Alpine Mule Deer Archery Wisdom.

2rocky

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Jun 21, 2012
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I've read the books. Schuh, Hanes, Eastman, Long, Van Norman..

I'm doing the Cardio. 50 mile weeks with lots of climbing

I'm shooting distance and on an angle when possible. 3d League just started.

Share with me the wisdom someone had shared with you before you began hunting velvet bucks above timberline.

Share what you have learned through experience.

When to stalk, when to wait, what to expect, what to watch out for. When to stay put and when to move on.

Goal: to shoot a P&Y mule deer in Velvet above 10,000 ft in elevation on a backpack hunt.
 

Hardstalk

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Apr 29, 2012
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Something small but big was a mistake I made twice. Your books may state this but start above them. Here (Nevada) I noticed most bucks would water before or at daybreak and feed UP the draws or canyons. I would camp low and never have a chance to intercept after the sun cracked. They would feed away and over the ridge before I could close the distance. Im sure everywhere is different this was just my experience.
 

cali_hornhunter

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Apr 12, 2012
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Tehama County, CA
Haven't had the luxury of doing the hunt your talking hopefully this season :) but I learned this lesson the hard way that I already knew. That is patience is key!! Wait for the buck to get up from his bed or whatever the case may be. Learned this the hard way and ended spooking a coues in buck in AZ 2012 that would for sure score P&Y just my two cents. Good luck to you!!
 

Ethan S.

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Sep 3, 2012
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Wyoming
Like said above; get above them and be patient. You will usually have some good thermals in the high country so wait till it warms up and stalk them from above.

Patience is the hard one for me. I once watched a buck for two days and on the third day he gave me a slight chance at a stalk. I took it and ended up busting him out of the area and never saw him again on that hunt. This year on opening day in Colorado I had a buck in a perfect spot, and ended up getting him on my first stalk of the hunt, which doesn't happen very often for me. I guess my point is, if you have a buck in a high percentage situation for success go for it. If it is a low percentage situation, don't risk it and wait him out. Spend a couple days watching every move a high country deer makes and you will learn quite a bit I think.


Best of luck to ya!
 

Jason Snyder

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When you make your decision to go for it, don't fiddle fart around. Get there, then slow WAY down to close the last gap. If things are turning south, get out.

Sometimes I find it hard to pinpoint landmarks when you are looking at them from a very different aspect. I need to remind myself to start using my digital camera more for this.

The last high mountain hunt that I did here in WA, the bucks were actually going down slightly to bed, and then would feed back out in the afternoon as soon as the shadows began to cast over the bedding areas. I spent most of my time trying to set up ambushes. It would have worked beautifully if I leaned just a little farther out around the rock in front of me.

I like to glass from the same level or above, but you may battle morning thermals in trying to do so. It seems I usually end up quite a bit higher than I really wanted to be just so I can manage the wind.

When you're doing your stalk, and you think you are in the right area, BE PATIENT. There is nothing more frustrating that getting antsy and next thing you know you bust out the buck from a place you didn't see him move to.
 

Rent Outdoor Gear

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I wouldn't get too hung up on the elevation you kill a buck at man - any mature DIY muley is a trophy whether it's at sea level or 13K. In fact, you'll have a hard time finding deer at 10K+ in most states.

Lots of time in the field and going hard will get you many opportunities. Being very patient and conservative on your stalk will help you seal the deal. I'd rather have a buck walk off because he was ready to than me blow him out. The undisturbed buck can be hunted again - and often right away. The best bowhunter I know once told me, "Patience seldom goes unrewarded." I believe he's killed more 200" mule deer than any other bowhunter so I consider that some pretty solid advice.

Try to simulate shooting while you're amped up. Sprint down to your target and back, do 20 pushups, 20 jumping jacks, kneel down and shoot. That's about what your sight picture is going to look like if you get an opportunity at a HUGE buck. If you learn to make that shot consistently, you'll be fine. Better yet, make that the first shot of your practice session. There are no warm ups in bowhunting.

Coop
 

justin davis

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Feb 24, 2012
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I wouldn't get too hung up on the elevation you kill a buck at man - any mature DIY muley is a trophy whether it's at sea level or 13K. In fact, you'll have a hard time finding deer at 10K+ in most states.

Lots of time in the field and going hard will get you many opportunities. Being very patient and conservative on your stalk will help you seal the deal. I'd rather have a buck walk off because he was ready to than me blow him out. The undisturbed buck can be hunted again - and often right away. The best bowhunter I know once told me, "Patience seldom goes unrewarded." I believe he's killed more 200" mule deer than any other bowhunter so I consider that some pretty solid advice.

Try to simulate shooting while you're amped up. Sprint down to your target and back, do 20 pushups, 20 jumping jacks, kneel down and shoot. That's about what your sight picture is going to look like if you get an opportunity at a HUGE buck. If you learn to make that shot consistently, you'll be fine. Better yet, make that the first shot of your practice session. There are no warm ups in bowhunting.

Coop

Well said
 
OP
2rocky

2rocky

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Darin, I appreciate your counsel. I like those words "Have a buck walk off because he was ready to rather than blow him out." Good perspective.
 

fire arrow

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Apr 10, 2012
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Rancho Cordova, CA
When you find a glassing spot don't just plop down. Look for a spot that breaks your outline, has some shade, and take 30 seconds to make it comfortable to sit for long periods of time. The less you move the less animals will notice you or the less likely you are going to kick a rock that can roll 1000 ft down.

Since you live in northen cal take a few scouting trips into the Trinities or Yolo Bolly to try out your backpacking system. See what you need and more important don't need to bring with you before you head out of sate. Every pound counts.
 
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Rent Outdoor Gear

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Darin, I appreciate your counsel. I like those words "Have a buck walk off because he was ready to rather than blow him out." Good perspective.

There's a little more difficulty to that part unfortunately - sometimes when you're hunting public land there's a little fear that pops up in your mind that somebody else is going to pop up and blow your stalk for you - sometimes that's a reality and sometimes it's just the worry in your head that tempts you to push situations when the odds are not in your favor. How you deal with it depends a great deal on where you're at. If you're backpacked a long way into a limited entry or a lightly hunted unit - resist the urge, wait for the buck to put himself in a better spot or for the wind to stabilize. If you're getting door dings at the trailhead and every truck has archery stickers on the windows you might be better off to make a move or better yet, put yourself in an escape route and let the other yahoo's blow the stalk and push the buck to you.

If you hunt smart (low impact) and play your hand when the odds are in your favor you'll get it done 2Rok.

Can't wait to see the pictures bud!

Coop
 
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