Mule Deer 2018

Cramer

Member
Joined
Oct 21, 2013
Messages
85
My brother and I started talking about a mule deer trip in 2012, I even made a thread about it. But life gets in the way and each year we put it off. We have finally decided that 2018 will be the year, the downside is we haven't been putting in for points anywhere so we are only going to have one at best.

We are from Oklahoma, but I have been in North Central MT for the last couple of years. We came out to SW MT in 2012 and he harvested a nice 5x5 bull with his bow, I was unsuccessful. Last season was my first I was able to hunt in MT and I was also unsuccessful, though hopefully I can change that this year.

We would like to do a backpack hunt, maybe 5 days, Archery. We would like to get away from the crowds and enjoy the experience as much as the hunt. We have talked talked about it and are pretty open to where we go. We would like to have as much chance at success as possible, not looking for 200" deer. The opportunity to see and stalk bucks is what we are looking for, quantity over quality in terms of inches.

I know it's late in the game but we would like to buy a point this year if possible, we just don't know where. I am also not smart enough to figure out how to read the draw results and figure out what my chances are in certain units as a non resident. The quotas and percentages and how many points it takes are a bit overwhelming. So any advice on states, units, or how to figure out our best chances of drawing would be much appreciated so we can at least get in for a point this year. Feel free to PM me. TIA.


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d3ntalbliss

Senior Member
Joined
Oct 31, 2016
Messages
157
Location
CO
Arizona OTC. There's a lot of info out there.

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JustHunt

Member
Joined
Dec 24, 2015
Messages
59
That's a lot of years you guys put this off. 2018 may be one of the more poor years to hunt mule deer across the west because of the severity of this winter in multiple states. 2017 may be slightly better because you'll still get to hunt some of the Older bucks which made it through this winter. But there will still be some decent hunting depending where you go.

I'de follow the advice already given above. If you live in Montana why not hunt there? You can buy an over the counter mule deer tag as a resident for something stupid like $16 and its unlimited for residents, won't find a better price anywhere else than MT resident tags. Montana fits your criteria, not really a big deer state (but it's possible to stumble onto one) but it usually makes up for Lack of size in quantity of deer. Although it's not really debatable that hunting in Montana has taken a nosedive in recent years (not what it was a decade and more ago) I'de be lying if I told you that there aren't any good opportunities for deer in the state. Eastern half of the state has more deer than the western half, if I were you I'de focus there.
 

strand

Senior Member
Joined
Nov 10, 2015
Messages
130
Location
North Dakota
If you're in north central MT, I'd be willing to bet you're within an hour or so drive of a decent OTC mule deer hunt. I don't have any specific areas in mind, and no experience hunting around there, but mule deer tend to be plentiful enough in that part of the state. I've hunted further east and had good luck. Lots of animals, but lots of people and less public land. Find a place with a few deer and fewer people, and you should have fun. Are you looking for a specific type of hunt like something in the high country for instance? If so, I know gohunt gets talked about a lot, and some guys may thing it's over-hyped, but I think the subscription is worth it. I don't look at any high point draws, and I'll probably never hold more than 3 points in any state for any animal besides sheep or goat, but it's nice to see what 1-2 points can get you. And the format is handy, having info on every state in one place.
 
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Cramer

Member
Joined
Oct 21, 2013
Messages
85
Thanks guys, we would like to do some high country, like I said we want to backpack in and spend a few days. I will be hunting and scouting some different areas here in MT this year, so we will see how that goes.


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Griz34

Senior Member
Joined
Dec 29, 2015
Messages
176
Location
Eastern SD
From what you are describing Colorado is the place to go. There isn't a better state for backcountry mule deer than Colorado. There are lots of deer in every unit, every year people kill 200 inch deer in second choice units.
If I were you I'd buy a point this year and then research which unit you want to apply for this fall. Gohunt.com will probably have a free 1 month trial offer in November or around there. I'm a member of their site, and it is very useful for narrowing down the unit you want to apply for. You can have a really good hunt in a 1 point unit.

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johnsd16

Member
Joined
Mar 14, 2016
Messages
98
Location
North Idaho
I agree on MT. You could hunt almost anywhere on the east 1/3 of the state and be in deer, but as others said the next couple of years may not be the best (though it may reduce pressure) due to winters.

MT is not truly OTC for non-residents though it essentially has been for several years with fewer applicants than deer, elk or big game tags available. The deer tag may not be 100% in the near future. In 2015 there were something like 1200-1600 leftover deer only licenses left over after the draw and I bought mine like two months later in July and there were still 800 or so. In 2016 there were 500 left and they sold in 5 hours. This year, who knows.
 
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cramer2603

Newbie
Joined
Mar 28, 2017
Messages
1
Your brother sounds like an incredible human being. Whoever you go, he'll probably make it epic.
 

Jimmy

Member
Joined
Apr 18, 2016
Messages
53
Location
California
Come to California and hunt mule deer here. Tags are expensive for non-res, and bucks are few and far between. Hunters are so friendly here they will look at you through their rifle scope, maybe even break into your truck and borrow some things they need. Just a great situation here. Hope this helps.
 
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