Tuesday, February 7th, 2023
Tuesday, February 7th, 2023

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Pope & Young Club names record-tying non-typical Coues deer

The Pope & Young Club announced that a Coues deer taken by Wesley Ely of Wilcox, Ariz., in August 2017 in Arizona has tied the non-typical world record for the species.

The buck, which was shot in velvet and stripped prior to the official measurement on May 19 in Phoenix, scored 139-2/8, tying the existing P&Y mark.

“It all began on a summer scouting trip in 2013 when I noticed a young buck with massive antlers,” Ely said in a Pope & Young news release. “I continued to scout and occasionally hunt the area while the buck kept getting bigger each year. After an unsuccessful 2017 early hunt, I decided to devote all of my time-off to find the buck’s summer habits. Sixteen days before opening day, I began to pattern this elusive animal.

“On opening day in the middle of public land, I couldn’t help but hope that I was the only person chasing this big Coues deer. I watched the buck through my binoculars for four hours that morning and waited until he bedded down for the day. After an hour hike into the canyon, I was looking at the biggest Coues’ buck I had ever seen. In a stalk that seemed like an eternity, I crept and crawled closer to this small-bodied giant. I took my time, carefully applying all the things I had learned for years on how to make a successful stalk.

“As I released the arrow, my heart filled with hope and anticipation. Shaking with excitement, I watched through binoculars as the buck, with a complete pass through, slowly disappeared over the hill. When I discovered the Coues buck I had been hunting for four years lying motionless, I was in complete awe. I sat silently for a few minutes, admiring this intelligent animal and reflecting on what a humbling challenge it had been to take such an incredible buck.”

The Coues whitetail deer is considerably smaller than its eastern and northern cousins – on average, bucks weigh less than 100 pounds, and does are even lighter. The deer inhabits the “desert islands” of Arizona, New Mexico, and Mexico. Well-adapted, it inhabits both the desert floor and high mountain peaks, and ranges in elevation from approximately 3,000 to 9,000 feet.

“It was a pleasure to be part of the special process of recognizing a Pope & Young Club World Record,” Ed Fanchin, records chair for the Pope & Young Club, said in the release. “This was an unusual set of antlers that challenged the judges, who are some of the most experienced in the club. This incredible animal is a testament to sound wildlife management across North America.”

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