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  1. There are some amazing and dedicated outdoorsmen/women on this site! The amount of time in the field scouting, and the commitment to equipment from optics, rifles, off-road transportation, camp set ups, the quality of animals taken, it is really something to read about. As, or if you read this you will find that I am not in that percentage of outdoorsmen! After three years of trying I finally got it done on opening morning. I would describe myself as mere moderate when describing the level of addiction to Coues hunting. In the past few years I have become an almost average glasser and have built up most of the entry level tools of the trade. I reload and am quite good at shooting paper, and an elk every few years, but not so much with any type of success with the Coues. Each of my Coues hunts have been great. In fact, it is always in great company and we look forward to returning every year. This year I really wanted to tag a buck, it just seemed like that I have learned a lot and somehow the stars should start to connect. Mind you I took my first attempt at these little grey desert fairies when I was 33, I fully get that 36 is a little long in the tooth for a first whitetail but who’s counting right? Up at three, in the field and up on the ridge while it is still dark and silent. We glass the Eastern and Southern faces and see a fair number of does and even a couple pair of twin fawns! Fingers crossed for future seasons. No bucks to be seen or more accurately said no bucks seen by us! I am sure they were there watching and laughing the entire time. We regroup, rub the feeling back in the legs and hope that your eyes do not look as bad our hunting partners’. At this point of the morning we play “look at the map and squint”, it is a great game! On this morning I won and we head out in the truck to my selected “new and improved” hunting spot. I drive my buddies truck (he is very trusting), we talk, we are still very optimistic and then the sun spotlights a pair of forkies on an opposing ridge! I am floored. The hunting buddies and their average age of 55 clear the haze with the words “Those look good!” and “They have antlers”. I for one can’t argue with that kind of clear headed reasoning. I back the truck back out, and while getting the rifles from the bed I realize that an unspoken decision has been made that I will be doing some shooting. I shoot more than my fair share out at the Tucson Rifle Club all with the hopes of doing what is at hand: shooting at a real live deer! We walk back in and the second amazing sight of the day; the bucks have not moved much! I would love to say that I calmly ranged them, made the needed scope adjustments, and settled in behind a solidly supported rifle on a tripod or the like, but no. I took a knee, leaned forward while I managed to found the buck in the crosshairs. The buck was slightly quartering away going up-hill. The last thing I want to do is watch this little buck walk away and I will save all my “pass” cards for the highway ride home. I place the point of aim at a spot where he will step into the path of the bullet and squeeze the trigger. It was a quite a sight to see the buck drop as if its’ puppet strings were cut. The buck was hung up in an ocotillo with not a movement left in it. It was a great morning and a great set of memories. FYI items: 147 yards (ranged after the fact) .25-.06 hand-load Hornady 117 BTSP+ molybdenum over R-22 in 36B.
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