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First Az Archery Coues

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My friend Steven drew an archery antelope tag in New Mexico so we spent the whole summer shooting and getting prepared for the fall, his focus on goats and mine on coues. His hunt went very well and he killed a buck opening day at 10:30am, which left me a few weeks to get ready for the early archery deer here in AZ. Opening morning came and I had two forks at 38 yards when I stood up from my glassing spot, but it was only an hour into the hunt and I wanted to keep glassing. Ended up putting one stalk on a bedded buck that morning but he caught my wind once I got within 40, from there it was sitting water. That evening was short on bucks at the water but I was happy to at least have seen a handful of deer, this was also the first time I've sat water for any longer than an hour. Next day I hiked into a new basin and was glassing above a tank that was 500 yards below me. After seeing a few groups of small bucks I found a 3x3 leaving the water hole below me and another heading towards the water. My buddy John and I gathered our stuff and ran down to the tank. We set up our stools between some bushes and sat for 20 min, and in that time had a 2 point and some does come drink. we quickly began building a brush blind and does were coming in while we were doing so. John Decided to go sit a different water for the rest of the day and left. Not long after he'd gone, I look to my far left at 52 yards away were the 3x3 I saw coming down and his buddy. I draw and realize I didn't trim the blind out well enough on this far left side. At full draw I begin to stand and lean out of the brush to get a clear shot. I shot and the buck turned away from the shot and I watched the arrow skip off the dirt behind where his shoulder was, all I could do was laugh. Ending up seeing over 30 deer that day on water but no bucks bigger than what I missed that morning.

The next weekend we went to check out a spring we used to hunt around a lot. Had some deer come in but the most excitement came from my first run in with chiggers. Next day we stayed low enough to evade the chiggers and ending up finding a big 3x2 crabclaw coues with a fork muley buck and 6 mule deer does, the stalk was on. I got to some rocks and cut the deer off moving up the drainage. watched as they filed through, coues buck at the back. Ranged a barrel cactus they all walked by at 88, set my sight for 85 and when the buck walked into the gap I was already drawn back and gave him a grunt. Shot felt good and I watched the arrow impact his shoulder (sounded like i shot a wet brick wall) and he did a mule kick before running off. I watched him run for a ways and pulled back to watch him in the glass from the original glassing spot. Went to the last spot we saw him after waiting an hour and tracked blood for over a half mile before we lost it. I saw that my arrow didn't get much penetration, I had pushed the shot just a touch right and hit bone just an inch or two forward from a heart shot. Spent the next day looking for him and watching for birds but found nothing. My hopes were that he recovered and is still out hustling muley does from the muley bucks.

Now the final weekend of the early season and I had returned to the hill I started the season on while John was nearby sitting. I glassed 4-3x3s a ways out before the sun had come up, the bucks were determined to not let the sun hit them directly. I watched as they worked down into a canyon as the shade line chased them. One buck was 90+ and other others not much smaller. John wanted to get up and move around so we could maybe see them but I told him to stay sitting while I glassed another hour, hoping to find a bigger buck. Didn't find anything bigger so I circled around to the north, hoping I would have a good perspective of the canyon and possibly catch the bucks feeding on the north slope. I made a rookie mistake and peaked over the hill then quickly set my glasses up, only to find the largest of the bucks 250 yards straight across and hes already got eyes on me. He slowly worked over the hill and I thought he had gone over for good. I continued glassing while John made his way over, and found another one of the 3x3s I had seen earlier. Once john got there, i acted quickly because I liked where the buck was located and felt confident I could make something happen.

I dropped into the wash and followed it down until I was able to peek around the corner to see the tree the buck had bedded under. I ranged at 150 yards. I backed up and began crawling up the side hill, hoping to get to some rocks above me. I get to the top of the hill and to my surprise the buck is up and next to him is another 3x3 that appeared from thin air. I realize I had busted a doe and she got the bucks up from their slumber. I look at the two bucks and decide the new buck is bigger. I get to a good shooting position and range him at 88, with no way of getting closer without exposing myself I set my sight and start judging the wind. I sat on my knees and began to calm myself down. After a minute or so I felt focused and relaxed. Shot broke cleanly and arrow went right where I intended it and he was down in seconds and went 20 yards. Right after I shot, that bigger 3x3 that ran over the hill must have come back over and he spooked less than 50 yards from me, I never even bothered looking that direction during the stalk, figured he was gone! Oh well hahaha

John got to watch it all go down from a few hundred yards away. He's been my archery mentor so it felt good to show him how much he's taught me. I reminded him that I likely wouldn't be out there sweating my butt off, dodging snakes and dodging lightning strikes just to be chasing coues with a bow if it weren't for him taking me under his wing.

He's a beautiful buck and I couldn't have dreamed of a better coues to take with a bow. And to kill him by spot and stalk made it even that much sweeter. Archery coues has been my goal for the past few years and it felt awesome to get it done after all the work that was put in over those years. I was blessed to get him on my 7th day of early season deer hunting and couldn't be happier with the outcome.

Yes this was long winded but that's just how I do it on here, thanks for reading

This is the buck that busted me then came back over just to do it again




My buck



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Trusty Outdoorsmans pack going on year 7 loaded up with my bucks head and boned meat



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Well done congrats


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