High-Desert Paradise-Part II
Posted on January 14, 2014
High-Desert Paradise-Part II, to read Part I, click here!
When it comes to big mulie bucks and remote country, nothing tops a hunt to Arizona’s Strip district.
By Dick Tone
Sticking It Out
The rains persisted and it did not look like the area was going to dry out anytime soon. We were prepared, however, to stick it out for the entire three-week hunt if necessary. Several opportunities to harvest smaller bucks at the gauntlet arose, but these were passed in hopes that the big one would come by at the right time.
Other guides saw what we had set up and one not-so-ethical guide sent his hunter in at daylight and at dark a few times and messed us up. It wasn’t illegal, but it was not necessarily the ethical thing to do either.
Jamie’s hunt was coming to an end, and it was decided that she would opt to take a smaller buck if she had a chance in the next couple of days. As it turned out she was able to make a perfect 40-yard shot on a very nice three-point buck. It was her first mule deer and an end to a very neat hunt and experience.
After several long hours sitting in the ground blinds, Jody began to see a pattern of where the deer were entering the trees heading to their bed. He decided to relocate his blind one evening after dark in an effort to be in the right position the next morning when the deer returned to their bedding ground.
It was Saturday morning and the Labor Day hunters were on the strip, so a little more pressure on the deer was inevitable. The deer we were hunting, however, were true to form and continued on their pattern. This time Jody was in the right place at the right time and was able to connect on a 35-yard shot at a very nice four-point buck. The hit was a little further back that he had wanted so we opted to let the buck bed up for a few hours before attempting to recover him. When we did go back after him, Richie was able to locate him in his bed and Jody was able to put the finishing arrow in the right place. Jody had is first mule deer buck and he was a dandy.
Success in the Strip
Without the help of Kip, Richie, Tory and a little luck I doubt if we would have had the successful hunt that we had. I did a lot of cooking and helped keep the moral support up. I also learned a lot as I usually do when I am hunting or helping. Just getting to see this wonderful country and experience this type of hunt is a great experience. Hopefully I will draw this tag again sometime before I am too old to get out and get after it.
Richie passed on several very nice bucks as he has a quite a few on the wall and was looking for something special. Tory had a friend from Utah hunting with him and he also passed on several nice bucks. Richie’s brother James and their friend Jared were also unsuccessful this time around. I can truly say, however, that each and every hunter in camp had a wonderful hunt and a great time.
Hunting an animal in this type of remote area is at best very difficult. Trying to do it with a bow and arrow makes is even more difficult. A little luck and a handful of knowledge from people who have done it in the past is always helpful. We had the advantage of both in this camp and, because of that, Jody and Jamie were able to have a successful hunt and harvest two exceptional mule deer.
If you are lucky enough to get one of the Strip Tags in the near future, I recommend that you contact one of the guides that works the area. The knowledge and experience that they have gained over the years will save you a ton of time and money, and drastically increase your odds at being successful.