August 29

Getting Ready for the 2019 Coues Deer Rifle Season Gear Review.

Getting Ready for the 2019 Coues Deer Rifle Season.

Coues Deer Gear

In this article we will discuss the gear I take with me on my Coues deer hunt, the caliber and rifle I hunt with and lastly a couple of tips to acquiring your target once you find a Coues buck in your binoculars.

I have been hunting Coues deer in AZ for over 20 years.  Every year I use to change equipment because it didn’t perform like I wanted it to.  However in the last 3 years I have not changed my set up at all.  I found what works for me and I am here to share that with you.  So what is in my pack?  I want to say the most important gear that in my pack is my 15X56 Swarovski HD binoculars and my old trusty Velbon 530 carbon fiber tripod that I have owned for the last 10 years.  I have switched a couple different heads on my tripod over the years however I love the Manfrotto MVH500AH fluid head that I have been running for the last 3 years.  My bino adapter is a long Outdoorsman that is more secure than my old Swarovski adaptor.  Total weight on my tripod set up is 4.8lbs. Evan though my set up could be lighter I find that on those windy days the tripod stays stable and I am able to glass longer, do to less wobble in the glass.  So what else do I carry that I find important to take in the field. I find that having a comfortable glassing pad is a must for those long sits.  That’s why I have the Phoenix Shooting Bags glassing pad strapped to my pack along with a TBD bag and Small Ridge Runner.  The TBD bag is not only great for resting the front of your stock on it when it comes time for your shot but is also the perfect pillow for those afternoon naps.  Lastly besides the essential water and medical kit I have a puffy Mountain Hardwear 800fill jacket that weighs 2.6oz, Havalon knife, Black Diamond Head Lamp, extra batteries for all my gadgets, Garmin Oregon GPS, lens cleaner, baby wipes, and a healthy selection of snacks such as (almonds, organic fruit leather, Heather’s choice packaroons and lets not forget a pack of Trident Gum).  I always carry gum to keep my mouth moist on the long hikes especially on the early October and November Hunts.  A few odd things that I carry is #1 good tweezers because you never know when you are going to make a mistake and sit on a cactus or kick a cholla cactus into your leg while hiking.  Lastly I always keep Advil and Benadryl capsules because you never know what can happen out there in the desert…

Long Range Gun

Rifle and Scope selection:

For Coues Deer my preferred round is a 6mm Caliber such as a .243, 6mm creedmoor, or a 6.5 creedmoor.  I find that all these calibers ballistics and knockdown power are perfect for the Coues deer woods.  The last 3 years I have been using my sons Tikka t3 ultra light in .243 with a micro bastard break from APA and it has been performing excellent.  I also use my 6.5 Creedmoor but since my son’s gun weighs 2.5lbs lighter than my 6.5CM I prefer the lighter weight rifle.  Both of our rifles are we are using Valdada Scopes.  The 6.5CM is a 3.5 by 14 tactical scope with a mil-dot reticle.  The .243 is equipped with a 6 by 24 hunting scope with a mil-dot reticle.  I like the mil-dot reticle because you almost have no crosshair wobble when using it on max power.

Coues Deer Packout

Let’s talk about fundamentals on acquiring the target with the rifle.  Once you have located your target buck it is not easy to lay down your rifle and find it in your scope.  So here are a few tips that have helped me.  1. Make sure to lock your bino’s in place so that they don’t move off target. Then come in and out of your bino’s to figure out the landmarks that you are seeing in your bino housing.  John likes to look over the binos and find the landmarks that he sees through the bino’s.  Both of these methods work.  Once you find the tree, ocotillo, century plant, palo verde tree, a boulder or what ever the terrain may be.  Keep focus of the landmarks and (Make sure to range your animal during this process and dial in your clicks before putting your rifle on your pack.)  Now grab your pack and line the rifle toward the direction of where you know the buck is laying.  I like using my pack with the TBD bag for my front rest and have the Small Ridge Runner to support the back of my stock for my rear adjustments.  Once you line up your rifle towards the target make sure to have your scope dialed down to the lowest setting.  This will help you acquire your target faster with a wider site picture.  Once you have acquired your target try to have the scope pointed above your aim of impact.  Then start to squeeze your rear bag and the crosshairs will align on the vitals to your target.  It’s easier to squeeze the bag and have the crosshairs come down onto your target than to try and fumble starting below your target.  Once your crosshairs and are on target make sure to check your level to your scope.  Then once everything is level make sure to lightly squeeze the trigger by putting continuous pressure and let the shot surprise you. Make sure to follow through with your shot and never take your eyes off the buck.   I hope these little tips help you this season.  Good Luck out there be safe and make sure you are having fun….

Anthony Stallone

Owner of Phoenix Shooting Bags)