When I put my spotting scope on them I realized they were 4 bucks, and two were pushing the 100-inch mark!

The coues is one of the hardest subspecies of Whitetail to hunt due to their exquisite eyesight, very skittish personality, and the unforgiving terrain they live in. Getting the opportunity to take one is an amazing feat but to take two on the same hillside on the same day is just unheard of!

Beautiful October in Central Arizona kicks off the general Coues hunt. This year the start of the hunt was very quiet. I spotted a few bucks in the 70+ inch range and countless does.  At the end of the second day, we decided to change locations and hunt in an area where we had previously seen deer. I sat down with my younger brother, Cole, and started glassing at first light. We picked up some movement on top of a hill. There were four deer working their way down the edge of the canyon. When I put my spotting scope on them I realized they were 4 bucks, and two were pushing the 100-inch mark! Cole and I sat there and tried to plan our approach. The deer made their way down the hill into the canyon when three gunshots went off. The deer we were trying to stalk were getting shot at by fellow hunters. Luckily none of them were hit. Our minds played out several possible scenarios. We ultimately decided to hit a canyon we had experience with in previous years. We sat there and glassed the rest of the day only turning up a few small bucks but nothing to pursue.

It will be shared for generations… the season when brothers Tanner and Cole conquered the coues within minutes of each other.

Monday night the decision was made to go out early Tuesday morning. I sent a text to my good friend and fellow hunter, Dillon, to see if he was willing to join us for the day. We decided to pursue a different part of the unit. This was an area that was not as familiar to us, but we knew it had the potential for a good buck. We started by glassing to the east but could not locate anything, so we turned to the west and found two deer instantly. I looked through my Vortex 15’s and I could tell there were 2 does. With the Vortex Viper Spotting Scope in hand I headed up the hill to see if I could look down into the cut they dropped in. I was able to spot the two does immediately. Patiently I sat there watching every tree, praying for a buck to step out. Ten minutes went by before Dillon and Cole made their way up to me. At that point, I decided I should start glassing other areas. I scanned the hills around me until I picked up movement. It was a small speck about 2.5 miles away. I quickly got over to the spotting scope, turned it up to 60 power, and picked up the small speck. To my surprise, there were three bucks feeding up the hill! Dillon and I would hike closer and get a better look at them and Cole would stay in place watching their movement. We were about a mile out when we decided they were bucks worth taking. I radioed Cole to start heading in our direction.

Conquering Bomber Coues
Photo Credit: Tanner Kemp

We reached the ridgeline where we thought we could make a shot. I picked up the 3 bucks as they were feeding to the skyline. We made a mad dash to get set up before they crested the ridge. Cole and I were setting up while Dillon picked them up with the binos and walked me in with the rifle. I settled the crosshairs and Dillon called 342. With my nerves getting the best of me I steadily started to squeeze the trigger. Miss, I pulled my shot high right. I quickly racked another one into the chamber. Dillon once again walked me into where they were. I found the deer I wanted to shoot and touched off my second round. The shot connected and dropped the deer who rolled out of sight. At that point, the other two bucks were in shock. Cole quickly jumped on the tripod and got the deer in his sights. He took his first shot and missed high left. He proceeded to take three more shots, all misses. The deer were trying to take cover. We were able to get a little closer and Cole took two more shots wide left. I gave Cole my gun. He got his sight on the bigger of the two deer and touched it off. The deer took a couple steps before finally falling over. The three of us sat there in shock! Taking two coues in the same day on the same hill just minutes apart is extremely uncommon.

Then came the fun part; hiking out to miles with two coues and all of our gear. It was a slow walk going up and down hills. When we drove in earlier we didn’t realize how sharp of a turn we made. It took us two hours to maneuver out. Once we got back to the pavement we met my grandpa. He had driven over from Mesa with a cooler full of ice for cooling down the meat and capes. What a great opportunity to share the experience with him. We wanted to see the green score on both our bucks. Cole’s was a typical 2×2 that taped out at 76 inches. Then we taped mine, a 4×3 at 86 1/2 inches. We had the opportunity to bond as brothers. It was an amazing feeling! We are so grateful to our families for their support of our hunting addiction. This is one story that will go down in the Kemp history books and will not be soon forgotten. It will be shared for generations… the season when brothers Tanner and Cole conquered the coues within minutes of each other.

Have you been able to outsmart one of the hardest subspecies of Whitetail yet?

Arizona Panoramic View
Photo Credit: Tanner Kemp
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