Big Bucks Found On The Strip

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Ty DeWees’ first hunt in a decade found the longtime Payson resident bagging a record mule deer buck.

There are a few places in the West that consistently produce big muley bucks, and two of those spots just happen to be in Arizona.

Everyone knows of the Kaibab Plateau north of the Grand Canyon, but just to the west of this area is a very remote piece of real estate known as the Arizona Strip.

Unit 13-A is in the far northwestern corner of our state, which happens to have the right characteristics for trophy mule deer. With the right gene pool, abundant minerals in the ground for antler growth, and moisture, a mature buck can score in the 200-inch-plus range.

The chances of getting drawn for this hunt are very minute; with less than a 1-percent draw success in the annual lottery for one of the very valuable 45 tags. Ty DeWees, a former Payson High School student and Longhorn wrestler, bucked the odds and drew this Arizona deer permit.

This was DeWees’ first deer hunt in a decade, having enlisted in the military after high school graduation and actively defending our country for eight years in the Army. DeWees, his father Mike and family friend Danny Prock made the seven-hour trip to their camp and hunting area.

On day two of the hunt, they found the monster buck bedded down at midday on the shady side of one of the many cedar trees in the area. A well-placed shot with his 270 rifle at a distance of 100 yards earned him a trophy of a lifetime — a mule deer buck that scored a whopping 260 inches green score on the Boone and Crocket chart.

This deer had been seen and hunted by many noted guides of the Arizona Strip as one of the biggest mule deer in North America this year.

Somehow this is the perfect story where a young man on his first deer hunt after so patriotically serving his country was able to shoot the mule deer of a lifetime. This hunt will be chronicled in one of the leading hunting magazines as a feature story in the near future.

Whether you are hunting, fishing, or hiking the Arizona outdoors, enjoy God’s creation.

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