Home Forums Campfire Forum Coues Deer Hunting?

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    • adirondackman
      Post count: 69

      Anybody have any Coues Deer hunting stories from this years season?

    • David Petersen
      Member
      Post count: 2749

      No good news I’ve heard of. I had to give AZ a skip this year, first time in several years, due to a shortage of funds. Between non-resident tag cost ($360) and high gas prices, I just didn’t have the money. (I also bought a new Java Man bow and am going to Kalamazoo, so some choices were involved). As it turns out, though, I picked a good year to miss it since it’s been raining, even snowing, and unseasonably cold down there. Even clear down on the border friends report lows in the teens to low 20s, deer not coming to water (because it’s everywhere) and no visible rut activity, in nearly two weeks of hunting only a couple of spikes spotted. I’m sure there are exceptions to this dismal picture, but in general it’s a bad year, at least in AZ. Mearns quail populations are better than last year but not great.

    • adirondackman
      Post count: 69

      Dave, Thanks for the update. Is there alot of good public land to hunt?

      Coues Deer are on my Bucket List and I love to hear about hunting them. I plan to hunt them next January in 2014,

      Anybody else hunting them?

    • lyagooshka
      Post count: 600

      I have them (and just about every “exotic”) on my list. Problem is, like Dave said, $$$! Getting out there would be tough enough, but having no idea where to even start, I would probably just take that money and take the family somewhere. But definitelly open to suggestions. Would love to do just about anything other than Whitetail or Turkey, which we have here in PA. Be well.

      Alex

      😀

    • Raymond Coffman
      Moderator
      Post count: 1089

      Adirondackman –

      I have hunted Coues a lot in the past. It does not look like I will get out for the Late season this year [Pers problems/work ]I normally pick up an AZ archery deer permit [ otc]it allows you to hunt most of the state in the early season but pretty much just the southern [ and west] portion of the state in the second half [ 1st part late august -early sept, 2nd part mid dec to end of Jan.]Of course the late hunt{jan} is rut for Coues/desert Mule Deer.

      Any of the “Mtn Islands” NForest lands in the SE quarter of the state have pop of Coues. Some more than others and some easier to access [ which can be a problem in AZ].The AZ Game & fish web site has a very good write up under it’s “Where to Hunt” category in the Hunt section. Lot of info on each Game unit and how to hunt it, and where to look there for each type of game.

      Scout.

    • David Petersen
      Member
      Post count: 2749

      I would add to Cyber’s good info that currently, AZ allows baiting for deer, and more each year the jerks are doing it at waterholes, which are really the only places to hunt Coues with trad gear and expect to get a decent shot op in a week or two of hunting. I’ve lost most of my waterholes in recent years to baiters. Just like ATVs destroying what was previously fairly easy walk-in access elk hunting spots, thus denying real hunters fair access, the lazy baiters are ruining it for everyone else. AZ is currently considering a bill to outlaw baiting within a certain distance of any water source, half a mile or so, and until they pass it and it takes effect you can expect to have to scout and hike to remote waters, where someone on an ATV can’t get to with a bail of alfalfa. I hunted NM once many years ago but that was before I knew anything about Coues and I did everything wrong. I should try it again someday, esp. if their tags are cheaper and they don’t allow baiting.

    • Michael Scott
      Post count: 80

      Took a quick look at New Mexico’s deer licenses, and for a nonresident, it looks like about 300-400 bucks for a tag, plus whatever prerequisites you have to have. I did see something on there about some sort of “baiting vendor list” or something like that, so they may very well allow baiting.

      Michael

    • Raymond Coffman
      Moderator
      Post count: 1089

      According to the 2013 NM game regs —

      No use of any material or scent allowed to “entice” animals.

      There is an allowance to Feed Quail on private Land only.

      although the Battle over waterholes that are easy to reach and/or atv misuse is a problem like AZ.

      In NM one has to draw a tag [including archery deer] but a nonresident has a better chance than a resident [good for you folks -]

      there are coues deer in NM, some good areas – just not quite as many as AZ,and the drought and weather have been pretty much the same. Hopefully the next couple of yrs will be better.

      If anyone is interested I can give some basic Ideas on where to try and go– the better spots [unless you know someone -private land] you will have to hump in to. But Coues are a lot lighter than elk to pack out -haha

      Scout.

      PS — David is absolutely correct on Waterholes being your best bet with Tradgear! Coues deer arguably are one of the most difficult {the most IMHO} animals to spot{ hard to do to start with} and stalk { difficult/noisy terrain} on the Planet. I am still working on that with a bow -haha – great fun in beautiful desert country, and warmer [usually] than most late seasons in the country

    • adirondackman
      Post count: 69

      Alot of Good Information – Thanks Guys

      I don’t want to be within a mile of somebody baiting so it looks like I’ll have to work to find a good area. Thats OK by me.

      Alex – I could pick you up on the way out!

    • David Petersen
      Member
      Post count: 2749

      Adirondak — I love your Leopold quote! Right there in those few words he describes (and in his time, forecast) the rot that is weakening the flesh and bone of true hunting today, as is so lividly on display in every commercial hunting magazine I know of, except TBM. That, I suspect, is a big part of why we all are here.

    • adirondackman
      Post count: 69

      David Petersen wrote: Adirondak — I love your Leopold quote! Right there in those few words he describes (and in his time, forecast) the rot that is weakening the flesh and bone of true hunting today, as is so lividly on display in every commercial hunting magazine I know of, except TBM. That, I suspect, is a big part of why we all are here.

      Dave – AMEN!

    • David Petersen
      Member
      Post count: 2749

      GREAT NEWS! AZ has just outlawed baiting deer! Whoopee! Aside from me being broke and bad (wet) weather, the danged baiting blight was another reason I didn’t go back down and spend my usual thousand bucks a year or so in AZ on a Coues hunt this year. What’s the point when every waterhole and other good deer area has people going in and out on ATVs hauling alfalfa bales and sweet baits? There has been a movement within ADFG for years to end this ugly mess, but it was stuck on center and of course strong opposed by outfitters who bait for profit. While I can’t say how much difference it made, it’s likely no coincidence that Gregg Munther, Don Thomas, myself and a few other nonresident hunters started a letter campaign to ADFG last fall complaining about baiters ruining hunting for everyone and politely foreswearing not to return until it’s ended … and then it happens. To whatever degree, it’s further evidence that a small handful of determined individuals can make a big difference, if only sometimes. In this case all involved are BHA members, and this was a “BHA campaign” at it’s best–that is, pure grassroots action by individuals with no group or one person calling the shots. I don’t know if the law will kick in in time for the DEcember season, but I’m already planning next January’s hunt down there. As with ATV abuse and overuse, it was a case of a few individuals taking the easy way for themselves and ruining everything for the majority. The outcome is democracy and englightened self-interest at their best. 😀

      attached file
    • Raymond Coffman
      Moderator
      Post count: 1089

      Dave –

      Great News ! Outstanding!

      Next time You all are in a good fight like this let me know, I will always be happy to help out in any way I can. I am a BHA member and involved here in NM with our problems, but still hunt in AZ as much as I can so would be happy to do anything there [or anywhere] that moves our ideas forward.

      Congrats to you and Don and everyone who managed to orchestrate this victory for the cause !

      Scout.

    • adirondackman
      Post count: 69

      That is Great News and Thanks for your involvement in the change. I’m planning to hunt AZ next January and the new law couldn’t have come at a better time.

      Does BHA have a NY Chapter?

    • Etter1
      Post count: 831

      Baiting is legal in half of our state for whitetails. I didn’t want it to happen, but it did. I don’t hunt on my lease where I know bait has been put out, but I honestly don’t think it helps anybody kill any deer HERE. I don’t know about that area. I’m sure the habitat is far inferior to Georgia and maybe makes them much more susceptible to being killed over it, but in this state, it has done nothing but save deer.

      I know a lot of people who started baiting as soon as it became legal. None of them do it anymore because it just doesn’t work in a quality habitat situation. I’m almost glad it’s legal now. More deer for those of us willing to work for em!

      I do have one question though: Are these water holes natural springs or stock ponds, watering tanks, etc?

      I don’t really have an opinion either way. Just trying to get a grasp on where you all stand.

    • David Petersen
      Member
      Post count: 2749

      Good comments and question, Etter. All I know about the attractiveness of bait to Coues whitetails in AZ is what I’ve seen, over and over again … an almost endless parade of deer and javalinas coming to bait at all hours of the day (and no doubt night). It’s as if they’re mesmerized. This normally hyper-spooky species suddenly becomes sloppy when alfalfa or molassas appear. So far as your implied comparison of water “tanks” (back in Okie we called them “cow ponds”), and no matter my strong opinion that bowhunting should be as pure and natural as possible, it’s not so much a matter of ethics as it is fair access. The typical AZ bait is very near to water and accompanied by one or more treestands and one or more game cams. Every single deer that has come in while I’ve been at such places, and I’m talking almost endless parades, has gone straight to the bait. Now, some hunters might say “great, I can sit in my treestand or ground blind on the opposite side of this little pond and kill deer that come in to bait when the baiter isn’t there … and increase my chance to kill a good buck without actually baiting.” Well, OK. But neither I nor any of the other guys who got involved in trying to stop baiting in AZ feels that way. We all know that if we kill a deer that comes in to bait,we are bait hunters whether we put it out or not. So there goes another “water” we are able to hunt. Again, no matter what you think about baiting (which almost always has everything to do with where you live and hunt and the local ethics), a few guys using bait kills hunting ops for the majority who don’t want anything to do with it. No matter how we feel about the ethics of hunting, you’ll never convince me that baiting is hunting, or at least not what I’ve spent my entire life embracing as hunting. If it were, I wouldn’t be here. I want a good hard natural-as-possible hunt, even if that means just sitting on my butt for days at a time. But to actually answer your question — they are both, with some cow ponds and some natural water sources. What you never see is anyone baiting who can’t get there with an ATV, which causes yet more problems in itself. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it. Yet I realize it’s not the only story in town 😛

    • Ben M.
      Post count: 460

      I am a quiet man outside my own experience and do not intend to enter any debate on this matter. I would like to say, simply, congratulations. I recognize the power of what has happened here.

      -Ben

    • Etter1
      Post count: 831

      David Petersen wrote: Good comments and question, Etter. All I know about the attractiveness of bait to Coues whitetails in AZ is what I’ve seen, over and over again … an almost endless parade of deer and javalinas coming to bait at all hours of the day (and no doubt night). It’s as if they’re mesmerized. This normally hyper-spooky species suddenly becomes sloppy when alfalfa or molassas appear. So far as your implied comparison of water “tanks” (back in Okie we called them “cow ponds”), and no matter my strong opinion that bowhunting should be as pure and natural as possible, it’s not so much a matter of ethics as it is fair access. The typical AZ bait is very near to water and accompanied by one or more treestands and one or more game cams. Every single deer that has come in while I’ve been at such places, and I’m talking almost endless parades, has gone straight to the bait. Now, some hunters might say “great, I can sit in my treestand or ground blind on the opposite side of this little pond and kill deer that come in to bait when the baiter isn’t there … and increase my chance to kill a good buck without actually baiting.” Well, OK. But neither I nor any of the other guys who got involved in trying to stop baiting in AZ feels that way. We all know that if we kill a deer that comes in to bait,we are bait hunters whether we put it out or not. So there goes another “water” we are able to hunt. Again, no matter what you think about baiting (which almost always has everything to do with where you live and hunt and the local ethics), a few guys using bait kills hunting ops for the majority who don’t want anything to do with it. No matter how we feel about the ethics of hunting, you’ll never convince me that baiting is hunting, or at least not what I’ve spent my entire life embracing as hunting. If it were, I wouldn’t be here. I want a good hard natural-as-possible hunt, even if that means just sitting on my butt for days at a time. But to actually answer your question — they are both, with some cow ponds and some natural water sources. What you never see is anyone baiting who can’t get there with an ATV, which causes yet more problems in itself. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it. Yet I realize it’s not the only story in town 😛

      You answered all of my questions Dave, and I would have been on your side in the debate for new legislation. Just wanted to see the reasoning behind it.

      I didn’t want it here because of public opinion. I already knew that it wouldn’t help to kill any more deer, but in that arid country, I can see that bait would be like hershey bars to a starving bear.

      I only wish that we could outlaw 4 wheelers everywhere. Public and private land. I hate the things. If you have two working legs, you should use em!

      Congratulations on creating more fair chase hunting for the future of the few real hunters left.

    • lyagooshka
      Post count: 600

      Dave,

      Definitely a win. Congratulations. Just have a small bone to pick with you on the issue. Unless I missed it here, it seems like a golden opportunity was missed to include others (like me) in on the advocating process. As cyberscout said, next time, drop a line. These forums are a great source of information, and that is info I would have loved to have. Unfortunately (and I really do mean that), I am on the east coast. It wouldn’t make much sense for me to join western organizations. But I would definitely help out if I could.

      Adirondackman plans a trip out (BTW, if you’re serious, PM me, would love to share the ride, expenses, scouting, etc). What a perfect time to join the petition and say “I have $XXX.XX to spend. If you want it, here’s my system of values…”. Money talks. I wish common sense did, but it don’t (at least not often). Until I convince the wife that AK or WY is the place to be, I am stuck “living here in Allentown”. And yes, they’re closing all the factories down. But on the brighter side, we have a Sands Casino where Bethlehem Steel used to be. 🙄

      Anyway, glad to hear that we have a place where the chase if a little more “fair”. Good job. I just humbly ask that you include some of us “newbies” in on the good fight. Be well.

      Alex

      🙂

    • David Petersen
      Member
      Post count: 2749

      Thanks, guys. Will do. And good luck down there next year.

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