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Fort Huachuca Coues

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After many years, I finally acquired a much coveted Fort Huachuca post permit for late season whitetail. My prayers were answered with an opening day kill, this last Friday (11 DEC). I spotted this little guy around 9:30 AM, high on the ridge of a mountain across from where I had set up to spend the day glassing and picking-apart the countryside. With my trusty binocuars on a tripod, I sat back to watch him. As he turned, I saw his antlers glisten with the sun. He was a nice 3x3. I ranged him at 540 yards; a distance about 200 yards beyond my comfort zone. Despite the range, I seriously debated taking the shot, as he stood there, broadside, for what seemed like an eternity. Then, just up and over the ridge from where I sat, I heard a loud laugh and chatter of some careless hunters. Though I couldn't see them, I knew they were nearby, as I could hear every word they were saying. Needless to say, the deer's attention gravitated towards the noise these thoughtless hunters (and I use the term loosely) were making. Not taking my eyes off him, I watched him carefully sneak away into a nearby cluster of scrub oaks. I continued to watch for nearly two hours. "He must've bedded down", I thought to myself. With a canyon between us, I began to devise a plan to close the distance, and get in close enough for a shot. A neighboring mountain would provide the perfect vantage point, I just needed to make my way there slowly, keeping the wind in my favor. By this time it was 11:30, and I figured I would take my time. I came down off the mountain, walked back to my jeep, and met up with my brother-in-law who had been unable to join me for the morning hunt due to his work schedule. After telling him what I had seen, we laid out the plan for the afternoon, and headed up the adjacent mountain with high hopes. Making our way slowly, we made it to our destination around 2:00 PM, and concealed ourselves as best we could under a big oak. As we glassed the area that I had last seen the deer, all hope started to fade as time progressed. Finally, around 3:00 PM, I saw the flicker of a tail...It was him! As he stood up from his bed, I positioned myself for a shot. We ranged him at 330 yards. It was literally impossible to get any closer due to the lay of the land. Sun in my face, and wind gusts blowing over 20 MPH, I struggled to find him in my scope. The glare was horrible, and I could not see a dang thing. "He's standing broadside at 330 yards; take the shot", my brother-in-law said. I began to lose my composure. "I can't see him", I said. As I continued to struggle with the glare, we lost sight of him again. For the next 15 minutes, the silence was deafening, as we desperately combed the area to catch another glimpse of him. We decided to reposition ourselves to get a better angle. Bingo! He was bedded down again, but this time, all we could see where his antlers sticking out of the grass. Suddenly, some clouds rolled-in, providing the much needed shade to see clearly out of my scope, and the wind died down momentarily. "It's now or never", my brother-in-law said. We tried blowing on a doe bleat to get him on his feet again, but he was not moving. I decided to take the shot. Unable to get into a prone position, I used my steady-stix in a sitting position...elbows firmly planted on my inner thighs. The crosshairs bounced with every heartbeat. I needed to calm down. As I caught my breath, and gained my composure, I was ready to shoot. As the crosshairs rested on his body, at the end of a long exhale, the blast of my 30-06 echoed through the canyon. It was closely followed by the reasurring "whap" sound that is made when bullet meets flesh. "You got him. He's down". Were the next words out of my brother-in-law's mouth. Still in shock, I started to tremble with excitement. At that moment, all was right with the world, as we celebrated the kill. Within an hour, we had field dressed him and made the drag back to the truck. I will never forget this hunt for as long as I live, and will be telling the story for years to come. I'm glad I was able to share it with all of you!




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Congrats. Nice story and good looking deer. Folks, that was last of the coues down here. There are no more 😉

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