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Calebwalter

Frustrated newbie seeking advice

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59 minutes ago, bonecollector said:

That is arguably one if the worst hunts in the state. The deer have been pressured so much by then.

anyway there are deer in every one of those places you mentioned. Get comfortable and pick apart the hillsides. Good Luck

After I was drawn I researched this forum. Found a good thread that was years old talking about how they have over hunter the deer in this unit, and how the lion population is getting out of hand. Seems people used to like 24A and now they don’t. 

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1 hour ago, oz31p said:

Go back toward hay stack butte. Plenty of coues deer in there

Originally that’s where I wanted to go. But haystack butte rd is closed. I also went up to Seneca Rd To try to get to regal canyon or Phillips canyon up by the salt river and the reservation has that road closed with a big sign that reads “road closed due to Covid”. 

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just a note.....the water tower/tank for municipal Superior has produced a bunch.  not suggesting you hunt there just advising that you are not really glassing if you can't see the dirt.  coues are not much bigger than...........well....say a big jackrabbit.  an old mans take on 24A but i never tagged one in the unit.  still trying.  also milepost 260 on the hiway(60).

lee

ps  youtub search 'coues'

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Nice to see deer but at this point it is more important to find where they are living, what they are eating, etc.  Check water sources.  Recent sign on the ground will reveal their precense.  Then you get to practice your glassing technique.  Good info on how to glass has been posted to your thread.  Get comfortable when setting up to glass.  Glassing, done properly requires intense concentration and can be mentally fatiguing especially when grinding along without producing any "fruit".  Keep at it, all your techniques will improve.

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Are you an experienced hiker and fit as a fiddle?  Get yourself a walking stick and walk and look in the steepest canyons you can find.  Are you prepared to debone a deer and pack out of a very steep canyon?  Good luck and remember you are hunting the Grey Ghost, the poor mans Sheep, if you keep at you will find a deer and maybe you will be smitten or not.  😷

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8 hours ago, AzDiamondHeat said:

Out of curiosity,  what elevation having you been scouting?   

One place was about 5500, another place is about 4900-5000, but the majority of my time scouting south of the pinals is about 3200-4600

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7 hours ago, Swivelhead said:

Nice to see deer but at this point it is more important to find where they are living, what they are eating, etc.  Check water sources.  Recent sign on the ground will reveal their precense.  Then you get to practice your glassing technique.  Good info on how to glass has been posted to your thread.  Get comfortable when setting up to glass.  Glassing, done properly requires intense concentration and can be mentally fatiguing especially when grinding along without producing any "fruit".  Keep at it, all your techniques will improve.

If I’m finding poop and bedding areas near water that’s probably a good sign right? 
 

Is there a good way to determine how old their poop is? To get an idea how recently they were there?

I know javelina will eat the prickly pear cactus pads, but while our hiking yesterday, I was following a game trail from some deer beds, found lots of poop, and then I saw a prickly pear that looked like it had bites taken out of it. Do Coues deer eat cactus? Or mainly just grass?

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8 minutes ago, ThomC said:

Are you an experienced hiker and fit as a fiddle?  Get yourself a walking stick and walk and look in the steepest canyons you can find.  Are you prepared to debone a deer and pack out of a very steep canyon?  Good luck and remember you are hunting the Grey Ghost, the poor mans Sheep, if you keep at you will find a deer and maybe you will be smitten or not.  😷

I’m not an experience hiked and I’m out of shape. I’m hoping determination will out weigh the other two factors 😂 

I hiked some pretty nasty stuff yesterday and didn’t fall or have a heartache so I think I should be ok. as for quartering a deer, I’ve never hunted in my life. So I’ve done as much research as possible, and if I’m lucky enough to  find a deer, let alone shoot it, I guess we will see how the processing part goes. 

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12 hours ago, Calebwalter said:

I definitely found some beds/game trails/ deer poop this morning. This might seem like an odd question, but how long does it take deer poop to get dry/hard? I’m assuming it’s softish when it comes out haha, all the poop I’ve found is dry and hard. I actually tried to smash it today and it was so hard it just pushed into the ground. 
 

does that mean it’s very old poop? 

If you want to see what they're eating by squashing them, put a couple pellets in your mouth for a few minutes to soften them. 😎

Now let's go to a commercial break: 

Think about buying one of these from Amanda's store here. If she doesn't have any left, send me a PM for info. 


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October 36A Muzzleloader was my first ever tag, started the season after a Mr. Adams glassing lesson, reading every book and forum post I could find, and spoke to anyone I could.

ultimately it was the months before the season driving and walking around that eliminated the area and the time of deer. I found my bachelor group in lateAugust about 10 weekends into starting to look at the unit ... then spent the next 8 weeks coming up with a plan and learning everything I could by watching them and losing them in front of my eyes.

I started hunting quail for 2 seasons before the muzzleloader. Grabbed my first dove this season, have an archery tag and bought a federal duck stamp last week. The more I learn about the desert he more I just love it out here. Life prevented putting in for the draw this year, but with archery and small game I’m still heading out and dropping pins and picking cactus out of my shin.

 

i was lucky enough to have a great series of conversations with forums members here before and during my hunt. I’m addicted as evidenced by buying a bow because I wasn’t going to be able to wait 12 months. I cannot recommend Duwane’s glassing lesson enough.. not just because he grounds you in the important use of the glass, but also because he is genuinely a good person who’ll answer novices questions with great detail. I’d also recommend the book above.. the stories are great and the info is solid. Jay Scott and Duwane have spoken on the podcast a ton.. search and listen to those episodes. 
 

keep hiking and learning..

im too new to offer anything other than encouragement, but this forum and these hunters have been a great resource for me personally.

ed

 

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1 hour ago, Calebwalter said:

If I’m finding poop and bedding areas near water that’s probably a good sign right? 
 

Is there a good way to determine how old their poop is? To get an idea how recently they were there?

I know javelina will eat the prickly pear cactus pads, but while our hiking yesterday, I was following a game trail from some deer beds, found lots of poop, and then I saw a prickly pear that looked like it had bites taken out of it. Do Coues deer eat cactus? Or mainly just grass?

Yes, finding beds and droppings is always good.

As hot/dry as it has been deer pellets will be hard as a rock in a day.  Tracks last a long time in dry conditions.  Without rain or wind to degrade the sharpness of a track it can be a tough call.  Use your own footprints as a gauge for what a smoking fresh track looks like.  Many animals nipple/chomp on prickly pear fruit and pads.  Deer, not so much.  Primary diet of deer is mast, forbs and browse not grass.  I applaud your commitment to scouting and learning.

 

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7 minutes ago, NewlyMinted said:

I cannot recommend Duwane’s glassing lesson.. not just because he grounds you in the important use of the glass, but also because he is genuinely a good person who’ll answer novices questions with great detail.

 

I doubt you wanted the above to come out the way it did. 😉 

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When I get to a glassing spot I generally take a quick glass across the area trying to pick out the easy ones that might be out in the open, using my tripod of course. After the quick scan I will go back over  the same hillside, valley, whatever it is very slowly using a grid pattern and making sure to overlap the field of view each time I move the glass so nothing is missed. I cannot tell you how many times I've been sitting in one spot in my binos and a deer just walks out from behind a tree or bush. I will sit in the same spot for several hours just slowly going over the same county over and over again

 

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