Dec 29, 2008

Ty Goodman, Unit 10

Earlier that day...

Ty Goodman, Unit 10

I picked up Ty in Valle about noon on Thursday. He brought enough stuff to camp for a month. On Wednesday he called me to tell me when to meet him in Valle and during our call I was driving down an old two tracker in an area I don't usually scout much. I hit the brakes and said, "Hold on just a sec!" There was a buck a mere 100 yards out my window standing there - this never happens on the Plateau. I could here Ty yelling though the phone wasn't next to my ear, "What do you see? How big? You're killing me man..." After just a short peak I grabbed the phone and quickly rattled off, "I'm looking at the buck you're gonna kill. I gotta go," and I hung up the phone. The buck started trotting off. I grabbed my back up camera, a Panasonic FZ30, and put it up to my scope to try and get some evidence before the buck disappeared. My pictures weren't very good.

The buck cleared a ridge and I hiked after him. I spotted him at just over 200 yards and took some pics with my real camera, though it wasn't quite made for this distance. The buck had short prongs, but great bottom mass. I thought he was about 16 inches. And knowing what I know about top mass I figured his tops were pretty big as well. I guessed him at 86 to 88 inches.

The night before the hunt I sat down with Ty and we reviewed all my photos. I showed him several bucks over 84 inches, 3 serious candidates for us to chase opening morning. One was in Aubrey Valley and the other two were on the Plateau. Our camp was right near Tin House on the Plateau so I hoped we wouldn't have to go to Aubrey, but I didn't tell Ty where the bucks were as I didn't want that to influence his decision.

I told him all 3 bucks were 86 inches on the conservative side and just told him to pick the one he liked the best.

He chose the buck in Aubrey. Ugh. With the road going through Rose Well closed we would have to drive clear around and it could take several hours. Looks like we were going to be waking up EXTREMELY EARLY in the morning.

And we did. I had an energy drink to get going and Ty helped keep me awake during the drive with more elk hunting stories than I'd ever care to remember! :) Turns out that Ty knows Chipper Jones and had guided many of the same hunters we had.

We got to Aubrey at exactly the right time surprisingly as we weren't sure exactly how long the drive was going to take. We plodded down the dirt road and stopped to glass a few times before we spotted him. He was within a few hundred yards of where I had seen him last. No hunters in sight which was unusual. We started hiking. Two miles out and the buck herded up with some others and rutted his way clear to the other side of our truck. We hiked back. When we got to the truck we were both dripping with sweat though the morning was still a bit chilly. We replanned, but while we did the buck made tracks right back to where we just were! Gr...

We hiked on him again as there weren't any roads in this area. This time, when we got to where the buck was, he decided to move away from us another two miles. We kept after him. We also noticed several hunting trucks just beyond him and wondered if anyone was chasing him.

We knew the buck was just on the other side of the ridge about 600 yards from us. BLAM! A gunshot rang out and Ty exclaimed, "They shot him!" We didn't even know who "they" were at the moment, but we knew "they" were very close to us and most likely firing at the buck we were after. The herd bolted and appeared directly in front of us running full speed without the herd buck! We scanned, no buck, all does. Our hearts sank and then it happened - the buck appeared, unscathed, nearly 300 yards behind the does. The buck paused on the hillside just 311 yards away. Ty dropped him.

The other hunters walked over to us afterward and they were very cordial. I wish I could remember their names, but one of them was a guide for Diamond Outfitters. Both were genuinely happy for Ty's success. Definitely an exciting hunt!

Ty waited (like most people) well over 20 years to draw this tag! We had a blast hunting together and hopefully we'll get to do it again real soon.

Ty's buck officially scores 90 3/8 SCI. Not much length or prong with those coming in at 15 3/8 and 15 4/8 and 5 4/8 and 6 1/8, but HUGE mass with his bottoms measuring 6 5/8 and 6 7/8 and then 7 5/8 and 7 6/8 under the prong. His tops were unreal at 5 7/8 and 5 6/8 just above the prong and 3 5/8 and 3 6/8 on his last measurement.

The buck I saw when I was on the phone with Ty

The buck I saw when I was on the phone with Ty

The buck Ty chose!

Ty's Buck Again

Dec 26, 2008

The Official Rundown for 2008 - One Buck at a Time

Dave Brown with buck

Mark Norris with buck (pictures taken next morning)

Mark Norris, Unit 10

We hooked Mark up with Dave Brown and, quite unaccustomed to how we normally do things, Mark and Dave scouted many times together. This isn't a bad thing, it's maybe even a good thing, just not how hunts normally happen because usually hunters are coming in from out of state. Since Mark lives in Arizona and he knew he may never draw this tag again he thought he'd make the most of it by spending as much time in the field as possible.

Together they scoured most of the unit and decided to chase a particular buck up on the Plateau on opening morning.

I was guiding Ty Goodman, but having a lot of cell phone troubles so I couldn't contact anyone the day before the hunt. However I ran into several hunters (never did see Dave and Mark) who were all telling me of a giant buck that supposedly everyone was going to chase and, of course, it was in the same area Dave and Mark told me their buck was!

Ty and I were done opening morning around 9 and I high tailed it to where Dave and Mark were hunting hoping that they were done, but that if they weren't that I might be able to help out.

My phone finally worked and I talked to Rocky (who came to help and have fun with Dave and Mark) and he said they weren't done yet. I told Rocky that I might have a buck for them stashed away and with only about 60 minutes of light left Rocky said to meet Dave where their camp was ASAP and to see if we could figure something out.

I got to camp and Dave quickly explained their morning adventure and 12 miles worth of hiking and it seemed that those "other" hunters were right as there were a lot of people hunting that same buck.

I showed Dave some video I had of two really good bucks and Dave agreed that we should go after one of them, but the problem was they were both an easy 30 minutes away which wouldn't give us any time to hunt them once we got there. I then remembered one last buck that I found last year and just the day before opening day found again. He lived about 2 miles from any road, but could be scoped up with enough patience and luck. I flipped on the camera and Dave about jumped out of his shoes. Mark agreed. Let's go kill that buck!

We got to the spot where I saw him the day before and we found a few bucks in the distance and then finally found the one we were looking for. With only 30 minutes of light left Dave and Mark went for it! Rocky, Travis, and I stayed behind and watched through our spotting scopes. After about 20 minutes we could still see Dave and Mark and it appeared that they hadn't walked very far - they were still a long ways from the buck! 5 minutes more passed by, the sun has been gone for a few minutes now and the remaining light was fading fast.

And then it happened - the buck and his does took off running! Uh oh! It appeared that they had been spooked by something. We didn't know if Dave and Mark saw this or what or if they were the ones who spooked them.

And then a good thing happened, but we weren't sure how good it was going to work out - the herd bolted straight toward where we last saw Dave and Mark! And then...a few seconds later...we heard the gunshot!

Mark recounted the story when we got to them - complete darkness by now - and the shot was only 80 yards away! How's that for a perfect ending to the day.

Mark's buck officially scores 90 0/8 SCI. It's 16 4/8 on both horns with prongs of 6 6/8 and 6 5/8. Awesome bottom mass of 6 7/8 and 7 0/8 at the base and 7 4/8 and 7 5/8 at the first quarter. The tops were this bucks only slightly weak point, but they were still about average for a giant buck at 4 2/8 and 4 1/8 and then 3 1/8 for the last measurement.

Dec 17, 2008

Arizona Regs!

They're finally here - get the PDF version HERE.

I'll go over the worst and best units for 2009 sometime after Christmas.

Also, there's a field photo on the cover of a great buck taken by one of the regular readers/contributors of the Arizona Hunter Forum! And, on this rare occasion, I happen to have a few live photos of this buck that I'll post either tomorrow or Friday.

Dec 16, 2008


I need to make a correction to my thoughts on the Arizona Antelope Recommendations. I misread the 19A hunt. It appears as though the rifle hunt south of 89A is still active, but that the G&F is just going to combine the hunt south of 89A with the hunt north of 89A. So, basically they just eliminated both individual hunts and combined them into one hunt...and added 15 tags to the overall equation.

Dec 14, 2008

Antelope Transplant

Here's the LINK.

I'll find out where exactly the were released and where they came from in Utah - I'm guessing the Plateau Unit.

Dec 12, 2008

A Buck we Named "Buddha"

We found this buck in Unit 7 in 2002. He was running with a buck we thought was about 87 inches and Buddha clearly dwarfed him. We didn't have any hunters for this unit, but we went up to locate the buck the day before opening day and to hopefully see the buck on the ground if someone took him. Unfortunately the buck was nowhere to be found the day before opening day or anytime during the hunt. We never saw the buck again.

Dec 8, 2008


Our DVD, Size Is Everything will soon be sold directly from our blog...along with a lot of other really cool stuff that you won't be able to resist! But for right now, whatever you do, do not, under any circumstance, click the button below. You'll scream obscenities, you're head will spin in circles, and you may indeed vomit pea soup! Don't do it, it's not worth it.

This is just a test to see if I can work the buttons.

2009 Arizona Antelope Hunt Recommendations

Click HERE for the link to the 2009 antelope hunt recommendations.

The major changes that I see are:
  1. Unit 19A Rifle Hunt: No rifle hunt south of 89A. This hunt was instituted in the late 90's I believe. This hunt was a bad idea from the beginning.
  2. Unit 7 Archery Hunt: This is a new archery hunt! Looks like they're going to issue 5 tags. I won't be applying for this hunt. If you're a long time reader you know how much I love Unit 7.
  3. Unit 10, 18 Archery Hunt: They're excluding Unit 18B from this hunt now and they dropped the tags from 100 to 85. On the flip side they opened Unit 18B for a separate archery hunt with 25 tags. Go figure.

Cool Post

I saw this over at the Forums and thought it was cool.

Dec 6, 2008

New Number Two in SCI

Apparently there's a new number 2 buck in the SCI record book!

Check it out here.

If anyone knows anything about this buck or has any pictures we'd love to be informed so send us an email!

The buck scores 97 4/8 and was taken by Reade Taylor.

Unlikely Unit Spits Out GIANT!

This buck was taken in Arizona's Unit 18B and scores just over 90 SCI (hunters buddy Tom Smock poses with the rack above.)

Unit 18B isn't known for producing 90 inch bucks on a regular basis, but it does have the genetics to grow mid to upper 80 inch bucks each year.

We actually guided Tom Smock in this unit a few years back and he took a great buck that scored in the mid 80's! (it would have been 87+ had it not broken a tip.)

I'm not sure about the name of the hunter who took this buck but there are a few more pictures of the buck posted over at the Coues Whitetail Forums.

We don't recommend this unit for a few reasons:
  1. A large portion of the unit is the BACA Float which no one can hunt without permission and a trespass fee.
  2. The unit is divided, rather oddly, into three distinct sections for antelope. Traveling from one to the other is very time consuming during scouting.
  3. Very few 90's have ever been recorded from this unit. Obviously, from the photos, you can see that it can produce 90 inchers, but the past says it's more an exception than a rule.

Dec 5, 2008

New Mexico Screws Up Everything!

The way permits are allocated and ranches used will be changing soon.

Not in 2009, however. Phew. That was close.

We're not sure whether or not these changes would be good or bad. Our initial reaction is that trophy antelope will be gone within a few years! This is not good!

They cited in one paper (can't remember where) that they were trying to make the state more like Wyoming! Huh? As many of you know, if you want a trophy pronghorn you don't go to Wyoming! You go to New Mexico or Arizona.

Fortunately, at least for now, the changes won't take effect until 2010 at the earliest.

I saw on one forum where everyone seemed to be for the changes while every rancher we've talked to seems to be against the changes.

You can decide for yourselves. Let me know what you think and comment below!

Here's the link to the proposed changes:

Proposed New Mexico Rule Changes