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Arizona OTC Mule Deer Unit 1

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Eastern Arizona Unit 1

This past summer the wallow fire roared thru The White Mountains of Arizona which is my home.Units 1 and 27 took a beating . It was a nightmare watching the mountains I grew up burning .After the smoke cleared and we got to go see what was left i was worried about the up coming archery deer hunt.the hunt started in late aug .The hunt started out slow iwas seeing a few deer but not what I was looking for.A few days into the hunt I teamed up with a good hunting buddy of mine Tim Cluff .That morning we hunted coues deer only seeing acouple small bucks.While eating lunch we decided to go into the burn and try to find some mule deer .Little did we know it would be one of the best decisions we made the whole hunt .We went into an area where we had seen a few bucks in past years .We settled in and started glassing .After about an hour Tim spotted deer bedded down across from us.The deer we couldseethey were bucks and nice bucks .We quickly made a plan our wind was perfect we set out as we got close I started ranging trees where the deer were bedded the last time we could see them as we started down to the sleeping herd I could see a buck i hit him with the range finder he was 48 yarrds i couldent tell how big he was .  he was sound asleep his head was on the ground . So I took a deep breath drew back and let it fly  then bucks exploded all around us .Tim got a shot as trotted by I was trying tokeep watching where my buck had gone every buck in the bunch was nice we counted 15 bucks and they went every direction . I walked down to the spot where my buck was bedded there were tracks but no blood and no arrow the ground was burned clear and there was one set that went off by itself it was him .we started looking around still no blood after a couple of hours Tim came and found me. He said theres a deer bedded in a thicket where i hadent  looked yet .I slowly crept to where the buck was laying I could see my arrow sticking out of him he was down as i walked up to the buck I couldent believe what I had shot he was great a big typical 4x4 in full velvet he is 28 inches wide and grossed 189 a nice buck for AZ . So after the fire and feeling so bad about the damage left behind .I was able to turn tragic into triumphwith my best mule deer to date. L Wilkins


Great story

Isnt it amazing , you  would think a fire that devistating would have blown every deer in that part of the country out for a few years. I t has been my experience that with all the fires we have here in southern cali and in the sierras  the deer  come right back . Again great story are there any pics ?