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RANCHES, ANTLERS, OUTFITTERS AND GUIDES

I really don't think I am giving away any secrets when I say anyone in the Outfitting business needs to always be on the hunt for new hunting property. In the "off-season" that's what RSO is doing,  a constant search looking to improve on ranch quality, not to mention deer quality. It is obvious that every ranch is different in many aspects, one thing of utmost importance is genetics. Deer densities are not that important, when compared to exceptional genetics, and most ranches either have it or not. There are many past examples of the opportunity these new ranches have offered our hunters. If we feel a ranch offers the basic needs in addition to having Boone and Crockett buck potential, well that's what it takes and is what we look for in a ranch. In some cases we lease  previously un-hunted ranches, however that's not always the case, and just because a ranch has been hunted, doesn't mean there isn't a chance of taking a whooper off it. It usually doesn't come easy, as many hours scouting is required on any ranch, but the rewards can be impressive and satisfying!

Many hunters, like myself, like to see examples of the country they are considering hunting and appreciate photos of a ranch and especially examples of the antler quality from them. There are ranches however, that have never really shown me a whole lot in exceptional buck quality, and in some cases we have taken deer of much better quality than represented from the sheds or lion kills from a ranch. On our new un-hunted ranches, these are our best and often only indicators of what to expect in antler quality prior to our fall scouting.

Below are photos from ranches we have hunted as well as new ranches we have added for the upcoming season. Many of the antlers are well over 100" and some over 110" representing the quality we are looking for in a ranch and the type of bucks RSO want our hunters to take during a hunt.

Ranch cowboys are extremely resourceful as many have a lifetime of knowledge of a ranch and the deer on it. Our cowboys are given binoculars and are quickly instructed to look for, find, and watch bucks of interest as they develop antlers and patterns as the hunting season approaches.  Our scouting season begins in early fall and we concentrate on finding bucks the cowboys have told us about and areas of high deer activity.
 

These photos are from newly leased property totaling 63,000 acres of high density whitetail country. These properties will offer a great hunting opportunity for our clients beginning in 2009. RSO has scouted both properties and between the two, we have not only seen very impressive deer numbers, but great genetics and high scoring deer. We feel both of these ranches are the best we have been on regarding densities and quality and we cannot wait for the fall scouting season to begin!


 

Bucks still on and taken from current Ranches
Some ranches have acquired a bad reputation due to many years of past hunting pressure and in some cases, extreme over-hunting/harvest. This of course can ruin a ranch almost overnight as bad new travels quick in this business.  One of the most important aspects of the business is maintaining a conservative approach to harvest for any species. If you are shooting young deer on a regular basis, your overall harvest will consist of very few older age-class bucks. The main reason hunters travel across the border each year is to hunt a ranch with the opportunity of taking a high scoring, older age-classed buck without having to compete with other hunters setting on every glassing point. 

We age every deer taken and if the buck is less than 5 years old, I feel we have robbed the cradle!  Most bucks we take are 6-8 years old, and that is what it takes to grow big deer on a ranch with good genetics. I have a couple of sayings, "you need old deer to have big deer" and "you can't shoot a big deer, if you shoot a small one'!  These rules go hand in hand and are honored by true trophy hunters. Our goal is to maintain this type of harvest long-term to manage a ranch for the annual production of trophy quality bucks.  There are exceptions to every rule, the buck on the left was 5 years old when we took him, a shock to us all. Can you imagine his potential when he hit the 6-8 age-class! As is, he grossed 151"+ and was taken from a ranch that had significant hunting pressure for years and years. The bucks to the right are still alive and are represent the types of bucks we will want to take is found as their age may be approaching their limits. Picture, bottom right, is a 125" 4x4 lion kill from a ranch we hunt with low deer numbers. At this time, we haven't taken a buck off the ranch of this quality, but we saw a 3x3 with double drop-tines a year ago that would score near 130".  Once again, deer densities are important to most hunters, but that is not always the case as some low density ranches have some sleeper bucks on them, they pose a bigger challenge to hunt and you go home without more often than you go home holding a set of trophy antlers!


Rio Sonora Outfitters and Guides
Hi, I am Brad Fulk, the owner of Rio Sonora Outfitters, LLC, which I established in 1999, after returning from my first hunt in Sonora in 1998. The hunt was a do-it-yourself hunt with assistance from the ranch cowboy. It was a great experience, one which I learned many things about Mexico, and how a typical "Ranch Hunt" was conducted.  Well, I came away from that hunt inspired to begin Outfitting hunts for Coues Whitetail, a species I really can't get a fill of.  After that hunt, I realized what hunters going to Mexico were looking for in a hunt; from crossing the International Border safely, to good meals, guides and an organized trophy deer hunt. 

My background is in Wildlife Biology, a career I have worked in for over 20 years of my life. After moving to Arizona in 1992, I soon began hunting Coues in southeastern Arizona and I quickly realized this was the most challenging, impressive species of deer I had ever taken afield in pursuit of!  I also soon became aware of the fact that hunting Coues Whitetail also meshed well with my favorite pastime, Rifles, Rifles, Rifles!!  Reloading was always something I enjoyed and was serious about. Making rifles shoot well, was something that intrigued me and still does today. That along with hunting whitetail, took me to another level, load development and long-range performance from the .270 Winchester to numerous Custom Wildcats I own, one sport craves the other!  Above is the first rifle I built with the help of Bernie Morrison, of Morrison Precision in Hereford, AZ.  My apprenticeship with Bernie is in progress as time permits, and the rifle turned out just like I had planned and many trophy animals have been taken with it including my friend and guide, Jason Greer’s 168" Desert Bighorn Sheep,  and client Trevor Gilluim neck-shot a 111" Coues buck bedded at 510 yards just to mention a couple. 

I am able to go on most hunts each year, however, for the hunts I can't make, be assured you are in good hands with any of my guides! This keeps me very busy and it is a lot of work, but I enjoy climbing to a glassing point and setting up my Swarovski 15's with the anticipation of seeing my first buck of the day. I also enjoy meeting new clients and seeing old friends return each year to do what we enjoy most. I find it easy to work hard for good people, especially when they enjoy hunting whitetail as much as I do. 

Without my guides, it wouldn't be possible to do what I enjoy so much. I don't know where to begin when it comes to telling you how critical they are to the business! We have had some great adventures and have seen and taken some great bucks over the years, I guess that's what keeps us going.
 

Jimmy Vincent-  Pictured on the right with a client in Chihuahua, Mexico during a Gould's Hunt.

I can't tell you how much Jimmy has done for RSO, he began in 2001, and has been my right-hand man ever since. Together we have worked together and made the business what it is today. Jimmy grew up in Douglas, Arizona and spent much of his life on their family ranch in Northern Sonora, Mexico and working as a cowboy on other ranches on both sides of the border. Jimmy is a true liaison for me in Mexico, as he know most people we work with or meet. His great personality is an asset to RSO and is appreciated by both hunting clients, rancher, and cowboys. 

Jimmy has developed great glassing and hunting skills and his bi-lingual skills is more than helpful when coordinating a hunt along with ranch cowboys or with our cooks in the kitchen. 
 

Jason Greer-  Pictured with his 2007 Arizona Desert Bighorn Sheep taken in U39W. This hunt was self guided and the sheep grossed 168". 

I have know Jason from the time he was in Elementary School and just getting started hunting. 

Over the years Jason and I have become close friends, enjoying much of the same thing, HUNTING. Jason is a hard working, serious hunter that will do anything for clients in order to get the job done. He is a likeable guide that gets along with anyone, and enjoys the sport of trophy hunting as much as anyone in camp. His hunting skills are sharp as his abilities behind his binoculars. Jason is a great judge of trophy quality and has guided hunts for RSO for over 5 years now.
 

Martin Guerena-  Pictured with a 110"+ 3x3 Coues taken in Arizona, during a November hunt.

Martin has many outstanding qualities and anyone that has met him will agree. Martin, like myself is a Wildlife Biologists and is dedicated to the field and enjoys the sport of hunting whitetail like no other, and it shows. 

Martin is a Arizona Native and lives in Tucson, AZ. Martin has a quiet, very polite demeanor and has the patients in the field like no one I have seen. His hunting abilities are complemented by his young age, sharp eyes and scoring abilities. For his age, Martin is one of the most accomplished do-it-yourself hunters I know and I am lucky to have him as a guide in Mexico. When he gets behind his Swarovski's,he will find deer! All our clients appreciate having Martin on the hunt.

Eric Huddleston- Pictured with a Desert Mule Deer from one of our hunts.

Eric is a native from Douglas, AZ and grew up hunting the southeaster corner of the state for primarily whitetail. Eric is also an accomplished hunter and with a polite, quiet demeanor. Clients appreciate Eric's glassing abilities and hard work ethics while in the field, he pushes forward and hunts hard even when things are slow. It's Eric's good nature and endless efforts that hunters appreciate the most. 

Eric has guided hunts for RSO for 3 seasons and I am honored to have guides like him on our team. 

Victor Almada-  Pictured with a trophy Antelope he took in Southeastern Arizona.

Victor was born and raised in Douglas, AZ and has hunting his entire life. He began guiding for RSO in 2007, and quickly hit the ground running. At first light on day one of Victor's debut, he glassed a 120" buck that our client took later that evening. 

Victor has many beneficial qualities including a skilled mechanic, bi-lingual, and an overall pleasant person to be around. Victor is always offering a helping hand no matter how dirty the task. His loyalty, and hunting skills is appreciated and any client would say the same. You are in good hands with Victor, he is irreplaceable!

Mike Murray-  Pictured (L) with a Gould's Turkey taken by a client in Chihuahua, Mexico.

One word describes Mike, "Dedicated", and that means all aspects of the hunt. Mike is a partner of RSO and has been Outfitting Gould's Turkey hunts for 4 years. He is a turkey hunting specialist and has had tremendous success on our hunts.

Mike lives in Hot Springs, AR and is retired. He dedicated 23 years to Wildlife Enforcement in Louisiana before moving to Arkansas, where he spends his spare time hunting and fishing with his family. 

I am lucky to have a partner like Mike, he takes a professional approach to the business of hunting, Our clients immediately notice Mike's professionalism and appreciate his skills and efforts in the field.
 
 

 

Carlos Mesa became a new member of Team RSO in 2010. 

Like the rest of us, Carlos developed a passion for Coues Deer hunting at the early age of 8, and with many seasons under his belt, has become huge asset to our operation. 

With young eyes, patience, and a great personality; Carlos not only can serve you very well in the field, but speaks Spanish fluently allowing him the ability communicate with the ranch guides very well.  His hunting and personal abilities result in great customer service and satisfaction!
 
 

 

Javier (Pachie) Moreno is yet another guide that has been a real asset to the hunting business. 

Pachie’s great hunting skills are not his only asset, but his ability to foster great relationships with our Mexico partners is critical. 

He is a well rounded, bi-lingual guide that works as hard for you during a hunt as you will find! 

Pachie can get any job done when asked to do so, and our clients really do appreciate his effort and talents in the field. 


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Brad Fulk
Rio Sonora Outfitters, LLC
Hunting in Sonora, Chihuahua Mexico
Cell (520) 559-0642

eMail
bradfulk@msn.com

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