Monday, March 4, 2013

2013 RNH Annual Shed Hunt Begins!

The shed season has kicked off and myself and hunting partner Adam Faz hit the hills. After a nearly 25 miles of hiking in one day Adam found the big one we were looking for.

A few other nice sheds were found including this freak! It was close to the big one Adam found so it may be a match.

Here are a few other sheds that I have found recently.This is a nice heavy 3x coues shed that would score in the 120" range if the other side matches.

I also found many other nice coues sheds. Here is a picture of a 100" class shed with the 120" class shed to see the comparison.

A few others I found. Including the big one.

This nice typical 4x mule deer shed would score around 195" if the other side matched.

How about this Mexico shed off of one of Jim Mullins "Mullins Outfitters" Ranch in Mexico! It looks very similar to shed I found above from AZ, but this shed would be in the 130" class range.

Here is another shed Adam found while we were checking cameras in coues country.

Here is a shed Kevin found. Look familar? Well its a buck that we helped a friend Jesse Phillips kill during the january archery coues hunt. Heres a picture of the shed and the harvested buck.

Good luck to everyone out there looking for sheds! We are hoping to get back out there soon so we can share some more pics with you all!

Monday, February 25, 2013

As the AZ Archery deer hunt came to a close, I figured it was time to put hunting on hold for a few months before I start my scouting season for the 2013 AZ Archery August deer hunt.

So it was time to catch up at home and spend time with the family. I started my working out routines, hoping to shed some weight before the next season starts.

Well a phone call from Jim Mullins with Mullins Outfitters changed that quickly.

The next morning after the phone call found myself and Jim Mullins heading to the hills in Mexico. I had never been down to mexico to hunt and after all the bad press about Mexico I was unsure about going but Jim talked me into it and said its safe where he went.

Checking guns in at the border, then visiting the Mexican Military to check in the guns and finally we were on the dirt road to the ranch. After a long drive we finally arrived to the ranch where we met up with Santos, Jims partner. Jim had some loose ends he needed to wrap up at the ranch and then he said we could hunt deer there even though its not a ranch he usually takes hunters to because theres a very low density of deer and its very hard hunting and the rut was pretty much done. I told Jim I like hunting hard and lets give it a shot.

We hunted hard for a few days and we werent seeing any bucks and I was starting to feel like I was in AZ hunting. We kept on and we ran into a coati mundi.

A short shot and I had my first Coati Munde down.

We continued looking for a nice coues buck. We had only planned on hunting a few days. On the last morning before we needed to head back home we decided to go out for the first few hours and see if we could find a buck. We went to a new area where we had recently glassed up a buck miles away with the Big Eyes. After about 10 minutes of glassing I located a nice buck. There was no shot from where we were at so we ran as fast as we could, up the nearest hill to close the distance. As we quietly crested the top of the hill we had a smaller buck a 150 yards below us and another buck on the neighboring hill. Both bucks were nice but I was focused on the bigger one that we had just glassed up. The sun was shining over the ridge directly into our face and I couldnt find the buck in the scope because all I could see was glare. Jim blocked the sun and I finally got adjusted on the buck. The buck was moving slowly about to crest the hill. We yelled to stop him so we could shoot. He took a few more steps and he was over the hill and no clear shot was available. I was bummed. We called it a hunt and headed back home to AZ. 

I got home and I felt like I needed to go back and settle the deal with a hard horn coues deer. I have never harvested a hard horn coues deer and I was determined to. I called Jim and said, hey you want to go back and give it another shot? After a quick "Heck Yea" and a quick phone call to Adam Faz to see if he wanted to join in on the fun we were back on the road heading up.

We arrived back at the ranch with a few hours of light left to hunt.

We shot a few rounds out of the guns and then we were off for the evening hunt.

Practicing my shooting

Adam Faz practicing his shooting

After a short hike and no luck with bucks that evening we headed back to the ranch for some great homemade mexican food.

The next morning we were back at it , we went where we left the buck crest the hill the previous trip and I hoped we would have a chance at him again. Adam and Santos was on one hill glassing 

while Jim and I hiked in behind where we thought the buck would be. 

We found a nice water hole and set up above it hoping the buck would show. Here is a picture of some does that showed up.

The wind was strong all day and it kept the deer down in there beds. Here is a picture of a doe Jim glassed bedded.

We had no luck that day and decided we would move to another area where Jim had seen some nice bucks in the past.

Day 3 put us on a hill glassing over a water hole and a big mountain range. After about 30 minutes of Glassing, "Santos" glassed up a big buck. Santos was glassing with the Big Eyes and we knew we would have no shot from where we were at so we moved closer to cut the distance. We climbed up a hill and we setup to relocate the big buck. Jim relocated him quickly. We decided Adam was going to shoot this buck since it was his turn. Adam got ready and said how big is the buck. Jim and I said big just shoot him. Adam was hesitating and I was like Adam hes a freak shoot him. I finally said Adam if your not going to shoot him I will and He said OK go for it. I think he really wanted me to kill it because he would have to be insane to pass on a buck of this caliber. We figured this buck could hit the 120" mark.

I got ready for the shot. The range was at 680 yards. I Put the cross hairs on the buck and slowly pulled the trigger.BOOOM!

Adam says, "WAY HIGH" not even close. " I was like thanks JERK" lol and focused in on my next shot. I was stumped how I missed and then I loaded another bullet and shot and again Adam says, "High". Jim runs to adjust the turrets to lower the shot since it appears the gun in shooting high. After 3 more missed shots the giant buck walked off into the thick mesquite trees and we werent able to see him the rest of the day. 

Jim said Adam was the first hunter he has ever seen pull out of a gun with a buck of that caliber in the scope and I was the first hunter that has missed a coues deer with his gun. I was so frusterated with myself and I couldnt handle it.

We headed off the hill with 30 minuets or so of hunting light left. As we came to the top of the hill we decided we would glass one small ridge real quick. Within minutes MR PIG Man himself "Adam Faz" had glassed up some pigs and he had the other rifle all dialed in to shoot. A few warning shots and then a beautiful perfectly place 495 Yard shot sent the Javelina into the dirt. Adam gave his pig to the cowboy at the ranch and the cowboy was so excited to get it. They love Javelina meat down there and usually they don't have much food to eat.

Day 4 we were back at it. We realized after some practice rounds testing the scope on the gun I was shooting that it was way off. What I failed to tell everyone was on the previous trip I dropped Jims gun onto the ground but we thought it would be ok. I guess the drop knocked the ZERO off and the gun was shooting way high and it explained the missed shots. I was thrilled of the news because I realized it wasnt me and it was the gun. lol. I was about to give up rifle hunting after that many missed shots on that caliber of buck.

We finally arrived at the big bucks home and we split up with Adam on one hill while I was on another. We figured if the buck was still in the area we could get him down with the way we were setup. 

After about an hour of glassing the buck wasnt turning up and we figured he had moved out of the area.

We continued glassing and Jim said, " hey Ronnie I got a buck" I came over to check it out. He said theres 3 of them and they are coming down the hill quickly. We figured a lion must have been after them and spooked them over from the other side of the mountain. Jim said its not the big one but theres a nice buck if you want to shoot it. I looked at it and saw the character and with one day left to hunt I said, "Lets do it".

We were both worried about shooting the gun because it was shooting high the day before but we thought it would only take a shot or too to get me in the zone to make the kill shot. I got the 300 Mag hooked to the Loc Jaw.

Jim picked an opening and said the bucks will be coming in the opening quickly get ready for the shot. He said the first buck is not the shooter but the second one is. He said I ll yell and stop the buck when he hits the opening and then you shoot.

The first buck reached the opening and I put my cross hairs right on that bucks vitals and figured the second buck should be on the same path. Seconds later Jim said ok this is him get your crosshairs on him. I said I got him Im gonna shoot. He said ok let it rip.

Bang! The first shot rang off and Jim said your high and he ran to adjust the gun. Another shot and my shot was getting closer but still high Jim again compensated turret. The buck stayed in the opening. A shot again and Jim adjusted and said, OK you should be dead on now, make this shot count and you'll have your first hard horn coues. 

I relaxed and took and deep breath and focused as hard as I could on the deers vitals, my breathing and trigger pull. I slowly pulled the trigger and before I could even here the gun go off Jim was already celebrating. He said you smoked him. I asked should I put another bullet in him and he said nope he went down hard, great shot. 

I heard Adam on the radio celebrating also. I took off to grab the buck and met Adam and Santos there. 

Here is picture as he layed after the shot.

Here is another picture of my buck and a dead head found at the ranch that adams holding.

Here is a picture I took of the crew.

We got back to the ranch and got him all cleaned up. The cook came up to us and asked if we could get her a javelina also and Adam said no problem and gave her a hug and said we'll get you 4 of them. We then we headed back out to find some deer or pigs.

We all hiked to a glassing ridge and started glassing. After 10 minutes we here a noise come from the left of us and Adam quickly said, "thats pigs". We all switched are optics to the hill where we heard the noise. I grabbed the gun adam was using that was sighted in. Jim said theres pigs right there about 200 yards away. The hill side was full of them. I was looking through my scope and again the sun glare was beating down through the scope and it was hard to see much. I found one of the black spots on the hill side and said Ok Im gonna shoot the one under the prickly pear and everyone said ok. Jims running the camera and I shoot. Bang! Pigs going running everywhere. Jim then said are you shot at a pig because it looked like you just shot the prickly pear. I looked back through the scope and then through my swaros and I realize I just shot a dead prickly pear that was black and looked like a pig. 

I couldnt help but to just start laughing. I couldnt believe all the missed shots this trip. Adam said lets go after them and I agreed so we took off the hill. We circled around them and adam said get setup Im gonna call them in. 

I was a little skeptical because I had just shot at them but believed adam knew his pig stuff because of all his years success. After about 4 minutes of varmit calling and nothing showing up I was staring to think they arent coming. Right when that thought came to my head there they were a grip of them. I took aim and dropped one, I took aim and dropped another one. I then took aim at a 3rd one and dropped it also. We celebrated and was stoked to finally get a pig down. As we were rounding up the pigs and heading to the truck with them we heard another shot and Jim got himself a pig also.

Here are my pigs

Here is a picture of Jim and I with our pigs.

The cook was almost in tears when Adam brought back 4 pigs like he said he would. She was talking about everything she was going to cook with them. Here is the picture of our cook.

Another pic of Adam with the pigs hanging.

Here is Julian pulling all the ticks off my cape so we could make it across the border.

Here is a picture of Jim's truck before we headed back to AZ

Another great fun filled hunt with great friends. Thanks to the Loc Jaw for getting our rifles setup on the tripod (video of the loc jaw) :

if you havent check it out you should. The loc jaw is a new sponsor of RutNHard. Also Thanks to Adam Faz for coming and helping me and being a true friend and stepping back on a 120" coues so his friend could try and shoot it.

Also Thanks to Mullins Outfitters for allowing me to be a part of there guide service this past 2012-2013 year and thanks for allowing me to come hunt mexico with you all. The Mullins Outfitters crew is a hard one to beat. Stand up people with a REAL heart. Honest, caring and hard working and would never jeopardize a friendship over an animal. 

A special thanks to Jim Mullins for helping me achieve my goal at getting a hard horn coues down.

Im looking forward to hunting Mexico again with you guys soon.

The Journey Part 3 starts in August when I go after a buck what I think could easily shatter the archery world record. If that buck doesnt cooperate my ultimate goal is breaking 120" on a AZ Archery Coues Deer.

Thanks for reading the journey and be sure to follow it as the 2013 Journery Continues.

If you or anyone would like to book a hunt in Mexico with Mullins/San Rafael Outfitters please click on the link below to get more information:

Monday, February 18, 2013

Peggys 2013 AZ Archery Coues Hunt

I had the privilege of taking out Peggy on the 2013 AZ Archery Coues Deer hunt. Peggy had never harvested a coues deer with her bow before and she was determined.

Peggy was suprised when she got to Warm Arizona because it wasnt so warm. It was snowing and the outside temperature was around 9 degrees. Coming from Alberta, Canada cold weather was something she was use to and she promised to not let the cold temperatures hinder her.

The first two days of Peggys hunt was slow as we were after one of the big boys that always was one step ahead of us. While she was sitting the stand I was pounding the hills looking for fresh sign where the bucks have been. At a area where I had previously found some good sign weeks before I get a call from my hunting partner and friend Aaron Davis. "Aka: Bravo". Bravo said that the bucks had moved just outside the last spot that we setup and he thought it would be a great spot to move Peggy to. Collin and I went over to the area and set up a blind.

The next morning we moved Peggy over to the new area. Collin and I headed back to the hills searching for one of the big boys which we were able to glass up and watch for many minutes. The problem is the area the big guy had moved to would be extremely difficult to get with a bow. We just wished we had a rifle hunter at that time as we watched the 130" class coues chase does across the thick hill side. We got off the hill finally when the coues deer bedded. As we were making our way to the truck we get a text from Peggy. "I just shot a buck".

Our day was just getting better.

Peggy was sitting in her blind reading a book when she heard a deer blow behind her. She hoped that the deer had not winded her. She continued reading her book and about an hour later out of nowhere a doe runs straight up to the blind and stares into blind right at her. Then Peggy could her some more noise coming to her right. Out of nowhere two bucks came running right up to the doe and was chasing the doe around the blind. Peggy drew her bow and could never settle the pin on a buck because they never stopped moving. Finally the deer went behind the blind and it sounded like they were going to leave the area. Peggy being a experienced hunter blew a grunt call once. To her suprise one of the bucks grunted right back. She blew the grunt again and again the buck grunted back. It sounded like the buck was coming closer. Peggy repeated the grunt call and the buck responded again but this time in front of the blind at 20 yards.

Peggy drew her bow back and settled the pin in on the bucks vital. She released and watched her arrow hit into the vitals of the buck. The buck took off and she stayed put in the blind.
Collin and I arrived to the blind shortly after and Peggy showed us where the buck headed. We found the arrow and there was blood. Peggy assured us it was a good shot. We looked for about 100 yards and couldn't find anymore blood. I recommended we wait until morning to move any further and everyone agreed.

The next morning after a brief 15 minutes of searching Collin yelled," I found the buck Peggy and its a nice one". The celebrating began. High fives and hugs were given and as Peggy held her buck she got teared up and said, "Thanks guys this was by far one of my best hunts of my life and I am so thankful to harvest such a beautiful coues deer". Peggys Beautiful Archery Coues Deer taped out at 91 2/8". Shes already talking about next year and how she cant wait to do it again.

Thanks Peggy for putting your trust in "Mullins Outfitters" Collin and I  really enjoyed hunting with you.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

2013 Archery Coues Deer Hunts

I had the oppurtunity of guiding a friend of mine Wade Hanks and his friend on the archery deer and pig tag this last week. Myself and a friend took him out on his December coues tag the previous year, where he was fortunate enough to harvest a nice 109 4/8 coues deer.

Well as we all know you cant just get one coues deer and be done with them. Wade got the coues sickness that we all have and came back out from Utah to visit us along with his friend Jesse Phillips.

On day 3 of Jesses Hunt he was able to connect with his Hoyt Carbon Matrix on a 45 yard shot on this beautiful buck. Jesses buck was taped out at 106 2/8''.

Wades 3 day hunt ended quick as he capitiliazed on his oppurtunities. Here is some pics of Wades 3 day hunt. Congrats Wade on your first archery coues buck and pig and thanks for putting your trust in me with your tag.

Wades Archery Javelina

Wades Archery Coues Deer 64 2/8"

The tags were filled quickly and we had a great time. Im looking forward to next year.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Last Minute Buck!

I was looking forward to this hunt since I got the tag but it seems like as soon as I did I have been super busy. I was hoping I would break away and do lots of scouting but it just didn't work out. Then I had a big project pop up and it was scheduled right during my hunt. I tried every way possible to work around it but it just didn't pan out. So I had some serious motivation to get this job done so I could get on my hunt.

I was going crazy knowing that my hunt had started already and I am stuck working 17-18 hour days. Luckily my guys and I were able to get the job knocked out on Thursday. Friday morning @ 3 am found myself and my friend Clint on the highway crusin to coues country for a last minute one day hunt.

We arrived right at daylight and started the drive in. We got to a point that looked to be unbelievable coues country and I told Clint if we don't find coues on this hill side there is no coues anywhere in this unit... Hoping I wouldn't eat my words.... We started to glass. with-in minutes Clint and I were both finding deer after deer. 17 does to be exact. We also glassed up a beautiful chocolate bear and lots of turkey. We kept digging and it paid off when Clint said... I got a buck. As we started to dig more we found a total of 5 bucks in this pocket. We watched them until they bedded and then started the hike in. What looked to be an easy hike... Was a pain in the arse!!

We got with in range but to our surprise the bucks had already gotten up and they were nowhere to be found. So we set up and started to glass again. After about 10 minutes I picked up a spike in the bottom about 200 yards below where we left them. I was thinking it was a different group of deer and about that time.. This guy stepped out, I jumped behind the gun which was already set up on the Triclawps, Clint ranged him @ 405 yards and well..... Lights out little fella!!

One of the quickest but funnest hunts I have ever been on.

Thanks to Jake Haffey, and Clint for helping out!

Sunday, December 2, 2012

BobCat Down!

I had the chance to get out with my dad and his friends during the late elk hunt in units 3a3c. There goal was to shoot a 360" Bull Elk on this hunt because they have all taken bulls under that size in there past. With there high expectations we went out and searched for the caliber of bull they wanted to take. They passed many smaller bulls and waited for there chance for the big one. The oppurtunity came on day 2 of the hunt for one of them and after 5 missed shots at less then 100 yards the big one they were after vanished into the thick pines. They all had prior obligations and only had the two days to hunt. They didnt get what they were looking for but we had a heck of a time. At then end of day 1 I glassed up this nice bobcat. After a short stalk and one shot this cat fell victim of being in the wrong place at the wrong time.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Elk Success 2012!

Mullins Outfitters asked if Id help them out this year on some hunts so I jumped on the oppurtunity. Luck would have it that I got to team up with one of the Mullins themselves Mr. Matt Mullins. We were taking out John Anderson for his long waited elk tag and we were very stoked at the oppurtunity. 

Days before the hunt started a giant was located. Many hours were spent watching this bull. When John arrived to camp to begin his elk hunt a few days before the hunt he also got to watch the giant. With archery hunters still in the field we hoped that no one would stumble across him. With luck on our side the archers hunting this unit never came across him. 

We thought opening morning would be a short lived hunt with a giant on the ground. Well once again we were taught why these big bulls are BIG! He was a no show! That evening we once again waited him out and he never arrived. After spending the majority of the hunt after this big bull and no luck, we decided we better start looking for a back up bull.

A back up bull was located with John and he really wanted to harvest this bull when we first saw him but he elected to pass due to us telling him to give us another day! The next morning this same bull stepped out in front of John again and this time John was not going to pass him up. The hunt was winding down and he was more then happy to put an ending to a great hunt with this bull.

I never got a chance to tape Johns bull but his taxidermist did and he said it scored in at 363" with a few inches broken off his 5th point on one side. 

Congrats John on a great bull and thanks to Mullins Outfitters for allowing me to help out on this hunt. A big thanks also to Dave Lauzon for donating your time and dedication.

If you want to see the video of the big bull we were after that got away check out the video below. The bull is at the 5:24 mark.