With day four upon me, I was seeing plenty of bucks and rutting action.  One strategy to find and kill big deer during the rut is to cover as much country (thoroughly) as possible.  Unless you’re in a fantastic unit (I’m not,) you’ll have to look over quite a few bucks to find something special.  I try and strike a balance between covering ground and hunting each area carefully and correctly.   Only then am I comfortable moving on to new deer country. 



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Robby Denning
Robby Denning started hunting mule deer in the late 1970’s, only missing one season in 35 years. At 25, he gave up the pursuit of all other big-game to focus on taking the best bucks possible. He began hunting the West on a DIY budget hunting an average of 30 days a year for mule deer. Robby loves the hunt as much as the kill and the entire process from research to scouting to hunting. He’s killed four bucks over 200 inches in the last 15 seasons, mostly on easily-obtained tags. He owns a public-land scouting service and runs a private-land outfitting business helping other hunters in their pursuit of deer and elk. Robby has scouted and hunted literally thousands of square miles of mule deer country and brings a wealth of knowledge about these experiences with him. To him, the weapon of choice is just a means-to-an-end and will hunt with bow, rifle, or muzzleloader – whatever it takes to create an opportunity to take a great mule deer. He is also the author of "Hunting Big Mule Deer" available on Amazon. Robby believes all of creation is from God for man to manage, respect, and through which to know its Creator


  1. My biggest downfall is that I try to cover too much ground! I always want to see what the other side of the hill looks like!

  2. Ken, that’s not always the wrong thing to do, sometimes the bucks are on the other side of the hill; trick is knowing when to move.
    Corey, guess we’ll see if you’re a prophet! 🙂

  3. A couple of those bucks look heavy in the body, is that what you find mostly up there on mature bucks?? I imagine there’s gotta be a bruiser around with all the deer activity so far…….can’t wait for day 5!!!

  4. Robby, the only difference between you and Jeremiah Johnson was that he had a beard. Well I take that back, he did shave towards the end of the movie.

  5. The way that you wander is the way that you choose,
    The day that you tarry is the day that you lose.
    Sunshine or thunder, a man will always wonder.
    Where the fair wind blows.

    Good luck. In 48 hours, I get to choose where I wander for a week.

  6. Jake, yes, from Central Colorado north to the Canadian border, most of the bucks I find that are 4+ years old are big bodied deer. Might not have great antlers, but are often 250 lbs+. I’ve weighed a few Colorado bucks that were aged at 6 years that exceeded 350 lbs.

    Lath, leave me in the hills for a few years and I’ll look just like Robert Redford (except my face and body of course)

    Brian, great poem. All the best in your wanderings…

  7. Looking forward to tomorrow Robby! How does your military grade sleeping bag compare to some of the name brands? I’ve got a North Face Dolomite I’ve been using lately, nothing fancy but I tell you what, it does an amazing job. Then I’ve got an off brand rated to 0 F, it doesn’t work so well anymore, but still keeps me alive on those below freezing nights, it just means I have to put extra socks on!

  8. Joe, since I haven’t tried my military bag against others head-to-head, I can’t say. What I can say is that I’ve spent many below zero nights in mine and stayed warm. My guess is that my bag is as warm as the moderns, but it is much heavier- over 8 pounds- so it better be warm. Hope to try something more modern soon. For now, this one fits the budget. BTW, they’re tough as boiled shoe leather.

  9. Awesome stuff! I hang out almost all day waiting for your updates. Cant wait to see you put that boom stick to work!

  10. I agree, with that much deer activity it is just a matter of time before you see a nice one, can’t wait to see what tomorrow brings!

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