Big Buck Hot Spots

Outdoorsman3830

Senior Member
Joined
May 5, 2012
Messages
182
Location
Cheyenne, WY
I consider myself young in Mule Deer Hunting, mostly since I have not harvested a mature mule deer yet. Over the past decade since I first began hunting mule deer I have noticed some small pockets of country will sometimes hold high concentrations of big bucks. One small area in GMU 52 (Idaho) held 30 plus bucks in a 2 day time span. Of those 30 bucks, about 75% were well over 24 inches wide 4X4 typical's that had solid height to match their very box shaped racks. This particular spot has little to no hunting pressure, while a different spot just a few miles away has higher concentrations of deer with way smaller bucks and far more hunters. My issue is that I have never drew a tag in the unit to actually prove my spot's quality.

Another spot is in GMU 52A (Idaho). I only realized its potential the end of this year. As a few of you may know, 52A is poor to marginal at best, but maybe a couple of you have seen or taken big bucks here. I have seen them in August, September, October, and November. Every good to monster buck I have seen is in a spot less than 1 square mile. I believe this spot is a concentrated transitional range that holds a few bachelor group of bucks in the early season. Like the spot in 52, there is little hunting pressure and the hunters tend to focus on the higher concentrations of deer with young bucks.

Both spots receive little hunting pressure, appear to be transitional ranges, hold lower concentrations of does, and are difficult to glass. There seems to be a trend in every spot I have seen the highest concentrations of big bucks. With that said, my plan is to attack this hot spot in 52A, explore 67, and spend a weekend in 48 hunting mule deer next year from mid to late October. Do you have any advice, maybe have experienced similar trends, or have any other thoughts?

Thank You,
 

robby denning

Administrator
Staff member
Joined
Feb 25, 2012
Messages
11,595
Location
SE Idaho
You're proving the value of scouting and your observations are correct. Big bucks are different animals than the rest of the herd, hunters go where most of the deer are, big bucks tend to live in about a square mile, and country that attracts big deer seems to do so year after year.
 
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Outdoorsman3830

Outdoorsman3830

Senior Member
Joined
May 5, 2012
Messages
182
Location
Cheyenne, WY
Thank You Robby,
The particular spot in 52A doesn't seem too special, but for some reason the big bucks show up there. Only two significant sources of water exist in the area, but scouting for tracks is very difficult throughout the area. Glassing is difficult, mostly because there are no points that sit high enough to give a large view. It seems like my best bet is to spend 5 days or so next fall during the last week of October searching and developing a routine of still hunting and extensive glassing sessions. I don't have the luxury of scouting every weekend throughout the summer, but I know the area well enough to get by.

I feel fairly confident that I can develop an effective plan to glass the area effectively, but it may take a couple more years to really figure these bucks out. I've spent a fair amount of time walking around out there without ever seeing one, but then when I'm least expecting it they appear. They are like ghosts out there. Once they run over that next ridge, they disappear into thin air. However, I learn more every year and the dots are beginning to connect giving me more confidence in harvesting one of these big bucks.
 
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