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Showing content with the highest reputation since 11/12/2018 in all areas

  1. 26 points
    Our Son graduated from Air Force BMT this morning. We are very proud of this Airman!
  2. 23 points
    I found some really nice bulls in the desert, a lot of them were broken up, but good bulls none the less. But, just in case, I had several blinds built and stands hung at remote water holes. So opening morning, i glasses up a nice 6x6 in the desert, with 9 cows. I was by myself, but gave chase anyways. I ranged them at 1200 yards, and took off. When I got over there, the elk were gone, and I have no idea where they went. I may have gotten picked off, or maybe they just moved on. But without a spotter, there was no telling. I looked for them till noon, walking and glassing. Nothing. since it was warm, I thought I’d get on a waterhole early, and try my luck. It was a long rough ride in, and then a short hike. When I got all settled in, I realized I had no water. I got out of the blind to hike back, but decided I better get right back in and tough it out. An hour later this guy came in, but from a direction I wasn’t expecting. He wasn’t a big bull, but I wasn’t gonna be choosy. I had to move my chair to the other side of the blind to draw. I had him at 35 yards. I settled the pins, and let one fly. To my disappointment, I could see blood dumping out of his brisket. I hit a solid foot low. But when I shot, I heard the arrow or the cam hit the blind, which really messed up the shot. Re adjusting my chair nearly cost me. I tried a few quick follow up shots, but blew them. The good news was that this bull was pouring blood. I’d spent the previous night hand sharpening the shwacker broad head, and that was critical. I could see he wasn’t going far. I dug in my pack for some stalking slippers, and slid them on. I snuck to 50 yards, from where he was standing, and had a small window in the trees that I could send an arrow. I figured I could hit liver with the shot I had, so I took it, and nailed him. At that point I backed out and called pwrguy, who brought another friend for the pack out and meat cutting. He expired shortly, with very little of a tracking job. He was probably less than 75 yards from the initial shot. Both shots were complete pass throughs. I was really thankful to take him on opening day. God certainly answered that prayer.
  3. 18 points
    What a crazy couple of days. My friend and I hiked 7 miles in some of Arizona's nastiest country and didnt see a single elk. After calling my brother, we came up with a couple of back up plans. I got a text a few minute later saying that my brother decided to make the 4 hour drive Saturday morning. Saturday morning we got set up in a different area to try and find where the elk were. First thing we saw a big bull on top of an unhuntable ridge 1500 yards away. Next we heard a bull bugle which is cazy this time a year. We ended glassing 10 bulls but all were almost impossible to hunt with a bow. After getting a couple texts from my brother saying he had 30+ elk and around 10 bulls that were huntable we decided to back out make the 15 mile trip where he was. After finding out we lost the power steering pump cap on the jeep we fixed it with a bino cover lid and we were on our way. We met up with my brother and made a game plan for the stalk. While hiking a big ridge trying to get in front of the elk we were radioed that the herd was moving around a point and out of his view and a fast pace. After sprinting up the last 400 feet of the mountain I dropped on the other side to find fresh elk sign on a trail and just like that they got away. After collapsing on the trail for 20 minutes I stagger to my feet to make the climb back to the top of the mountain to get my pack. As I was stumbling up the trail thinking all the elk were gone I see a spike at only 20 yards! We must have saw each other at the same time and I Froze. After a minute he went back to eating. We played this game 3 time before I had an arrow knocked and ready to shoot. When he dropped his head I was able to draw and with my luck he stepped behind a small pine tree. After being at full draw for 30 seconds I was able to lean a bit and slip it into the narrow window of his vitals. He jumped, went a few yards and stopped. By the time it took me to knock another arrow and grab my rangefinder he started stumbling his last 20 yards down the mountain fell over! After 5 long years of archery hunting and hundreds of mistakes it all came together for my first archery kill and first elk! My arrow blew through 2 ribs and went another 20 yards and embedded in the tree. We came out with 220lbs of the best eating meat in Arizona!
  4. 18 points
    Today I wanted to take a moment and be grateful for the CWT community. It seems weird to say something like that about a hunting forum, but it has become something much bigger than that. This year has brought a ton of new experiences for my family. Luckily the CWT family has been there for us all along the way. In January I was pig hunting when I got a picture message from my wife of my son’s gashed and bloody lip from a bike wreck. That started a series of events that lead to him being diagnosed with a condition called CMT 1A and resultant hip dysplasia. Since that time he has had one reconstructive surgery with another to take place in 10 days. I have shared parts of this on CWT and since I first brought it up tons of people have offered help and support. Just last night Adam leant is his crossbow so Hunter could squeeze in one more day of hunting on a donated late archery bull tag. We headed straight from his house to Sean’s and picked up his doe skull which Draysen cleaned for Hunter free of charge (btw he does awesome work, highly recommend him). Earlier this month Hunter has a donated cow tag and Houston spent morning and night for weeks before patterning elk for him and then spent the entire opening day out with us. Eddie Corona from OE4A provided not one but two elk tags and took time out of his very busy schedule to get the paperwork done for those and get them to us on short notice. Stanley and others provided tips and suggestions for Hunters first deer hunt on the Kaibab this year. There are so many people who have offered support, encouragement, prayers and anything else we could need. I even think AZKiller has offered some encouragement. I know it sounds cliche but it’s true that folks around here have become like family. During a year that could have been pretty challenging, it’s been the opposite, surgery has been a footnote to all of the great things that have happened! So thank you. It’s made all the difference. God bless all of you!
  5. 17 points
  6. 17 points
    It all started 10 years ago. When I was growing up, and showed an interest in hunting, my dad grew that interest into a passion. He taught me how to shoot. He taught me how to glass. He taught me how to climb up and over that next ridge to get away from other hunters or relocate the buck that we watched go that way. He taught me how to wait for the right time to make a move on a buck in order to be in a position for a shot. He taught me how to take tasteful pictures of the buck afterwards and how to clean the animal and utilize all the meat that the animal had to offer. My dad is awesome and he taught me all those awesome things. I always hunted with my dad and brothers. My dad was with me on all of the animals I shot...until 2008. In 2008, we had 6 tags in camp. We decided to split up into two groups of 3 to increase our chances. I was hunting with my older brother and my brother in law. We had been watching some good bucks in the area and we made a plan for opening day. Long story short, I glassed up the bucks and my brother and I pulled a double, killing two bucks that were running together. It was awesome because it was the first time my brother and I had hunted without my dad. It was awesome because we pulled the double. We learned a lot and we learned that we were confident to hunt on our own because of how well dad had taught us. Fast forward 10 years. This year, 2018. We killed two good bucks, again without dad present (he drew a different unit with another of my brothers). We did not pull a tenth anniversary double but it was still an awesome hunt. My oldest boy, Tanner and my brother’s oldest boy, Zac had drawn a general rifle tag for Coues deer in unit 32. We have become a little familiar with the unit over the years and both Zac and Tanner have killed bucks in unit 32 previously. We also brought along Tanner’s brother Parker and Zac’s brother, Colton. My dad was also there to help. We got into the unit on Thursday and got camp set up. Glassing Thursday evening only yielded does and some javelina. Opening morning brought high winds and more does. We glassed up about 25 does that morning. We relocated for the afternoon and fought more wind and found more does. Finally about 20 minute before dark I glassed up a little two point buck about 900 yards out. He was not in a huntable spot for the timeframe that we had and we decided to hunt that area in the morning. Saturday morning found us on a great knob that gave us 360 glassing coverage over a lot of great country. My dad had to stop sooner as to not run out of gas in his quad and was glassing other country. The wind was brutal. We were trying to stay out of the wind and also glass stuff that appeared to be out of the wind. We started finding does right away. Then we heard some shooting nearby and found 4 bucks running out of the country while being shot at. Finally around 9:30, I decided to glass a ridge that was out of the wind for the 3rd or 4th time. Within minutes I glassed up 3 bucks about 1500 yards out. We watched them for about 30 minutes until they bedded down within feet of each other. We made a plan to get closer and felt we could get to the 300 yard range. It took us an hour and 45 minutes to close the distance based on the terrain and our 6 man crew trying to not be too loud or get anyone hurt. We left Colton and Parker with some gear under a cedar and moved up another 30 yards to the top of the ridge with Zac and Tanner. As we eased up we relocated the bucks in their beds. We also ended up a lot closer than we had planned. 190 yards. It took us a few minutes to navigate the brush and rocks on the ridge top and get Tanner and Zac set up in seated positions. Tanner’s buck stood and began to feed while Zac’s remained bedded. The plan was for Tanner to shoot first then Zac. After a few moments, Tanner told me he was ready and I told him I was ready and watching the buck. When Tanner shot, I watched his buck do a back flip into a bush and slide out onto the ground not moving. Zac shot next and went just over the buck. The buck came unglued from his bed and stopped. Zac’s second shot found its mark and I watched as his buck made it about 10 yards before crashing! Another double! 10 years after the first one and we had just watched our boy’s pull a double! It was incredible to watch. We had such a great time and of course the success makes it that much sweeter. Tanner’s buck: .270 win, 150 gr Berger VLD, 190 yards Zac’s buck: .243, 95 gr. Berger VLD, 200 yards Sorry for the long winded story, just trying to give it some context.
  7. 16 points
    Just wanted to do a quick share of the buck I killed this year. I was lucky enough to harvest my first 100"+ coues buck. The area I hunted this year had a lot of people hunting it, which made it tough. In fact the morning I killed this buck 2 other groups of hunters were sitting just above this buck, and a bigger one. I sat patiently hoping they hadn't seen them. At roughly 8:30 am, they got up and left. I couldn't believe it. I got my stuff together, and hiked almost 2 miles around to a better vantage point, and got set up. I glassed the bowl I had seen them disappear into until 4:45 pm. I hadn't been able to find them the entire day. Just when I thought they had given me the slip, I saw them sneaking out. The big one slipped out with no shot opportunity, but the smaller buck decided to pause for one last look. I ranged him at 502 yards, dropped my bag on the ground, dialed my drop, and held for 8 mph for wind. I settled in, exhaled, squeezed the trigger, and the shot went off. I watched the cross hairs come back, never leaving his vitals. He dropped dead before he hit the ground. The old 7mm Rem Mag still lives up to its history of one shot, one kill. I quartered him, and packed him out that night. Although he wasn't the biggest of the two, I'm still proud to say that I finally killed a truly mature coues buck, and I broke the 100" mark. He was scored by a friend of mine, that scored him at 102 7/8" (16 7/8" and 17 1/8" main beams, a 14 4/8" spread, and 27" of mass). He didn't quite make book, but he still made it over to the taxidermist. Lol. You can see by his teeth, that he was an older buck. I'm not sure exactly how old he was, but we're guessing 7-8 years old. Any ways, thanks for looking. Hopefully I can draw a tag again next year. I can't wait to go back.
  8. 15 points
    My dad and I were able to get out for a few days last weekend. After starting off with a couple missed shots by my dad on Friday morning then not being able to keep an eye on a couple bucks we were able to glass up Friday afternoon. We headed to a different area Saturday saw lots of deer but no bucks. Sunday morning we hunted around camp i glasses up a bachelor herd of 7 bucks. We made a plan and started the climb up the mountain. My dad said since i found the deer i could get first shot so we split up thinking the bucks would go over the top after the shot. So i snuck into place when i got over there i couldn’t find the deer thinking i had gone to low. As i was getting ready to grab my stuff to back out and go higher a spike steps out so i stay put and get ready. After 4 spikes and forkies step out my buck presents himself and i shot. I watch him go down the deer stay put i call my dad and tell him to get over the top right away there’s a bigger buck! After what seemed like a hour but more like 5 minutes his buck was getting ready to top over. My dad tops the ridge and shoots his buck at 200 yards! It was awesome watching both bucks drop within 50 yards of each other!
  9. 15 points
    Brother, friend, and I headed up to the North end of unit 22 for late October whitetail hunt. Had some great looking bucks on the trail cameras the previous months so we knew they were around. Brother shot his the evening of opening day at about 30 yards. We dressed it out and had to in the ice chest by 7pm. Throughout Friday I heard 10 rifle shots and had seen some ATVs moving around some of the 2 tracks so I knew the bucks would be pushed back up into the thicker Juniper brush and trees along the lower mountain fingers. Saturday morning had me creeping across the mountainside at day break watching for any movement as I crested each rise. Was hunting for a location where I could sit and glass over a few fingers running up the mountainside but the terrain never provided me with more than about 100 yards of distance, hardly worth getting my binos out. Finally after an hour of hiking up and down I found a nice point overlooking 2 draws to the mountain behind me. I could see out a few hundred yards and more importantly, there were several clearings as varying distances. Settled in and began scouring the terrain. After about 7 minutes after taking a seat I see the gray back of a deer climbing the crest of a finger 85 yards directly in front of me on the hillside. As it quietly moved along the trail I got my 6.5 Creedmoor shouldered and figured out an opening it would pass through. As it stepped out of the brush making its way through a 10 yards clearing I could see it was a healthy 2 by 2. Deciding I was going to pass on him, I was surprised to see a second buck step into the clearing as the first buck vanished into the vegetation. Following the exact same path as the first, I settled my cross hairs on him. Another 2 by 2 that looked like an exact copy of the first. Still looking through the scope following the 2nd buck, movement caught my eye to the left and another buck was pushing through the brush and into the clearing. Same 10 x 10 clearing but a slightly different path. As I adjusted my rifle slightly to get a good look at him I saw he was slightly bigger and was at least a 3 by 3. I didn't have much time to make a decision and decided I was going to take him, grunted, and he stopped, giving me a perfect broadside shot. The 143g Hornady Precision Hunter bullet cracked and he jumped, sprinting forward into the tangled brush. The 2 smaller bucks ahead of him doubled back running back down through the clearing and down the draw. A 4th buck, very close in size to the one I had shot, was the last in line and had not made it to the clearing. I saw a good rack on him as he vanished back down the hillside. I sat there for another 10 minutes, radioed my brother and friend to bring me the skinning bag as we had another deer to clean. The whitetail I had shot went about 30 yards and expired due to a double lung shot that left a silver dollar sized exit hole. I easily tracked him from where he was shot right to where he dropped due to the wide blood trail left. No visible entry on the hide. We skinned him out in a short time and packed the meat out. That weekend we saw a total of 7 bucks, and 26 deer total but only those 2 bucks of any size. Once January comes around I'll get an OTC archery tag and see if anything is left up there. 5500' in Unit 22.
  10. 14 points
    We had a great time on the 12aw youth hunt this past weekend. Got in around 11 PM Thursday night. Set up camp in 18 degree weather. Got it done in an hour opening morning. We saw 25-30 deer the first hour, and he made a nice one shot kill on this one at around 100 yards.
  11. 13 points
    Got it done last Fri afternoon on this bull. Made for a late night of packing. Small 5x5. Not the biggest on the mountain, but I'm pleased. Barnes 250 grain T-EZ and 100 grains of Triple 7.
  12. 12 points
    Just finished a 12 day archery only DIY hunt in Kodiak Island Ak for Sitka blacktail. I was able to harvest two bucks and my bud Kevin filled all three of his tags. Remarkable hunt and location. We glasses over 100 deer per day and buck to doe ratio was about 6 bucks for every 1 Doe. Shots were all under 40 yards. My two were shot st 20 and 12 yards. These deer are made for bow hunting. It was fun hunting these bucks in the goat rocks. I felt I was on a sheep/goat hunt on a beer budget. I would do this hunt in a heartbeat again. The meat is delicious and the family and I have been filling our tummies with it every night. Here are some photos and Weaver was great. Mostly sunny on all but two days lows in he 30s and highs in mid 40s. Shout out to Ed F for letting us use his bear fence. It helped us keep peace of mind to secure the meat from any critters getting to it uh
  13. 11 points
    DIY wyoming elk this past September was very good to us. We went 3 of 4 and all of us had multiple opportunities to make it happen. It's tough to hunt and try to film solo so don't give me crap about the footage. hahaha! Hope you guys enjoy and one day have the opportunity to hunt Wyoming. It's my 2nd hunt there and it's a special place for sure... Wade
  14. 11 points
    I will let the photos do the talking on this one. Taylor and I had a blast today even though the squirrels were almost nonexistent.
  15. 11 points
    Ethan nailed it as usual. Three and a half hours hunting- I think that's a record for him. Anyone have the address to check the tag for CWD online with F&G? Also, whoever was using an RV on 462 and left your leveling jack, it's still there..
  16. 11 points
    The 3 biggest lies in the outdoor world are temp ratings on a sleeping bag, person rating on tent size, and the velocity on a box of factory ammo.
  17. 10 points
    I was driving across town yesterday to get my son from school, when I received a call from AGFD. I saw the AGFD number on my caller ID and figured it was a trusted colleague down there who has permission to call me on my personal cell anytime there is an issue to deal with. Low and behold, it as the Draw Department letting me know that they had a 7W cow elk tag (Dec 7-13) surrendered and my daughter was next in line. It didn't take long to make a couple of phone calls to my daughter and wife and confirm what I thought would be the case. I called back, confirmed the interest, and paid for her tag. We get to go elk hunting, after all! I called a buddy who knows 7W way better than I do, and he has the bull tag right before Syd's. He's going to help us get it narrowed down since I won't have much time to scout anything. Lots of excitement in the house this weekend!
  18. 9 points
    My son connected with this cool forky today. He was sure pumped and I couldn't be more proud. His 2nd year in a row dropping one...he's making me look really bad.
  19. 9 points
    Had a great weekend watching my son take his first buck at 440 yards. We had a few other opportunities at some bigger bucks but we couldn't get it to work out. With just a couple days to hunt we decided to take the opportunity given to us. I am so proud of Thomas for working hard and staying positive through the ups and downs of this hunt!!! On a side note the game wardens down south dress a little strange 😀 YouCut_20181111_194353110~2.mp4
  20. 9 points
    I spent more time hunting and less time filming, but it was a lot of fun! Hope you enjoy my quick little video! https://youtu.be/7RZjc5sv9Vw
  21. 8 points
    Hung a tree stand thursday morning in 22S only to return later that afternoon only to hear quad hauling butt cross country from the pond we hung the stand on... we just missed them...took the stand and steps... tracked out the tire sign all the way to cabin in Thompson draw off the 405 road... Dont worry...revenge is a dish best served cold buddy!
  22. 8 points
    This deer season was definitely one for the books! I have been a student in Colorado now for 4 years and have always wanted to chase rutting bucks in November with a rifle. The past 3 years I had chased deer with my bow and I thought it was time to switch over to a rifle after helping on a 3rd season hunt last year. We had 4 tags total, three 3rd season and one 4th season. My roommate and I both had 3rd season tags as well as his dad. My dad, on the other hand, had 4th season. My dad has never shot a deer over his years of hunting so I was mainly focused on using 3rd season to locate some bucks for him. Weather was awful the first two days with 50mph winds and 14 inches of snow. My buddies dad barely made it in time after blowing a turbo on the drive from AZ. He only had two days and the opening day weather didn't look promising. The low temps and snow were good in terms of pushing deer down low but the lack of visibility was a dampener for the two days his dad could hunt. The day two forecast listed 4 hours of clear skies and we knew that would be our opportunity. With some luck his dad had a good 4 point down within an hour just in time before visibility was gone once again. I didn't hunt days 3 or 4 due to some things I needed to get done. On day 5 we tried a new area to the east of some private we had located some deer. Once again within an hour my buddy shot a small 3 point. While packing out we located what we thought was a good buck bedded in some aspen. We made a move to get closer and it was a small 4. I was looking for a mature buck so decided to pass. We hunted hard, located a lot of deer but nothing worthy of my bullet other than two bucks hanging on private. I was down to my last day so I decided to hunt the south side of the private these bucks were on. The evening before this there was an excursion driving the private which got the deer moving south. With these two bucks being the only shooters I decided to head south and hopefully catch them on some state land in the morning. My gamble paid off and at first light we glassed up the wide 4 just south of the property line. He was chasing does towards private so I hustled and set up at 550 yrds. He finally stopped chasing a hot doe, turned broadside, and the 6.5-300wby met its mark. I was in shock. I had dreamed of taking a nice mature buck and it finally happened. I had only hunted deer with my bow in the past and would usually shoot the first branch antlered buck I was within range of. It was an awesome morning and a great way to end. Interestingly, as my buddy, who was spotting for me at about a quarter mile behind me, was working his way towards me he bumped another buck. He came up to my frantically asking if I had seen the buck he had just bumped and told me he was huge. He was guessing a 190 inches. With that being said I knew where I was going to be for my dads hunt. My hopes were high and I couldn't wait to spend some time in the woods with my dad. I came back up a day before 4th season started and checked out a new area. I ended finding an absolute stud and sent video to my dad while he was driving from AZ. He wanted that buck so thats where we ended up opening morning. It was a perfect morning, clear skies and negative 1. Unfortunately it was pretty slow for the first couple hours. We found two herds of elk and a few deer but no buck from the evening before. We were getting ready to head out and I glassed up the big boy chasing some does just a few ridges away. We made a move on him and setup at 600. He never offered a shot and we watched him chase does for awhile over a distant hill that was difficult to access. We headed out and as we were driving back to the main road I pulled off to glass a nice canyon. Well lets just say I was so eager to glass I was looking at the canyon instead of the road and my left front tire met a rock with an edge like a broad-head. It put 4 inch gash in the sidewall and put us out of commission. We had the spare on quick but spent most of out afternoon in town trying to find a tire. We were originally going to chase the same buck by accessing the backside of the hill he went over. It was too late to make that drive so I took my dad to where my buddy had bumped that big buck the morning I shot mine. I decided to access from a new glassing point to maximize the country we could see. We glassed for about an hour without success. We were in sage so there wasn't any hiding areas other than some draws. I decided to make a move closer to the draw so we could look down into it. It ended up being a warm day so I was thinking they were down low in the shade. Sure enough we slowly crested over the ridge and there were 15 deer feeding on the opposite side. I pulled up my binos and immediately saw a large framed buck. He was the only deer bedded and he was at 400 yrds. My dad was already getting set up and within seconds that buck was dead in his bed. It was one of the best moments I had ever spent with my dad. Not only did I get to share his first deer it was a stud at that! We were all tagged out! Expectations were more that exceeded and new memories were made. I will try to post pics in the order of how it went down. 1st pic, my buddies dad. 2-4pics my dads, 5th my buddys, 6 and 7 mine. Sorry for the longwinded story but thought I had to share all 4 successes! If you've never hunted CO 3rd/4th season I highly recommend it
  23. 8 points
    After hunting a specific buck For 3 days with little to no deer to be shown for it I switched hunting areas and met up with my buddy Todd who had found an area in his scouting that had a few mature bucks in it. It payed off and that evening we killed this solid buck. I’m beyond thankful for friends who are willing to grind out the crappy days and come through when I needed it! Thanks fellas!
  24. 8 points
    I would first like to start off by thanking everybody for the wealth of knowledge that is shared on this site. I have been a member here for about a year and have just got around to posting my story. I read these forums daily as I have become completely obsessed with chasing the "little ghost" known as Coues Whitetail. I have become so invested in learning about and chasing these deer, sometimes my wife thinks I'm crazy. I have done hours upon hours of research to figure out an advantage, if any, over these sneaky critters. I have many more failures than I have had success in 3 years of hunting in Arizona, but have learned more than I could have ever imagined. I have hunted almost every season since I was 11 years old, only missing seasons for being over seas. When I found out I was coming to Arizona I was thrilled to start a new chapter in my hunting career. I quickly found out that hunting in this state is like nothing I have ever done before in my life. My first season was an OTC hunt in January. My game plan was to sit off of deer travel areas and hunt ambush style with my bow. At the time I was only confident out to 30-40 yards. I can say I busted more deer in that one season than I had ever before in my life. As the season went on, I was finally presented with a shot opportunity. I had a doe pass within 25 yards of me and had no idea I was there, following behind her was a nice 3x3. As the buck came into shooting distance I grunted with my mouth in order to stop him for a shot. Little did I know he wouldn't stop, but run completely out of the area. Completely confused, I searched for any video I could find on deer hunting in Arizona. That is when I learned about "glassing" for deer. I got myself a pair of 10s but lacked a tripod. I learned how to glass for deer by hand pretty quickly. As the season started to end I was presented with another shot this time at 50 yards. Needless to say I wasnt prepared and missed pretty badly. My first season in Arizona ended leaving a burning desire for success. During the off season I shot hundreds of arrows to prepare myself for longer shot opportunities. I became confident out to 65 yards very consistently. My obsession was growing more and more every day leading up to the next OTC hunt in August. I spent days looking for spots to set up and hunt. I stumbled upon a secluded watering hole with very little access. There was tons of deer sign everywhere in the area so I knew it would produce. As the season opened I fully committed myself to sitting the water. I spent countless hours on water without even seeing a single deer. The season ended much quicker than I would have liked, but it only made me work harder. The next season passed with the same outcome as the 2 prior. Fast forward to August/September 2017, I now am confident shooting well past 70 yards, I have a tripod and a pair of 15s, and have scouted and found bucks consistently. Opening day comes and I am not able to hunt because of work. The next day I'm out early and in my spot. Right after first light I glass up a group of bucks I have seen all summer long. I watched them and devised a plan to slip in within shooting range. I was able to stalk within 60 yards of the deer but was never presented a shot opportunity. My confidence is sky high at the point. A week goes by and have blown quite a few stalks. My wife being as great as she is wanted to come out and help me on my hunt. We were set up and in position to glass for the bucks I had seen numerous times at this point in the season. The words I SEE A BUCK!!! Coming out of my wife mouths filled me with excitement. We came up with a plan for her to keep an eye on the deer while I slipped into position. I got to 33 yards from this buck with only a tree separating him from me. As the buck walked out I was at full draw, I settled my pin and let my arrow fly. I heard a lot smack and the deer took off. After a few minutes passed I walked to where he was standing and found my arrow. My heart immediately sank as I didnt see a speck of blood on my arrow. Needless to say I missed. I took a long walk of shame back to where I had left my wife. We talked about what happened and I determined I rushed my shot. We got back on the glass. 15 minutes goes by and we see another group of bucks headed for an area where the wind and cover was in my advantage. I quickly got down and in front of where they were headed, a quick confirmation from my wife let me know they were still headed my way. I started ranging trees and found out the farthest shot I would have was 30 yards. No sooner did I clip my range finder to my harness the first buck stepped out right where I thought he would. He looked in my direction but I dont think he saw me. He put his head down and slowly started feeding, I slowly drew my bow and settled my pin, I verified my bubble was level and my pin was behind his shoulder. I sent my arrow flying hearing the solid thud of making contact. I watched as the buck ran 15 yards and fell over! I just harvested my first Coues, on the ground and with my bow. The amount of relief and pure joy that over came me was undescribable. He isnt the biggest buck in the world but he was my first spot and stalk deer in Arizona. I continued to hunt the following seasons with my bow without firing a single shot. I decided I would try my hand at rifle hunting. I was fortunate enough to pick up a November leftover tag. I got myself a rifle and started practicing every chance I got. I was very confident in my shooting ability leading up to the season opener. Opening day November 2018 has finally come. I found a good vantage point with plenty of deer activity. The canyon I was hunting in was much steeper than what I was used to bow hunting in. As the days of the season started to roll by, putting 15 hours a day in the mountains, a shot opportunity presented itself. A nice 3 point was feeding 400 yards across a small draw from where I was at. I ranged him at 410, and got myself set up for the shot. I plugged the numbers into my ballistic calculator and dialed my turret. I took my time and squeezed off a shot. I thought for sure I hit him good, but at the same time not sure if I had hit him at all. I worked my way to where he was and searched for blood, nothing. Completely beside myself I bailed off the mountain and headed straight to the range. I put paper at 100 yards only to find my zero had shifted 2 inches high and groups larger than an inch. At this point I realized I hadnt cleaned my rifle in a few range sessions, so I headed home, re-torqued all of my mounting screws to spec and cleaned my rifle. I took the afternoon off to let myself reset mentally. The next morning I was right back into the same canyon waiting for daylight. It was very still, with only the slightest breeze. As the sun started to rise I noticed 3 deer feeding. I immediately recognized 2 of the bucks from the morning before, I continued to search and eventually found the buck I had missed the morning before. He was about 300 yards above the other 2 smaller bucks. I ranged the bigger of the 2 smaller bucks at 297, he was slowly feeding on the hillside. I went through all of the same steps I had the morning prior. I watched him through the scope of my rifle waiting for him to stop, sure enough he did exactly that. I squeezed the shot and watched him drop, I racked another shell and kept my cross hairs on him, he stood back up slowly and I shot again, dropping him once more. I continued to watch him until he stopped moving completely. I called my wife to let her know what happened, she was excited and happy for me. I harvested my first rifle buck in Arizona, on day 4 of the season! Again not the biggest in the world but he is my first. Once again I would like to thank everyone for sharing their knowledge and helping me learn and understand what it takes to hunt in this great state!
  25. 8 points
    Nate picked up this tag during the draw and I grabbed the same tag through leftovers. We put in crazy hours on maps and probably 3000 texts in the past 3 months. We hit up our camping spot on Thursday and did a quick run through of the area, spotted a bear which is always cool. Opening day came and we had passed up 4 decent bucks til this guy came out. As soon as we found him he quickly bedded down. We worked our way over couple draws and got setup at 198 yards. Didn’t have to wait long, bit 40 minutes and buck stood up, Nate shot and it was all over. Congrats to Nate, buck is equal to the amount of time he put down scouting and prepping. We didn’t see much that afternoon just a bunch of does and small bucks. Sat morning our buddy came out to help me fill my tag. We covered ground and had passed up 12 bucks til both Nate and Josh spotted a decent bedded buck at the same time. Worked our way over, again it was a waiting game for him to get up, after an hour the buck got up and bullet flew true at 238 yards. I’m a sucker for g3’s, when I see them longer than 3 inches I wanna shoot.