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High Plains Outdoors Episode
Fri January 18, 2013
Larry Makes the Record Book in Sonora Mexico
Size is relative. Most folks living on the high plains would scoff if you told them a good sized whitetail buck weighed 105 pounds and had 90 inch antlers. They'd probably tell you that was a half way decent size yearling. But, those stats are excellent for the Coues deer, named after cavalry surgeon, Elliott Coues. As a matter of fact, Larry Weishuhn, made the record book recently with a gross score of 135, and a net score of 120 on his deer. To get into the record book with a Coues deer, you only need a Boone and Crockett score of 110.
The challenge in hunting these animals is twofold— the terrain they call home and in the physical traits Coues deer possess. Coues deer are primarily found in the high mountain desert of New Mexico, Arizona, and Mexico, typically at elevations between 4,000 and 8,000. Their small stature, coupled with how well they are camouflaged, makes this small deer very difficult to spot. Another difference between these little deer and the larger white tail is tail flagging. The Coues deer doesn't stand their tail, waving it back and forth as they run, they run with their tail pretty much parallel to their back, which adds to the difficulty in seeing them.
A good portion of a Coues hunt is spent hiking up steep inclines and behind the lens. Good optics are vital. Most of the time, you cannot see the deer's body. What you're looking for is shine off their nose or eyes, or a change in shadow. Preparation is also extremely important. Larry is not a proponent of long-range shooting, but it's a distinct possibility, so it's best to be prepared for that. He spent a lot of time training at the FTW Ranch. They have a sportsman all-terrain, all-weather marksman's course, and once he completed that he was ready physically in addition to having a really good idea where that bullet was going to strike at fair distances.
Yes, size is relative. A Boone and Crockett score of 130 with any other deer would not be impressive, but for this little Coues, it's one for the books.