Editor's Note: Executive Editor Adam Heggenstaller recently had the chance to put the following gear to use on a Coues deer hunt in Mexico. You can catch up on that story here.
Kimber Hunter The stainless steel, controlled-round-feed action and barrel of the Kimber Hunter are mated to a polymer stock with an internal honeycomb structure that promotes rigidity. A detachable box magazine holds three rounds, and the rifle is available in several short- and long-action chamberings. Since the 6.5 Creedmoor I carried in Sonora weighed less than 6 pounds, I stayed nimble when scrambling over rocks and ducking around cactus.
Leupold VX-6HD With a magnification range of 3X-18X, the Leupold VX-6HD riflescope is suitable for Coues deer and any other game at both short and long range. The scope’s Twilight Max Light Management System gives bright views of the target, while the illuminated FireDot reticle shows up quickly against hide and hair. Pressing an intuitive button unlocks the CDS-ZL2 dial for making elevation adjustments, and the scope is compatible with the company’s Custom Dial System that negates the need for counting clicks. One afternoon I watched Leupold’s Shane Meisel dial his scope for 425 yards and place two shots on a bedded buck in seconds. This system is fast and effective.
Leupold BX-3 Mojave Pro The magnification and resolution provided by the Leupold BX-3 Mojave Pro Guide HD 12X-50mm binocular helped me pick out grayish-tan Coues deer on a landscape of largely the same color. Leupold has since upgraded this model to the BX-4 Pro Guide HD with improved coatings and ergonomics.
Hornady ELD-X Precision Hunter Loaded with a heavy-for-caliber ELD-X bullet having a high ballistic coefficient and a Heat Shield tip for more consistent flight characteristics, Hornady Precision Hunter is intended as all-range ammo. Although I can’t speak for its long-range performance on Coues deer, the 143-grain bullet I used on my buck at 80 yards was plenty tough enough for a complete pass-through.