Archery vs gun hunt

Ynothunt41

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I have hunted Mule deer on private ground with the gun (trespass hunt) and I'm thinking about doing a archery hunt the first week Sept so I can be the first person to hunt this property (can't hunt it the first week of gun season). Do you think I have a better chance getting a big buck in Sept or in gun season after they are shot at and some of the bigger buck were taken? This is also for Antelope as well.
 

wildwilderness

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Best Chance at archery is before they Strip Velvet- can you hunt in August? 2nd best chance at a big buck is during the rut mid November
 
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Ynothunt41

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Best Chance at archery is before they Strip Velvet- can you hunt in August? 2nd best chance at a big buck is during the rut mid November
No, the opening day is Sept 1. I could get there and do some scouting a couple days before the opener. Gun season ends Oct 31.
 

CM

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You probably have a much better chance of SEEING one in the archery hunt. Whether killing one is more likely on the archery or rifle hunt depends on a lot of factors: terrain type, your skill set, etc.
 
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Ynothunt41

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You probably have a much better chance of SEEING one in the archery hunt. Whether killing one is more likely on the archery or rifle hunt depends on a lot of factors: terrain type, your skill set, etc.
Great point! If you can't see them you can't kill them. That's why we are thinking about the archery season. If you can see them at least you have a chance.
 

hobbes

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I may have missed this but which state? In the mountains? In the plains? In the breaks? If you are in mountains, what elevation? Do the mule deer in the area migrate or is it flat country that holds deer year around?
 
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Ynothunt41

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I may have missed this but which state? In the mountains? In the plains? In the breaks? If you are in mountains, what elevation? Do the mule deer in the area migrate or is it flat country that holds deer year around?
It's in the foot hills of Wyoming.
 

hobbes

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It's in the foot hills of Wyoming.
I'm not familiar with what the deer do in those foothills, but it may be that the majority of the bigger bucks are at higher elevations early in the season. I'd want to consider that. I'd talk to someone familiar with the area either other hunters, the ranch owner, or maybe the local biologist.

If you are in an area like Eastern MT, you don't really have to think about a migration. However, you do have to consider that every two year old 4 pt chasing a doe in November near a road is in danger. :)
 

nphunter

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I would pick archery but I like to have the handicap, in early Sept. the bucks will be patternable if they are there and you can spend all summer trying to find them. Low land bucks are pretty patternable especially in the open country on private ground. I watch bucks all summer and different bucks have been hitting the same field and leaving in the same spot, bedding in the same areas and watering in the same spots for the last 10 years. I only have permission to shed hunt it and I've found several sets of their sheds in the spring.

One thing for certain is as soon as the velvet comes off the big groups of 10+ deer disperse and their patterns completely change even though they almost never see human activity. Rifle can be hit or miss, it really just depends on what bucks are on the property and when, a lot of the bucks I mentioned above are on totally different properties after they lose their velvet and I pick the sheds up about 2 miles from where they spend most of the summer.

It may be a better rifle property or vise versa, most big private pieces don't have a clue what kind off deer are actually on the property, The property I'm talking about has an outfitter hunt the surrounding property, most years their biggest bucks they take are like 170-180" although there are always several 200+ bucks in the area that they have no clue about because they only show up a couple of days before deer season and glass. I'm out there all year round so I get to see what's really there, I saw 11 bucks there this morning two were over 180".
 

dtrkyman

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I used to Pronghorn hunt a ranch in Wy. every other year, initially it was a Sept. 1st start, rarely saw mule deer. They changed to an Aug. 15th start and I had some dandy bucks come right into the water holes, pretty hard to swallow a 170 inch buck drinking at 25 yards and have no tag and no open season!
 
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