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TOPIC: AZ Coues on A Leftover Tag

AZ Coues on A Leftover Tag 1 year 11 months ago #10

On Saturday November 7th, with the help of my buddy Tom, I took this nice coues buck about 10 miles from the US/Mexico border. We glassed him up and I used my Game Planner Digital Map to measure the distance we had to cover. Turns out he was ~1200 yards away in the shade of an oak tree with another buck. With only about an hour of shooting light left both bucks got up and moved over to the back side of the mountain. After a brief discussion about the stalk and a bad wind we decided to hike out to the road and use the SxS to save some time and get closer. We parked about 500 yards from where we would eventually set up and quietly made our way onto a ridge adjacent to the mountain the bucks were on. We had about a half hour till shooting time so we diligently glassed the mountain side for the bucks.

Just before the closing bell the first buck appeared briefly but did not offer a shot. Moments later this buck came into an opening at 348 yards. I was already set up prone using my Kuiu Ultra 1800 for a rest and took the shot as soon as he paused. The shot looked good and knocked him off his feet. Amazingly, the deer got back up! He didn't look like he was going far, but I put another shot through his shoulders just for insurance and he was down for good. We continued to glass for the other buck till it was to dark to see through the Swaros, but he had seemingly vanished. We left my buck over night and went up the mountain side the following morning to get him. I was pretty surprised to find a nice 2X3 buck waiting for me. Initially we thought he was a decent 2X2, I love it when a deer turns out better than you expected.

After photos and handshakes it took about 40 minutes to quarter him up and get packed up for the trip off the mountain. I felt pretty good about my success given this was a unit neither of us had hunted before and we drew as a 4th choice in the leftover draw. We hunted the other buck for another two days before my partner and I had to return to work. We didn't see as many deer as we were accustom to, but we knew going in to the hunt that this was a low density area. All in all, we glassed 4 bucks and 32 does in 4 days of hunting.

Upon returning home I spent the day processing the meat and doing the euro mount. The meat processing took longer than I anticipated but the mount turned out good.

Earlier this summer I purchased a basic reloading press and kit. This was my first hunt using my handloads. I was shooting a Winchester M70 Classic Laminate in .270wsm, topped with a Leupold VX-III 4.5X14 40mm scope. I loaded 140gr Accubonds over 72.5gr of Accurate MagPro and Winchester large magnum primers. This load consistently shot ½ moa out to 300 yards. It took me most of the summer to develop and I fired 120+ rounds during the development process. I felt really good about my shooting going into the hunt and was happy with the way my loads performed. I'm always amazed how tough and elusive these little deer are! I'm already looking forward to January when I can start chasing deer with by bow, and excited to hunt with my dad for the first time in a decade.
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