The ultimate archery combo in the AZ desert
By: Tim Winslow of Arizona Trophy Outfitters, a goHUNT.com Business Member
There is one thing you can never count on when planning a hunt and that is weather. A massive winter storm delayed Steve’s flight from upstate New York followed by some delayed baggage: his bow case.
It appeared that this hunting trip was bringing some bad luck with it from New York. Yet things were about to change. From the time Steve’s plane landed and he hit Arizona soil through when we stopped at the universal sporting goods store to pick up his over-the-counter (OTC) archery deer tag, we knew things had started to change.
The trip was planned with his lifelong buddy, Eric, and, because he had missed the first full day of hunting, Eric graciously allowed Steve the first few stalks of the day on mature rutting mule deer bucks. Spot and stalk for mule deer is a complicated hunting method with innumerable variables and there is a quick learning curve when a hunter is coming from treestand hunting in the thick Eastern forests to stalking on the open rolling hills of Arizona.
The first stalk on a nice 170” buck went in favor of the rut and the buck chased the does all over, leading them right on top of us. The buck stood directly in the morning sun 70 yards away with six does in between us and him. The stalk ended without a shot and we returned to the glassing point.
A second mature buck was located later in the afternoon; he was moving some does along a ravine. Once again the stalk was on for Steve and, after a long hike, we got to the location that we had predetermined to be the best place for a shot — as long as the buck was still within range. Fortunately, the buck had relocated and was grazing with his head in a bush.
Without hesitation, he was ranged at 37 yards. Steve drew back his bow, released and the buck bolted off into the oak brush.
Luckily, we had located his bedding area before the sun went down that night. We showed up the next morning to find him right where we expected him and, with another well-placed arrow for insurance, Steve had his long overdue archery mule deer!
This hunt occurs in January and archery javelina season is open during the same time as deer. After coming off of a successful mule deer stalk, Steve decided to give javelina a try. Three stalks later and a few missing arrows,
Steve hit a javelina perfectly behind the shoulder. Steve had officially doubled up on his Arizona archery combo hunt!
While the rest of the country is putting their hunting equipment away for the season, it is just getting started here in Arizona. The OTC archery mule deer and Coues deer and javelina combo hunt is an awesome opportunity to keep hunting trophy animals in the rut. These may be the best kept secrets in the West!
Check out a short video clip from the hunt below: