To those interested in the art, the idea of bow hunting often means one quarry: the whitetail deer, North America’s most numerous game animal.
Only four of the lower 48 states lack adequate whitetail for hunting, and it is thus the primary object of most bow hunting across the continent.
The whitetail deer, named after its most significant feature, is actually a broad category as scientists reckon such things. Larger subspecies are found in the Midwestern United States, while the smallest overall is the Keys deer found in the state of Florida.
In the United States, most whitetail are harvested by hunters working from tree stands in the Midwestern, Southern, and Eastern states.
One of the hardest whitetail to hunt successfully is the Coues deer of the Southwestern deserts of the U.S. and Northern Mexico. This deer has keen senses and an uncanny ability to evade hunters, often seeming to simply disappear.
The animal’s inherent wariness, combined with the high elevation, sheer-walled canyons, and other uneven country in which it dwells, have helped to earn it the appellation ‘Grey Ghost of the Desert.’
This animal is a particularly challenging target for the bow hunter, since the Coues whitetail demands a significant amount of work for any hunter to bring to the bag. Their chosen terrain offers little opportunity for the hunter to construct a blind or stand.
The bow hunter will often find him or herself spending an excessive amount of time attempting to spot the animal through high powered binoculars or a spotting scope. Even then, when the Coues is spotted, stalking it is difficult with the meager cover and inconsistent winds in the area. One strategy that has met with some success is to call or rattle the bucks toward the hunter while they are in rut.
Hunting whitetail deer is not always easy, but this challenge is what makes the animal such worthy quarry. Whichever strategy the hunter adopts, the rewards of bow hunting whitetail, in particular the Coues, are well worth the effort if the deer is brought to the bag.
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