Congratulations to Arizona hunter Wesley Ely who now holds the Pope & Young Club (P&Y) world record for nontypical Coues deer. Ely, who shot the velvet buck in August 2017, had the buck officially scored by a P&Y special panel of judges earlier this month. After it was stripped of velvet, the buck’s official measurement came in at 139 2/8, which ties with the existing P&Y world record.
Here’s the story of the hunt in Ely’s own words, per a P&Y press release:
“It all began on a summer scouting trip in 2013 when I noticed a young buck with massive antlers. I continued to scout and occasionally hunt the area while the buck kept getting bigger each year. After an unsuccessful 2017 early hunt, I decided to devote all of my time-off to find the buck’s summer habits. 16 days before opening day, I began to pattern this elusive animal.
“On opening day in the middle of public land, I couldn’t help but hope that I was the only person chasing this big Coues’ deer. I watched the buck through my binoculars for four hours that morning and waited until he bedded down for the day. After an hour hike into the canyon, I was looking at the biggest Coues’ buck I had ever seen. In a stalk that seemed like an eternity, I crept and crawled closer to this small-bodied giant. I took my time, carefully applying all the things I had learned for years on how to make a successful stalk. As I released the arrow, my heart filled with hope and anticipation! Shaking with excitement, I watched through binoculars as the buck, with a complete pass through, slowly disappeared over the hill.
“When I discovered the Coues’ buck I had been hunting for four years lying motionless, I was in complete awe. I sat silently for a few minutes; admiring this intelligent animal and reflecting on what a humbling challenge it had been to take such an incredible buck.”
Ely’s Coues deer will be displayed during P&Y’s 31st Biennial Convention in Omaha, Nebraska, which will be held April 10 to 13, 2019.