Coues Whitetail Deer
Odocoileus virginianus couesi
The Coues whitetail deer was named after the early naturalist, Elliot Coues. Coues, pronounced his name as “cows.” However, even the most die-hard follower pronounces the name of the deer as “coos.” Compared to its eastern and northern cousins, the Coues whitetail deer is exceptionally small. On average, bucks weigh less than 100 pounds, and does even lighter than that. The Coues deer inhabits the “desert islands” of Arizona, New Mexico, and Mexico. Well-adapted, the Coues deer inhabits both the desert floor and high mountain peaks, and ranges in elevation from approximately 3,000 feet to 9,000 feet.
Although it is not sought after by all big game hunters, it is receiving a new recognition as a big game animal, mostly because of its “cult-like” following by those that hunt it on a regular basis. Hunting opportunities can be found in Arizona, New Mexico and Mexico, with seasons from August through January. Early fall archery seasons offer hunters the chance at taking a velvet buck in Arizona and New Mexico. In general, the rifle deer seasons begin in late October, and are scattered throughout the calendar through the end of December. Mexico offers rifle hunting though the month of January, while Arizona and New Mexico only offer archery hunting during the month.
Arizona: The Coues whitetail deer is most common in the southeastern region of the state; however, its range stretches across the entire Mogollon Rim, which divides northern and southern Arizona.
New Mexico: The Coues whitetail deer is only found in the southwestern region of the state, with the highest populations found near the Arizona and Mexico borders.
Mexico: The Coues deer is found throughout the state of Sonora, and also inhabits western Chihuahua, Sinaloa, Nayarit, and Durango in northern Mexico.