Greg Verlander gets his first Coues buck!
by Greg Verlander
I was one of the lucky few to draw a coveted Coues White Tail deer tag in unit 27 for the December hunt. After tons of questions to friends and fellow hunters of Coues Deer, I realized that hunting these “Grey Ghosts” was a lot different than hunting the more familiar Mule Deer and Elk I have grown accustomed to hunting in New Mexico. What a hunt it was! My hunting partner Ruben Rojas, like myself had never hunted these remarkable deer. We kind of learned as we hunted, using techniques we had learned from Dwayne Adams hunting seminar and the purchase of his Book of hunting Coues Deer.
We hunted hard for 3 days, glassing and hiking and glassing some more. We spotted plenty of does but didn’t have much luck on any bucks. The rut seemed to be kicking in later than expected and to be honest we were getting frustrated and “Tired” not having much luck. On the 4th day, we hit a new area and glassed from sun up till about 11 am. We didn’t see any bucks that morning but had a buck grunting in the canyon below us. I had forgotten my grunt call and didn’t have any other calls for that matter so we just listened as the buck made his way from our right to our left till his grunting faded away. I suggested to Ruben that we check out another area so we packed up our stuff and went to an area with a good vantage point and lots of vision. We glassed the new area from noon till about 3pm or so, (I even took a little snooze). We had talked about “throwing in the towel’ and going home for the day, then decided that we couldn’t get a Buck if we went home and fired up the TV so we pushed ourselves to keep glassing. We then decided to split up about 50 yards apart to get different vantage points and continue to glass.
I started glassing a ridge I hadn’t glassed prior because it seemed like “a long ways away”. At about 3:30 pm, on this ridge that seemed like miles away, I spot a nice buck standing there. I yelled over to Ruben, “Come check out this Buck” I knew he must be pretty nice as I could see his rack from my vantage point. The ridge closest to us was close to 500 yards so that opposite ridge must be at least 1000 yards. As Ruben approached, the buck laid back down. The Buck had simply gotten up to stretch and then bedded back down. Fatal Mistake. After bedding back down, we lost sight of him. We decided that I would move into position directly across the ridge from our location and would have Ruben line me up on the buck. As I approached where I thought would be the best vantage point, Ruben (through Binoculars) motioned me farther down the ridge.
After positioning myself on the ridge for a good vantage point, I motioned for Ruben to join me. During his trek to my new location I was having a heck of a time spotting the bedded buck again. Ruben joined in my quest to re-locate the buck. After about 30 minutes or so Ruben told me, “I found him”. The buck was actually about 100 yards to the right of where I had been focusing my attention. Things looked so different from the previous vantage point. We glassed about another 15 minutes in hopes that the buck would stand and stretch again. Ruben then told me that the bucks body was in full view bedded down. What I thought was a clump of boulders was actually his body. Guessing his range at about 400 yards now, I looked at the ballistics chart I was carrying and figured the drop at that range to be about a foot, so I rested the sites above his vitals and with one shot, my trophy was harvested. He ran about 30 yards and then fell. How glorious and rewarding it was.
I couldn’t have asked for a more enjoyable hunt. I thank the good lord for blessing me with such a fine animal. He scores 101.4 gross, and is going to look extremely handsome as my Trophy of fond memories.