What’s your #1 tip for Coues

3TOE

Very Active Member
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1,281
I’m less than 8 weeks away from my first Coues hunt. Since even before learning that I drew a tag, I have been researching, reading & watching videos. Since drawing a tag, I have spent countless hours studying topo maps, Google Earth & talking to a few folks that have hunted them. I’m getting pretty excited!!!
What would be your number one tip for a first time Coues hunter?
 

HikeHunt61

Active Member
Messages
637
I can't wait to hear from the experts. My couple of Coues hunts taught me that nothing I learned elk hunting applies!

(But I'll bet it has something to do with staking out on a high point in an area with known deer bedding, glassing all day, and taking a longer shot than you might be comfortable with).
 

3TOE

Very Active Member
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1,281
I appreciate every shred of advice that I can get. I’m from back east & have killed more whitetail than I would ever admit. I’m hoping I can blend some experience from mule deer hunting & whitetail to help help me.
I have selected 3 very diverse areas to focus on at least for the first few days. One is a river bed, another is an area with low rolling hills & the last is mountainous.
Please keep the suggestions coming.
 

WHT_MTNMAN

Active Member
Messages
214
PM sent, feel free to contact me. #1 tip has been said above many times so I'll add a couple more.
1. Good glass and Tripod is a favorite way to hunt
2. If you don't want to glass, a lot of Coues like to spend the days in saddles at the top of the mtns.
3.southern units you need to have tough pants to protect your shins and legs
4. Grass is growing really well so they will be hard to see, get high and try to be glassing down.
5. Be patient. They are very small and they will disappear on you.
6. They are homebodies. They live in small areas

Good luck
 

3TOE

Very Active Member
Messages
1,281
PM sent, feel free to contact me. #1 tip has been said above many times so I'll add a couple more.
1. Good glass and Tripod is a favorite way to hunt
2. If you don't want to glass, a lot of Coues like to spend the days in saddles at the top of the mtns.
3.southern units you need to have tough pants to protect your shins and legs
4. Grass is growing really well so they will be hard to see, get high and try to be glassing down.
5. Be patient. They are very small and they will disappear on you.
6. They are homebodies. They live in small areas

Good luck
Thanks! I got your PM & just texted you. 👍🏻
 

Bluehair

Long Time Member
Messages
6,433
As mentioned, they are tiny guys and are generally pretty slow and cautious, although the bucks will run around during the rut. For the most part, they can stay in one little place all day.

If you think you saw one, or did see one that walked behind a tree or blade of grass keep watching and be patient. I’ve seen them walk behind nothing and not emerge again for hours.

I’ve walked to places where they disappeared and I was sure they gone, only to bust them out. They usually don’t move unless pushed.

Good times; good luck (y)
 

HikeHunt61

Active Member
Messages
637
Yes ^^^

First coues I ever saw: was checking out country when first moved to AZ. Walked across a bench between two stands of timber. Could see everything on the bench- the tallest brush was maybe 24" high. Stepped around a bush and BAM- this deer exploded from right under my feet. I wasn't sure which would kill me- the heart attack or the severe embarrassment.
 

AZGuy

Active Member
Messages
589
Another thing, hunting them with two people is much easier. Once you move in for a stalk the other person should never take their eyes off or him and guide you in. And if you know you are close and not seeing the buck he’s likely still there you just aren’t seeing him, don’t press it if you aren’t seeing them, they are crafty and blow out easy. Be prepared for longer shots if needed.
 

3TOE

Very Active Member
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1,281
I sincerely appreciate all of the advice guys. It sounds like it will be a fun hunt. I will be hunting with 2 new hunters. My nephew took a doe antelope on his first big game hunt & his friend that is going with us has never hunted. I have my work cut out, but I really want to show them a good time. I believe my nephew is hooked, so I’m sure I have a new hunting buddy I’m him.
 

Ihuntemall

Member
Messages
63
Get good glass, tri-pod and a comfortable seat. If your awake, your face should be glued to the bino’s or spotting scope. if you can, get some elevation to glass. Shoot a lot at long range. Hike away from the roads.
 

Sundevil

Member
Messages
5
Glass into the sun, looking into the shade. All day. It sucks but you will see more deer.

Also, follow garmin times religiously. If garmin says the best time is 12:00 (noon) to 2:00 then you better be behind your binos from 11:30 to 2:30
 

3TOE

Very Active Member
Messages
1,281
Glass into the sun, looking into the shade. All day. It sucks but you will see more deer.

Also, follow garmin times religiously. If garmin says the best time is 12:00 (noon) to 2:00 then you better be behind your binos from 11:30 to 2:30
Thanks man! I grew up hunting whitetail back east & I know all about hunting the moon phases & I believe in it 100%. No one could argue their point to make me believe otherwise. I kept a ledger years ago on my deer sightings by moon phase, weather & barometer. I know it works! 👍🏻
 

Leo

Member
Messages
16
-tripod is not optional. Also don’t underestimate the importance of a good smooth tripod head.
-Glassing pad or lightweight stool. Trust me on this. You HAVE to be comfortable or you’re gonna get whooped on the glass.
- glass shade mid day, don’t go back to camp till dark
- glass slow. If you think you’ve looked at everything, look five more times and then twice more after that
- it’s really boring until it’s not

It’s by far my favorite type of hunting. Have fun
 

Zeke

Long Time Member
Messages
10,092
I'm no expert but I've hunted them a half dozen times and I'll echo what above posters have all said. Great info.

I was shocked with the numbers of deer I could find, by comparison, when I'd sit and glass (SLOWLY) into the shadows. Use a grid pattern glassing technique once you've done an initial sweep.

I also love spot and stalk hunting. It's like sheep hunting to me...with more brush. haha

Zeke
 

3TOE

Very Active Member
Messages
1,281
-tripod is not optional. Also don’t underestimate the importance of a good smooth tripod head.
-Glassing pad or lightweight stool. Trust me on this. You HAVE to be comfortable or you’re gonna get whooped on the glass.
- glass shade mid day, don’t go back to camp till dark
- glass slow. If you think you’ve looked at everything, look five more times and then twice more after that
- it’s really boring until it’s not

It’s by far my favorite type of hunting. Have fun
I just upgraded my tripod a few days ago from a shorter height Outdoorsman’s to a Revic carbon bipod. I packed a pad in my pack for my rear end, but I’m seriously considering the stool / chair idea. 👍🏻
Thanks!
DAB18964-DA9A-4E3F-AA2F-33D537C06509.jpeg
 

Old_Cohntr6

Member
Messages
40
Tripod, great glass and a butt pad.
I know that is more than one tip but a great glassing point is key and patience helps!.
Jeff
 

3TOE

Very Active Member
Messages
1,281
I’m getting excited with the hunt rapidly approaching & starting to feel the pressure with everyone placing emphasis on how hard these suckers can be to glass up. I’m the only experienced hunter in my group, so I know our success will fall on my shoulders & my ability to locate deer. I’m hoping that after putting eyes on a few, they will become easier to pick out. 🤞🏼
 

BrianID

Very Active Member
Messages
1,970
Great advice already given. I'll also say they are much more difficult to glass than you would expect. It is much easier to spot mule deer and elk than coues deer. I tell new coues hunters I'm with to glass like they are trying to spot a coyote. They are called grey ghosts for a reason. They will suddenly appear and then vanish as soon as you take your eyes off them. If you see coues on a section of a hillside or saddle, it is likely a good place to see coues deer in the future.

You mentioned one of the areas you were going to look at was a river bottom. In general river bottoms are not high density coues areas. River bottoms are often excellent places to find western whitetail but coues are different. In all the units I've hunted with coues, the river bottoms hold mule deer but you will see few or no coues in them.

Make sure your new hunters can set up and shoot well in field conditions. There is a good chance you will have a coues buck at 300 yards and they will be slow to get in a solid shooting position and may have difficulty finding the coues in their scope. They can also be difficult to find after the shot. Make sure you can locate to exact spot they went down.
 

3TOE

Very Active Member
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1,281
Great advice already given. I'll also say they are much more difficult to glass than you would expect. It is much easier to spot mule deer and elk than coues deer. I tell new coues hunters I'm with to glass like they are trying to spot a coyote. They are called grey ghosts for a reason. They will suddenly appear and then vanish as soon as you take your eyes off them. If you see coues on a section of a hillside or saddle, it is likely a good place to see coues deer in the future.

You mentioned one of the areas you were going to look at was a river bottom. In general river bottoms are not high density coues areas. River bottoms are often excellent places to find western whitetail but coues are different. In all the units I've hunted with coues, the river bottoms hold mule deer but you will see few or no coues in them.

Make sure your new hunters can set up and shoot well in field conditions. There is a good chance you will have a coues buck at 300 yards and they will be slow to get in a solid shooting position and may have difficulty finding the coues in their scope. They can also be difficult to find after the shot. Make sure you can locate to exact spot they went down.
I hope I’m able to lock in on glassing them fairly quick. I have had several people tell me how difficult they can be to spot.

As for the riverbed, I received some intel from a personal friend & some locals that hunt the adjoining unit on the other side of the riverbed that only hunt that area & do well in there. I selected a few spots a good distance from the nearest road that I will probably focus on for a few evening hunts.
My OnX map is littered with areas that I marked all over the unit to check out. I plan to scout / hunt a different area each morning & evening until we either harvest or locate one that we want to stay after.

I have had them both out shooting a good bit. Probably up to 6 or 7 times now. My nephew shoots very well out to 400 off of a bench. We just started shooting off of a tripod last weekend & they both did great out to 300.
After the shot, I told them both that one person would stay on the glass to help walk us in on the recovery.
 

3TOE

Very Active Member
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1,281
2 weeks from today, we will be headed down to the border for our hunt. I’m getting super excited.
 

Tikka

Long Time Member
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3,771
#1 have fun and don’t put too much pressure on yourself to get the boys a coues… Enjoy the moments…
 

3TOE

Very Active Member
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I appreciate that Tikka. I have no doubt I will have fun. As for the pressure…. that’s easier said than done. I know you are right, but I know myself.
I have no doubt that I will enjoy the moments. I truly look forward to my few hunting days per year that I get to spend out there. It’s really the only time that I ever get to just relax & enjoy myself.
 

Homer

Long Time Member
Messages
12,520
I appreciate that Tikka. I have no doubt I will have fun. As for the pressure…. that’s easier said than done. I know you are right, but I know myself.
I have no doubt that I will enjoy the moments. I truly look forward to my few hunting days per year that I get to spend out there. It’s really the only time that I ever get to just relax & enjoy myself.
Coues hunting is the funnest.....relax, then glass again...
 

asolde

Member
Messages
76
I use to hunt 35B many years ago around Patagonia . I always got them high in the grassy fields. I think I hunted around 6500 ft. I would still hunt in the oaks but that was my honey hole. Small deer the grey ghost. Good luck
 

Zona

Member
Messages
9
They glow when the first sun hits them in the morning. Glass those spots first, if anything you'll get the frame of reference in your minds eye.

Don't ignore lone cones and little ridges.
 

llamapacker

Moderator
Messages
1,005
I always tell new coues deer hunters that if you are moving, you aren't hunting.
You cannot jump shoot coues deer or even find them by busting brush. You absolutely MUST sit behind your glass, and then glass more.
The tendency of elk and mule deer hunters, hell even whitetail hunters, is to think you can hunt them by covering ground on foot. You can only cover ground with your optics.
GLASS!
Bill

Looking forward to the report and pictures, as you are probably already out hunting!
 

Zeke

Long Time Member
Messages
10,092
I always tell new coues deer hunters that if you are moving, you aren't hunting.
You cannot jump shoot coues deer or even find them by busting brush. You absolutely MUST sit behind your glass, and then glass more.
The tendency of elk and mule deer hunters, hell even whitetail hunters, is to think you can hunt them by covering ground on foot. You can only cover ground with your optics.
GLASS!
Bill

Looking forward to the report and pictures, as you are probably already out hunting!
I totally agree. I think of it like sheep hunting.
A guy should only hike to get to the country and a good glassing spot.
I've accidentally jumped and shot one coues deer but it was totally by accident.

Zeke
 
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Kiwikid

New Member
Messages
2
Glass into the sun, looking into the shade. All day. It sucks but you will see more deer.

Also, follow garmin times religiously. If garmin says the best time is 12:00 (noon) to 2:00 then you better be behind your binos from 11:30 to 2:30
Kiaora brother.
I'm from New Zealand. Start my Coues hunt November 4th in unit 23.
Wandering if there is any way to get Garmin times on your phone? I can't figure it out and not a fan of watches.
Or is there a cell phone app you highly rate with similar information available?
Cheers mate 🤙
 

DeanLeonard

New Member
Messages
1
I think he is refer to the Solunar Tables. They predict major and minor wildlife activity daily based on the movement of the moon through its monthly cycle. You can find that info easily.
 

3TOE

Very Active Member
Messages
1,281
So did you get a deer 3toe?
My apologies for just now circling back, but as soon as my hunt ended & I returned home, I had to travel the following day for work & just returned yesterday.
Overall we a great hunt. We didn’t put any on the ground, but the experience left all 3 of us with the desire for a round 2 down the road. The first several days we would rotate on the locations between morning & afternoon hunts. The terrain in the first few locations was absolutely brutal. We located deer daily & I think by the end of the hunt, we put eyes on 10 bucks in 7 days. By the end of day 4 we decided to not be too selective. Unfortunately, by that time I had already passed on some smaller bucks. I’m intrigued by their sense of awareness & their uncanny ability to just disappear. Many of the deer that I glassed, I could only see their head because the grass was so tall.
I have a friend that is hunting the same area right now for the second season, so I’m hoping he has better luck than I did.
Here is a pic of the best buck that I located the day before the season opened about a mile and a half from the road in some thick & nasty crap. Went back in there after the opener & couldn’t turn him up again. I truly appreciate everyone’s help & advice, I’m looking forward to doing it again.
C1C11F58-B425-4D34-8D8E-42A560BBBF7B.png
 

3TOE

Very Active Member
Messages
1,281
Sounds like it was a great time, congrats Jorma!
Thanks! We had a great time & learned a lot about those little buggers. I will definitely return to hunt them again. I was slap wore out after a week of hunting, but I felt toward the end I was starting to dial it in & it was just a matter of time & a little luck. Next time!!! Lol
 

Pody

Member
Messages
35
I’m less than 8 weeks away from my first Coues hunt. Since even before learning that I drew a tag, I have been researching, reading & watching videos. Since drawing a tag, I have spent countless hours studying topo maps, Google Earth & talking to a few folks that have hunted them. I’m getting pretty excited!!!
What would be your number one tip for a first time Coues hunter?
Glass all day long
 

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