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Elkhunter1

11 years in the making.

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11 years of scouting/hunting as often as I could has finally paid off!  This past August I was able arrow my biggest Coues Buck EVER.  

Last year was a very disappointing archery year for me as I missed several bucks during the Jan. season, I even missed a Javelina.  With my failures weighing heavy on my mind, defeating my moral I decided to pick up the rifle and chase Coues deer with it to finish the year.  Despite not having used a rifle to deer hunt in over 32 years I was excited to be in the hills of Southern Arizona on the quest to fill my tag.  I was able to fill my 2019 rifle tag with a respectable representation of the grey ghost.  

January 2020 I found myself in a new position at work that demanded more of my time than I thought it would when I pushed myself to obtain it and my bow skills suffered.  Covid 19 swooped in and added a harsh reality check for America and more importantly to me and my family when my wife was tested three times to confirm  she was positive for it.  My entire household was under quarantine for most of March.  Unable to hit the field to scout as much as I usually do  I was able to find one spot that heldover promise  from last year. I set up my cameras there and a few other spots that looked promising.  Two weeks before the hunt I ran into other hunters building a blind on the very tank I was watching, after talking to them I learned their intentions.  I knew that if I wanted to hunt this spot opening day I would need to beat them there.

Opening day excitement turned into nervous jitters as I drove south wondering who would be first to the tank.  The extremely hot weather seemed to push more hunters to sit water and I was no exception.  My heart sank as I rounded the last turn to the tank and I could see taillights at the gate, dang. I was less than 2 minutes late getting there.  Plan B was, I would spot n stalk in the hills not far from the tank. As I sat in my truck thinking where I should start, I started to reevaluate my decision.  I thought of how I would feel if that was me down there "waiting" for a buck to come in and they was chasing the deer all around keeping them from settling down and going to get a drink.  Plan C, drive to a completely different area and hunt there for the day.  I found two trucks in that area when I pulled up 45 minutes after daylight, now I am on plan D and it's not even 7am.  I finished the opener without seeing a single buck.

Day two my little voice whispered in my ear, "don't go hunting, something bad will happen!"  This voice was so strong that for the first time EVER I listened and stayed home.  April 2018 my wife had that voice and begged me not to attend a fundraising shoot in Phoenix, I went anyway and was rewarded with a broken right knee that laid me up for 7 months. 

Sunday I was up a 2:30am, not wanting to be beat to the tank again I arrived around 4am.  I set up my blind, made sure everything was perfect and waited.  I had deer come in at first light and just about every 45 minutes until 10:30.  the action picked back up around 12:30 and stayed steady until I missed a giant around 2pm.  I had good bucks in front of as the last light faded without loosing another arrow. Monday was a repeat of Sunday without my having taken a shot, lots of bucks but none that I wanted to shoot with one more day to hunt.

By Tuesday the deer had started to slow down on the arrival times but stayed longer. On the drive in I noticed the water line was broken and gushing hundreds of gallons per minute. After daylight I went back to the break to see if there was anything I could do.  I tried to contact the only rancher in the area I knew but my phone would not complete a phone call, I could text and post online, just no calls.  I found several hose clamps on the old poly tubing, some bishop's tape in my truck. With a water bottle I cut both ends off I added the tape to the inside and clamped it over the PVC pipe, fixed for now!  Who needs McGiver anyway!!   Several times the ranchers bulls would come in bellowing and carrying on pushing the deer off.  After fixing the water pipe I was feeling pretty good and satisfied with the hunt if I didn't get a buck.  

Around 2:30 the better bucks started hanging around outside the fence.  There was one buck I had settled to take if he gave me a shot.  15 minutes later he crossed the fence and nervously approached and backed off from the tank several times before settling down to take a drink.  As I started to draw back a much bigger buck walked into view, back to waiting!  The new buck wasted no time  crossing the fence to take his turn getting a drink.  I drew back and settled my 40 and 50 pins on his chest just behind the shoulder, took a breath and let it fly.  He ran about 50 yards out of sight and crashed, the Swhacker 125 strikes again.  

As I waited the bulls started bellowing, kicking up dirt and gathered in one spot just out of sight. Fearing the bulls would destroy any sign from my buck I decided to at least check the area inside the corral. What I found could only be described as a blood HIGHWAY in the soft dirt.  I found part of my arrow covered in blood.  It was at that point I could see the bulls gathering in the direction my buck ran, they were really getting worked up. I decided to continue the track job and followed it right to the group of bulls. Through their legs I could see my buck. It seemed like they were doing a WAR DANCE for their fallen comrade. 

 

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  • Like 25
  • Great Buck! 3
  • Wow! 1

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Congrats thats a great buck! Crazy how skittish those little buggers are.  Love the excitement in your voice after you shot, I bet the adrenaline had your hands shaking!

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1 hour ago, CouesPursuit said:

Congratulations and welcome back, great buck.

Thank you, great to be back.

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1 hour ago, Quagmire said:

Congrats and great footage! Amazing how many bucks you have on video and nice to see that many deer.

This hunt showed me my camera placement was not ideal to capture the amount or range of bucks coming in.

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17 minutes ago, CatfishKev said:

Congrats thats a great buck! Crazy how skittish those little buggers are.  Love the excitement in your voice after you shot, I bet the adrenaline had your hands shaking!

They were still shaking as I tried to dress him. Thank you.

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1 minute ago, PRDATR said:

Congrats on both bucks. I honestly had to google Bishops Tape.

Thank you, yea the tape is an industry thing, not in, don't know. Just glad I could help out the rancher.

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Just now, BOWUNTR said:

Outstanding... congratulations.  Ed F

Thank you.

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Holy crap is right.  Man you have a great tank.  Congrats on tagging such a nice Coues and awesome footage.  Thanks for sharing the vid.

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