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Photos: 239-Inch Mule Deer From the Arizona Strip

A public-land hunting area that encompasses over two million acres and consistently produces trophy-class animals might sound like something out of a fairytale. However, such an area actually exists in the deep canyon and open desert country of the Arizona Strip. This unique location is known to hold some of the best mule deer hunting in the entire world. Recently, a resident hunter named John Holbrook proved just how good the hunting can be in this region with an amazing buck that gross scored 239 6/8.
For the past 15 years, Holbrook (pictured) had applied for the much coveted Arizona Strip mule deer hunt, before finally being drawn this past season. He teamed up with Matt Schimberg of Arizona Strip Bucks, who specializes in guiding serious mule deer hunters who are looking to tag top-end animals. Schimberg and his partner Bryon Goswick have an amazing track record and extraordinarily high success rate when it comes to clients taking trophy-class mule deer bucks.
In fact, during the 2009 and 2010 seasons, their clients tagged three top-heavy bucks that would score around or over 240. Two other bucks were also taken that would score around 220, which is not too shabby. These guys know the terrain and extensively scout throughout the summer and early-fall months. By the time season rolls around, they already have numerous trophy-class bucks pinpointed and patterned. Dedicated summer scouting is actually what enabled Schimberg to locate the monster mule deer that John Holbrook wanted to hunt during the 2011 season.
According to Schimberg, the enormous 5X5 was following a predictable pattern during the hot summer months. "For about a month, I watched the buck visit a water catchment almost on a daily basis and I knew exactly where he was bedding. This bruiser had amazing width and impressive tine length, especially on his right side. I strongly felt that at least one of my clients would get a shot opportunity before the end of season."
Unfortunately, John Holbrook would encounter horrible weather conditions during his dream hunt for this massive buck. He faced two snowstorms, periods of rainy weather, and strong winds. As luck would have it, there was also a full moon and the giant buck he was after had seemingly disappeared about a week before the season opener. By the last day of the hunt and still shut out, both Holbrook and Schimberg were feeling pretty down, but they were not about to give up. The fact that Holbrook had already passed on a few 200-inch bucks and knowing that a record-book bruiser was living in the area kept both men going forward.
In doing so, they decided to check out a secluded, low-lying canyon that offered thick cover and shelter from the high-winds. It didn't take them very long to realize that this was definitely the right move. Their timing was perfect, because they caught the heavy-racked buck sneaking down into the deep canyon on the opposite ridge. At first glance, Holbrook knew without a doubt that he wanted to drop the hammer on this amazing mule deer.
Just before the buck reached the thick cover, Schimberg doe bleated to stop the animal for a 360-yard shot. Holbrook steadied his aim and squeezed the trigger, which immediately knocked the large-bodied deer to the ground. Holbrook's desert king carried a jaw-dropping 5X5 rack that scored just under 240. The buck had a 34-inch inside spread. If the left side of the rack would have matched-up with the right side, the deer would have carried close to 260 inches of antler.
Outfitter Matt Schimberg strongly believes that it's practically impossible to beat the quality of mule deer hunting that can be found within the Arizona Strip. "Super genetics, low deer density, prime habitat, limited tags, and over two-million acres of land are just a few of the factors that make this area a target-rich environment. If you're lucky enough to draw a tag, you can truly enjoy a mule deer hunt of a lifetime, and that's a fact!"
Matt Schimberg and Bryon Goswick own and operate Arizona Strip Bucks, LLC. They are licensed, insured, and permitted outfitters that cater specifically to the serious trophy mule deer hunter. Currently, they run archery and rifle hunts throughout Units 13A and 13B. For additional information about hunting this amazing area, give them a call at (928) 713-9575 or logon to
This is another incredible buck taken last year by one of Schimberg's clients on the Arizona strip.

The Arizona Strip might be the best place on the planet to hunt mule deer. Check out this 239-inch buck taken there last season.