Mule Deer Hunting in Utah

BearGuy

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Jun 12, 2019
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17
I have been thinking about possibly starting to apply for muley hunting in Utah and I have read a lot of conflicting info on how the hunting is in the state. Any thoughts you guys have on the state of mule deer hunting in the state and the future of it would be appreciated. Looking to do a high country archery hunt. Thanks.
 

CorbLand

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Mar 16, 2016
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Nonresident? General season or limited entry? What are you looking for as far as quality?
 

UpTop

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Mar 30, 2019
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Nonresident? General season or limited entry? What are you looking for as far as quality?
Definitely need to answer these questions before you can get a realistic answer.
 
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BearGuy

BearGuy

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Jun 12, 2019
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Nonresident? General season or limited entry? What are you looking for as far as quality?
Nonresident coming out of Montana. I am more looking for the experience rather than huge trophy level horns. The country out there looks incredible and I would love to explore it and hopefully bag a decent buck at the same time.
 

PathFinder

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Sep 8, 2014
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Front Range, Colorado
It's been on a significant decline for a decade or so, as evidenced by the dropping tag numbers.
Lots of the state is fairly low mountains absolutely covered in ATV trails. The rest is no kind of secret, there will be people in any kind of high country.
Take a few years to build the (likely) necessary points for a general tag and figure it out in the meantime. Then don't post about it on the web when you do!

Sent from my SM-G973U using Tapatalk
 

Macegl

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Dec 2, 2016
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Cant speak for the entire state, but southern utah has been on a pretty steep decline as far as overall deer numbers since 2017-18. This drought is hammering the deer herd down here.
 

CorbLand

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Mar 16, 2016
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Nonresident coming out of Montana. I am more looking for the experience rather than huge trophy level horns. The country out there looks incredible and I would love to explore it and hopefully bag a decent buck at the same time.
Utah has pretty diverse terrain. Are you interested in the more northern mountain areas or more southern desert type?

Either way, unless you have some dying need or want to hunt Utah, you could achieve the same closer to home.
 

MuleyFever

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Nov 7, 2012
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S. UTAH
I moved here in 2011 and the quality and quantity in deer hunting in the Pine Valley unit has been in a non stop decline. I have had a deer tag in PV every year except last and every year has been worse. Now this year they are recommending over 50% cut in tags for the unit which tells you how bad it is.
 
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BearGuy

BearGuy

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Jun 12, 2019
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Thanks for all the feedback everyone you’ve been very insightful into the state of muleys in Utah. I hope the deer number start getting better with the new regs.
 

jjjones7

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Joined
Mar 26, 2022
Messages
53
Cant speak for the entire state, but southern utah has been on a pretty steep decline as far as overall deer numbers since 2017-18. This drought is hammering the deer herd down here.
I’m down south/central and have noted the decline as well. Definitely the drought has played a part but I think there are a myriad of reasons. An interesting theory of one of my best hunting partners is that the decline in jackrabbit numbers are tied to the decline of deer numbers. His theory is that when predators that usually eat rabbits have none to eat they move up to the next thing they can make a meal of. I think deer are pressured now more than ever as well, someone is always chasing or following them nearly year round. Whatever the reason it’s pretty sad
 

mickeyelk

Junior Member
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May 16, 2019
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48
Apply and go hunt. You can't draw unless you apply. Tags are not easy to draw as a non resident, and the limited entry tags take a bunch of years to draw(LE). so does the general season tags. Start building points. So, hopefully in the near future the deer will rebound.
 

CorbLand

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Mar 16, 2016
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3,601
Thanks for all the feedback everyone you’ve been very insightful into the state of muleys in Utah. I hope the deer number start getting better with the new regs.
If its something that you want to do, start getting points now. Utah is not known for easy draws.
 

Like2hunt

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Joined
Jan 24, 2021
Messages
198
Last year on the manti (on the public ground), the deer hunt was a zoo. People was all over the place and the deer numbers seem to be going down and down. Even in the hay fields I see less and less deer every year seems like.
 

thereal_tlc

Junior Member
Joined
Jun 25, 2019
Messages
27
Location
UT
I have hunted Utah my entire life and the last five years have been straight down hill for my area of the state. It is growing rapidly and everybody wants to hunt so draw odds are shooting up and hunt quality is dropping straight down. I find a few older bucks each year but still not over 165" and 8 hatlights on each ridge every morning.
 

Hikein

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Feb 28, 2022
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15
General season rifle in October with warmer weather, the hunt is very difficult without extensively scouting an area. If the weather has turned then luck can turn to. Lots of people like to refer to places being a zoo, but it’s really just folks like us trying for a good hunting experience. Utah’s population has really jumped, so the population in the mountains has also. There just aren’t any undiscovered honey holes anymore. With online maps, google earth, and social media to spread the word you’re going to find people. However, getting out of your vehicle, and away from roads and trails, you can find some great places to hunt. Just not so sure they’ll be any deer there?
 
Joined
Jan 18, 2022
Messages
62
What kind of country are you looking for? You have high alpine basins in the north and red rocks in the south.

The Utah DWR recently did their tag allocations for the year, I would look at that as an indicator of how the state thinks the deer herds are doing.
 

raydog

Junior Member
Joined
Sep 1, 2017
Messages
10
Being a resident I really think it depends on what season you hunt and how willing you are to deal with high hunting pressure!
 
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