A Good Start

By Augustin Ruiz
New Mexico, 2010, DIY, Public Land

Augustin Ruiz - A Good StartOctober/November 2011 EHJ (Issue 127) - The day the 2010 New Mexico regulations became available, the call came in. It was a college buddy of mine, Ismael Cisneros (a.k.a. Smiley). Smiley and I played college baseball together and have remained good friends. The topic of conversation was hunt choices for the fall season. We discussed our possible choices for elk and proceeded to our deer selections. Smiley quickly suggested the Gila for Coues’ deer. To be perfectly honest, I had no idea what a Coues’ deer was. I figured it was a good choice, being that I hadn’t drawn a deer tag since 2006. The plan was set, now I just needed to draw the tag.

Over the next few months, Smiley and I communicated, while back home I began to do some research on Coues’ deer. I had to prepare myself for long hours sitting and glassing, as well as preparing myself for longer shots.

The day finally arrived when results were going to be posted. As many can attest to, the day the draw results come out can make a grown man cry or jump for joy. I was one of the lucky guys. I immediately called Smiley and I think he was more excited than I was.

My journey began the Friday before opening day. I helped get my son off to school and dropped my daughters off at my parents’ house. For me, it’s always exciting to go on a hunt, but it’s hard to leave my family.

The anticipation of opening day for any hunter is a feeling that defies explanation, and we were up and going early. As I’ve learned, Coues’ don’t really hang down low; they tend to stay high in heavy cover. After a good two-mile hike, we glassed a good buck a long way out. We chose not to pursue this buck, figuring it was still the first day.

The afternoon, Smiley suggested we take a look at another area that we call the "tuck and roll” waterhole. Smiley knew this area contained nice bucks. That afternoon we were joined by a good friend of Smiley’s, Adrian, who also had a Coues’ tag.

We hiked into the waterhole area and the action picked up immediately. It looked like ants crawling all over an anthill! Several does began moving, and then out of nowhere a nice buck appeared, followed by a smaller buck. The larger of the two would push the 110 mark, but unfortunately didn’t give us an opportunity.

Augustin Ruiz - A Good Start

For a full account of Augustin's adventure, go to page 54 in the October/November 2011 issue of Eastmans' Hunting Journal.