John Lucero’s First Bowhunt for Coues Deer
by John Lucero
It was barely the second day of the new year, it was approximately three in the morning Friday January 2nd 2004. I am normally dreading getting up to go to work on a Friday, but not this Friday. I had a day of deer hunting planned. I was staring in the mirror and liking it for a change. I was getting ready for my first day of hunting Coues whitetail deer.
I had already done all the home work. I had scouted and mapped the exact area. Had dialog with landowners who know and see the deer on a regular basis. But most importantly, I spent enough time with my bow that I thought for sure the stage was set for the perfect hunt. I had more than a few experts look at my bow hunting set up and help fine tune my bow for reliability. Right.
The day was off and racing as fast as my head and heart would allow. Everything was looking perfect. The coffee at the nearest Circle K was fresh brewed, I had all my gear packed and was on the road for deer. The day was slightly overcast, I thought “How would this play into the days hunt we had planned. My buddy and I met at the rendezvous at the exact time, I felt we were on a roll. We both drove into the spot from which we would start our hunt.
The slopes were as we witnessed on our previous scouting trips alive with deer chasing and feeding. All was going to be perfect. That is until a pack of coyotes started howling and heading off in the direction the deer were coming in from.This episode with the coyotes had me wanting to let things quite back down.
I decided to take a few practice shots with my bow. I had packed all my gear as the experts say one should. I set up the target for 25 yards into a breeze. My hunting partner of course was ready to fling the first arrow as I walked back setting up the target.I recall his words were, “If you miss that, you might as well give it up”. Having said that off his arrow went into the wild blue yonder. I immediately fell to the ground with such a roar of laughter I thought for sure there were no deer in the area now. He looked at me and did nothing but commence to put his bow away, this kept me in stitches for the rest of the day. After my first two groups of arrows at 20 yards, I then stepped backed to 25 yards. I continued my practice for a few more shots. Then I ran into a problem of my own. My cable guide had come loose and fell from my bow. I thought I would faint. I had somehow proceeded to drop the smallest of allen screws that held it in place. It took me thirty minutes of, “Don’t anybody move” searching before I found it in the dirt. Some of you I am sure know exactly what I am talking about, that is if you know anything about bows and rifles. Once you start losing small parts don’t expect to do anything until you have had it professionally checked and put back together, I do this as a precaution. This I knew would be my doom.
After things got quite my partner took a radio and headed into a spot he had liked as it got closer to that time of late morning when we felt we could depend on the deer getting up and start moving. Me on the other hand, did not want to trust my bow after what had just happened. I told my partner that I would probably stay put and glass. I then thought it would be a task accomplished if I found my partners arrow and glassed some deer.
I dropped of the point from where we both had parked and headed down slope approximately 75 yards. The first spot I had chosen was looking in the same general direction we had spotted the deer earlier in the morning. As I lay still glassing for some 30 minutes or so, I decided to move 90 degrees to left from where I was. I found a perfect spot. A nice healthy Juniper would be used as my backdrop. I started to glass the picturesque landscape that lay before me. I was in awe of the beauty that lay before me. I had just put my binoculars down, so as to close my eyes. As I wondered through so many spectacular moments of hunting. My family, the friends, all the really great times, it’s right here where I had lost track of why I was right there in that spot at that very moment, DEER! No I mean right there down the slope in front me not 50 yards from where I was at. This is what I saw was in front of me as I opened my eyes. All I could is look at him in bewilderment. I decided to look at him through my binoculars so as to at least get a great look at what I would be missing out on, seeing how I left my bow in the truck. My movement had caused him to immediately cease, as he sensed something was not right with his world just then. He proceeded to look directly at me just as I picked up my glasses. As it turns out he would have been a great first Coues deer buck with a bow, he was a respectable 3×3.
This, from what I have experienced from all my deer hunting experiences certainly will not be the last deer that gets away. It will always be that ember that holds as my first Arizona Coues whitetail deer hunting experience however. Happy hunting!