Originally published Monday, January 7, 2019 at 07:29p.m.

The New Year isn’t but eight days old, and there are a number of local sportsmen and women who have already filled their archery deer and javelina tags.

Mike Cobb started his New Year off by being in the field in Unit 18B with an over-the-counter deer tag. Cobb has hunted this unit many, many times, and his reputation for being successful on deer and javelina hunts is almost legendary.

In 2018 during the rifle deer hunts in Unit 18B, Cobb, while hunting with the McCans family, located a truly big buck in the unit.

Despite their best efforts, neither Cobb nor the McCans family sealed the deal on the bruiser. So Cobb decided he would try for the buck again in 2019 at the archery hunt.

Mike was out there on opening day, and despite looking in the area where they thought the big buck might be, he saw nothing.

Cobb moved to another area where he did glass up a group of seven does and two bucks.

He tried to make a move on them, but the brush was too thick. He decided to move around the backside of the mountain and try to work in close enough in a wash for a shot.

The plan didn’t work, and Mike was way out of bow range.

Then he decided to try something that had worked for him in the past, and he felt he had nothing to lose.

He started blowing on a fawn-in-distress call and suddenly the does started trotting toward him. They stopped at about 70 yards and started snorting and stomping their feet.

Then they ran off a short distance and stopped.

Then two of the does and two bucks started walking slowly toward him. Mike couldn’t believe his luck when one of the bucks stopped 50 yards away.

Mike took aim and released an arrow. The arrow hit the mark; the buck ran about 30 yards and dropped.

Then to Mike’s surprise, two bucks suddenly walked up to his mortally wounded buck. But the action wasn’t over yet. Still another buck came out from nowhere and joined the other two.

Cobb said his buck sported a narrow 6-by-4 rack, and though not the largest archery buck he has ever taken, he felt it was a mature mule deer and a good one for Unit 18B. Cobb and his wife, Debi, also have javelina tags in the same unit next month.