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June 2023
Story by Ben Brochu
Hunters: Tristin Brochu
State: Arizona

Where to begin? First, I am so proud of my daughter, Tristin, for being up for and then enduring the physical punishment required to get this deer killed. At 14 years old, she endured a hike that most adults wouldn’t even dream of. Next, this would not have been possible without Uncle Willie, aka Joseph William, spotting for us. We are so grateful for your help! We love and appreciate you!

When Tristin drew a youth any antlered deer tag in Southern Arizona, I told her we could try and target a specific jumbo Coues but it would require a ton of work and some help from Uncle Willie as a spotter walking us in because of the terrain. I told her we could try it if she wanted, but if she decided to pass and hunt other areas, that would be fine too. As the hunt dates grew closer, we began discussing it and she said she wanted to try and do it, but she only wanted to dedicate one day because of the difficulty.

Uncle Willie called as he was heading home from helping a friend on a mule deer hunt in Wyoming and said he could make Sunday work if Tristin was up for the challenge. After a brief discussion, plans were set for the next morning.

We hit the hills very early Sunday morning at 3:30 a.m. and started the first half of the 7.5-mile round-trip hike. She blasted through the 1,600 vertical foot climb, and three hours later, we were in position at gray light. Our legs were like Jello. Shortly thereafter, Joe called us with news that he had the jumbo spotted not far from us and feeding in our direction. I located him shortly thereafter and got Tristin set up on a large boulder for the 275-yard shot. She was shaking with nerves, and we talked through the shot as she steadied the rifle. In a matter of just a few minutes, the deer fed into an opening and Tristin made an awesome shot with the Western Precision rifle built by Brent Jacob. We were elated! As we approached the deer, he kept getting bigger and bigger. I couldn’t believe my eyes, and the smile on her face was priceless.

With the help of Uncle Willie, Tristin had just killed the Coues-of-a-lifetime. There were a lot of hugs, high fives, and photos before beginning the second half of the hike with a full load as we descended the mountain.

I am so proud of Tristin for being willing to entertain the idea of such a physical hunt and then for doing it without complaint. Simply amazing! Thank you again to Uncle Willie for helping us! We could not have done it without him. The deer scored 123 7/8" gross SCI and 116” typical SCI.