Arizona Archery Season

by Colton Choate

colton_bow2This year was the second year I was able to drive and go out hunting by myself or with my friends, without having to be accompanied by an adult. But that meant that I had to come up with my own spots, and spend my own money on gas to get there. However, I didn’t turn up any mature bucks while scouting, and I was drawing blanks as far as hunting spots come season.

The first day I was able to hunt a spot I located by searching a topo map.  I thought the area might be hidden and away from other hunters because of the hike to get there and its steep topography. I hunted this area with my best friend’s little brother, Davis, and his friend Austin. For the most part we just saw does, but towards the end of the hunt we turned up a decent four-point mule deer buck. He was in a difficult spot, and that stalk was blown pretty soon after I started.

After hunting the same location that night, I was disheartened. I didn’t find any more bucks, and that spot was crawling with other hunters. The amount of people that were hunting around me amazed me; I had never seen that many hunters in one area. It was crazy, and I didn’t have a clue where the deer had been pushed to or how to hunt them. With too much pressure in my new area, I decided to sit my dad’s deer stand (with his permission, of course) on days that he didn’t. However, from the stand I only saw a couple does; exactly zero bucks showed up.

All is not lost, though; I have a rifle tag (signed over to me from my Dad) in which I will scout hard to find a shooter whitetail buck for myself. My brother also has a tag. If all else fails, I will be back at it in December with my archery tag.

You can never go wrong by being out in the forest enjoying the people you hunt with and the country around you!

Colton Choate

Colton Choate is an avid outdoorsman; he has been following his father around in the woods since he was three. Colton took his first Coues whitetail buck on a youth hunt in Southern Arizona. Since then, he has taken one more and now has a goal to take either a 100-incher or a good buck with his bow. Now, a senior in high school, Colton is an experienced young hunter. Although his passion, like his father, is Western Whitetail, Colton has hunted and taken several other big game animals over his short career.