Sunday, February 24, 2013

Ask JSO Questions 1-Coues Deer Hunting

We get many great questions emailed to us from hunters all over the country and parts of the world for that matter.  We have been keeping track of some of the questions and are going to be starting a new segment here on the JSO Blog.  We have been trying to think of a name for the category but have yet to come up with something sharp.  So for now we will call it "Ask JSO".  Feel free to send any outdoor/hunting related question to us at and we will try to answer as best we can. 


Answer by Jay Scott-The answer to this question is I love both for different reasons.  We guide/hunt in Arizona and Mexico.  If I had to choose one or the other and you take out the economy of hunting in Arizona close to home then it would be Old Mexico without a doubt.  The simple reason why I like Mexico better is more bucks.  The complex answer is I love the overall quality experience while coues deer hunting in Mexico.  Typically, you see many more mature bucks than if you were hunting on public lands.  While trophy hunting for a quality buck it is nice to know that you can "leave a buck" and keep searching for a bigger one then if not found return and glass the original buck up.  Sometimes this may take a day or two.  When hunting public alot of times if you "leave a buck" you never know if he will be there or not when you come back.  It makes walking from a buck way more risky.  Usually the amount of bucks and overall size of mature bucks can make for a much better hunt.  There is something to hunting the animal you are after and not focusing on managing people and other hunters.  Sometimes hunting coues on public can be somewhat of a "rat race".  I wish that every coues deer hunter could get the chance to experience coues deer hunting in Old Mexico.

Answer by Darr Colburn- I look at hunting Arizona and Mexico as two different experiences.  I shot my first coues deer in Arizona 23 years ago and have been hooked on hunting these deer ever since.  I can see mountains that hold coues deer from my house and any chance I get I am out glassing and exploring new spots to hunt.  My expectations on an Arizona state land hunt are different than while hunting in Mexico.  Coues deer hunts in Arizona can be somewhat of a rat race but you can get a tag to go hunt every year.  The top end bucks killed in Arizona rival those harvested in Mexico every year but the age class of bucks is older in Mexico in my opinion.  In Mexico you can hunt during the prime rut (January) while in Arizona the premium hunts end on December 31 which is usually pre rut.  The lack of hunting pressure in Mexico makes the experience second to none.  I have been going to Mexico for 12 years and it continues to be the hunt I look forward to the most every year.

See answer below

The four photos above are pictures of a couple of desert ranches in Sonora, Mexico.

Answer by Jay Scott-Again the answer to this question is both.  If I had to choose one or the other to hunt for the rest of my life it would be a mountain ranch because I like to see lots of deer while hunting.  Most mountain ranches have more deer and more bucks.  The flip side is desert ranches have less deer but can have some giant bucks.  I can see how my answer may breed more questions on this subject and we welcome those.  You may ask what do I consider a mountain ranch and a desert ranch.  A mountain ranch is one that can be found at say 3000 feet elevation and above.  Mountain ranches contain vegetation like oaks, mesquite and yellow grass where a desert ranch has lots of cactus, ocotillo and palo verdes.  I do really like mountain ranches that have lots of mesquite and ocotillo country as opposed to all oaks.  We have killed giant bucks on both types of ranches but I would say that the desert or "flats" ranches produce more giant bucks than mountain ranches.  See the pictures above of Desert ranches and below of Mountain ranches in Sonora, Mexico.

Answer by Darr Colburn- My answer is I love hunting coues deer in Mexico and it does not matter what type of ranch it is as long as I am hunting!  I do like the style of hunting better on a mountain ranch versus a low desert ranch.  The biggest bucks I have seen in Mexico have been on the low desert flats ranches.  These ranches are often tough to hunt and glass.  Lots of the desert flats ranches are low deer density and require sitting water holes or riding in a high rack.  I enjoy glassing and seeing high numbers of deer so the mountain ranches appeal more to my hunting style.  The biggest buck I have shot in Mexico came from a mountain ranch.

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