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27. Coues Deer---Mexico

map of range of white-tailed deer 
Coues deer range is marked in blue in
Arizona, New Mexico and Mexico.
The Coues deer is the smallest of all whitetails, found in the mountains of Arizona, New Mexico, and Mexico. Antlers are small compared to our West Virginia whitetails. This species is especially wary because of predation by mountain lions throughout its range. For that reason they are commonly known as the “gray ghosts” of the desert Southwest. This buck is large for this species and was taken in .


This record-book buck was the 34th deer that came to a very small water hole the second morning of my Mexican hunt in 2006. Several friends who have taken all 29 North American species with the bow, rank this and the mountain goat as the toughest hunts. Apparently Coues deer are very skittish around water because of mountain lions, which is their main predator. I watched this buck for an hour before the shot was taken. The taxidermy work on this mount is interesting. Done by Marcus Zimmerman from Martinsburg, PA, it features the placement of habitat under the shoulder mount, a technique perfected by Marcus.

Samuel with coues deer