How to hunt coues deer with Eddie Willey of SEAZO

John Stallone and Eddie Willey talk about how to hunt Coues deer and be affective year in year out. Best hunting podcast 2017

*Patterning Big bucks and harvesting them

  • Setting up trail cameras for Coues deer
  • learning Coues deer behavior
  • Hunting Coues deer pre rut and rut
  • Where to find big Coues deer buck

Eddie is the owner of Southeastern Arizona Outfitters or SEAZO and they have taken some giant Coues deer like the famed buck called “Saw Bones”

And the Buck called Legend


How to find and hunt coues deer…

“The Rules of Enguagment “

    As the owner of an Outfitting company, I am frequently asked the “easy” question of how to find big Coues Whitetail bucks. So let’s talk about how to find big Coues, not only in your backyard, but in new units and even other states. My guides and I have come up with a standard in which we operate; within this standard we have the “Rules of Engagement” These rules have lead us to some pretty remarkable bucks, and we have found by using the “Rules of Engagement” not only do we drastically increase our odds in successful hunts, but we often times find trophy class bucks in other units or states.  So let’s get down to business; the following are a few rules within our “Rules of Engagement.”  

     The first rule of engagement, E-Scouting, is where we look at maps via the internet or apps. While many hunters do this step, our strategic approach is a key in our success.  We thoroughly examine potential areas on a map, paying particular attention to the area’s topography. We compare this topography and the type of country to the areas we have seen or killed big bucks in.  Within the potential area, we look at the distances to both seasonal and yearly water sources. Using primarily satellite imagery, we also compare places of cover and sources of food. Remember when E-scouting, you will never find identical areas, but you will find some that are promisingly similar.

    The second rule of engagement, Validating, is where our boots hit the ground and we get out in the field. This is important. We are validating what we have seen on a map by scouting out the area in person to get a better understanding of the terrain. This step needs to be done cautiously and smartly. This should be the most intrusive you will be in this area. It’s best to work this area in the heat of the day to ensure you’re not interrupting the Coues’ natural behavior. Validate the water sources and pay close attention to prominent winds. During validation your goal is to identify the following things: the least intrusive path in and out of the area, locations to glass from, and if you use trail cameras, locations you anticipate using trail cameras.

    The third rule of engagement, Marking the Boundary, is where we make our money. This is a slow and methodical process, and dependent upon the area, this can take a very long time. We begin working the fringes of the area we have identified. A good rule of thumb is to look three miles away from a water source, seasonal or yearly.  Big Coues will establish a core area around seasonal water sources with the right cover and feed. When that water source is depleted, they will change or expand their core area to incorporate the yearly water source.  This is the time you glass and incorporate trail cameras, if you use them.  It is important that when you begin glassing that you’re working the fringe areas first. This means taking multiple trips (usually 3-6) into that specific fringe area, and glassing all day from that one location.  When using trail cameras, allow 2-3 weeks and up to a month before checking them.  After multiple glassing trips and running your camera, you may or may not have found a Coues buck, but either way the following steps are the same.

    Let’s say you have observed a big Coues, you now need to expand your fringe area to the next ridge or draw, further away from your water source. Here again you make multiple glassing trips and put up trail cameras. You will get to a spot where you don’t pick that particular Coues up anymore. It’s at this point that you are “Marking the Boundary.” Now let’s say you don’t observe your big Coues, you will begin to work toward your water source to the next ridge or draw, and repeat the glassing trips and trail cameras. In time, with patience and a slow methodical approach, you will get a big Coues in your glass and on your trail cam. This again is “Marking the Boundary.” Taking this approach and applying it North, South, East and West will essentially make a box of the area and give you some vital knowledge. You will not only have found a big Coues but you will have in your possession the knowledge of what terrain he prefers from the feed of choice, bedding areas, distance to water, and most importantly the home range of a Big Coues Whitetail. To top it off, you will have done this by the least intrusive means necessary.

    In closing, I hope this has given you a little insight into our “Rules of Engagement”, a process my guides and I feel is nearly bullet proof. I hope this information helps in your pursuit of harvesting your trophy. We hope this gives you some tools that provides a better understanding of Coues and the importance of the areas you chase them in. (Eddie Willey, Southeastern Arizona Outfitters, 8 July 2017).


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