Deer Season 2012- Buckless


November 16, 2012, 04:43 PM
I put in with two buddies from school this year (starting the tradition) and decided to give 6B another try. Historically this hunt has been a love/hate relationship for me. Above the rim there is a good population of does and small bucks, but I think a lot of the bucks get waxed during the muzzleloader hunt as the deer population up there is easily seen from the road and they aren't particularly scared of vehicles. Anyway the plan was to start off in the desert west of Sedona (dry creek area) in search of a decent buck and depending on how that went, we would eventually camp out above the rim in search of a spike.

The first morning we hiked in a few miles from my grandparents ranch located near El Rojo Grande Ranch. We had scouted a vantage point once before the season and we were on that bright and early. Right away we were dismayed at how many hunters were already out there. We had glassed a road when we scouted it but thought it was far back enough that most hunters wouldn't be out there. We were wrong, we saw 4 other groups of hunters out there the first morning. Right away I spotted 4 deer way out there, it turns out over a mile away. I thought I could see little antlers at one point so my friend Mike and I starting pulling a sneak while Ben stayed glassing on the hill. We did end up sneaking up on them to 100 yards and had there been a buck we would have connected, but they were definitely does. While we were gone the hunters on the hill north of us shot a nice buck. We happened to be on the same radio frequency so Ben heard the whole convo after the shot:

Buck Killer: "Hey Wally, I got a 4-point. I'm northeast of where you are, come to me."

Wally: "ok."

Buck killer: "Hey Wally."

Wally: "Yeah?"

Buck Killer: "You know the buck hanging in my garage?"

Wally: "Yeah."

Buck Killer: "It's bigger than that."

Good for them. Day 2 we hiked in there again. I set up again and found what was probably the same 4 does feeding near where they were the day before. My buddy Mike was on the hill Wally and his buddy killed the buck the day before. He saw a buck walking across a canyon. He tried to get closer and lost the buck. It's only his second year hunting and he made the mistake of taking his eye off the buck and texting me, going back to his pack for his knife, and then going back to sneak on the buck. So that didn't work out. We went and found the road mid day and that cut our hike to our hill(s) is half. Day 3 all we saw were a bunch of coyotes. I snuck to 420 yards of a coyote and botched the shot just over his back. I'm still sore about that. My friends wanted to try our luck up on the rim after that, 11 deer in 2.5 days wasn't enough to keep them interested. So we moved up there. Saw ~100 does in 3 days up there and they were all does. We also saw turkey, elk, a couple whitetails and even 2 javelina! Never seen them up in the pines before. We could find two pigs but not even a spike :s We did shoot some squirrels though, this "trophy pic" of Mike with his first one cracks me up:

The last day I was by myself, I headed back down to the desert. I found 4 deer in the evening. I pulled a mile sneak on them and didn't quite connect. One was a very large bodied deer and it was chasing the others around at one point. I think it was a buck but never did see antlers for sure. Anyway it was fun, no bucks but it beat working.

Here's some desert pics. I tried hard to find a buck. Looking forward to next year. Probably hunt a different unit.

Oh and we found this dead one. It's a pretty good buck, I estimate 24-26 inches wide. Another year and he'd have been a whopper:

If you enjoyed reading about "Deer Season 2012- Buckless" here in archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join today for the full version!
November 16, 2012, 05:11 PM
We seen a nice 4x4 Mulie up in 5B last Saturday.

Nice take on the squirrels.

Weather sucked up there with the rain/snow.

November 16, 2012, 05:17 PM
We seen a nice 4x4 Mulie up in 5B last Saturday.

Unit 5 has been my first choice for deer last 2 years. It's kinda hard to get, apparently. Seen a couple good bucks out there while elk hunting.

November 17, 2012, 09:49 AM
That trophy squirel pic is awesome. I hunted archery hunted in 6A and rifle hunted 36B last year and got skunked both places. Didn't get drawn this year and procrastinated so long that I didn't get a left over tag. Oh well. Hopefully I can get drawn for Kaibab next year :)

November 17, 2012, 10:07 AM
I used to hunt 36B when I lived in Tucson. I miss it.

If you enjoyed reading about "Deer Season 2012- Buckless" here in archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join today for the full version!