little tricks to improve your success in coues deer hunting
Its no secret that I love hunting Coues deer the terrain they live in, their recluse nature, small stature, and uncanny ability to avoid danger make them some of the most formidable animals to hunt in North America. Arizona offers some excellent opportunities to hunt Coues deer on easy to draw rifle tags and over the counter archery hunts during the rut. I always suggest you come for a rifle hunt first to get your first taste of Coues deer hunting before you try an Arizona Archery hunt. So for this article we wil be talking rifle hunting
If you plan to come hunt Coues deer in the near future there are a few things you should know and learn before hand. As an Outfitter and Guide we always try to explain to our clients what to expect and what level their abilities should be. But even after my preaching We see a lot of guys come unprepared for the experience. Here are the 3 most common errors and what you should be doing to eliminate them.
Not having the right equipment: Can Coues deer hunting in AZ be done without fancy equipment? YES but if you want a very good experience with a filled tag it is in your best interest to come prepared. One optics: if you are hunting without a guide you will need 12x or better good quality binoculars on a solid tripod I suggest Swaorski 15×56 SLC as the upper echelon and if you are working on a budget Vortex 15 x56 Vulture HD.
Two boots: Coues deer country is anything from rolling ocotillo flats to Juniper oak scrub it is often very rocky and full of things that want to poke you wear stiff shank, heavy leather upper boots it only takes one jumping cholla to your mesh hikers to ruin a hunt quick. Three Rifle: I cant tell you how many times a guy shows up with his 30-06 and is reading the drop calculations off the box to figure out hold over. We owe it to the animal to make as ethical of a shot as possible. If this is how you are planning to shoot long distance, please don’t! Zero your gun at 200 yards and keep your shots to 300 or less. Or if you are hunting with us we have drop compensated rifles for you to use free of charge. If you are interested in turning your rifle in to a more suitable platform invest in a Huskemaw scope which they can match to your ammunition and you can accurately dial in the yardage or a more budget version is picking a ziess conquest scope and having Kenton Industries make a turret for you. Then you will have reliable rifle at 500-600 depending on your abilities. If you want a complete long range rifle drop me a line I can help you.
Four the weather: Everyone thinks that because its Arizona the weather is always mild in AZ. On some of the later hunts it is surprisingly cold, windy, and often wet. Be prepared for anything I have had some December mornings be in the single digits then warm up to the mid 60’s so wear layers that way you can shed an adjust with the changing temps. Also consider everything in AZ wants to poke you wear pants that is suitable to withstand cats claw and other sticker type bushes.
2. Not being able to shoot in the field in life like scenarios out to longer distances: I cant tell you how many conversations I have with clients that tell me they can comfortably shoot to 600-700 yards and get to the field and struggle with 300 yard shots. Often you are forced to take a shot from an uncomfortable or awkward position with steep angles if you are not practiced in this situation it will alter your shot. I recommend you try to put yourself in positions to shoot up and down hill from a prone position and try to get accustomed to shooting this way. If you don’t have a lot of time to practice try it at least once and see how affective you are and adjust your “affective” range accordingly. I would rather a client tell me up front I’m comfortable at 300 then tell me “I can shoot 600”. We can always adjust our hunting style to match your ability, but noting worst then finding your target buck and setting up and missing him. Practice shooting off your backpack because 9 times out of 10 this is what you will be shooting from in the field. Consider using Phoenix shooting bags nothing gives you a more stable accurate platform in the field and it allows you to set up the gun and be able to move back and forth to your binos with little cause for re setting up. Also I suggest you watch Coues deer hunts on youtube and try to mimic as many shooting scenarios as possible at home when you practice.
3.Finding deer in the scope: I made this its one separate point even though it falls right in with not being able to shoot in the field. This has to be the most frustrating of all when hunting Coues deer in Arizona for you the hunter and us as guides. I have had clients come in that are seasoned hunters, great shots, have all the right gear etc. We find a buck they want to shoot and they can not find it in the scope. It is nothing to be ashamed of My own cousin fell victim to this a few years ago watch this video. That’s why its so important to come prepared. We have come up with some stuff we do now with clients in the field to aid in this and we often suggest you come a half day early and do our Coues school. But if you are hunting on your own I suggest for the first day you are hunting every time you spot up deer even though its a doe or a buck you don’t want to shoot lay down on your gun and practice getting it in the scope. Here are some tricks I have learned over the years click here. Couple things I left out of the video always start with your scope on the lowest power and find that obvious reference point, then slowly zoom in and recall where the deer was laying/standing in relationship to your obvious reference point. Put the cross hairs on him and slowly squeeze through your shot. And Good luck…….! If you are looking for a guided Coues deer hunt in Arizona or Mexico feel free to contact us in the form below