First Coues Whitetail Buck!

Brandon’s first Coues Buck!

Many people don’t grow up hunting Coues Whitetail, unless they were raised in the Southwest.  Actually, many of us that have grown up in the Southwest don’t hunt Coues Whitetail every year, so they are a rare trophy.  My cousin, Brandon Lawrence, took his first Coues Deer a few years ago and I had the pleasure of joining him.  

Brandon drew a special San Carlos Apache Nation raffle tag.   Brandon met up with Tim Stevens from the San Carlos Apache Tribe Wildlife Department, a few days prior to his hunt.  Tim told him about several quality areas to check-out, so Brandon spent the next few days scouting.

I met up with Brandon the day before his hunt.  We drove to a dirt tank to set up a pop-up blind, because Brandon wanted to try and take his buck with a bow.  That night at camp, Brandon agreed to let us glass until 9 a.m..  As a NEWBIE Coues Deer Hunter, I was determined to glass-up a Coues Deer before we set foot in the blind.

Grey Ghost in the tall wheat grass.
Coues are the ultimate glassing prey!

At a quarter to 9, I finally spotted some grey ghosts in the tall wheat grass.  There wasn’t any bucks, but I was happy none the less. I had just glassed up my FIRST Coues Whitetail.  With my personal accomplishment fulfilled and Brandon’s eagerness to head to the blind, we jumped in the truck and headed to the tank.

As we got out of the truck, we debated on whether Brandon should take is rifle. The decision was made to pack both his rifle and bow.  We were gawking at the tracks on the south side of the water when we looked up and saw a small creature.  It was a coues buck!  He was standing on the other side of the pop-up blind!  We quickly sank to our bellies and Brandon threw his Hoyt to the side.

Brandon was now looking at the buck through his scope.  Brandon had the look of a determined predator, and was very happy with what he was seeing.  I was frantic, because Brandon was asking for my advice. Yeah, I have had the chance to hunt, guide, and help, on many big animals, but never a Coues!  After repeated questioning from Brandon, I finally stated, “I think he is around 100”.  Instantly, after muttering my far fetched guess, I quickly back tracked and stated, “it’s your tag, you look at him”!  Brandon instantly popped up and looked through my 15’s.   A short glance, and Brandon was ready to shoot this buck.

Coues Whitetail are beautiful animals!
Brandon’s 97″ Gross Coues Buck!

Back-straps, Antlers & Memories…

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Craig Steele

About Craig Steele

Craig Steele is the founder and publisher at Craig is an obsessed hunter and professional hunting guide. He owns and operates Predator Exclusives. Craig also guides for Exclusive Pursuit Outfitters. Besides hunting and guiding, he operates CS Creativity, which is his marketing and graphic design business.

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