Contributors to this thread:
Special Coues Buck for Grandpa!!!
In January of 2015, I missed going to Arizona for Coues deer and told myself I wouldn't miss the 2016 season no matter what. I looked forward to this trip as much as any other trip I've been on. I had planned on going with Joe around the 8th of January and to my displeasure a big work detail wasn't gonna let that happen. Even worse I had learned my grandpa came down with pneumonia and with his already current condition, this was his time to go on his own trip to a better place. I was very close with my grandpa as I spent my summers as a kid with him fishing and hunting. My grandpa also helped me get my first real job as a laborer on a major construction job he ran when I was a teenager. I took his hard work values into my current career. My grandpa was a big influence on who I am today. My grandpa was special to me and the rest of my family. He was a hard worker, a superintendent who wore the "gold" hard hat who earned his living and lived a great life. He was a great husband, great dad, great grandpa, and great friend to many people he crossed paths with. On January 9th, I spent my last day with him and said my goodbyes. On January 15th my dad called me and said he had passed. I was glad I was able to see him one last time and tell him the things he earned to hear from me. During our goodbyes, he told me to always work hard and be the best at what I do and do my best.... With his encouragement to leave as soon as work would let me and have a good hunt, I told him my next harvest was gonna be for him.... For "Stoney"....
With an allowed break in my work action, I was given one week before I had to be back. Driving peddle to the metal I finally arrived at camp in the Arizona backcountry, which was full of snow. I had spoke to joe who told me about his hunt and with my timing I would have better conditions as the snow was melting and deer were again moving well. Joe sent me a pic of a great 12 point at a spot id be hunting. You could say I was definitely excited!
Now time to hunt the tough crazy coues.
I didn't waste any time as I found myself in a well camo'd blind on day one covering an intersection of trails on a bench, which also had a water tank close by.
As the sun rose into the Arizona sky, I was greeted by a group of gorgeous marriam long beards as they traveled on by towards the tank....
This longbeard was showing the others he was boss and I kinda wish I had my DSD jake out there to see how bad he really was.... But I was there for a Coues buck, a buck for grandpa. Turkeys would have to wait a couple more months.
Well it's about freakn time Chris
Around 10 am, I caught movement out to my left on a small knife ridge and could see some does approaching down a trail. They walked by at 20 yards and before I knew it they were out of site to my right. I then caught movement again to the left where they came from and saw a great heavy old 8 point buck with half a right ear right on their trail. I thought wow day one the first couple hours and it's time to seal the deal. As the buck approached the shooting lane, I came to full draw undetected. On cue the buck then paused for a split second as I placed my pin on his heart. I slowly touched off the shot and watched the bright yellow fletches spin tight as the arrow was heading right for the bucks vitals. Then in a flash the buck ducked and my arrow disappeared through his high shoulder/back area. It happens so fast I couldn't believe the buck's reflexes and was a little questionable of the hit. Well 3 hours later, a short 50 yard thin blood trail petered out and I figured I had hit no mans land or backstraps. There was no sign of the buck and I was deflated .... The only thing that night keeping me warm was the fire and a good hot meal....
Day 2-3 was a different story as a cold front came in from the north and had winds swirling big time. I tried sitting a few different spots but the wind was terrible. After a few hours and only seeing one very young buck come by then quickly wind me I decided it was best not to sit the poor conditions and blow all the deer out of the area for the remainder of the hunt. I did manage to get a pic of the young pretty buck before he flashed his tail in my face as he exited the stage after winding me...
So not moving much trying to stay warm sitting in 30-35 degree temps and all I have is ice cold water and a Quest bar.... Wouldn't want to be anywhere else at the time.
Looks sunny and warm but it was chilly...
The end of day 3, rich and I went back to the day 1 spot to check the activity on the camera with the changing winds and we were shocked by what we saw... The buck I had hit was on the camera chasing does just a few hours before we walked in. We were shocked he'd stayed in the area and happy to see he was unharmed and still chasing the girls... The 8 from the camera....
An even better surprise was an hour before the 8 came through the 12 point came through following a different small herd of does. Only crappy thing was with the swirling winds we would have to hunt these bucks smart or they'd be gone....
After checking the weather, we decided to be patient and hunt the spot a few days later when the winds came back out of the south and were consistent.... A lot of guys would be getting antsy feeling pressure of the hunt coming to an end with an unfilled tag but experience has proven to me that patience and persistence equals results.... In the mean time I spent the free time enjoying Arizona's scenery with Rich and thinking of my family and grandpa.
On Thursday the 28th, I woke up to a steady south wind that brought a smile to my face. The Arizona sunrise's will also bring a smile to your face as they're amazing...
After a hearty breakfast burrito and coffee, I was ready to get back in the blind. Most of the deer movement had been midday between 10-2. As on cue at 10 am 6 does came by and walked down to the tank. They kept looking back from where they came and I was thinking a buck would show any second, but one never did. A pair of squirrels nearby began fighting, which sent the does running with their white flags waving. Crazy deer! The time began to wind down, the sun began to warm up the area and it was now 2:45 with no additional activity other then the occasional birds and squirrels fooling me. I was about to start packing up my gear to walk out around 3 pm when I caught movement on the ridge to my left. I then saw two deer emerge from the thick manzanita, first a doe then right on her tail was a buck, the 12 point buck! My heart rate jumped to about 140 beats per minute and I was jacked. I then started concentrating on my breathing while getting into position to draw. After a couple minutes the doe worked slowly down the trail with the buck cautiously following behind. The great buck wasn't allowing his hormones to bring his guard down as he would take one or two quick steps, freeze then scan the area for danger. No wonder these deer are so hard to see let alone kill. The doe passed by at 20 yards and began heading down to the tank. The buck following her began to enter my shooting lane when I began to draw. Instantly the buck snapped his head looking right at me and I froze about 1/4 draw. The buck studied the small dark hole in the blind for about 10 seconds before he turned his head back towards the does direction. Then a second time, I began to complete my draw when again he snapped his head in my direction. This buck was on to me and it was intense. I decided to follow through with my draw as the buck now shuffled his front feet getting ready to leave. As he stood there I settled my pin on his heart and began to apply pressure to the release trigger... The buck then quickly bolted to the right out of my small view and my heart sank. One more ounce of pressure on my release the arrow would have fired. Still at full draw I leaned over and saw the buck surprisingly only went about 6 yards to the right and stopped slightly quartering away with a sparse bush covering half his body. I then decided I was gonna make this happen.. I then got into a very awkward leaning to the left half squat position where I could get my pin onto the buck. As soon as my pin settled on his heart (for a second time) through a small opening in the bush I touched off the shot. The arrow flew true and thankfully the buck didn't duck as I watched the arrow disappear right behind his shoulder. I couldn't believe what I had seen and what I had just been through. It's amazing how in bowhunting you can have so many lows and highs in different order within a few seconds and then the indescribable adrenaline dump of success. Thoughts of my grandpa ran through my head as I knew he was with me and proud of what I just endured.
As the buck ran off he stopped behind some brush about 60 yards away and I heard him crash. About ten minutes later I took up the trail....
I was ecstatic to experience such a great hunt for such a tough cagy crazy animal and to do it for my grandpa... Respect and appreciation is given.... Grandpa you are missed and never forgotten!
Things happened this last month for a reason, to my trip timing, my time spent with my grandpa, to everyday life itself. No matter the size of this buck or way the hunt went down, it would have meant the same to me. He was taped out at 104 0/8" for the ones interested. Coues deer are gorgeous animals and I enjoyed the solo DIY pic session I had of this great buck. I can honestly say several times I lost focus of taking pics while admiring the deer and Arizona mountains with memories spent with my grandpa popping into my head.
Love the color and detail in his antlers with that gray coat....
This buck had so much character at every angle.
Maybe the best way to enjoy the sunset in the Arizona backcountry.
Absolutely one of the most challenging animals to pursue with B&A and a favorite of mine. Fantastic buck!! Your G-Pa would be proud! Thanks for sharing...
I want to thank my buddy for the opportunity to come hunt with him at his camp and making this a trip of a lifetime. It really means a lot to me to have such a great friend. Until our next adventure!!!
In only a weeks time, I had a great adventure that was shared with my grandpa watching from above and will be shared with my daughter and future grandchildren in story and photos. This coues adventure is dedicated to my grandpa and I hope everyone enjoyed reading it as much as I enjoyed living it. Hope everyone has a great year!
that is a hell of a Coues! Grats bro! On the hunt and the buck!
Sorry to hear about your grandpa. Sounds like he was a great guy. I didn't get to say goodbye to my grandpa; be thankful for what you had. That was something that is really special and not afforded everyone.
Awesome tribute to your Grandpa.
Fantastic Coues buck! Love the character! Thanks for sharing.
"Blessed and happy"
Absofrickinlutely! and well deserved. Great story. yours usually are. Thanks for sharing
This made my day, congratulations young man!!
Excellent report and a great buck! Sorry about your gramps, but I bet he's happy for ya.
Great story/hunt, Chris! Congrats. Your grandpa helped in the training of a great bowhunter!
Dang T.S. That was an awesome post.... thanks for making my friday afternoon!!!!
Chris, you did good all around.
My best, Paul
Geez Chris, best read in a long time.
Yes, you did very good bud.
That is a dandy of a Coues deer!!
When your Dad loses his Dad it helps having a son! That's what matters! Good for you! C
Awesome awesome awesome, congrats Chris!
I bet Grandpa is smiling now. Congrats again that's a true trophy there. Love it . Hunt
Great buck great story....nice guy....congrats.
Great buck great story....nice guy....congrats.
Condolences on the loss of your grandfather. You're keeping him alive with your memories and making sure that his kind of values, work ethic and passion continue on in you. Great buck.
Great thread CS, thanks for sharing. Incredible buck too.
Shug wants to know if you slept with the antlers? :)
Nice buck, my friend! I can measure him this spring??? :)
WOW.... what a story... outstanding pics and buck. Congratulations. RIP Grandpa. Ed F
Wish the homie coulda been there with ya. Good chit CS!!!
That's a great buck! Congrats and sorry for the loss of you Grandpa.
I'm sure he's smiling right now!
Thanks for sharing!
Chris sorry for the loss of your grandpa but he was with you in spirit on your hunt and is smiling down on you and your great buck. Congrats!
Great story and pics Chris!!
Every time you look at the mount of that buck I'm sure you'll think about your grandpa!
Great buck! Way to get it done! Grandpa is proud!
Thought provoking thread from start to finish! Once again, great job and heck of a way to honor your Grandpa!
Great hunt and buck! Congrats to you and sometimes things happen for a reason.
TY Nick for telling my secrets...
So cool Chris. Congrats again. Nick...Is it true you were "spooning" Shug while he slept with his antlers? :)
Nice story Chris !! Your grandfather is one proud guy looking down on you !!
Great story, thanks for telling it.
What a buck and an even better story to go with it! Congrats man!
Great deer, Chris,
But more importantly, congratulations on getting to enjoy having a grandfather so late into your life.
Many, like my kids, don't get the opportunity.
Glad you're smart enough to realize how good you had it with him.
Never forget that the best gift you ever gave your grandpa was the pleasure and satisfaction of watching you grow up to be the kind of person you are, especially as a father.
Savor the memories of your grandfather, and pray you get to return the favor to grandkids of your own, someday.
Beauty Coues and congrats!
Thanks everyone! Appreciate the comments... I'm blessed to live a great life and know it. And was blessed to have a great grandfather to share a big portion of my life with.
I'll echo what everyone has already said - great buck, great story-congratulations.
Wonderful tribute and a beautiful buck. Congrats!
Sorry to hear about your grandfather Chris. Congrats on a GREAT buck.
Awesome story and congratulations! Fun to read, sorry for the loss of your grandpa, he sounded like a great man.
Great story and nice pics. Congratulations!
Awesome buck, great pics as always!
Man, you had a nice hunt capping it with a great trophy. Well done!
Sorry for the loss of your Grandpa Chris! Awesome buck and pics as usual! Congrats to ya!
Sorry to hear about your loss.
What a great Coues deer, congrats!
Congrats, Chris! Sorry about your grandpa.
Congrats, Chris! Sorry about your grandpa.
Great story and pics Chris. I bet your grandpa appreciates the very well done tribute and I'd think he's smiling over the outcome of your trip. Congrats and well done!
Thanks gents! I admit I'm a couesaholic... ;-)
Congratulations Chris, great buck.
Some animals will stick in our memories based on their size/score and some based on more personal aspects of the hunt. The great thing about that bucks is it is both.
Well done CS! Stellar pics as usual, I'm sure gramps was smiling down on you!
Thanks for sharing Chris ! Great buck and hunt, your grandfather would be proud.
Thanks guys! Yes Matt you're correct... This one is very special to me and will mean the most.
Curious - wouldn't those wild turkeys be Goulds and not Merriams?
Zbone, those are marriams. There is a few goulds in that area as well and there's an obvious diff between them that I've seen with these trkyslr eyes ;-)
Chris, Sounds like your Grandfather was one great American. A tremendous role model and mentor that lead by example....
Congrats on an incredible buck!!!
Great write up and pictures! CONGRATS on a tremendous trophy!
Great story, sad but most don't get what is most important about this story and that is the love of family. Congrats on getting it! Mike
Great story and buck, and thanks for sharing.
I had to cancel my trip this year due to my 92 year old mom going into a nursing home. The deer will still be there next year...
There it is! World class buck right there buddy. Congrats. Sorry about your Gramps.
Congrats man sure wish you would of called I would of let you buy me dinner or something!!!!!!
Thanks gents! Big G hello big guy. I feel like my coues thread is official now with your response on it and I would have let you buy me dinner ;-)
Yes sir $1 cheeseburgers!!!! Looks like a great spot shot me a text sometime 520-507-3985 Your thread is now complete haha
So what you read above made it to press and I'm very greatful. My grandpa really enjoyed reading my stories and seeing the pics as I mentioned above. I will give this issue to my grandma and dad for them to enjoy and hopefully bring a smile and tear of joy to their faces through the holidays. Sorry to get sappy but this hunt and time in my life meant a lot to me because of gramps so I wanted to share...... Love you grandpa... Happy Thanksgiving everyone!
Great story Chris. I read your article when I was whitetail hunting last week.
I don't know how I missed this, but belated congrats to you ! Nice buck and great story and pics.
That is so awesome Chris! Great article and story! Not sure how I missed this last winter either! Congratulations on your trophy and the great article in the EBJ!
I finally got my buck back from the taxidermist... he's on a pedestal manzanita base I made ... here's a few pictures of it. This buck is very special to me as I always think of my grandpa when I walk by and admire.
Nice.... All the way around. Ed F
Beautiful mount Chris! I smell another double pedestal mount coming up in the future :-)
That manzanita base turned out great Chris! Beautiful buck and mount, what a great way to honor and remember your grandpa!
Sorry for your loss!!! Congratulation on an amazing hunt and a beautiful animal! I really like the mount!
Awesome story. That buck turned out awesome. Congratulations!
That's pretty dang amazing! I think t-roy is right-- there are more spots on that manzanita that are available for future mounts...
Thanks guys! Troy and scoot it's good to have goals ;-)
Very nice Chris... Love that manzanita. And the deer isn't bad either...;)
Loved the story! Looks like there's room on that base for another beautiful coues someday... maybe one your daughter shoots? :)
Chris, like you I have a couple of 'normal' WT mounts on the wall but when I pass by the Coues buck shoulder mount, it brings a smile to my face. I bet you will be doing the same.
my best, Paul
Maybe a picture of Gramps on that beautiful pedestal? Well done all around sir!
Very nice story. A great buck for Grandpa!!
I don't know how I missed this the first time. Congrats on a great deer. People like your granddad is what MADE this country.