13B

SanJuanSlayer

Active Member
Messages
243
My dad was lucky enough to pull an AZ 13B rifle tag in the random pool. We are beyond excited!

I'm really just sharing in the excitement and would love to hear thoughts or see pics of bucks from the area.

I also think I have him talked into hiring a guide. Anyone have recommendations? I've heard good things about Bundy and Arizona Strip Guides but I'm concerned some may be booked up already.
 

SanJuanSlayer

Active Member
Messages
243
Bundy's booked up. I'm kicking myself for not reminding my dad to check his results sooner. I didn't dream he'd draw so I wasn't worried about it.
 

SanJuanSlayer

Active Member
Messages
243
Or you could DIY and maybe have the time of your life.;)
Your right, we could and maybe we should.

At 76 this would be my dad's first guided hunt. He was an outfitter in CO in the 80s and killed multiple Dall's DIY when we lived in Alaska in the 70s so it's saying something for him to be looking for a guide. Everyone I talk to says this hunt is extremely difficult DIY and it's probably the only chance anyone in our family will have to hunt such hallowed ground.
 

Bluehair

Very Active Member
Messages
2,535
How a guy does it is his own business, and no doubt these "pros" have a line on a pile of critters (lots of the scouting is at the coffee shop, not necessarily in the field- lol). But the measure of a hunt, including an OIL premium hunt, still doesn't need to come down to inches.

I see every year here how good all of us are at turning up fine animals in tough, over hunted units. But when you finally draw the OIL tag, the pressure to "make the most of it" suddenly causes ones confidence to crater. Suddenly we worry that we won't be able to get it done on one of the best units on the planet, and we will waste the tag. Been there.

And as for the difficulty, lots of DIY'rs do that hunt successfully (my first time was in 1978, back then logistics was an issue. LOL). Depends on your measure of success. But I can tell you this, I would be completely satisfied with my boys on a DIY. I don't want a stranger in camp, no matter how much I'm paying him.
 

CouesFanatic

Active Member
Messages
696
Theres Brec Bundy with MDA but also don't forget Clay Bundy Outfitters, a different guide service. We killed this buck with Brec Bundy of MDA. If they are booked I'd look at Shadow Valley, Craig Steele of Exclusive Pursuit or Big Chino Outfitters. If there's ever a hunt to hire a guide on, this is it.

It's not about confidence to hunt. It's about local intel. The Bundy's live in the unit or some just nearby. They are in the unit every week and weekend. You just can't compare your scouting time to that. 50-60 years of being in the unit year round really helps with the hunt.

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SanJuanSlayer

Active Member
Messages
243
Thanks for all of the recommendations. He contracted with Arizona Strip Guides. I probably would have talked to a few more guides before pulling the trigger but he was feeling the pressure to get someone booked before it was too late.

I think he had 13 or 14 points. He has a lifetime license so he drew in the resident pool.
 

Largebull

Active Member
Messages
352
My dad was lucky enough to pull an AZ 13B rifle tag in the random pool. We are beyond excited!

I'm really just sharing in the excitement and would love to hear thoughts or see pics of bucks from the area.

I also think I have him talked into hiring a guide. Anyone have recommendations? I've heard good things about Bundy and Arizona Strip Guides but I'm concerned some may be booked up already.
Brec Bundy is the way to go. MDA Outfitters.
 

Largebull

Active Member
Messages
352
Thats why I got a guide on my Kaibab tag in 2018 . I was 62 , hadn't been there in 25 years ,really didn't know it even as a resident, and it turned out I was sick as a dead dog . And probably will never get the tag again in my life, it was well worth it . Buck is in My avatar. Good luck! .......................BULL!
 

Fishingkid

Member
Messages
90
Thanks for all of the recommendations. He contracted with Arizona Strip Guides. I probably would have talked to a few more guides before pulling the trigger but he was feeling the pressure to get someone booked before it was too late.

I think he had 13 or 14 points. He has a lifetime license so he drew in the resident pool.


What does something like that cost of you don’t mind me asking? Just curious
 

Largebull

Active Member
Messages
352
4,500-7500 plus gratuity. Depends on who you go with, how long and guide only vs fully outfitted.
You Guys did good with Who You picked I know some of them. My first pick would have been Brec Bundy, and Them 2nd . You will be in good hands . Can't wait to see Pictures, Good Luck and enjoy......................BULL!
 

SanJuanSlayer

Active Member
Messages
243
My dad arrived at camp 10 days before the hunt. He spent a bunch of time learning the roads but saw very few deer.

His guide Landon showed up three days before season and I showed up two days prior. There were 5 guns in camp which made me nervous.

Upon my arrival dad informed me that he had been watching a buck the guides called Leo. The guides guessed him at 220 and they had been seeing him consistently so we were pretty pumped.

The day before season I went with my dad to keep tabs on Leo. 30 minutes after light I picked him up with a dozen does and another buck we called wide buck.

I didn't think Leo was as big as the guides did. In hind sight if you look at his body compared to wide buck you can see why he was easy to under judge.


The evening before season we went back looking for Leo. With 15 minutes of light left and 12 other guides/hunters in the area he was nowhere to be found. I told my dad my gut feeling was that he was off to the north of the nob we were on where no one else was looking. Sure enough dad slipped over there and put him to bed without anyone else seeing him.

We went back to camp pretty excited and were pleasantly surprised to find that both my brothers had showed up. After discussing with Landon he was pretty pessimistic that Leo would be in the same place in the morning. These bucks tend to water at night and the guides have the trail cams to prove it.

We talked dad into staying on the west side of the knob with Landon where we figured everyone else would be. If Leo was over there he'd have a chance to compete with the other hunters. I went to the north side to see if he had stayed in his bed from the night before. If I found him I figured I'd have more time to get dad into position as the other hunters hadn't been watching this area.

Five minutes into first light I hear my brother on the radio. "Where is dad, we have the buck at 450 yard!" "I thought he was with you!" I responded. All of the sudden I'm in full panic mode. Five minutes of sprinting around and I finally found dad, on the north side of the knob near me. Turns out the hard headed old man decided he knew better than everyone else and he was going to go shoot Leo where he'd seen him bed the night before.

By the time I got him back to the west side of the knob the other hunters had spotted Leo and were between us and him, offering no safe shot. I watched in horror as bullets flew over other hunters heads and Leo finally fell to the fourth hunter to get a crack at him that morning. I had witnessed what was a true strip s**t show. Turns out there were 8 guns after Leo that morning and I counted 28 total people. To put that into perspective there's only 80 tags issued for this hunt.

Later that day we found out the lucky hunter was camped only a quarter of a mile from our camp. He was gracious enough to allow us to put hands on him. Landon taped him and I'll just say these strip bucks are bigger in every way than what I am accustomed to.


We were pretty deflated after that. Leo was the only giant that Landon knew of so expectations had to be tempered. The next few day yielded only one buck sighting and he was 1000 yards away and running.

On day three it snowed which had me excited. In Colorado snow always means good hunting. I couldn't figure out why the guides didn't seem excited about it. After hunting in the snow for a few days with no deer sightings I realized why. The deer density is so low there that once the deer are no longer tethered to water they disperse and become difficult to locate.

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A couple more days of hunting sun up to sun down without seeing a deer had us really discouraged. Landon was off to 13a in a couple of days and we hadn't even seen a buck that was tempting.

We had moved to the lower desert sheep/canyon country to try to turn up a buck with triple eye guards that we thought would break 200.

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On day six the guys from the neighboring camp decided to help spot for the evening. Staying true to there good luck they quickly spotted a cactus buck. Two of the other guns from our camp were closer and made a move. Shortly after I picked up a big buck at over a mile away. After only seeing a few deer in five days it was pretty exciting to say the least. The buck I spotted disappeared after only giving me a brief look. The other hunters missed a rushed shot at the cactus buck.

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The next morning dad, Landon and I were on the knob I was on the night before. After a couple of hours all we had seen was a couple of does and a small four point. One of the other hunters had decided to fill his tag with an ancient 3x4 so dad and Landon decided to go pick up the cactus bucks track.

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Landon proved his worth as a guide tracking the buck over two miles and through a canyon. After they crossed a road I began following them trying to glass out in front. They ended up jumping him out of his bed in a grassy flat at about 100 yard. That cagey old buck used the only terrain feature available to stay out of shooting sight and never slowed down or looked back as w e watched him go for over a mile until he finally found some trees to hide in. He was a 2x3 main frame with a dropper and too many extras to count, still in velvet.

That evening I went back to the knob I had found the buck from the night before. With only 15 minutes of light left I still hadn't turned him up so I moved to the other side of the knob and picked him up about a mile and a half away up under some cliffs. He had move about three miles in 24 hours. Again it was too far, too little light and too brief of a glimpse to say how big he was for sure but my impression was that he was a shooter.

With all the guides and two of the other hunters gone camp was much quieter. We spent the next morning and evening looking for my buck with no luck. The morning after that we decided to try a new area in the pines and saw quite a few deer but no shooters.

While back at camp middle of the day getting breakfast the game warden came by to check on us. He told us he had seen a giant typical that morning that he guess would go 205". He was generous enough to give me gps coordinates. With only a day and a half left in season we had a new target buck!

That evening I set dad and his wife on the knob closest to where the buck was that morning and I went to sit on a ridge to the west. Dad caught a glimpse of buck and went after him but couldn't relocate him before dark. This new area was PJ jungle with now obvious glassing points. There's a reason no one knew about this buck which is rare for the strip.

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The next morning we spent more time hiking than I'd like to admit but I had hoped to track him up. It was obvious that there was a herd living in this isolated spot which meant too many tracks to sort out with my level of tracking ability.

I went and broke camp. I was worn out after 9 1/2 days of hunting and it seamed impossible to kill this buck in the thick trees. After eating lunch I realized that it would be foolish to give up on such a great buck/tag so I talked dad into going back for one last hunt.

I set dad on the same knob and went to a ridge to the east this time. I hiked a half mile to my glassing point. As soon as I got there I get the call on the radio that they had spotted deer right where I was the night before. I got back to the 4runner as quickly as possible and drove back to where I had been the night before. Shortly after hiking to where I could see I spotted two does on the other side of a small drainage, 250 yards away. Following right behind was the biggest typical I have ever seen. Easily 32 wide; super tall; symmetrical and DEEP forks. I would say the game warden under judged him if anything.

Dad had moved down into the drainage and couldn't see him although he was only about 400 yards away. I spent my last fifteen minutes on the strip watching him until dark. Unfortunately in my haste I had left my spotter and digiscoping adapter in the 4runner so I didn't get any pics of him.

Overall this was one of the toughest hunts I've been on. It's just mentally taxing to go days without even seeing a deer. That being said I was incredible and I pray I can go again someday. This was my first experience in a guide camp and I really enjoyed the camaraderie. Beers and whiskey in wall tent with like minded people is good for the soul.
 

Mike

Member
Messages
39
Great story with a rough ending,It sums up that hunting is just that Hunting.It doesn't matter were you draw a tag or who and how much you pay to help you still need a little luck.Sounds like the experience was worth every day out there,im waiting for my turn!
 

Tikka

Very Active Member
Messages
2,957
Sounds like you had a great hunt with your pops, the harvest is just a bonus if it happens...


But below is what blows my mind on these type hunts...

"I had witnessed what was a true strip s**t show. Turns out there were 8 guns after Leo that morning and I counted 28 total people. To put that into perspective there's only 80 tags issued for this hunt."
 

Tikka

Very Active Member
Messages
2,957
We shared camp with these guys.

No wonder the below happened with Antler Trader and his bimbo present...


"I had witnessed what was a true strip s**t show. Turns out there were 8 guns after Leo that morning and I counted 28 total people. To put that into perspective there's only 80 tags issued for this hunt."
 
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mike111

Active Member
Messages
936
"I had witnessed what was a true strip s**t show. Turns out there were 8 guns after Leo that morning and I counted 28 total people. To put that into perspective there's only 80 tags issued for this hunt."

Great Story and sounds like you guys had a good hunt! My guess is if Arizona does ban trail cams there will be a lot less strip s**t shows going on.
 

BOHNTR

Moderator
Messages
4,078
"I had witnessed what was a true strip s**t show. Turns out there were 8 guns after Leo that morning and I counted 28 total people. To put that into perspective there's only 80 tags issued for this hunt."

Great Story and sounds like you guys had a good hunt! My guess is if Arizona does ban trail cams there will be a lot less strip s**t shows going on.
Need to ban radio too, IMO.
 

Bwht4x4

Active Member
Messages
823
I helped a buddy on a strip tag he drew randomly a few years ago. We got there the day before season and he killed a giant typical on opening day.

In that short of time we were there we saw the craziness that is the "Strip." On opening morning the line of cars going past our camp was ridiculous and the dust they created was even crazier. In the first couple of hours of light from our glassing point we could see people everywhere around us glassing and hunting. Heard a handful of shots. At one point we had a group of four guys walk up and talk to us. I'm glad I was able to experience the Strip, but it is not my idea of an enjoyable hunt. I'd take a lesser buck on a hunt without the craziness.

Banning cameras and radios would be a great start to relieving some of the crap on the Strip.

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