Desert Bull Scouting and Map Services

2006 Archery Desert Mule Deer


First of all, many thanks to Jeff with Desert Bull for putting me in the area and giving me the opportunity to shoot my best buck yet. Killer scouting package! I would recommend having a local scout for you out of state hunters as I am sure you can all relate to spending half of your hunt scouting, like I did in the Kiabab earlier in '05.

Anyway, the hunt was scheduled for later than I planned due to work commitments, so i headed for Arizona solo on New Year's Eve Day. Made it to my desert spike camp in about 6 hours from San Diego. Great directions and accurate coordinates Jeff! Set-up camp, had a few cold ones, unloaded the king quad, washed up and headed to scout "Water Hole #2".

IGot there at about 3PM and busted about 30 doves. Checked the wind, made two ground blinds around the larger native scrub brush, one on the South and one on the Northeasterly side. The blind on the South, looked like it was hunted before as there was old rebar in the ground in front of the bush with old decomposed cardboard and dry brush making a nice little pocket. This is where I wound up hunting from.

I Set my little blind stool in there and actually left it for future use, although I am sure it will be gone when I return next year. Anyway, made a mock scrape at the water hole and put some 4X4 down and got out of there.

Got back to camp, shot the bow, glassed some hillsides to the east, saw some 4wheelers riding. Ate some good dehydrated chow...which brought back sweet memories from the Alaska caribou float hunt and road trip back in August/September. Enjoyed the fire and hit the pillow dreaming of the next morning. Love the desert at night man.

Woke up at 5:00AM, felt really good, ate some caribou pepperoni sticks, packed some food and water for the day as I was planning on an all day stand on the water hole. Rubbed some charcoal from the spent fire on the face and hands, loaded up the king quad and rode off to the hole.

I Parked the quad a good .25 mile from the trail head in and walked. Got in the blind and the wind was perfect! The Morning started to wake up the birds. Man, the quail were really talkling...chi..koo..koo....chi..koo..koo.

First the doves, then some other woodpecker type birds, then I saw a covey of about 20 quail came in at about 7:30AM. I knew the deer were listening too but I had to stand up slowly and video tape the quail.

As I was filming the birds busted...wasn't me...then I heard footsteps...I knew it was a deer, so I put my composure together and dropped the video camera slowly to the ground. Just as I was putting the camera down I see antlers bouncing over the bush to my left and straight towards the hole! These antlers were massive and tall!  My heart immediately started pounding and my mouth got dry. Right as he cleared into the open, he was advancing to the water hole broadside, I let the camera down on the ground and started to pick up my bow with my left hand ever so i raised the bow, the broadhead caught the brush and then popped loose only to thwack the only part of my arrow rest not covered by moleskin.

 The buck stopped in his tracks broadside, not yet at the hole. The stare down was on. It was only 5 seconds but it seemed like an eternity. He was huge and I could really now see his spread and tine length. His neck was swollen and I swear I could smell him. This was surely the biggest buck I have ever had this close of an encounter with. So just as I was starting to come to terms with spooking this giant...he turns his head like nothing happened and headed straight for the hole and put his head down into my mock scrape! Yeah baby...I started to draw back from 30 yds and he caught me but it was too late,I released the carbon shaft tipped with a 100 grain muzzy from the Matthews death machine right through the front shoulder, pump station and out the other shoulder.

Needless to say, ground shrinkage did not apply here. I was in disbelief and was having monster buck video flashbacks...unreal...this is why we hunt man...not much can compare to the way I felt that morning. This was the first and last deer i saw on this trip and that was just fine with me. He was awesome, was rutting hard, rubbing cactus at his bases. His tarsal glands  were wet and stinky, but man did I love that smell on this morning!

After field dressing, I dragged him back to camp via the quad, constantly looking over my shoulder and grinning. I got back and took some photos with the tripod and proceeded to dress him out Alaska fillet style into quarter game bags with citric acid, the whole bit.

I loaded the meat into a large igloo pre-loaded with 5 bags of block ice, packed up camp ( I am making this all sound easier than it was. I almost passed out a couple times from the excitement, over-exertion and dehydration. Solo missions can wear you out a bit.)

So then hit the road. I was high as a kite on this hunt I called everyone I know and before I knew it I was back in SD. Meat was in great condition and was just finished up the butcher today. Oh yeah he, weighed about 150 field dressed...that's what my Cabela's scale read .

Alright, sorry for the longwinded story, but I am eternally stoked. '06 has already rocked! Good luck to all in the field. Thanks again to Jeff. Happy New Year and may the spirit of the beast live on..





                                    Acts 4:12 Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved.


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