Every hunter, in the back of their mind, dreams of taking a record book animal. That dream became a reality for Ed Stockwell while hunting for Coues deer.
On a late fall day in 1953, Ed and a friend were out and about combing the mountains of Southern Arizona for deer. Most of the morning had been a bust and the two men were headed back to camp. As they walked along they came to a low rugged mountain. After a brief discussion, the two men decided to separate and hunt across the mountain back to camp. There were lots of cliffs, boulders, and bluffs along the mountain. As a result, the two hunting partners decided that one man would take the lower route and another would climb higher up the mountain. Ed was the one to take the higher route. Ed began his climb while carrying his open sight .300 Savage.
Climbing upwards past the rough country, Ed eventually ended up on the top of the low mountain. Not very long after reaching the top, Stockwell jumped two Coues deer bucks. One was a small spike, the other was a “big buck”! I’ll let the quote from Ed tell the rest of the story.
“As only the big antlers showed up behind a rocky ridge, I ran to get a better view. The big buck disappeared. Just as I was giving him up, he moved from behind a large oak tree and started down the slope, giving me a clear shot. I dropped him at about 60 yards. Evidently, I had come up the side of the mountain that he used as his sneak exit, and it was probably due to this that I got such a good chance at him.” – Ed Stockwell
Scoring of the Buck
The buck was bigger than any Coues buck Ed had seen. As a result, he decided to have the antlers taken to the Boone and Crockett Awards Competition in 1955. The judges at the event were shocked, no Coues deer had ever come into the event quite this large. The antlers were much heavier than most Coues deer. Because of the size of the antlers, there was some concern that this buck was actually a regular whitetail and not a true Coues deer. However, after careful reexamination, the buck was deemed to be a true Coues deer. Ed’s buck was officially scored at 144 1/8″, a truly giant buck and the world record typical Coues deer.
You can read more about Ed’s giant buck by checking out the B&C website by clicking here.
Coues deer are a distinct sub-species of the whitetail deer. They have adapted over the years to be more suited for life in the dry deserts of Arizona and New Mexico. They even get some of their water by eating the cacti in the area.
Have you taken a giant animal before? If you have, we’d love to hear about it. Let us know in the comments!