by: Jon Yokley, Bowtech Pro Staff
After a successful Arizona desert spot and stalk pronghorn hunt this August, my friend and hunting buddy Tiger and I decided to try our luck on some of the very elusive OTC desert muleys. The success rate for archery in Arizona runs between 3% and 7% most years, so you can see the odds are usually in the muleys favor. The August/September hunt can be very difficult to turn up a nice buck in the daytime hours mainly due to the heat. We knew that we had to get out and be in our location before daybreak to start picking the hills apart with our 15x binos. As soon as daylight broke, we picked up a nice solo buck leaving an area where we assumed he had just watered. We made a plan and for some reason I was up to bat, I guess I just know how to pick my hunting buddies. After a very unusual short stalk I found myself in position and had the buck feeding right by me at 33 yards. I was able to draw my BT-X 28, but he picked up my movement, he stopped and gave me just enough time to settle in my 30 yard pin before releasing.
We decided to give the buck a solid hour before going in to track and locate any sign. An hour feels like forever in this situation, but it’s necessary. Time was up, so we went in. Immediately I found my arrow in two pieces, but it appeared to be a good hit. We slowly followed a very solid blood trail about 60 yards before walking up on my expired 2016 early season muley.
I was overwhelmed with the sight of this beautiful buck and saddened at the same time knowing that all of my 2016 Arizona tags had now been filled. But, this will now allow me to help my buddy Tiger pursue his buck on our late hunt around mid-December. At times I find this more rewarding than my own.