Hunt MD4704MX

$6,500 base price

$3,000 harvest fee

Openings in 2017:

Jan. 9-16

Jan. 16-23

65,000 acres of private land in Sonora, Mexico, near Guaymas

Accommodations in a beachside condo

Hunters fly into Hermosillo or Guaymas, where they are met by the outfitter or a guide. There's a new airline that flies directly to Guaymas from Tucson or Phoenix.

The outfitter also offers fishing trips in the Sea of Cortez. He operates a 50-foot high-tech boat that is air conditioned and a regular 25-foot boat that is more spartan.



190 Boone and Crockett average, past 10 years

This hunt has yielded high success on big mule deer averaging about 190 Boone and Crockett points over the past 10 years. It takes place on private land near Guaymas, which is on the shore of the Sea of Cortez south of Hermosillo.

The outfitter has about 65,000 acres of private leases and manages them conservatively.

"We don't want hunters to shoot bucks that score less than 180 inches," he said. "We see a lot of deer on our leases, and we're the only outfitter on them, so we want only big deer harvested. There's a chance at a buck over 200 B&C, but a 180 to 190 is a lot more realistic."

The outfitter was recommended to us by one of our favorite outfitters in New Mexico. He has hunted with him several times and last year saw at least one huge nontypical in the 220 to 230 class but couldn't connect. He ended up taking a 4x7.

"This outfitter has his act together," he said "We promote each other's hunts and have known each other for 10 years, and I have no hesitation in having my best customers go with him."

Hunters stay in a beach condo. Guides pick up the hunters each morning about 5 a.m., then drive half an hour or so to a ranch to be in position by daylight.

Most hunting is done from high racks mounted on pickup beds. The racks allow hunters and guides to see over the brush. Most hunting takes place during the rut, so big bucks are active then, following does and moving during early and late daylight hours and sometimes in the middle of the day.

"It's not uncommon to see 50 or more deer a day and a lot of bucks," the outfitter said. "If the deer aren't moving on their own, we have the option to walk and track bucks. This can be productive but requires a hunter who can walk well without getting tired. Most of our hunters prefer to hunt from the high racks."

The outfitter said he manages intensively, using predator control and even feeding deer hay during dry years.

"Hunters are happy with our hunt. I hire the best guides and skinners I can find, and they do a good job."

The best way to get your trophy home is to take it with you on the plane as extra baggage. The skinners prepare the trophy so that customs agents allow it ito the U.S. austinswife

"The capes and skulls need to be completely cleaned and salted and dried or frozen," the outfitter said. "We do it both ways. You're better off paying for the trophy as extra baggage than having a trophy exporter ship it to you. The exporters charge $400 or so.

"Tell your hunters to practice shooting. Our biggest problem is getting hunters to hit the bucks. Guys who can shoot usually have very little trouble getting a great wallhanger buck."