Bird Doggin’ Coues
by Tommy Hancock
It all started with my good friend Shane inviting me down to his neck of the woods, to try a hand at whitetail hunting in an area that he liked. So I said what the heck, lets get a tag and give it a try. SO as luck would have it I drew and headed down to his place on Thursday. We went out to do some last minute glassing to see if we could find the bucks that he was sure were in the area before opening morning came. About a hour before dark we were able to glass at least 3 and maybe 5 bucks ( the brush was really thick and they were a long ways off, 1,200-1,400 yards away) several were smaller bucks, but one or 2 required a closer examination, that we weren’t able to get that evening as we watched them feed to the tip top of a mountain and out of sight just at dark. With great anticipation for the next day we headed back, were Shane cooked up a great steak, and after lots of B.S. and thoughts of how to go about the next morning we headed to bed. Morning came early and we were back up to the top of the ridge that was to be our glassing spot for the day. We sat the lawn chairs up and got the binos and tripods all ready and watched the sun turn the dark morning to grey, as we begin to pick apart the mountain side. We had been glassing for 30 minutes or so when I finally spot a lone buck at the top of the mountain, we watched him feed to and out of sight in some thick draws. Wondering where his buddies were we continued to pick apart every bush and tree and draw and drainage. Finally to pick out 2 more bucks that came over the top of the mountain and begin to make there way down through the brush. We were in high hopes that they would bed soon so we could make our move on them, as they were still 1,000 yards away. Finally the bigger of the 2 bucks disappeared in a wall of brush in a little cut, thinking this would be his bed for several hours, Shane told me he would stay and watch from the there, and I would make my way over 3 ridges and up to a certain cedar tree were I could then watch from ( and hopefully get a shot from) as I was almost there I kicked out a small 1×2 that I let grow for another day, but the bad thing he was running right to were the big buck was bedded, the little buck ran within 30feet of the big buck and as Shane watched from the far hill he said the big buck DID NOT get up and go with the little buck, at this point I was wondering if the big buck had slipped out on us or was just holding really tight. So I kept on going and I finally made it to the determined tree, to find nothing, the brush was so thick I could not find the buck, I tried picking apart ever inch of the little cut we thought he was in and, nothing it was solid brush….. So I told Shane I would watch while he worked his way over to me, and then we would decide what to do next. So I watched and waited and hoped the big buck was still there, and hoped he would stand up for a noon day stretch. Shane finally got there and we both looked and could find nothing, so we begin talking a little thinking he would hear us and get up… still nothing, by that time I was really thinking the buck and gotten away some how. Well Shane thought the only other thing to do was if he circled to the left and walked up the draw, then if the buck was still there, he might stand and give me a shot, so I said ok and I got ready, Well Shane headed over that way and worked closer, and closer, and closer and closer, and still nothing happened, I just knew the buck and given us the slip, when all of a sudden, when Shane was no more then 25 feet from the buck HE EXPLODED, he come out of the wall of brush like he had been shot from a canon, going a hundred miles an hour from left to right ( which to me is the hardest shot to make) he was jumping brush and clearing rocks and getting the heck out of dodge, well I pulled down on him and let one fly Right over his back, ( he was only about a 100 yards away) the buck had about 30 yards farther and then he would be gone for good, so I jacked one more shell in and tried to follow him hauling butt, up and over brush and the last ½ a split second as he was rounding the corner just before he was gone for good I let one fly. As he disappeared over the edge and out of sight with the recoil. I thought I heard the WHACK, but Shane no I didn’t hear it I think he got away, and I said no it felt good, I had him in the scope I think I got him go look by those two cactus, so he goes over to the first one and says NO, and I says a few more steps to the second one, and so just as he looks over the edge there he lay, NICE BUCK DOWN… we glassed him at about 6:45 or so, and I shot him at 11:00 that was quite the 4 hours we had getting that buck, but having him hold so tight was amazing, he wasn’t getting up for anything, I’m sure it saved his life a time or two in the past, we had to bird dog him like a covey of quail, Shane just needs to learn to point them out before they jump like that and give us both heart attacks. We roughed him out at 95 3/8, He’s got double eye guards on both sides, and a cool “acorn hole” on one side, Not real long beams, But heavy all the way, he has 4″ bases, very nice for a coues. So many thanks for Shane and helping me not only find the buck, but helping me pack the buck off the mountain. It was a hot sucker, but we finally made it back to the truck. I’m going to do a ½ life size mount of the buck with his front feet standing on a rock ledge or something, But I’m very tickled with him. My biggest to date, out of the dozen or so I’ve brought home. And the great thing about it was it was my wife’s birthday, So I told her I needed to hunt on her birthday more often, yea, she liked that Idea ( NOT).