Monday, October 27, 2014

Darn Tough Socks and Arizona Desert Bighorn Sheep Update 3

The scouting continues for Arizona Desert Bighorn sheep and we have been having a lot of fun looking at rams!  The desert is in full bloom but finally looks like it will be drying out somewhat over the next few days.  Darr turned me on to some socks that I really like called Darn Tough.  We went on healthy hike the other morning and I thought the socks performed very nicely.  I don't like a sock that makes my feet feel clammy.  These did not disappoint.  These are the full cushion over the calf model.  I think I am going to get 4-5 more pair.  On another note the gnats and mosquitos are absolutely the worst I have seen in a long time.  You can see in the photo below those are gnats hovering around.  November should bring more mild temps and that we be a nice change.  The sheep seem to be grouping up and we are still continuing to see rams nosing around with the ewes quite a bit.  If you are scouting for a sheep tag remember to give it everything that you got because it only happens once in a lifetime.  Don't leave anything on the table that you will regret!  We are updating our Jay Scott Outdoors facebook page and instagram everyday with videos and photos of the scouting adventures, come follow us if you are not already. 

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Arizona Desert Bighorn Sheep Scouting Update 2

We have about 37 days until the general Arizona Sheep season opens and the range conditions are looking very good and green.  The sheep are doing well and their bodies seem to be fleshy.  We have been turning up new rams almost daily.  We will be happy to get thru these records temperatures of 96 degrees and cool back down into the 80 next week.  We keep saying any day now the weather should turn for the better as we start a gradual cool down into winter.  It cannot come soon enough.  Snakes, Snakes and more snakes!  Be careful out there!  The tall grass is hiding these little buggers pretty well.  I had an unwanted glassing partner the other day coiled up next to where I was going to sit.  We have been posting regular updates on the Jay Scott Outdoors facebook page so you might want to follow us there as well as our Instagram accounts at #jayscottoutdoors and @darrcolburn.  We have reached a milestone on our YouTube Channel at 1015 subscribers.  Thanks so much for subscribing and following our adventures.  Lord willing this scouting will pay off for us and our client will be able to harvest a real nice ram!

Sunday, October 19, 2014

10 Early Season Coues Deer Hunting Tips

By Darr Colburn
Darr Colburn with a 100 inch early season coues deer buck.
Lots of hunters will being hitting the hills over the next few weeks to hunt coues deer on the early hunts.  The early hunts offer some great draw odds and you can usually draw a tag every year.  These hunts are easy to draw but the high tag numbers, hot temperatures and low deer movement can make for a tough hunt.  The hunter success rates on the early hunts are generally pretty low.  We have been on these early hunts many times and had some good success.  Here are a few tips that we have learned over the years.  Good luck on your hunts!

1.  Get to your glassing points before light.  Lots of times deer are moving as it gets light and if you are not glassing you may miss a buck moving or feeding.  Hot daytime temperatures can limit deer movement to a few hours a day.  Take a headlamp and plan on walking in and out in the dark.  Glassing until dark also increases your chances of picking up a buck right at dark.

2.  Don't go back to camp during the middle of the day.  Pack a lunch and stay out all day.  Have you ever noticed from your trail cameras that coues deer usually hit water between 10am and 2pm?  Lots of times the middle of the day can be your best chance to glass up a buck.  By staying out glassing all day you may pick up a buck headed to get a drink mid day.  Coues deer rarely stay bedded all day long.  Even if the deer are not moving around very much due to hunter pressure, hot temperatures or a full moon they usually will get up and stretch and browse for a few minutes every few hours.  As the sun and shadows change deer will often get up when the sun hits them and move back into the shade.  This may be your opportunity to spot your buck. 

3.  When the temperatures are hot focus on the north slopes and shaded areas.  The north slopes and shaded areas usually offer more cover and cooler temperatures.  Coues deer will seek out these areas to bed in.  Glassing the north slope and shaded areas usually means you will be glassing in the sun.  Take a floppy hat and sunscreen to keep you from getting sun burned.

4.  Mount your binoculars on a tripod.  It does not matter if you have Swarovski or Bushnell,  if you mount them on a tripod you will see more!  When your binos are on a tripod your eyes are able to pick up movement and game better.  The Outdoorsmans carries several types of mounts to attach your binos to a tripod.  We like 12, 15 and 32 power binoculars for coues deer hunting.  My 15x56 Swarovski SLCs are my favorite all around coues deer bino.

5.  Be quiet and stealthy.  When you get to your glassing point don't clank tripods, talk loudly or make a lot of noise.  There could be deer within shooting range that you don't want to spook.  I have hunted with lots of people that just don't get that you need to be quiet even when hunting with a rifle.  Act like you would when you are bowhunting and you will seen way more game within rifle range.  Turn your cell phones off or on vibrate!

6.  Know the area or areas you plan on hunting.  It really helps to know glassing points, roads and water sources prior to your hunt.  Get online and put glassing points, trails, water sources and roads into your GPS prior to your hunt.  I spend a huge amount of time looking at the areas I plan on hunting on Google Earth and my topo map program.  I can have all the waypoints plugged into my GPS so I am not wasting valuable time while in the field.  I know how to get in and out of areas I have never been to by plugging waypoints from Google Earth or my topo map program into the GPS.  You can also find road less areas where there will be less people. 

7.  Get away from roads and other hunters.  If you can hike into areas away from other hunters you will typically see more bucks.  Most hunters are not going to hike very far from a road.  Cross a large canyon or hike for an hour in the dark and you will be hunting bucks that are less pressured.  If you can't hike very far look in areas that may be overlooked by other hunters like flats, lower desert country or thicker areas that are harder to hunt.

8.  If you have seen bucks scouting before your hunt they will likely be close by.  Bucks typically don't move very far this time of year.  I feel that if you have a big buck spotted the early hunt is your best chance to kill him because they stay in a relatively small area and you get first crack at them.  Don't give up if you don't spot him the first day or two.  Change your glassing location and keep looking where you have seen him before the season.  Persistence usually pays off.

9.  Once you spot a buck you would like to shoot don't take your eye off of him.  If the buck is in range get set up and shoot.  If you have a buddy with you they can watch the buck while you get set up or move into position.  If you are alone watch the buck until he beds before making a stalk.  Take note of land marks and vegetation around where the buck is bedded.  Move into position and wait for the buck to stand up and give you a shot.  Sometimes this could mean waiting all day for a buck to get up and give you a shot.  Be patient and don't think the buck is not there just because you can't see him.  Also don't try and get to close.  We usually never get any closer than 250-300 yards.  We have found that anything closer you are more likely to spook a buck without getting a shot.

10.  Know your rifle and where your bullet hits at different yardages.  Most of the bucks we have shot have been at ranges from 300-500 yards.  Sometimes the canyon country that coues deer live in prevent you from getting close.  Carry a rangefinder and know your ballistics.  Practice at the ranges you expect to shoot.  Don't try and shoot a buck a 500 yards if you have not practiced shooting that far.      

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Arizona Desert Bighorn Sheep Scouting Update

Darr and I have been having an incredible time scouting for the Arizona Auction Desert Sheep tag holder.  We have found some very nice rams and have had many special moments while trying to look in every nook and cranny.  Some observations that we have made over the past couple of months is that the country is greener than we have ever seen it at this time of year and the sheep seem to really be doing well.  The seem very content and happy with the conditions.  I am going to predict that in a few years we will look back on the growth rings and see a big jump on most rams during this year.  With the greener conditions the sheep seem to really be spread out all over the place.  This is something to remember if you are scouting for your upcoming December general season hunts.  You may very well find sheep in places that you wouldn't think to look.  Another thing that seems to be driven home each time we go out is that the rams never seem to be in the same place twice.  Meaning the last place that you saw them is the worst place to look for them.  We have bounced into many rattlesnakes while hiking and mostly in the dark.  Be very careful with the tall grass and extra foliage this year in regards to snakes.  Each day it seems we are turning up new rams and it is a very exciting time right now.  We have been posting regular video updates on our facebook, Instagram (@jayscottoutdoors and @darrcolburn), and YouTube accounts.  If you don't follow us yet, we suggest you come follow for the most up to date reports and videos of our scouting efforts.  All photos and videos below are by Colburn and Scott Outfitters.


Sunday, October 12, 2014

Video Series-KUIU Founder Jason Hairston's Montana Archery Elk Hunt

We have been featuring KUIU Founder, Jason Hairston's Montana Archery Elk Hunts on our Jay Scott Outdoors facebook page.  Click the link below to watch the playlist of the entire series.  Each clip is around 3-4 minutes in length.  We have just reached 1000 subscribers on our YouTube Channel!  Subscribe if you like our channel.  What a great adventure we had in Montana with Jason on his archery elk hunt!

Sunday, October 5, 2014

How to Target a Specific Coues Deer Buck

Brady Miller of and his first record book coues deer from Sonora, Mexico with Colburn and Scott Outfitters  Photo Credit Brady Miller

I would like to tell you that Darr and I had this buck targeted and knew his every move and Brady executed his job as the hunter perfectly.  Only the latter is true.  We are pretty sure that we saw that buck one afternoon one year earlier in the 2013 season in January.  Brady won the hunt in January 2014 by winning the KUIU photo contest.  Brady tried spotting and stalking for a couple of days with his bow and then decided to sit a water hole one morning around 10am.  We chose the water hole because of its location to a couple of nice bucks that frequented the area.  The buck came in for a drink and he made a perfect shot and the buck actually expired in the tank.  Brady's buck net scored just over 110 inches and grossed scored over 118 inches.  Congrats to Brady Miller on a trophy of a lifetime.

Even though this particular buck was more a matter of chance in terms of patterning, I truly believe you can target coues deer bucks and prey upon some of their predictable patterns.  Coues deer season is just around the corner.  I know many guys that spend the summer patterning these deer and then harvesting them on the October tag.  If you haven't hunted coues deer much, one of the most deadly things to know is that they have a very small home range.  Most bucks don't travel more than one mile out of their core area their whole life.  The Ockenfels study, shows that coues deer does have an even smaller home range down to about 1/2 of a mile radius in their home range.  Coues deer bucks have a small range with the exception of the "rut" where they have been noticed traveling 4-5 miles from their home range.

So how do you pattern a coues buck?  The first step is to get out and do a lot of glassing.  Time in the field is an important element here to success.  Find a buck that you want to  pattern then try to glass him during his every move.  Get to know his patterns intimately.  Learn where he beds and where he feeds.  Look for travel patterns to and from his bedding zone.  The more you can learn his pattern and movements the more pieces of the puzzle you can put together for the time of harvest.  If you are not fortunate to have bunch of time prior to the season but do get out to scout once and see a big buck you need to assume that you saw the buck in his home range.  Therefore, you need to place a concentrated effort glassing from different vantage points into his location.  Be careful not to disrupt or penetrate his core living quarters.  Stay back and observe until you have a good attack plan.  One of the most effective tools and important things to remember is that you need to be extremely patient and keep telling yourself not to bounce around too much because the "targeted buck" is right in front of you.  I have lost faith and been impatient thinking my buck has left only to be quickly reminded he has been bedded in the home area the whole time.  More to come on this subject soon.  I love getting others feedback on subjects like this.  What have you guys witnessed when patterning bucks? What tactics work for you?

I would like to remind you guys to visit and follow us on Instagram at #JayScottOutdoors, facebook at Jay Scott Outdoors and please subscribe to our You Tube Channel to get video updates of our adventures.

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