If you’re lucky enough to get to hunt the mule deer rut in the backcountry, remember two things:


1) If you want a really good buck, you have to be willing to pass up even the pretty nice bucks.  In every mule deer herd, there are proportionally less older bucks than younger bucks.  You have to be able to sort through enough bucks that don’t make the grade to have a chance at a great buck.

2) Watch enough country that you have at least several doe groups to check daily.  Rut hunting is a numbers game and not every doe group will have a big buck around them.  

Day 9: 

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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. Loving the videos Robby! Thanks for taking the time to put these together! I think I like these more than a Live Hunt but don’t tell anyone else. Where did you get your tipi tent? Do you mention it in another video somewhere? Thanks!

  2. Thanks Ben, I’ve spent a ton of time on this project, so glad you’re enjoying. I love Live hunts, but this format allows me to include more footage/info as I have more time compared to trying to update live in the field.
    My tipi tent is from the Army/Navy surplus store and is over 60 years old! It’s the second one I’ve owned in 20 years and I really like them for the money. These tents are lined and extremely warm. They are heavier than the modern stuff for sure and I hope to upgrade to a Kifaru someday, but for now it’s paid for and works great.
    If anyone buys one, you need to get the lightweight tight weave canvas. You can tell as it has a slick finish and the canvas is rather thin compared to typical canvas. The other style has a heavy canvas like a wall tent and they seem to leak unless coated which makes them heavier.

  3. What a great thread! Thanks for the time spent to put this together Robby, I look forward to the new post in my email everyday. It keeps me anticipating the unknown similar to a hunt in that you never know when it’s all going to come together and you finally get that chance you have been working so hard for. Thanks for the tips that make us better deer hunters.

  4. Robby–dude, thump one of those rutting hogs~! Nothing funner than chasing rutting bucks in the snow in the high country!!!!

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