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2020 35B October Coues Hunt

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I recently got drawn in Unit 35B for coues somewhat by accident.  I've never hunted this unit and I am looking for some guidance as it appears like the majority of the unit is private land.  Any help would be greatly appreciated.

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Read it on a post. Honestly, I know literally nothing about the area and just started with some basic internet searches. I plan on heading down there to scout and am trying to gather information ahead of time. 


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White-tailed Deer

Overview: White-tailed deer hunting throughout GMU 35B is good, and there are multiple general, muzzleloader, and archery seasons available to the whitetail hunter.  The whitetail population has been stable or increasing for several years, largely due to good precipitation and forage conditions.

Whether you’re hunting for a tender spike to fill the freezer, or looking for a GMU 35B buck, you’ll need patience to harvest one of these elusive deer.  The Coues whitetail (pronounced “cows”) is the only species of whitetail in Arizona.  Coues whitetail are exceptionally small, and bucks rarely weigh more than 100 pounds.  These elusive deer are known for vanishing into the brush, earning the nickname “the gray ghost.”  Like any hunt, scouting prior to the season will greatly increase your chances of harvesting a buck, and is vital if you’re after a trophy buck.  Whitetail do not spend much time out in the open, therefore it is important to find a vantage point from which to glass the steep oak-juniper woodlands that these deer prefer.  Get to your glassing point before first light and prepare to stay out after dark, as whitetail are most active at first light and at dusk.  During the day, whitetail will feed in between naps in shaded bed sights.  Prepare to be glassing for hours.  Spend extra time on the densely-vegetated, north-facing slopes.  It is not uncommon to scan a slope for an entire day before finally seeing a deer step out from behind a bush that you already looked at a dozen times.  There are whitetail in the lower, flatter areas, however they can be more difficult to locate in the oak flatlands.  Sitting waters may work well during dry periods, however much of the year there are abundant water sources that the deer may utilize.  Identifying trails, saddle crossings, and natural funnels may stack the odds in your favor.

During the early archery season, glass from high vantage points at first light to look for bucks feeding in the cooler temperatures.  Once it begins to warm, the bucks will likely bed and this will be your chance to attempt a stalk.

Whitetail will usually be in the lower elevations and foothills during the October general hunt.  Deer will still be most active in early mornings and evenings as these hunts are still fairly warm, however the deer may go to water and forage in bouts in the middle of the day.

By the November hunts, the bucks will be working their way up the mountains in preparation for the rut.  Look for them towards the tops of densely-vegetated slopes, and expect them to be a little more active during the day as temperatures cool.

Whitetail will be more active for longer periods of time during the December hunts.  The younger bucks will begin to hang out with the does, but the mature bucks may still be tucked into dense brush nearby.

By the January archery hunt, the mature bucks will be more active chasing does as the rut typically begins in the middle of the months.  While locating the bucks may be easier due to their higher activity level, the bucks may be moving during your stalk and may be difficult to locate as you close the distance.  Additionally, be alert to other bucks bedded in the area.  Grunt calls and rattling may help lure a buck to you.

White-tailed deer occupy the range of the mule deer, so use extra caution if hunting in mule deer habitat with a white-tailed deer tag.  Be sure of the species of deer before you attempt to harvest it, especially if you have a whitetail tag.  Familiarize yourself with the differences between white-tailed deer and mule deer before you go into the field for your hunt.  Mule deer will typically be larger-bodied with large ears, a narrow white black-tipped tail, forked antlers, a dark brow patch, and oblong metatarsal scent glands on the outsides of their lower legs.  White-tailed deer will be smaller with relatively smaller ears, a wide brown tail with fluffy white underside, branched antlers, white halos around the eyes, and small round metatarsal scent glands on the outsides of their lower legs.

Area: Whitetail can be located throughout GMU 35B, and are especially abundant in the Patagonia Mountains and Canelo Hills where Madrean oak-woodland habitat is dominant.  While the deer are numerous, hunters willing to hike away from main roads will be rewarded by less competition from other hunters.  The Patagonia Mountains can be accessed on the west side by taking Highway 82 south through Patagonia and then heading east on roads like Three R/FSR 215, Paloma/FSR 235, and Duquesne (Duquesne will also provide access to the southern end of the range).  The east side of the Patagonia Mountains can be accessed by taking Highway 82 to Patagonia and then heading east (and eventually south) on Harshaw Road.  There are large numbers of USFS roads coming off of Harshaw that will afford hunters the opportunity to spread out and glass up some whitetail all the way down to the border.  The Canelo Hills are accessed from Highway 83 south of Sonoita via the Papago Springs/FSR 636 road or the Vaughn Loop Road, but be careful about unit boundaries in the southern portion; the Canelo Pass Road is the boundary between GMUs 35A and 35B and bisects great whitetail habitat.

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Ever since the Hermosa mine moved in, a lot of the area south west of Patagonia is now private.  But there is still a ton of public land.  Usually the east side of the Patagonia mountains (Mt washington) close to the border has bucks.  But also a good chance of seeing illegals in there as well.

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