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OpticNerd

Our 2021 Coues Season

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I wanted to share my family and I's coues deer adventures from 2021. It was an awesome year and we were able to finds some great bucks. I'm going to start this post with my days chasing rutting bucks in January. Over the last 10 year or so I've been spending this time of year filming coues not hunting them. This year4 I decided to break out the bow and give the archery hunt a try.

Throughout the month of January I spent majority of my time hunting between 9am and noon only giving me a very short window to find a buck then try and get within bow range of said buck. To make things even more difficult I wasn't going after just any buck it had to be a goodun! A buck worthy of me giving up the rest of the years hunt for. Like I said earlier I normally spend my January videoing coues not hunting them so my archery skills needed some work and it definitely showed. By the end of the month I was able to get within range of a few bucks but nothing I wanted to punch my tag on. I did see a couple good ones but I never had time to attempt a stalk on any of these deer. Here's a few pics of some of the bucks I was able to find during my time hunting in January.

 

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Well now that January is over lets fast forward 7 months into the month of August where I happily find myself with a late December tag in my pocket and 6 coues tags in total for my family group. It's going to be a busy year but I ain't complaining. Due to Covid and having a late tag I didn't spend too much time hunting in August. I went out a few times but only for an hour or two each time. I found a few decent bucks but didn't go after any of them.

 

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The end of October finally rolls around and like every year since as early as I can remember I'm extremely excited for the fall hunts to start. The first family member up to hunt is my wife and father in law. Unfortunately due to work my wife only has 2 days to hunt. We did our best and almost got her a shot at a couple great bucks every day we hunted. One of which I really screwed up on that my wife still gives me a hard time about. The story goes a little something like this, it was her last evening and we were chasing down a good looking buck(sky lined buck in the pics below) on top of the hill above us when something below catches my eye. I quickly look down in this direction and see a buck standing broadside giving me a side profile of his rack. For some reason when I first saw this buck I thought he was only about half as big as he really was and I thought the buck we were chasing up above was bigger so I continued looking for the other buck above us. Long story short I was wrong on the size of the buck below and by the time I realized just how big he was it was already too dark. Needless to say my wife was pretty upset with me at this point. Here's some pics some of the bucks that out smarted us on her hunt. The last pics are of the big buck I messed up on the last night of her hunt.

 

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Now that my wife was done hunting I was able to help my father in law Mark with his hunt. Our first morning out was extremely slow only seeing a handful of does in an hour or two of glassing. As we were working our way back to the truck we luck out and catch a good buck 230 yards away in the bottom of a small canyon. Immediately Mark knew he wanted to go after this buck as soon as he saw it. We end up sneaking up to 182 yards and get set up. This is where things get a little wild. I'm not going to go into too much detail because I already made another post about what happened next. All I'm going to say is we both thought the deer was a dead deer when it wasn't. If you want a bit more detail on what happen here's a link

A few pics of this buck as he fakes his own death.

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We spent the remainder of Marks hunt trying to relocate this buck never seeing him again. I did find him again on my late Dec, hunt so at least we now know he for sure didn't die. Needless to say I was pretty bummed on how our season started so far. We easily could of had two tags filled on a couple great bucks but got nothing instead. Just a couple stupid mistakes I made that to this day I still can't believe I made them.

    Well time to regroup and concentrate on the next hunts. Next up is my oldest daughter Emma and my 2nd oldest Bryleigh. Once again due to bassackward priorities we weren't going to be able to hunt very much on this hunt. Opening day came and went without us ever leaving town. On the evening of the 2nd day we finally made it out but only for a few hours and only finding one small buck. The next day we were able to go out on the morning but once again only for a couple hours before we had to head home for a family get together. I really don't remember much that happened that morning all I recall is us driving around listening to music, eating junk food and having a good time not finding any bucks worth shooting. For the remainder of the hunt we would only be going out for a couple hours after school. In all honesty I wasn't very confident we would have enough time find a buck let alone get one. I was beginning to think we were about to go 0-4 for the start of our season. Little did I know our luck was about to chance in a big way.

    After school on the 4th day found my girls and I heading off with only 2 hours to hunt. We decide to hunt the area where my wife and I saw the big buck on her hunt. After arriving to our glassing spot at around 4:30pm we waste no time and begin glassing. The next 5 seconds has to be the quickest time I've ever found a deer and decided to go after him. As soon as I look through my binos there is a buck standing right in the center of my view approx. 500 yards away. I watch him for a second or 2 and as soon as he turns his head and starts dropping down the canyon I knew it was the big buck from my wifes hunt. I immediate tell the girls to grab the guns I got a good buck! At first they thought I was joking but after seeing the look on my face and how quickly I was getting my pack they can see I was being serious. As soon as the girls realize this they too get into hurry up mode and we all quickly pack up our gear and head off after the buck.  By now the buck has dropped down out of sight and we won't be able to see him again until we above where we last saw him. We move as quick and quiet as possible trying our best to not spook any other deer that may be in the area. We get closer and closer and soon find ourselves above where I last saw the buck. We begin searching the canyon below us and about a minute later we find him standing looking our way. From his demeanor I can tell right away he knows something is not quite right in this little canyon of his. Thankfully he allows Emma just enough time to get set up on him making a great shot at 146 yards and the buck doesn't go far. I was in disbelief as I sat there watching the buck take his final breath. Not only did Emma just kill her biggest buck to date she did it while using a muzzleloader!

 

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To say I am proud of my daughters would be an understatement. Emma is turning into quite the hunter. She stayed calm and collected the whole time while I was a complete mess. I'm also very impressed on how well Bryleigh did sneaking up this buck. She hasn't really hunted that much but I couldn't tell for how well she did.  She was also nice enough to allow Emma to get 1st shot at this buck even though she has yet to get a deer herself and this was Emma's 5th. Maybe this unselfish act will give her some good karma for the rest of her hunt.

 

Over the next 5 days Bryleigh and I never made it out again. On the evening of the last day we were finally able to go out to see if we could finally get her first deer. After some thought we decide to head to a spot that normally holds a good amount of small bucks with an occasional big boy here and there. There's two options on how we can hunt this spot. The first option is to glass it from a far and the second is to still hunt it. With the evening winding down we decide our best chance of getting a buck would be to still hunting the area. This way if we happen to find a buck we can save valuable time closing the distance on him.  Over the next hour we start working our way through the area and so far it's not looking for us. After only finding a couple doe I'm beginning to lose hope that we would be able to get Bryleigh her 1st deer this year. We slowly continue working the area checking cut after cut. Soon after we reach the last little canyon we can check I peak around a tree and look up in this small canyon. About 500 to 600 yards away I see a deer shaped object in the saddle at the top of this cut. I pull up my binos and sure enough its deer. It's a buck and a good one to boot! We quickly come up with a game plan to close the distance and with less than an hour of daylight we quickly but quietly start working our way in closer. As we move in closer I notice that there are now two deer shaped objects up in this saddle with a quick glimps through my trusty 8s I confirm that yes indeed there are now two good bucks feeding up in this saddle. My biggest concern now is what direction they are headed. Did they just top out heading our way or are they working their way up and over out of our sight? I do my best to control the buck fever that is beginning to build and overwhelm me as usual as we methodically work our way through the oaks up to the feeding bucks. As we reach a clearing I look up to the last spot we saw the bucks to my surprise they're still there feeding. I quickly bust out the range finder and acquire a distance of 330 yards to one of the bucks as he continues to feed unaware of the danger that lurks beneath him. We quietly get set up on the bucks. It takes us a while to get everything just right and luckily the bucks are still milling around in the saddle. Bryleigh patiently takes her time as she waits for the bigger of the two to offer a good shot. Finally after about 15 mins of waiting the buck makes his last mistake and stands broadside in front of my daughters .308 just long enough for her to lock in on him. One shot and it's over. Finally after three years of trying Bryleigh has officially killed her first buck!   

 

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Now that my girls has shown us guys how it's done my uncle Mike and I are the only ones left with tags. First up was my uncle's hunt. Not much to say about this hunt. We hunted 2 or 3 days with no luck. We found a few small bucks but nothing Mike wanted to shoot. A few weeks later my hunt finally started. I wish I could tell you that I was able to show my girls how it's done but sadly this was not the case. I'm not going to go into any detail on my hunt because this post is long enough as it is but I will say I had my chances at some great bucks and I just wasn't good enough to get one down. Here's a few pics some of the bigger bucks I was chasing on my hunt. They definitely taught me a thing or three about coues hunting and hopefully I can apply these teaching to my future hunts.

 

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Well that about does it for our 2021 season post. Even though we went 2 for 6 it was one of my best years of all time out chasing coues. Thanks for reading hope you enjoyed it!

 

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For those of you who happen to like coues videos here a little video I put together some highlights from our year in 2021 chasing coues.

 

 

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One of CWT's best contributors and you did not disappoint with this one. Thanks for posting your amazing experiences, photos and huntresses. Excellent and inspiring job, dad and daughters! Excellent!!!

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Thanks for sharing your season, and tell both of the girls congratulations!  Same to you for getting your girls involved in hunting, and getting them both some great bucks!  Hope you all draw a slew more tags this year.

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Dam bro you can find some serious bucks! Very well done and a big congrats to your girls they knocked it out of the park this year!

Ive been wondering were any of the deer killed the ones you posted in your ebony and Ivory thread?

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Wow!!  Great write up and awesome footage.  Congrats on a great year and thanks for sharing.

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15 hours ago, CatfishKev said:

Dam bro you can find some serious bucks! Very well done and a big congrats to your girls they knocked it out of the park this year!

Ive been wondering were any of the deer killed the ones you posted in your ebony and Ivory thread?

If so they weren't killed by us. The last time I saw the bigger one(Ivory) which was about a week after I videoed him he was all by himself and looked like he was hurt. I didn't see any wounds on him but he was moving really slow and just didn't look right. There's a good chance he died before the hunts started. I did spend a ton of time during the hunts looking for him but couldn't turn him up.

 

Thanks to those who left a comment and thumbs up!

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Love the write up, and amazing photos . thanks for sharing !

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Great season, great bucks and excellent write up and pictures.  As usual thanks for contributing to this awesome site. 

Thanks!

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