Campfire Talk Part 21 with Larry Weishuhn

07 January 2013

Happy New Year! Although we live in some most interesting times, I feel assured the future will look extremely good! Looking back, 2012 was indeed a great year in many different ways, particularly when it comes to personal things...among other things I decided to once again do my own television show, one that I totally owned and controlled. Doing so however meant going back to being my own boss, with virtually very little income. During 2011 I worked for Outfittersrating.com and did shows for that company, specifically A HUNTERS LIFE and OUTFITTERSRATING (which I hosted), and I did so for a very decent salary. But I was not in control of the productions, from the filming forward and although the production company I worked with did a fabulous job with the footage they got, I felt like the footage we could have gotten would have made what was a decent show, a truly GREAT show. But it failed in doing so! I saw many things we could have done differently to really turn out great shows, but as mentioned, not being in control I decided to again go out on my own. All that meant tightening the belt and doing all I could to get the new show project started. I was fortunate in that my primary sponsors of A HUNTERS LIFE, decided to become sponsors of my new show, specifically Dallas Safari Club (title sponsor), Ruger, Hornady and Zeiss. So that gave me the basics I needed to begin the new project. I picked up some other great sponsors as well, Buck Natural and Wildgame Innovations, as well as some others. Once I’d made the decision, I contacted Blake Barnett, who has been a close friend, but also my cameraman/field producer on other award winning shows I’d been involved with. He was in the process of forming a new company with Greg Rodriguez, a long-time friend and fellow outdoor writer and tv show host. Blake in turn got in touch with two Emmy Award winning producers/editors, J.D. Garza and Dean Schanbaum and got them to join the company. The quality this group is producing is beyond even my “tallest” expectations! They recently put together a sizzle tube about the new show, which can be seen on YouTube at hhtp;//youtu.be/tT16YBBaHm4. When you get a chance please take a look at it and let me know what you think. I’d appreciate it GREATLY! Over the years I’ve had the opportunity to hunt some fabulous places throughout the southern part of Africa, parts of South America, parts of Europe, Kyrgyzstan, all over New Zealand and throughout North America. TRAILING THE HUNTER’S MOON will take you to several of those places...but the thrust of show will be on hunting big game in North America. Each year we’ll do likely four “off shore” hunts and nine from within North America. As this is being written, it’s New Year’s Eve and while others may be planning parties and the like, my wife and I are planning on spending a quiet evening together at home, something over the years, with almost continual travel she and I both enjoy and appreciate. I’ll head next to the Dallas Safari Club Convention, my favorite of such events and shows in the all this world. DSC’s show is also the finest show of its kind in the world. Hopefully many of you who read this will have had an opportunity to attend. Immediately after DSC I’m headed back to Sonora, Mexico to hunt desert mule deer with Dark Horn Adventures. I say back to Sonora, because I spent ten days there in December hunting, first for Coues whitetails and then desert bighorn sheep. Coues whitetail, sometimes called Arizona whitetails, are a smaller species of whitetails that are found exclusively in the southern part of New New Mexico, southern part of Arizona and in the Mexican state of Chihuahua and Sonora. His kind was made famous quite a few years ago by Jack O’Connor, long the shooting editor for Outdoor Life and later with Petersen’s Hunting during their early years. I’ve long been fascinated with Coues whitetail and have hunted them whenever I’ve had the opportunity in New Mexico and Sonora, Mexico. These little deer, little when compared to other whitetails (to get your name in the all time Boone & Crockett record book you need to take a typical buck that will net 110 as opposed to 170 for a “regular” whitetail”) are extremely secretive, and can almost hide in plain sight. They are masters of hiding and evading hunters. Most hunts are done via spot and stalk, which means grabbing your Zeiss binos and spotting scopes and sitting and glassing the foothills. Where Coues deer co-exist with mule deer, most of the time you find the mule deer in the low flats and the Coues whitetail starting where the hills start to rise. While hunting with Dark Horn Adventures we often saw desert bighorn only a few yards higher in the mountains than we did Coues whitetail. Once a likely looking deer is spotted, then comes the arduous though fun filled “job” of trying to get close enough to a Coues deer to get a decent distance shot. That said, I strongly suggest you spend time going through S.A.A.M (Sportsman All Terrain, All Weather Marksmanship) at the FTW Ranch near Barksdale, Texas to learn how to shoot at longer distances before heading out to hunt Coues whitetails. I’m not a big fan of long range shooting, but I know how, and I know the capabilities of the Ruger rifle I’m hunting with, something about the Hornady ammo and my Zeiss scope at distance near and far. My hunt for Coues whitetail was a GREAT one. I loved every moment of it. Chapo my guide like me is “eaten up with Coues deer”, I found out very quickly once we started hunting together. He was familiar with the property, “Larry, we’re going to hunt where I’ve seen some really big Coues deer, not where I’ve seen a lot of them. The rut is about two to three weeks away, so it’s not going to do any good to hunt for big deer where we’ve been seeing a lot of does.” Before I could answer he continued, “Stow your gear, let’s shoot your rifles and we’ll go hunting!” Hunting we did for three days, during which time we saw several Coues deer, some desert bighorn sheep, but not what we considered a monster, the kind we were hoping for. Then about noon the last day we had allotted for hunting Coues deer we were only about a half mile from camp glassing two almost shooter bucks. I was busy glassing them, sizing them up when Chapo said with a lot of excitement in his voice. “ Don’t move quickly....Larry you need to look at this one...BIG BUCK!” I turned slowly and then glassed the direction Chapo pointed. I spotted him immediately, standing behind a rock, sort of an alcove within a stand of thorn bushes and cactus. I could see he had a sizable rack and I thought I could count 10 total points, but wasn’t sure until we looked through my Zeiss spotting scope. But from what I could see, I knew he was BIG. Chapo and I quickly made an evaluation of what we could do to get closer. It didn’t take long to realize much closer was not going to be an option. With a bit of hiding and crawling, we were able to “cut the distance” to 573 yards, based on my Zeiss RF binos. There I set up a couple of backpacks for a good prone rest. Normally I shoot from BOG Gear shooting sticks, but in this instance I had the opportunity to get a good solid prone rest. I took numerous deep breaths to help control my excitement...then gently tugged the trigger.... I’ll not leave you in suspense... I did take the buck...and he was even bigger than we had thought. He had 10 typical points with 2 short kickers. We gross scored him that night at 135 1/8 B&C points. He’ll net B&C as a typical and most likely as a non-typical as well. Even though I’m a Professional Member of the Boone & Crockett Club I’ve not yet “put” anything to the record book...I will, that being the 28 inch Alaskan Brown Bear I shot in 2011 and I’ll put this Coues deer into the book as well, once it has been officially scored. During my desert bighorn sheep hunt, I passed up numerous rams my guide and the rancher with whom I hunted said were too small, although I admit they looked “way big” to me. I’ll return to hunt desert sheep with Dark Horn Adventures in February. I can hardly wait... Sonora, Mexico is if you’ve not guessed by now one of my favorite hunting destinations in the world! And in 2013 I plan on hunting there numerous times....