Rok Blog

The place to connect with the DIY hunting world. Robby covers techniques, gear, hot topics- everything you need to become a better mule deer hunter.

The most sought-after North American trophy species

Scout Big, Hunt Small

Scout Big, Hunt Small

The more I've hunted for big mule deer, the more I've learned to focus my hunting days only where I've seen big bucks previously. Hunting anywhere else, even for a day, is usually a waste of time. 

Big mule deer--those that are four years or older--are very deliberate animals. Outside of the migration, they don't roam the landscape much.  They usually stay in relatively small areas (less than a square mile) and only move if hunting pressure increases dramatically or feed or water sources are grossly interrupted.  While there are exceptions, you can't kill a big mule deer by banking on exceptions.  You have to hunt exactly where you've seen them as much as physically possible if you're ever going to kill one on purpose.

While this might seem obvious, I see hunters making the mistake of hunting all over a unit or a mountain range way too often.  I used to do the same thing and I'm pretty sure I've never killed a big buck by hunting that way. 

Most of my big bucks killed outside of the migration were taken by hunting relatively small areas day after day until the buck showed himself.  Sometimes it was exact bucks I'd prescouted. Other times it was bucks I'd seen the first time, but I was hunting places with a good track record for big buck sightings in years (and even decades) prior.  This is what I mean by "Hunt Small".

The time to cover a lot of ground is actually right now.  With bucks in their summer mode and more visible, you have a chance to look at more bucks which increases your chances of finding a big one.  To do this, make sure you visit the deer country you know the best and even better, exact places where you've seen or killed big bucks in the past.  Learn as much country as possible while the bucks are still most visible.  This is what I mean by "Scout Big".

To kill big mule deer, you have to focus and focus hard.  Don't let opening day catch you by surprise.  It'll be here before you know it.

PODCASTS:

Podcasts are all the latest in media.  They're a convenient way to listen and learn.  I've been invited on a few lately that you mule deer hunters might be interested in.  We talk big bucks and more. Here are the computer links, but they're also available on the standard podcast formats like iTunes. Be sure and subscribe.

Avery Adventures Episode 22

Epic Outdoors Episode 33

Read more about all-things-mule-deer-hunting in my book, Hunting Big Mule Deer

 b2ap3_thumbnail_book.jpg

Continue reading
1386 Hits
0 Comments

Winterkill Results

Winterkill Results

This was a hot topic earlier this season.  Idaho Fish and Game has released some of their findings from radio collar studies that I know some of you will be interested in.  If you already saw this information on the Idaho Fish and Game website, then please pass it on to a friend who might be interested. 

As I'd written in mid-February when I released my Kryptek Vellus Review, that early warm-up may have really helped us avoid a deadly outcome.  While it will be after hunting season before we know the full effect of this last winter, I have learned a few things with this latest event.

  1. It really does matter what kind of condition the deer are in when a bad winter hits. A good summer can help deer get through a tough winter.
  2. When winter starts late, like it did this year, that can buy the deer some valuable time if conditions become severe.
  3. When winter ends even a few weeks early, that too can increase survival.

Seems that if Idaho Fish and Game is right, these three events aligned to help us dodge a bullet.

Read Idaho Fish and Game's full report here

*lead photo courtesy of Idaho Fish and Game

Read about all-things-mule-deer-hunting in my book, Hunting Big Mule Deer

 b2ap3_thumbnail_book.jpg

 

 

Continue reading
2165 Hits
0 Comments

Why Buck Hunters Still Need a File Cabinet

Why Buck Hunters Still Need a File Cabinet

Twenty years ago when researching hunts, I ordered hunting statistics directly from the biologist, bought newspapers over the phone from towns near where I wanted to hunt, and clipped magazine articles about buck hunting. I dedicated a three-drawer file cabinet to the storage of all this data. You just can't remember everything you've researched, so a system to save data efficiently is essential.

Continue reading
1499 Hits
0 Comments

Exactly Where to Hunt After Hard Winters

Exactly Where to Hunt After Hard Winters

Mule deer have been studied intensively the last 50 years. While we don't know as much about the species as we do whitetail deer, we do have a body of evidence to draw from that can help make us better hunters.

Continue reading
2793 Hits
0 Comments

Bucks I've Taken After Hard Winters

Bucks I've Taken After Hard Winters

Winterkill is one of the wildcards a mule deer hunter has to contend with.  You can't predict it nor can you ignore it.  It will affect you at some point...

Continue reading
1797 Hits
0 Comments

ROK-BLOG SIGN UP

HF muledeer200x200AD 2017

CA-RL

X5 200x200