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    Woo hooo! I’m not a bad hunter! - Desert Rat - The Premier Hunting and Fishing Blog of the Southwest!

    Woo hooo! I’m not a bad hunter!

    Well, some of you who know me well know that my track record when it comes to hunting in Arizona is not just dismal - for all intents and purposes, it is non-existent. I really was getting to the point where I was beyond discouraged - I was truly beginning to think that I was a poor hunter. My family and co-workers often make cracks about my lack of success. I have been hunting with several friends that are very good hunters. They took me to their honey-holes; they coached me in their sure-fire methods; they enlightened me with their craftiest strategies - all to no avail. Guys who consistently score would let me tag along, or go with me - and we would see nothing. Not only didn’t tag out - we would usually see N-O-T-H-I-N-G. I can help other people; I can offer advice that usually lets them connect. It has always been me, that was the apparent problem.

    By now you are probably anticipating my announcement that I finally filled an Arizona big game tag. That I finally had some things fall into place, and that I had slain something bigger than a dove - thus ending my belief that I am a bad hunter. NOPE.

    Last Friday, I went down to hunt Coues with Coyote John. John had suggested I put in for Unit 35A, in which he resides. I arrived around 11:00 and over lunch John talked about the deer hunting behind his house. The area he was taking me too was pretty much batting 1000. Over almost 3 decades, that hill had consistently produced Coues for not only John, but his family, and every friend he had taken up there. John said that he “had never gone up there, and not seen bucks”. Boy, was I psyched. Friday afternoon we headed up the hill, and found a spot to sit. We saw 2 or 3 does, but no bucks. Coming back down, John was mystified - that had never happened before - ever. Still though, we remained positive. That night we discussed strategy. John showed me several beautiful racks of deer he had gotten, off of that hill behind his house - the majority of them during the November hunt. Friday was an anomaly, we decided, and it didn’t phase us a bit. Saturday morning found us up on the hill, at first light. Nothing was moving. We changed to the back-up location at around 9:00. John managed to see a lone doe, I saw nothing. We came back down the hill for lunch and a nap. Despite my track record, I was optimistic, and thinking positive (“oh no, not this again” had not entered my mind). Late afternoon, back up the mountain we went. That evening we came back down, we saw a doe on the way down. John was growing more dumb-founded with every hike. Sunday morning, back up the hill. Mid-morning, back down the hill. No bucks; a doe did walk by our spot, and quickly melted into the hillside.

    I think John was not only astonished, but that he felt bad - after all, he had recommended this Unit. He swore that in almost 30 years, he had never taken a trip up there and not seen bucks. Not once - let alone 4 consecutive trips! I chuckled and said “Hey - you have now experienced the MacFarlane curse! All of my hunts are like this. I have broken the best guides and spots around.” Nothing makes critters disappear from an area faster than me picking up my bow or rifle, grabbing my tag, and heading afield.

    So why the jubilation, you may ask? Because no one can be this bad at hunting. I really do believe now that it is some kind of curse. And a curse is something I can’t do anything about! It’s not me after all!

    Note: I know John felt bad, but this was more than a weekend hunt for me. It was probably the best weekend I’ve had in 10 years. I learned a ton, and spent some quality time with a genuine good friend (and his wife). I saw beautiful country, and a lot of wildlife. You can’t ask for much more than that.

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    8 Responses to “Woo hooo! I’m not a bad hunter!”

    1. rk Says:

      Congrats Marshall on having a good time!

    2. Desert Rat Says:

      rk - I mentioned you in the “November Coues” thread over on the message board :-)

    3. DRP Says:

      In my opinion the only bad hunts I’ve had were the ones I couldn’t go on!

    4. Kristine Shreve Says:

      Too funny. At least you are able to see the positive side. You’re right, there are much worse ways to spend a weekend than with good friends enjoying beautiful scenery.

    5. Arthur Says:

      I was feeling exactly the same way the last couple of years until a couple of nights ago when I actually got to tag something. Keep it up. It’ll happen eventually when the curse wears off!

    6. Jeff Says:

      Many great hunts never see an animal shot during them… it’s the people, places and experiences that truly make them great. Glad that not taking an animal did not keep you from seeing that.

    7. My Fall Line-Up - Desert Rat - The Premier Hunting and Fishing Blog of the Southwest! Says:

      [...] year, I hunted at friend John’s place in 35A. We struck out, but he kindly invited me down for a chance to redeem myself. My tag is a little [...]

    8. Getting Anxious For Round 2 - Desert Rat - The Premier Hunting and Fishing Blog of the Southwest! Says:

      [...] year, I drew a 35A Coues tag and spent a wonderful 3 days with good friend John Petrello in Sierra Vista. John was discouraged that we didn’t connect, but I had a blast. Well, I put in for that tag [...]