Archive for October, 2007

Arizona to initiate Archery Mule Deer Draw

Posted by on Wednesday, 31 October, 2007


It has been rumored that Arizona will cease selling over-the-counter mule deer archery tags and, instead, issue tags via drawing. For me, this is bad news – one more loss that will probably never return. The general trend here is to take from hunters and give to the predators. The solution to the mule deer problem is never viewed by wildlife (mis)managers as a need for more deer, but instead, less hunting and/or less harvest.

Some hunters will even welcome this change because they are caught up in the scarcity mentality. They will say to themselves – Self, I would rather hunt every 10 years, and have only a hand-full of hunters to contend with than hunt every year with a whole bunch of hunters and no deer. They will mistakenly believe that going to a draw will mean more big bucks. Sadly, this will not be the case – as history has proven.

As mule deer become increasingly more scarce due to predators, it will become more prevalent for the relatively few remaining hunters to crowd in upon the small pockets of deer that will only exist in core areas. And, so the crowding will not be alleviated nor will there be more large bucks. There will be a few places that still have deer while large areas, void of deer, will not be hunted.

The North Kaibab is a perfect example of this phenomenon. This year, I managed to squeeze in a few days at the end of the North Kaibab archery hunt. From the looks of the roads, it was evident there had been a lot of prior traffic. I didn’t find any bucks other than a two point until the last day of the hunt, when, I finally found a pair of large bucks. Unfortunately, I spooked them into some other hunters who promptly shot one of them about 10 yards off the road.

I spoke to some California hunters my first day there. All of them had hunted the Kaibab for quite a few years. They had witnessed the crowd that was present on the opener and surmised that there were about 10,000 bowhunters. They commented that the large number of hunters was due to the liklihood that tags would be issued by drawing next year. This was my first exposure to the fact that the archery draw might be more than just a rumor. I do not know if there were really 10,000 bowhunters, but it is possible.

Arizona scenery from David DennisAll of these people are crowding into an area where there are a few deer left and where they can get a tag while the rest of Arizona has few muleys and sparse bowhunters. The North Kaibab could support 10 times the mule deer that are currently available there. I, and everyone I spoke to, saw and heard plenty of coyotes. I know there are many lions there by the number of tracks I have seen.

Unless the AGnF is bombarded with unhappy hunters voicing opposition to this change, you may anticipate it becoming a reality. As long as this downward trend continues, the next change will also take away from hunters and give to predators rather than the other way around.

Make your wishes known.

Arizona Archery hunt changes

Posted by on Tuesday, 30 October, 2007

arizonaGarth Goodrich of also has this to say about the upcoming archery mule deer hunt changes for 2008:Welcome to Arizona

Well, I got a little more information about the new archery deer draw that will start in 2008 in Arizona.
Units going to a draw and # of tags (+/-): 1 – 200 tags, 3A/3C – 150 tags, 3B – 75 tags, 7 – 500 tags, 12A – 1850 tags, 13A – 120 tags, 13B – 120 tags. The number of tags is preliminary and will most assuredly be adjusted before the time of draw.
Also, the following are units that will no longer have an archery deer season in December. Units 17A, 20A, 22, 23, 35A, 37A & 42.
On the bright side, all the archery deer hunters that draw a permit for 12A, 13A & 13B can also buy over the counter buffalo and elk tags like the rifle hunts in these units.
What baffles me, is unit 37A… only has a December and January hunt and, every year has leftover rifle tags. So, this is a unit that is not in high demand but, we as bowhunters, lost a hunting opportunity for no logical reason.
The Game and Fish Commission voted, approving these changes, without listening to fact. The recommendations were based partially on educated guesswork, and was done in the name of hunter recruitment and retention, at the expense of bowhunting.
Some of us feel that it will only be a matter of time before all archery deer will be in the draw process, making it difficult to draw a tag, and also making hunters choose to apply for either a rifle or archery tag. There will be no 2 season hunters anymore.

Arizona heading South (further South)

Posted by on Tuesday, 30 October, 2007


Arizona landscapeGarth Goodrich of has this to say about proposed Arizona bowhunt changes:

The end to what we, as Arizona bowhunters, once knew, is coming to an end.
Earlier, I wrote a blog titled, “bowhunters under attack”. Today, the Commissioners of the Az Game and Fish Department passed the hunt recommendations for archery deer.
This means that units 1, 3ABC, 7 12A, 13A will go to a draw, meaning we have to apply for a tag to hunt these units. All other units in AZ will be monitored and, if the bowhunters achieve more than a 20% success rate, based on rifle hunters success, that particular unit will also go to a draw. If the success continues to climb, then that unit will be removed from the archery deer hunt in January of each year.
The sad thing is, the decision was based on partially guesswork as, rifle hunters do not have to report their success, but Game and Fish somehow came up with success numbers per unit for gun hunters, then based bowhunters’ success rates from gun hunters’ success rates.
This was done so the game and fish department could follow the new trend, “hunter retention and recruitment”. But, as it seems game and fish will actually push resident hunters to other states, in their quest to hunt.
Just so you know, this decision was contested by members of the Az Bowhunters Association, Mojave Sportsmen Club and, the Az Deer Association, plus several individuals. But, all of their commitment and perseverance fell on deaf ears.
Times are changing and , it does not appear to be for the better for bowhunters in Arizona.

Arizona pushes for low-harvest hunts

Posted by on Tuesday, 30 October, 2007


There is an undercurrent, cutting across state boundaries, to sell hunting tags while discouraging or eliminating any harvest. Taking this notion to an extreme, here is a comment made by a DWR representative at a Utah Dedicated Hunter meeting in Ogden, Utah – regarding hunter ethics: “if you go into the field expecting to harvest an animal, you are unethical“.

Not long ago, I attended an Arizona Game and Fish meeting, where it was announced that the Department was seeking to issue more tags while moving hunting season dates to low success time periods. This proposed action was flaunted as an effort to recruit new hunters. I am aware of other organizations who collect donations and then use the money collected against the very persons who donated it. Could our game agencies be up to similar tactics?

You have probably had experience with politicians who add new taxes or who increase taxes for some special purpose and then, when such purpose goes away, the taxes stay…. it only gets worse – never better. Well, with game agencies, once they take something away, they almost never give it back. If Arizona takes away over-the-counter archery tags for mule deer, you will probably never see it offered again.

Saskatchewan Open Plains Monster Bucks

Posted by on Monday, 29 October, 2007

Saskatchewan Monster Bucks

Montana Record Book Muley

Posted by on Monday, 29 October, 2007

Montana hunter places buck in Record Book using a muzzleloader.

This story originated with the Billings Gazette. I discovered it at buckhuntersblog.

Killing coyotes for fun

Posted by on Thursday, 25 October, 2007

Since this site is about mule deer, not coyotes, it is a stretch to quote coyote stories. Nevertheless, I have to do this because anyone who kills coyotes not only saves mule deer, but also deserves respect. I think you will enjoy the stories.

These stories come from coyote rest

A recent blog by Desert Rat “Predators Killing Pets” reminded me of an incident I had a couple of years ago.

I was sitting out on the patio cleaning my Ruger 1B ( when I heard all this screaming and yelling coming from the neighbors backyard. They are good neighbors, mind their own business, and are just very nice people. The only drawback is that she is kinda opposed to hunting, not a bleeding heart type and not vocal about it, but she is opposed to it. She also raises chickens, ducks, and has three little dogs, very little dogs. I joke with her all the time that I would like to use them for catfish bait, she doesn’t think it’s funny. Anyhow I look over to see what all the screaming is about and to my surprise I see a coyote trotting out of her backyard headed in my general direction but going up the hillside, not running hard, just kind of an easy trot. Now I’m not surprised to see a coyote as they visit our place on a fairly regular basis, but what surprised me was this this one had a little white mutt clamped firmly in his jaws. I quickly slapped a 117 grain 25.06 Sierra Game King BTSP ( round into the chamber and placed the crosshair of my Weaver GrandSlam 6-20×40 ( on an opening I thought he would be coming through. As he came through I touched off a round thinking that if nothing else it would cause him to drop the dog and run off. Much to my surprise he did drop the dog as he tumbled ass over teakettle dead as a doornail. When I finally got to the dog he was covered in blood and had several deep puncture wounds and I’m thinking he isn’t going to make it, should I just him out of his misery. I look back down the hillside and see our neighbor running up toward us, stumbling and crying for her little dog. She is in a real frenzy by the time she reaches us and wants to get the dog to the vet in a hurry. I was going to tell her that the poor thing didn’t have a snowballs chance in hell but thought better of it. We picked up the poor ragged, bloody little thing and headed to the vets office. Well that was about two years ago and that pesky little mutt is still around, much to my surprise. She still thanks me every chance she gets and has told me on several times how much she appreciated me saving her dogs life – then she added “Did you really have to kill the coyote, couldn’t you just have scared him into dropping my dog.” Some people just don’t get it.


As some of you know we live in the SE Corner of Arizona and within spitting distance of the US/Mexican border. We all are affected by the masses of illegals coming through our pourous border and with the US governments refusal to do anything substanial about it. It has had a dramatic effect on all of us here on the border and although you don’t probably see it on a daily basis it has had an effect on all the tax paying citizens of America. However now it is really getting personal, and I don’t mean them turning on our water and letting it run all night, or cutting our fences, or even using our backyard as a bathroom. One highlighted sentence in the Arizona Hunting Regulations states: “Homeland security issues along the international border may affect the quality of a person’s hunt.” I recently purchased a new AR, developed some loads for it and got it shooting -1″ MOA at 100 yards. Decided that this morning it would get it’s baptism under fire. Loaded up the truck before daylight and set out for one of my favorite spots. Pulled into the wash, hid the truck best I could and hiked a short way up a little knoll. Set my “improvised” Whirling Woodpecker ( out about 30 yards hurried back up the knoll and turned on the FoxPro. I couldn’t have been there for more than 5 minutes when two Border Patrol Agents came tiptoeing up the dry wash. I stood up and wavd then started walking down to them. They wanted to know what I was doing in the area, don’t know why I said what I did but I was kinda pissed-off that we now have to explain what we (US Citizens) are doing on the border. I told them that as far as I was aware we still lived in a free country and I could do as I well pleased as long as I wasn’t breaking any laws, which I wasn’t. We had a bit of a stare down and they then told me that this was a favorite passage way for illegals and I might be considered in the obstruction of them (Border Patrol) doing their duties. I gave them a smirk and walked back to the truck and left the area. On my next stand, about 5 miles away, I set up same as I had before. After about 10 minutes I spotted a coyote about 500 yards out coming straight into the call. Put the AR up and got ready, at about 300 yards he stopped and sat down. I knew he didn’t smell me as the breeze was coming from him to me. After a minute or two he got up and trotted back the same way he came. It was then that I heard some sounds in the canyon below me, you guessed it — about 6 or 7 illegals making their way down the canyon. I packed everything up and headed home. “Homeland security issues along the international border may affect the quality of a person’s hunt.”

Roping your wife into a deer hunt

Posted by on Thursday, 25 October, 2007

This story was told to me by a co-worker just after his first and only hunt for mule deer:


I took my wife hunting on some land adjacent to her parents’ property in central Utah. I hiked some distance from camp and saw a buck – so I shot it. When I approached the deer, it stood up and started staggering around. I could see that it had been shot near the base of the antlers. All of a sudden a wave of mischief overcame me. I got out my rope and fashioned a noose which I threw over the deer’s head. I then tied the other end to a tree.

I went to get my wife and told her I had seen a buck that she could shoot. When we got close, I had her crawl on her belly to get within range of the buck. She made a good shot on it and killed it. However, she was more than a little peeved to get to the deer and find a rope tied around its neck. She has never hunted with me since.

as told by Otto Puhlman

Now you’ll have to decide whether or not you believe it.

Just in via email – The great Sacrifice

Posted by on Thursday, 25 October, 2007

Two deer hunters were standing on a ridge near a highway in rural
>> > Texas on
>> > the opening day of deer season.
>> > They both spotted a large trophy class buck meandering towards them.
>> >
>> > As the one hunter raised his gun to shoot, a funeral procession
>> > came slowly
>> > by.
>> >
>> > The hunter lowered his gun, took off his hat and stood with his
>> > head bowed
>> > until the procession was past.
>> > Of course by then, the deer was gone.
>> >
>> > The other hunter exclaimed “Wow! That was the most sportsmanlike
>> > act I’ve
>> > ever seen! You allowed this trophy buck to escape while showing
>> > such compassion and kindness toward someone’s dearly departed.
>> >
>> > You are a great humanitarian and a shining example to sportsmen
>> > throughout
>> > the world!”
>> >
>> > The first hunter nodded and said, “Well, we were married for 42
>> > years.”

Grizzly and Wolf Invasion

Posted by on Thursday, 25 October, 2007

While hunting in Wyoming this year, we talked to the local warden who informed us that there are now 50 grizzlies and 2 packs of wolves in and around the Green River Basin area in West Central Wyoming.

He said that the wolves were, at first, decimating the antelope herds by hunting them at night when the antelope would not run. Now, he says they are concentrating on the elk. I asked him if the wolves were killing moose and deer. He said they are killing some moose and some deer, but mostly elk. This winter, when the deer are on their winter range, might be another story.

He said the bears and wolves are being good ( just eating everything in sight) so they are leaving them alone to do their thing. He also said it won’t be long before grizzlies and wolves are in Utah’s Uintah mountains if not already there.