A Father-and-Son Coues Hunt to Remember

Hunts with family are always memorable but at times something totally unexpected — and thrilling — happens to make an adventure stand out even more.

A Father-and-Son Coues Hunt to Remember

The bulk of Coues hunting is sitting on your butt, while staring through high-powered binos. This particular Coues hunt came just a few days after having PRK surgery on my right (dominant) eye. As you can imagine, my eyesight was a little off, but I managed.

I was hunting with my youngest son, Colton. Late in the afternoon of the first day, he spotted a buck. The deer was feeding on a distant hillside with a second, smaller buck. At first glance, Colton was not particularly impressed with the buck’s headgear. After a second look, his thoughts changed drastically.

“That buck is over 100 inches, you have to shoot it,” he told me.

I found a solid rest for my 6.5 Creedmoor, and turned the power on the scope up to 25X for a better look. Darkness was approaching, and I was having difficulty seeing through the optics with my problematic eye. I was looking for a next level buck, and I wasn’t sold.

“I’m going to pass,” I told Colton. He was flabbergasted — maybe even mad.

The next morning we glassed for a couple hours without turning up a buck. Disappointed, we decided to return to the area where we’d seen the buck the previous evening. We made our approach using the cover of a meandering rock and sand wash, lined by thick brush. When we reached our target location, we climbed up the bank and popped out on a knoll. Quickly and quietly, we set up to glass. Immediately, I spotted the buck; he was right where he’d been the previous evening. I had been mistaken, or my eyesight had played tricks on me, because the buck was a shooter.

Now mid-morning, the buck bedded behind life-saving brush — at least for the moment. We waited. A couple hours passed. Finally, the buck stood, stretched and moved from cover. My rifle steadied, and I touched off the first round. The buck fell. To my surprise, he regained his composure and stood. I fired more lead. Again, the buck went to the ground, sliding headfirst downhill to a stop.

With some skepticism, Colton and I made our way over to the downed buck. I approached from the east side. As I neared the crest of the hill, I saw the buck laying right where he had taken my last bullet, merely yards away. I took another step. The buck blinked.

Next, the buck rose and sped toward me. I was paralyzed, caught between fight or flight. Just feet away, the buck veered to my left, and headed Colton’s way. I regained my composure, readied my rifle, but couldn’t shoot because Colton was in the line of fire. In the whirlwind, the buck disappeared.

Colton and I regrouped, searching for tracks or blood. We discovered heavily sunken buck tracks on the soft slope of the hill, and the tracks directed us to the bottom of the hill where the buck was bedded. A final shot ended the ordeal. The experience was surreal. The experience was Coues whitetail hunting at its finest.

Sharing this experience with his son, Colton, the author relied on the following topnotch equipment to tag this mature Coues deer: Ruff's Precision Gunworks (RPG) bolt-action rifle, Leupold VX3 8-25X scope, and Harris bipod.
Sharing this experience with his son, Colton, the author relied on the following topnotch equipment to tag this mature Coues deer: Ruff's Precision Gunworks (RPG) bolt-action rifle, Leupold VX3 8-25X scope, and Harris bipod.

Sidebar: A Little About Me

Born in Colorado, I have called Arizona home for over 40 years now. The one exception, a 4-year tour in the U.S. Air Force, stationed at Elmendorf AFB in Anchorage, Alaska. As a young hunter, I cut my teeth on mule deer. It wasn’t until later in life that I became infatuated with whitetail deer. To date, I’ve hunted whitetails in several states including Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas, New Mexico, Indiana and of course my home state of Arizona. My passion — obsession, rather — is Coues whitetail hunting.

Regardless of where you hunt whitetails, I hope you enjoy the articles that appear in Whitetail Journal, both in print and online. If there is a topic you would like to see highlighted or expanded upon in Whitetail Journal, please don’t hesitate to send me an email with your thoughts at darren.choate@grandviewoutdoors.com.


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