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By AzSlim - Great Story! My Daughter loves it!!

10 Ring on a Coues Buck

Nicole Deshaw, age 12
Daughter of NAHC Life Member Bill Deshaw - #248817
Arizona Coues Deer 3 x 4 Buck
Browning BAR Mk II - .270 Win
Burris Fullfield 3 X 9 scope
Remington Core-Lokt 130 gr.
437 yards - Bushnell 600 Rangefinder

Nicole has more outdoor experience than most 12 year olds. She completed Hunter Education when she was 10 and harvested her first elk that year. She helps me and my fellow Hunter Education instructors with our classes on field days by doing shooting demonstrations, being a hidden hunter for the shoot-don't shoot scenarios on the walk through, cleaning the range rifles and general "gopher" duties. She has been to javelina, elk and deer camps and has harvested two elk and now a nice Coues buck. In my opinion, the Coues deer is the hardest animal to bring home in Arizona. They are smart, sneaky, small and fast, living in a country where everything will stick, stab or bite you and you always seem to end up walking uphill to get back to camp at the end of the day.
On this day my partner Brian and I drove our hunters, his son & my daughters, a couple miles from camp in his truck. We showed them various campsites we've used over the years, a little lake to fish in, a couple coveys of quail, and then we walked a few ridges, threw a few rocks and kicked up some does. At this point I offered to walk whoever wanted to go, back to camp.The route was through about 2.5 miles of draws, ridges and canyons that seem to get ignored by other hunters, and I was pretty sure that I could put somebody on a buck. Brian's 16 year old son Eric, and my 15 year old daughter Danielle, decided to ride the truck back to camp, only Nicole piped up "I'll go Daddy". I told Brian to expect us in about 2 to 2 ½ hours at the reservoir below camp. I had talked Nicole into leaving her .244 Remington, given to her by her Grandma, back at camp and packing my Browning because it would give her more range and had better optics. She complained about the extra weight, but Brian had told her that she wouldn't feel it at all if she got a deer, the rifle wouldn't kick and her ears wouldn't ring.
We took our time, moving slowly through the mesquite, oaks, evergreens and ocotillo. I would point the general direction and let her pick the path, occasionally suggesting changes and why, like "you can't see to shoot from the bottom of a brush-choked draw." Eventually we came out on the west side of a deep draw, our side too steep to walk down and covered with a thick growth of oaks, cedars, junipers, mesquites and the ever-present mean bushes. The other side was more open with mesquites, agaves, sotol and, of course some more mean bushes, these particular ones are known locally as shin-diggers, you can guess why. We moved north down the rim to an open area where we could stand side by side. I picked up a couple of rocks and chucked them into the trees below. After a minute I caught sight of a deer at the bottom of the opposite slope. One, two - the second one has a rack I can see with the naked eye. I had thrown the rocks up the canyon from us so the deer were looking the wrong way from where we were. I hollered out "Deer! You want the 2nd one." A quick glance around showed no good firing positions so I flung my day pack to the ground, Nic took a prone position over it and racked a round into the Browning. I suggested where to aim, then let out a sharp whistle, the buck paused and glanced our way. Boom! She missed! She lowered the rifle and reached for the bolt. "No", I yelled, "You are already loaded, it's my rifle, shoot again." Boom! went the next round - too quick, missed again and the buck realized the game had started! Boy, did he get to moving. "Settle down, be sure, then squeeze." I said, "hold at the top of his back & in front of his neck." Boom! Too much lead, miss number three. But it hit in front of him and caused him to make his fatal mistake, he turned and ran straight away from her, he had been doing pretty good running across the side hill. Last chance. Boom! Down he goes and up jumps Nicole. "I got him Daddy, I got him", she squealed. "I think so Kiddo, but I'm not sure" I answered. "I saw his buddy go over the hill but I didn't see him", I told her. I had tied my binoculars to my pack strap, when I flung it down they went too, not one of my brightest moves. Nicole was positive, "I got him, I saw him go down in the scope, I saw his tail by the tree and he hasn't moved."
It took us about 20 minutes to get off of our side and over to the other side of the draw. After orienting ourselves and lining up the trees we found the buck. Clean kill, dropped him in his tracks, no visible sign of bullet entry or exit. Yep, you guessed it, Texas head shot, Rock Springs heart shot, depending on where you live you probably have yet another name. Right in the cooter, if dead center was the X ring, she got a 10. The bullet went through the pelvis hole, broke the spine in front of the tenderloins and took out the liver and one lung. I guess if you have to shoot something in the butt, dead center is best. We took our pictures, tagged and cleaned him, then hustled to make our 4:30 rendezvous with Brian. After meeting up with Brian, he took a few more pictures, then we climbed in the truck and were able to take a ride up the last hill back to camp.

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