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About TreadLightlyAZ

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  1. TreadLightlyAZ

    1st AZ tag

    Nice buck man.
  2. TreadLightlyAZ

    First Time Hunter, Coues whitetail hunt

    I agree on picking out landmarks. The more I have reflected on that moment makes me realize how I forgot some important steps after the shot. I should have waited longer to go look, should have asked my spotter more questions i.e. how did the deer react, did you see a hit or miss etc.. also, i probably walked within a few feet of where he fell down that first morning, crazy how hard they are to spot even when you are right next to them.
  3. I'm 42 years old and new to hunting in general. I was always interested since moving to the West in the mid nineties but it seamed too intimidating for someone to start having no family or experience with it. I decided when I turned 40 that I was going to make a go of it and figure it what I need to do to hunt Deer. I moved to Sierra Vista for a job at this same time so I started reading the regulations and talked to the few guys that I knew who hunt. My daughter's friends dad, Kevin S. knows a lot about hunting in AZ and was willing to show me the ropes. He showed me how to glass, what gear I definitely needed, what can wait and what not to waste my money on. I bought a used 30-06 with a 3-9 power scope on it and started to practice first at the range then in more realistic scenarios (sitting on the ground, prone position, etc.). For the next six months I spent a lot of days in the mountains, glassing, scouting, reading the terrain and setting up a game camera. I really wanted to be prepared for the first day of the season. Sometimes I would glass for an hour and not see anything and other times it seamed that the deer were everywhere. I ended up drawing for the first week of the rifle season in 35A which was my first choice. I took the whole week off from work, determined to do everything I could to get a buck on my first time out. Long story short, I saw more hunters than deer the first 3 days and then saw only Does and Fawn after that. I ended up seeing one spike and the third to last day but never had a shot, I was bummed out and felt like all the work I put in was not going to pay off. Me and two other friends who also drew tags went out the second to last day to find that spike. The little guy came into their view and they took a shot but missed. He bedded down behind some rocks then took off when we tried to flank him. I decided to give it one more try on the last day (Halloween) in the morning. It was just me and one other hunter who agreed to spot for me since she had an opportunity on the spike the night before. We start glassing at first light and see nothing for the first 45 minutes. Just as I'm thinking this is a waste of time she calls out "Deer" then two seconds later "I see antlers"! My mood inconstantly changes and my adrenaline starts pumping, "where" I asked, I don't see anything. Then just about 250 yards away I see a couple of Does and a Buck walking on the hillside and it's the nicest buck I've seen in person. I steady my rifle and try to keep calm, I tell my partner "I'm taking the shot". I pull the trigger then look to see where he is. My partner says he ran off to the left and wasn't sure if I hit him or not. I glass for a while and don't see anything but the two Doe that were with him. "I must have missed" I told her, but let's go over there to double check. As I walk and scan the hillside I don't see a blood trail or any signs of a dead deer. I walk around a little more and look over the valley floor below and don't see anything. I leave and tell my buddy Kevin that I missed my one and only opportunity. He asked me how the deer behaved when the shot went off, my spotter said that he jumped up in the air "butt up" then bolted. Kevin then says "you hit him, go back out and look, I bet he's there. I take a friend out with me the next day, looking for this deer that I think may still be out there. Sure enough, we spot him about 150 yards from where I shot him. It is a beautiful 8 point buck who is going to be mounted in the wall of my game room. I really appreciate friends like Kevin S. and people on this forum that are willing to teach and share with novices like myself. Hunting can be an intimidating sport for those who didn't grow up around it and some out there give off the vibe that they don't want new people in the sport in fear that it leaves less tags for them. I understand that logic to some extent, I spent the first couple days glassing up only other hunters, but ultimately I think more people leads to more money and resources going towards conversation of wildlife and habitat. I never knew all the things that AZ fish and game do to help maintain healthy populations of wildlife in our beautiful state. I have a much better appreciation for nature and the animals we are fortunate enough to hunt and harvest. I can't wait for the next hunt.
  4. TreadLightlyAZ

    Looking for a new GPS

    Great topic, I spend a lot of time in the back country and have used Garmins in the past. Now I get by just fine with onX and Gaia GPS apps on my phone. It's nice to have one less piece of tech to carry and keep charged.