fstop (199 posts)
Jan-08-14, 01:14 PM (MST)
3. "RE: Anything big down??"
I just returned and had a great hunt. Killed a giant in my book, not in FOUNDER'S book, but we all know Brian has unreasonable expectations! LOL!!
Some of my friends down at Kings Camo invited me on the hunt a few months back. My wife and I were a little apprehensive due to the media reports of violence the past few years. However, we never encountered anything that would keep me from going back. I never felt threatened, nor did I feel unsafe. We went with Sonora Desert Expeditions. Kevin (my friend) had been down the year before and killed a giant 200 class deer. Our host and outfitter was Hugo Mendez. We flew to Tucson, which saved us about $800.00 per plane ticket versus flying to Hermosillo. Hugo picked us up in Tucson, had our paperwork ready and drove us to the ranch.
When you take your guns to Mexico, you must have a gun permit that is to be signed by the military. Upon entering Mexico we went straight to the military base to get our papers signed and here is where it got interesting. Apparently the major who needed to sign our gun permits had an upcoming hunt of his own and shot the same caliber as I had brought. He asked if he could "borrow" some shells for his hunt. I had brought 40, so I gave him 10. I guess he was also hungry, because he asked for a bucket of KFC chicken? They were really nice about it, we all just chuckled and went on our way!
The accommodations were fine, not five star, but I was there to hunt, not watch tv or be catered to. We had hot water, decent beds, and great Mexican food. The terrain was much like southern Utah, except there were very few glassing opportunities and it was so thick you at times could only see 50-100 yards. Also, everything down there has a thorn of some type, whether it was the cactus, which is everywhere, to even the trees! You don't just sit down anywhere, otherwise you end up pulling something out of your butt!
We hunted out of high rack trucks in the morning and evenings and walked and glassed in the 70-80 degree afternoons. This type of hunting definitely gives new meaning to the phrase "road hunting." We probably averaged 20-30 miles a day. Not what I'm used to, but as the saying goes "when in Rome" well you know the rest! Didn't see huge bucks everyday. Not that I expected to, but a few in our party didn't even see a deer the first two days! It was hot, even by Mexico standards. The rut was just starting and everyday the deer became more visible.
I passed a solid 185-190 class deer the first morning and couldn't get that buck out of my mind for the next two days! I didn't see a big buck on the second day and on the third morning we found my buck just five minutes after we left the ranch house. It was in an area we'd passed multiple times before and hadn't seen a thing. This time there we about 7 does and three bucks. He was the biggest in the group, my second biggest to date. I was really happy with him, not the 200 inch buck I was trying to hold out for, but really heavy. He has a great inline and an extra that he broke off that looks like it was about 2 inches. He is 26 inches wide and scored about 183.
I would definitely go back! The language barrier was a bit tough, but the people were great. Hugo did his best to accommodate our every need. He had about 22K acres to hunt. Most of it is family land. He did loose about 5K this year as another outfit had come in and offered his cousin more money, but as mentioned earlier, money rules down here. Well ok, money rules everywhere. We had four hunters/friends in camp. Kevin ended up taking a giant 30 inch wide buck on the last day and Jed and Chad both had shots as well. Jed shot at the biggest buck I had seen in six days of hunting. Sure felt bad he didn't connect, but I'm sure he'll be back.
A couple of side notes. Due your homework before you go. If Kevin hadn't gone the previous year, I doubt I would have felt as comfortable. He told us what to expect and Hugo did his best to get us onto deer. Some of the area, just didn't hold deer. Talk to the outfitter about water. I believe water down there is key to finding and holding does, which in turn brings the bucks. I never saw the same buck twice? Not sure why? I guess they (the bucks) were moving and traveling so much and the desert is so thick, you just don't get a second opportunity very often. Make sure your hide has been frozen for at least 24 hours before you bring your hide home. Kevin's was only frozen for 14 and the US Border Customs wouldn't allow it to come home with us. Hugo had to retrieve it and send it back with his clients who arrived after us. Make sure your hide is free of any live ticks. They really looked closely at our hides with a fine tooth comb.
The shells, the chicken, the people, the food, and falling off the high rack one morning and landing on my back are memories I'll never forget. I definitely learned a few words in Spanish...Like ALTO! When backing up to look at a deer and the guide tells the driver, "ALTO, ALTO." HOLD ON, otherwise the truck will STOP ("Alto") and you'll end up on your backside trying to regain your breathe after falling six feet! I'll have a show on our hunt in late Jan or early Feb. Hope you enjoy the pictures and our upcoming show.
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