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AzRaised08

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About AzRaised08

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  1. AzRaised08

    Unit 27 Late Oct Hunt

    I sincerely appreciate all of the kind words 😃 It was a tough hunt, and in total we hiked over 30 miles in some rough country. I’m so grateful we were able to get the job done and take some meat home! Can’t wait for the next hunt
  2. AzRaised08

    Unit 27 Late Oct Hunt

    Day 3 was a long and hard day! We got up around 3:30 to hike further into the canyon we had been in the past few days. Everything we’d observed scouting and what we’ve seen the past few days told us that there should be Coues on one of four different ridges in this canyon. We only had 4 days carved out for this hunt, so on Day 3 we were definitely starting to feel a little bit of pressure. We got about 3 miles in to our glass spot right as the sun was lighting up the canyon. Right as we got set up, my wife glasses two bowls right at the bottom of the ridge and within 3 minutes, they were down into a thick bowl where there really wasn’t a chance for a pursuit. Bummer about missing those deer, but optimistic it was early we all set up and started glassing. We spent just over 2 hours glassing and didn’t spot a thing. It was just a tad later than 9am and our group was beginning to lose hope that we missed the deer walking through the ridges. We’ve seen enough now to know that their nickname of “Grey Ghost” is well deserved, but with 5 different sets of eyes on these ridges I felt it was almost impossible that we missed the deer. I was wrong. My wife spotted a group of deer with at least 2 bucks slowly making their way down a game trail on a ridge 800 yards away. We had likely glassed over them before as they were well within our sight (these deer are SNEAKY). I quickly got eyes on myself but then thought, “What am I doing? I need to make a move!!” After seeing how slow they were moving and knowing we were “only” 800 yards out, I knew I could make a move on these guys. We still weren’t 100% sure they were Coues since no one could see their butts, but the way the antlers came forward and their slightly lighter gray coat made us daily certain they were. Unfortunately, to get a good chance at these dudes, I had to hike on the backside of the ridge to the east and about 400 feet up. My buddy and I separated from the rest of the group and hauled up the ridge. Our goal was to get level with them, slowly pop over the ridge, and find them. If our calculations were correct, we should have been within my target shooting range (300 yards). As we created the ridge, we could not locate the deer. We glassed and glassed and then realized we needed to push forward about 10 more yards to get a better look at the ridge the deer were on. Sure enough, once we creeped forward, my buddy found the deer. We could see a doe and a buck, but we weren’t sure if they were whitetail. The buck went broadside at 272 yards and I was starring at his butt trying to get a 100% confirmation that it was actually a Coues. Again, the coat, the antlers, and the size screamed Coues but I wasn’t going to take that shot without 100% certainty. Then, I spotted a black tip. My heart sunk, was it actually a Mulie?? He stepped behind a tree and disappeared but I never got a complete look at the tail. Still coming down from the adrenaline rush, I played it all back in my head. I was almost certain it was a Coues, but was it actually a Mulie? I had cell service so I contacted my wife and father in law to let them know I lost sight and had doubts it was actually a whitetail. They told me that for sure one of the bucks they had seen was a whitetail and that they thought the deer might have bedded where I saw the buck disappear. I told them I would wait with my buddy on the opposite ridge and would come back if I hadn’t seen any movement in an hour and a half. Today was super windy in that canyon. The wind was swirling all over the place and the direction of the wind was blowing from behind my buddy and I directly at where I had seen the buck disappear. After an hour, I wondered if they winded us on the opposite ridge and walked away without us noticing. My buddy and I hasn’t seen any deer emerge from the tree they disappeared behind but the only movement we could see the past hour was wind moving grass and branches around. After almost two hours, and not observing any signs of actual deee movement (a head popping up, ear flick, etc), I felt almost certainly the grey ghost has vanished without us seeing it. We went back and forth on if they actually could have snuck away because we had eyes on that spot and we should have been able to see if they moved away from that tree. After about another 30 minutes, we made the decision to make some noise to see if we could spook anything. We figured if they were still there, then they might get up out of their bed if they hear noise and if they weren’t there then we could rest easy getting off the ridge and returning to our group. I was fairly certain that they were gone. I was wrong again. My buddy and I started making some loud noises. Nothing. We made some more loud noises. Nothing. Finally, the wind died for a second and I heard my yell echo across the canyon. All of a sudden, three deer popped up from the tree we had been watching for 2 hours. All I could think of was WHAT THE?! I immediately got my scope on a buck, and my buddy confirmed what I was thinking. COUES!! I had ranged out multiple spots on their ridge line and I knew he was about 280 yards out. I took zoomed my scope from a 4x zoom to 12x and had him in my sights. Then jumped down 20 yards. I zoomed back out to reacquire him but couldn’t find him. My buddy told me where he was and I found him again in my scope. He ended up circling back above the tree where he was bedded and stopped. I zoomed my scope back in and was hoping and praying he would give me a broadside shot. At this point, I knew he was about 290 yards out and so I needed him to get broadside before he went further up the ridge and out of my range. My prayers went answered. He turned. My heart was pounding so bad at the past 90 seconds of excitement, that I had to take a second to calm myself even though I had the perfect rock to use as a bench to shoot from. I breathed slowly and squeezed the trigger. I immediately lost the buck due the zoom and recoil and half whispered half shouted at my buddy, “Where is he, is he down??” He half’s whispers and half yells, “He’s down!! He’s in the same spot you shot him. You dropped him.” I quickly found him again in my scope and saw him move a little but he was down. A minute later my phone starts ringing. It’s my father in law. He says, “We saw all the deer jump up and then heard the shot. You get him??” I was super excited to reply, “we got him and we got eyes on him!” We told him where the buck was and made the plan to all meet up at that spot. My buddy and I stayed put watching the buck another 5 minutes but he was completely down. I couldn’t believe it. It was a gnarly, steep, super thick hike over to the ridge he was on. Luckily, we made really good mental notes on where to look for the body. We had no idea, but the ridge he was on was incredibly thick country. It was nearly impossible to squeeze through some of the trees and bushes but we managed to get over there. We almost couldn’t find the body but we did and I couldn’t have been more thrilled. After three long, hard days of hunting we had one down. My first deer ever, on a windy day, at nearly max range. I’ve been blessed to shoot two bull elk the past two years, but this one was special. From my wife glassing it up, to my buddy and I positioning ourselves in the right spot to get the shot, and getting the opportunity to ID the Coues and get him broadside for a shot….what a blessing. I am so excited to try some whitetail and give thanks the the big man upstairs for a wonderful hunt with family and friends. I appreciate all of your well wishes and support! Love being a member of this site and sharing the story with you all. Until next year, John
  3. AzRaised08

    Unit 27 Late Oct Hunt

    Day 2 done and dusted! Got up a bit earlier today to see if we could glass a few ridges as the sun started to hit them and we got skunked! Glassed a ridge we had seen whitetail on the past two days but this morning, we didn’t see one. We decided to reposition to another spot another half mile in and it gave us a better view of a few more ridges. As we were setting up the tripods, my buddy’s fiance saw two deer move down the hill we were on about 50 yards behind us. Of course we didn’t check the area thoroughly. She barely caught a glimpse of them so not sure if they were mulies, whitetails, does, or bucks. Right around 10:30, I glassed a Coues buck way down the ridge almost coming down into a bowl at the bottom. He wasn’t spooked but was moving quick, and since he was still half a mile away and almost down to the trees, we didn’t make a move. The rest of the morning went by slow so we decided to check out the bowl the buck went into. I know that your typical Coues hunting is glass, spot, and stalk but we knew where he probably was the issue was just how dense the vegetation would be inside the bowl. Sure enough, it was pretty darn dense in there. We took it slow and as I was pushing over a small incline, I saw a white tail move off through the trees about 80 yards away. I immediately stopped to see if anything else was around. After starring hard in that area I had seen the tail go, I saw the flick of an ear. Right in front of me at 77 yards (I ranged it) was a little Coues doe. I took a knee and she just went back to foraging on some shrubs. Not sure why she didn’t spook when the other did, but it was really cool getting to watch her up close. The rest of my group slowly made their way to me and she ended up taking off then, but I felt blessed to have watched her for a few minutes. The rest of the day was fairly uneventful as well. On our hike out, we bumped a group of three Coues does but only really got a good look at their tails. We also ran into several mulies, including a group of 7 or 8 does with a spike. All in all a long day (over 8 miles hiked), but we had a good time and are looking ahead to tomorrow. Maybe Sunday is the day? I’ll keep you posted!
  4. AzRaised08

    Got it Done Again - Old and Gnarly

    Beautiful looking buck! Congrats on tagging out!
  5. I was fortunate enough to draw back to back late bull tags in 2019 and 2020 but this year, no one from our group was fortunate enough to get drawn for elk. Luckily somehow I, once again, got drawn and this year it was for the Late October Coues hunt. The past few years I’ve done a semi-live hunt thread, where I try to post once or twice a day how the hunts been going. Figured I’d do it again for this hunt! It’s my first time getting to chase the Grey Ghost, but between all the research and scouting we’ve been doing hopefully we can tag out! We are hunting the northern half of the unit and got in late Wednesday night. After a long day of glassing on Thursday, we were able to locate two Coues bucks and tons of does. We headed into this morning with a game plan to hike into a canyon and then head up a ridge to glass. On our hike in to the glassing spot, my wife located a group of mule does that were heading to where we wanted to set up. In an effort not to spook them, we went up and around the hillside to make our way to the glass spot. As I was hiking down a small game trail I noticed a mule doe that was likely part of the group my wife spotted. She was about 50 yards ahead of me and I also could see the body of another deer, but it was hidden behind a bush. Even though it was a mule doe, I decided to take a knee to watch her and see if I could make out any other deer in the group. As I took a knee, all of a sudden a buck’s head popped up about 5 yards behind the doe and he started raking a downed tree. Unfortunately all I could see were his head and neck. As I was trying to crane my head to see if I could get a look at his tail, the doe behind the bush spooked and sure enough, up went the white tail! She took the mule doe with her, and then the buck turned and up went his white tail! I couldn’t believe that I was able to get that close to a Coues buck just by walking up on them. I went to where they were standing and saw them take off down the hill and over the ridge. Definitely bummed that didn’t work out, but it was a great way to start the hunt! The rest of the morning went by without as much excitement. We saw a lone whitetail doe on a ridge about 500 yards away, a group of mulies 800 yards away, and another group of does about 3/4 miles away. The rest of the day brought more of the same. As it was hitting dark, on our walk out we bumped a few groups of mule does, which was cool to see. One ran right in front of us about 30 yards out. The cherry on top was seeing a group of elk with a massive bull on a ridge not too far from where we were hiking. So, Day 1 down without the tag filled but looking forward to another day of hunting tomorrow!
  6. AzRaised08

    Who's huntin coues deer

    Out in 27 for our hunt! Seen two small bucks this morning and several does but nothing yet. Heard about 25 gun shots though…
  7. AzRaised08

    Already over!!!!!!!

    Beautiful buck! Congrats on a great June
  8. AzRaised08

    Change username

    Hello all! I made my profile a few years back when I was brand new to hunting but after a few years putting tons of miles on my boots, I’d like to think I’m not quite a “first timer” anymore. Any way I can change my username? Thanks for the help!
  9. AzRaised08

    Sept 2021

    Sweet pictures! Thanks for sharing 😃
  10. AzRaised08

    unit 27 early archery

    Any update on the hunt??
  11. AzRaised08

    2021 4b az archery elk

    That is a sweet bull! Congrats on knocking him down. How did the rest of the hunt go for your wife?
  12. AzRaised08

    Early Archery Unit 10!

    What a beautiful bull! Post some pics of the taxidermy job whenever you get it back. Would love to see it 😃
  13. AzRaised08

    7E - Scouting - Sept 10th Archery

    That one brow tine is pretty gnarly looking on his left side! What’s great looking bull 😃 congrats on getting it done!
  14. AzRaised08

    4A Early archery

    Way to get 3 out of 4 done!! Congrats on a nice bull 😃
  15. AzRaised08

    Flagstaff camping

    Wow you really put some miles on those boots!! Kudos to you on making the ethical call on the big one. I’m sure you’re still playing that one back in your mind. Either way to be that close must have been awesome. Congrats on a successful hunt!!!
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