My Giant Archery Coues Buck!
by Mark Oliva
PIC Mark Oliva with his monster archery Coues buck!
The hunt for this buck started on January 5, 2010, when Joe Gonzales and I laid eyes on a monster Coues buck tending a doe. We knew he was big but didn’t realize just how big he was until Joe set up his spotting scope to get a better look. That’s when Joe realized we were watching a world-class animal. Joe has seen some of the best Coues deer around, from the States to Old Mexico. Joe took a world class muzzleloader Coues deer in 2008 and has hunted old Mexico where he took another trophy buck. Joe set up his camera and proceeded to video the monster buck for three hours getting amazing rutting action on video. After waiting until he bedded, we made a plan for a stalk. Joe found himself within 60 yards of the bedded monster. With the wind swirling in different directions, the buck stood and followed his doe to a more secluded area. When the buck got up to leave, Joe was able to draw his bow and take a tough downhill shot that nearly connected. The buck never spooked but followed his doe down a draw and out of sight.
The next few days found us watching and patterning this buck, and at times, closing the distance with this buck. Incredibly, we were able to locate and watch the buck six out of the seven days we pursued him. Then on Friday, January 16, we had the buck and his does spotted on the same ridge. The buck would not leave a hot doe, chasing several other bucks including one buck we thought would go between 110-115”.
Joe and I decided to work the East and West ridge trying to close the distance. It was a long and tedious stalk through loose rock and dry grass, but we knew we were getting close. We were losing daylight fast and thought we had missed an opportunity with the giant buck again when all of the sudden, a doe crested the ridge with the monster in tow. I ranged the doe at 63 yards and prepared for the shot. I knew it was now or never. In one fluid motion, I drew back and set my pin on the buck and let the arrow fly. As I shot, the buck took a step forward, and I had a sinking feeling I had hit the buck a little the far back. The buck then continued forward and was out of sight. Joe and I met up and decided the best thing to do was go back to camp and give the buck some time.
That night we made plans for the next day, which included Joe’s brother, Fatman, a superior hunter and avid outdoorsman, and good friend, Robert Alvarez, who is well-respected in the Coues deer world. We decided the best plan was for everyone to get up high behind their optics to try and relocate the buck. An hour after daylight, Joe located the bedded buck under a tree. After observing the buck for some time, we knew the buck was in bad shape, but still very much alive. The plan was to keep Robert and Fatman up high watching the buck as Joe and I worked our way toward the monster buck. Robert and Fatman were to signal us if the buck left his bed. At 60 yards, Joe, with a keen eye and ungodly knowledge of giant Coues deer, was able to locate the bedded buck. After moving inch by inch, I was able to stalk within 20 yards and finish him off with two more arrows. After a moment of shock, it all hit. The desert erupted in total chaos with all of us yelling with excitement. This is when I realized we had just accomplished the unthinkable, harvesting a world class Coues with a bow using spot and stalk methods. We all met up to admire the fallen giant with high-fives and hugs. This buck is incredible with tons of mass and plenty of extras. Since we had first videoed him, he had broken about 2 ½-3” on his left side and two more points on his right side. (One of which was broken at the base and looked to be quite large.)
PIC Mark’s buck as he lay.
I would like to give thanks to my wife and son for being supportive of my passion for hunting and the outdoors (and the inspirational note from my son); to my bro, Joe, who made it all possible, Fatman and his boys for all their help; and Robert, we couldn’t have done it without him; and to Jay Lopeman and family for taking the time out of a busy schedule to enjoy such a moment of a lifetime.
Mossback Arizona does it again! Enjoy the pics
We rough scored the buck at 135 inches!