Hunting in the Gila!

97TJNM

High Desert Redneck
Supporting Member
Joined
Oct 24, 2021
Messages
384
Location
Los Alamos, NM
Me and my buddy drew Coues Deer tags in the southern end of the Gila, north of Silver City, NM.

We are headed out tomorrow for 9 days of camping, hunting, bullshitting, and beer drinking!

We are taking Ol' Double Tough and the camping trailer, and are going to be trying to get 2 of those "Grey Ghosts".

Wish us luck, and I'll post up some pictures when we get back next week!

20221201_143034.jpg
 
OP
97TJNM

97TJNM

High Desert Redneck
Supporting Member
Joined
Oct 24, 2021
Messages
384
Location
Los Alamos, NM
Good hunting!
The Vancouver Island Columbian Black-tailed deer is a pure sub-species/Mule deer . . . I've never hunted your Coues Whitetails, but our Black-tails leave me scratching my head . . . often.
What do you use for a musket?

I'm bringing a Ruger #1 in 300 mag. This is my first Coues hunt, and I'm hoping to put some meat in the freezer, but they are reputed to be a hard hunt.
 

lowranger

TJ Guru
Supporting Member
Ride of the Month Winner
Joined
Feb 6, 2017
Messages
6,135
Location
Kelseyville, CA, United States
Me and my buddy drew Coues Deer tags in the southern end of the Gila, north of Silver City, NM.

We are headed out tomorrow for 9 days of camping, hunting, bullshitting, and beer drinking!

We are taking Ol' Double Tough and the camping trailer, and are going to be trying to get 2 of those "Grey Ghosts".

Wish us luck, and I'll post up some pictures when we get back next week!

View attachment 381016

Good luck!
 
  • Like
Reactions: 97TJNM

sab

"Semper Discens"
Lifetime Supporting Member
Joined
Jun 12, 2021
Messages
871
Location
DITHOT
Good luck, 97TJNM! I had the good fortune of chasing wapiti in the GMU north of you some time back. Ten days living out of a back pack. It wasn't a successful hunt, but it was a successful hunt - if you know what I mean!
 

lowranger

TJ Guru
Supporting Member
Ride of the Month Winner
Joined
Feb 6, 2017
Messages
6,135
Location
Kelseyville, CA, United States
Good hunting!
The Vancouver Island Columbian Black-tailed deer is a pure sub-species/Mule deer . . . I've never hunted your Coues Whitetails, but our Black-tails leave me scratching my head . . . often.
What do you use for a musket?

Yes.....our Columbian Black-tailed deer down here along the coast in Northern California in Mendocino county do the same to me. Pretty smart deer. I saw a buck run into an area, stop, lay down and put his chin on the ground to keep his antlers from sticking up above the brush to hide better.
 
OP
97TJNM

97TJNM

High Desert Redneck
Supporting Member
Joined
Oct 24, 2021
Messages
384
Location
Los Alamos, NM
Good luck, 97TJNM! I had the good fortune of chasing wapiti in the GMU north of you some time back. Ten days living out of a back pack. It wasn't a successful hunt, but it was a successful hunt - if you know what I mean!

I know exactly what you mean!
 
  • Like
Reactions: Head Lice
OP
97TJNM

97TJNM

High Desert Redneck
Supporting Member
Joined
Oct 24, 2021
Messages
384
Location
Los Alamos, NM
Yes.....our Columbian Black-tailed deer down here along the coast in Northern California in Mendocino county do the same to me. Pretty smart deer. I saw a buck run into an area, stop, lay down and put his chin on the ground to keep his antlers from sticking up above the brush to hide better.

It often amazes me how many people don't give enough credit to the intelligence of other species.
 

JMT

Saxum Erepo 🪨
Supporting Member
Ride of the Month Winner
Joined
Feb 27, 2017
Messages
19,024
Location
🌎
Yes.....our Columbian Black-tailed deer down here along the coast in Northern California in Mendocino county do the same to me. Pretty smart deer. I saw a buck run into an area, stop, lay down and put his chin on the ground to keep his antlers from sticking up above the brush to hide better.

But you saw him!

They are smart though. I’ve often wondered how many I’ve walked by and missed just because they had their antlers below the grass line.
 
  • Like
Reactions: 97TJNM

JMT

Saxum Erepo 🪨
Supporting Member
Ride of the Month Winner
Joined
Feb 27, 2017
Messages
19,024
Location
🌎
In our little mountain town, we have a good number of Mulies that roam free. Lots of easy grub, can't hunt em in town... it's a great life for a deer if they can avoid the traffic!😆

When we lived in TX we’d ski over in Ruidoso. I can attest the mulies were like pets. We’d always buy apples so the kids could lure them in. Some would eat out of their hands. Great times.
 

JMT

Saxum Erepo 🪨
Supporting Member
Ride of the Month Winner
Joined
Feb 27, 2017
Messages
19,024
Location
🌎
Me and my buddy drew Coues Deer tags in the southern end of the Gila, north of Silver City, NM.

We are headed out tomorrow for 9 days of camping, hunting, bullshitting, and beer drinking!

We are taking Ol' Double Tough and the camping trailer, and are going to be trying to get 2 of those "Grey Ghosts".

Wish us luck, and I'll post up some pictures when we get back next week!

View attachment 381016
Wishing the best for you guys. You’re going to have a blast. I hope you can top it off with a Coues buck in the 100lb zone! That would be epic!!!
 
  • Like
Reactions: 97TJNM
OP
97TJNM

97TJNM

High Desert Redneck
Supporting Member
Joined
Oct 24, 2021
Messages
384
Location
Los Alamos, NM
Found a bit of signal on top of this mountain. It's called Century Hill, but it ain't no hill!😆 We hiked it yesterday, tons of Coues sign, but so far I've only seen Mulies. Still, we think this is going to be a great area. Tons of Coues scat around, spotted several piles less than 24 hours old.
20221204_123526.jpg

It has rained almost constantly the last 2 days, but the sun is supposed to come out tomorrow. We hope that will help change our luck. A fog settled in this afternoon, so this is the mountain now.
20221204_154310.jpg

And of course, a glamor shot of Ol' Double Tough. (Dec. 2022 ROTM winner? It's not edited, I promise!🤣)
20221204_101749.jpg

More later, when I have service again!
 
OP
97TJNM

97TJNM

High Desert Redneck
Supporting Member
Joined
Oct 24, 2021
Messages
384
Location
Los Alamos, NM
Well, to get right to it, the hunt was, as @sab said, unsuccessful, but successful. We hunted the mountain in my last post for 3 days before moving to other areas. It was hard hunting. The first day we essentially scouted, and walked about 5 miles up and down mountains and ravines. There was some great sign, but no sight of actual deer. We hunted the entire legal shooting hours, which was from approximately 0630 to 1730.
20221202_152320.jpg


20221204_073936.jpg

The rest of the days was split between a small patch of state land that was absolutely covered in Coues sign, but it appeared that they were only on it during the night, so we never saw them. It was about a square mile that appeared to be a pass through from private lands to the east to another hunting unit on the west that we did not have legal access to. That's the gamble you take when hunting a section of boundary land.
20221205_160736.jpg

We spent the last two days hunting a large section of National Forest Service land that was heavily used by Coues. We kicked up a total of 5 Coues and several Mulies. 4 of the Coues were does, and we harassed them for 2 solid days, hoping that this close to the rut, a buck would be around showing interest, but one never materialized. Probably just a week too early. It was also a full moon and it rained for 4 of the 7 days we were out there, making the hunt much harder.

The one buck we kicked up we saw about 10 minutes after legal taking hours on (I believe) the 2nd day. He was on an old Dept. Of Defense property that we had to pass through to get to legal hunting grounds, but he was a beauty. Unfortunately I was unable to snap pics of the deer.

All told, I walked about 15 miles over rough terrain. My buddy (who I'm not convinced isn't part goat) covered probably twice that. Our hunting styles are a bit different, and his lends to a lot more walking.
20221208_101308.jpg


20221207_085510.jpg

I saw some amazing scenery, stalked game, drank Guinness and Yuengling, ate great, and slept warm. I also drove Ol' Double Tough a ton, and covered some rough terrain. The TJ did great, and had zero issues.
20221208_172806.jpg

The hunt is over, and it's time to wash the Jeep, but the memory of it will carry me till next year. Maybe I can draw an Antelope tag next time!
20221208_171857.jpg
 

sab

"Semper Discens"
Lifetime Supporting Member
Joined
Jun 12, 2021
Messages
871
Location
DITHOT
That has all the indicators of a successful unsuccessful hunt! I’m jealous.
 
  • Like
Reactions: 97TJNM