Shawn and I have just returned from what proved to be a very difficult desert mule deer hunt in Arizona. Several years ago we met Mike Willey from First Class Outdoors at the Iowa Deer Classic. He had the booth right next to us, so naturally we got the chance to talk quite a bit. After that show we continued to keep in touch and learn more about his operation. First Class Outdoors is a full service hunting booking agency. They work with some of the best in the business. So, naturally, we knew we wanted to work with Mike at some point, and this year the opportunity finally presented itself.

Back in March I put in for a New Mexico elk tag with Mike through one of his outfitters. Unfortunately I didn’t draw that tag, but when I saw that I was unsuccessful and shared the news with Mike, he recommended this Arizona hunt. He said it was a tough hunt, but that they had some giant deer. What else is there to be doing in late January anyway?

They hunt was definitely tough…no doubt about that. It was a blast though and was completely different than anything Shawn or I had ever done before. Simply finding the deer in the “sea” of cactus proved extremely difficult. Then, once you found them, the next step was getting on them. When you are watching deer through the spotting scope they don’t look that far, but once you start hiking up the mountain or through the chops, you quickly realize how far away they were.

We did finally get up close to a group with a good buck in it. Unfortunately, once we got to 130 yards we couldn’t get a whole lot closer and the wind swirled….busted!

I don’t know if we will ever get the chance to get back out there and hunt mule deer, but I still dream of the day when I draw an AZ elk tag! Not to mention they have some amazing couse deer hunting. I can’t tell you how many times the guys out in AZ tried to get Shawn and I excited about hunting those little whitetails! 😉 …maybe someday guys, maybe someday.

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