Arizona Coues Deer Hunting

Coues country
Coues country

I’ve been living in Arizona long enough, and it was time to hunt coues deer. I was able to pick up a tag for one of the southern units and with a little help from my buddy Ed at Gameplanner Maps and countless hours of the Jay Scott Podcast, I had a pretty good idea of where I needed to go and what I needed to do. Although I’ve spent a little time behind binoculars, I still never feel real confident about finding animals in the field, especially coues deer who are touted as some of the toughest creatures to find.

I snuck out of work on Thursday and was setting up camp mid afternoon. This allowed me a little bit of time to get out and glass the evening in hopes of turning up a buck before opening day. With no luck, I  turned in for the night. The next morning found me on a high hill glassing some ridgelines, but I only saw one deer at first light and never saw it again.

Around mid day, I decided to switch up positions and get to another vantage point with better afternoon sun and shadows, but found another set of hunters there. Dismayed, I decided to work some lower country and work my way back into some different country. Within an hour I had picked up two does, and I watched them as they fed into some thicker brush. Confident they didn’t have a buck with them I repositioned myself to look at another hillside and I immediately found two small bucks feeding down the hill toward a canyon. I watched them for a few moments and knew that if I didn’t act, they would get into the bottom of the drainage and I would lose them. Grabbing my rifle and binos, I snuck down the hill into a managable 200 yard range, found the deer again in my binoculars and made a quick shot that dropped one of the small bucks where he stood.

I gathered my pack and tripod and hiked over to where the deer lay. I sat there looking at the deer incredulous at how fast everything had unfolded and said a quick prayer of thanks before beginning the work. With a heavy pack, I walked the mile back to my truck with a huge smile on my face. My good friend Kyle was there to great me, as he had come down to help me out the next day. With the hunt complete, we enjoyed venison backstraps cooked over an open fire and talked about the upcoming Mearns quail season. I couldn’t have asked for a more rewarding hunt and am grateful for venison in the freezer.

Coues Country
Coues Country
Gameplanner Maps
Gameplanner Maps
Coues Country
Coues Country
First coues buck
First coues buck
Coues deer
Coues deer
Packed out
Packed out
Driving out
Driving out
processing
Processing

 

14 Responses to “Arizona Coues Deer Hunting”

  1. Nick Rojas

    Congrats on your couse deer. I haven’t seen much on quail hunting so for this season was wondering if there was a decent hatch or sense it’s been so hot you may have not done a whole lot. I’m from California and bought a Arizona license this year to come out there and hunt was just curious how things are going I have two young English pointer pups I want to be able to get on a lot of birds for their first year out was planning some trips out there later in the year was just wondering if you think it might be worth it. Any info would be greatly appreciated thanks.

    Reply
    • azwanderings

      Nick,

      Thanks and it’s nice to hear from you. I haven’t done much quail hunting yet this year. As you said, it’s been pretty hot and deer season took some of my time. I think it should be another fairly good year. We didn’t get the greatest rain, but numbers still look to be good. Check out AZQuailToday.com. Dan Priest always has good info there.

      Ben

      Reply
  2. Jeff C.

    Excellent, Ben. Thanks for taking us along. Obviously you had your eyes out for some Mearns, also…..

    Reply
    • azwanderings

      Thanks Jeff, and of course I was looking. I walked a couple of tanks, but no birds. It was good looking country though. I’m sure with a dog, they’d be easy to find. Take care.

      Ben

      Reply
  3. Kevin from Texas

    Great blog – no talk about macho score (unless you kill a big-un…) – you’re kinda like The Meateater of Arizona! Well done.

    Reply
    • azwanderings

      Thanks to you Ed for the good info and the maps. Made my life a whole lot easier. Talk soon.

      Ben

      Reply
  4. Kirk

    Way to go! What cool country to hunt deer in. I don’t know why, but Coues, Sitka, and Blacktail deer have always intrigued me. Great job on getting it done.

    Reply
    • azwanderings

      Thanks Kirk. It’s pretty country for sure. I grew up back east and glassing this big Arizona country has been fun to learn.

      Ben

      Reply

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