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A consistently successful Kaibab trophy hunter does most of his hunting early in the day, arriving at the locale for his hunt at daylight or before. The hunter knows, as do the game technicians who make the buck-doe-fawn counts, that twice as many bucks will be seen in the early morning as in the evening.
THE FLICK OF AN EAR
Two or three hunters working together make the best combination for working the Kaibab. While one walks the crest of a ridge, the others can scour the breaks and pockets. Every possible hiding place should be scouted, for in spite of the bigger bucks' size?180 pounds or more?they have a unique ability to hide.
A hunter does not expect to see the whole animal, unless it is in full flight, or unless he has been very careful in his stalk. More than likely he will see no more than the flick of an ear, the movement of a head, a shift in position, or a silhouetted portion of the animal. Deer will be browsing in the early morning, and if a man is quiet he may hear the movement of brush or the clatter of rolling gravel. Deer feed as they walk along. This is a protective measure against sneaking predators such as mountain lions.
When a deer has eaten its fill it seeks a place to bed down and to chew its cud. Big bucks forage before daylight, especially if there is a moon or starlight, and finish feeding before the sun tops the ridges.
I once helped a hunter scout out North Canyon on the East Rim of the Kaibab. We arrived at the end of the road in his car at daylight. With him walking the rim, and me 50 yards below, we began hunting up-canyon. We passed two still hunters, seated near rock ledges and less than 200 yards apart. Not more than 100 yards beyond them I squatted, to look under the low branches of a clump of spruce trees and saw the antlers of a buck just as the deer laid its head down. Here was the stalker's seldom-achieved opportunity, a sort of hunter's hole-in-one. I shot the buck as it lay in unafraid comfort, its paunch full of fresh browse.