I looked at before buying it. the list only included a few of the very early ones and luckily mine was not included.
the i-bolt is great. I am gonna order another in 25/06 and when they come out with a short action wood stocked model I will get one in 7mm-08 or 308.
as soon as boyds comes out with a laminate stock, my 30/06 synthetic stocked version is getting a laminate stock.
December 22, 2008, 10:20 PM
here is the link to more photos
December 23, 2008, 06:01 AM
A large field-dressed buck will rarely exceed 80-90 lbs. (some can exceed 100 pounds) and usually weighs about 65 lbs.
Someone's pulling your leg.
Large coues deer bucks don't weigh 65 lbs. That might be an average, including spikes, forkhorns, and whatever else comes in, but it's not an average weight for large coues deer bucks.
I've shot fork horns that weighed more than that.
Don't get me wrong though. Your's is a really nice buck, far better than many I've seen taken over the years (better than some I've taken, too!), and is certainly worthy of being proud of.
Here's one I shot a couple of years ago. It's a nice buck, but wasn't the largest taken on that trip. There were two larger ones taken, although mine only had a few teeth left, so was underweight. It was a good kill, because he wouldn't have made it through the winter.
December 23, 2008, 12:03 PM
Daryl, awesome rack on that coues! I had been spotting some other 5x5's in my primary unit that didn't have as thick a tine diameter as yours.
Also, from the AZ Game and Fish Department ( Here: http://www.azgfd.gov/h_f/game_cues.shtml )
The Coues deer is much smaller than most of its eastern cousins. Bucks stand just over 30 inches at the shoulder and rarely weigh over 100 pounds. Does average 65 pounds.
Also, as of this morning when I stopped by the sportsmans center, he was still the largest taken this year. The only one that came close was the 90 lbs buck that was weighed in right before mine.
If you got a spot that produces Coues bucks bigger than that one in the photo than great for ya and keep hunting it!
December 23, 2008, 08:45 PM
One thing about coues deer; there's a big difference between bucks being there, and getting them.
The big bucks are usually a tough hunt, and your's is exceptional IMO.
I have a buddy who took one about the same size as the one I showed above a few years ago. He got it with his bow, just south of West Gate Subdivision (outside West Gate of Ft Huachuca). That's an area that gets hit hard with hunters every year, yet that buck was there. The big ones learn to adapt, and they can sometimes hide in relatively small areas without anyone knowing they're there.
They get a lot of large coues deer bucks out of Copper Canyon in the southern Huachucas, but you have to walk in a bit.
I'm taking an outfitter friend into an area over by Dos Cabezas later this week. He's from Colorado, and he's hoping to fill his archery tag before the end of the month/year. He'll have a fair chance, I'm guessing, but he's a top notch bowhunter.
They're where you find 'em, and it doesn't take a lot of cover for them to hide. Sorta like large rabbits. :)
December 23, 2008, 09:18 PM
yeah, I definately agree about the large rabbits thing. everytime I go out to hunt some of the grassy sections for quail I always spook up deer and most of the time I don't see them until I am almost on top of them when they hide in the grass.
As for big deer I am looking forward to getting another one during the january rut archery hunt on post. I have a spot where I have seen several 5x5's (still none as big as the one in your post) and other 4x4's that are about the same rack size as the one I shot. But none of them were as big bodied as mine.
Also, there are some big racked coues up near sonoita near parker canyon lake, but they were real jumpy when I was down in that area spotting last year. I am told they get a lot of prssure from hunters as well.
December 24, 2008, 01:27 PM
Yep, and that behavior you witnessed is typical for coues deer. They're nervous little critters.
They're less wary on post, simply because they get used to guys out hiking the hills pretty regularly, and no one usually bothers them.
They're a tough critter to hunt (certainly not impossible, but it can be a tough hunt), which is what makes one like the one you got such a nice trophy.
They're also downright good eating, with a flavor as delicate as they appear when the meat's well taken care of.
December 25, 2008, 12:09 PM
yeah, up in huachuca canyon i have walked within 10 feet of several nice bucks and does, and they cared less what I was doing and they were hangin out in the archery only area right within view of the camping areas and they must have known the regs down to a "T" (no hunting within 250 yds of a camping/picnic area.
They only got jumpy when I stepped off the trail to check on a spike buck that wasn't moving much (i thought he was hurt). when I got within 5 feet he got up and walked a few feet away and then just sat down again.
anyway, they are thick in the archery only areas now because of rifle season and I am using that to my advantage come january.
December 25, 2008, 01:14 PM
That about them being so tame sorta brought a smile to my face. It reminded me of an old aquaintance of mine.
He was part owner of an archery shop here in SV (near Uptown Theater on south hwy 92), and when someone mentioned hunting on post, he always called it "hunting in the petting zoo".
They can get pretty tame up there in some areas, but they aren't dumb, either. They know how to recognise danger, and they can adapt to it in the blink of an eye.
Good luck with the archery hunting. I might try to get out in January myself.
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