open country mule deer

trophyhill

Senior Member
Joined
Feb 27, 2012
Messages
1,887
Location
Tijeras NM
seeking tips and or tactics for open country mule deer with my bow. the time is drawing near for another great hunt. i've read "Hunting Open Country Mule Deer". the one thing it does not address is open country Rutting mule deer. the mulies will be rutting.
 

desertstalker

Member
Joined
Feb 25, 2012
Messages
87
Location
Klamath Falls, Oregon
Finding the bucks should be easier. Stalking them is a little more challenging. They will be with does (more eyes) and they move more often so if you see a good stalking opportunity, you should "get going" and do it where as in late summer, you virtually have all day to put it together. I'm guessing you are going to Arizona so no crunchy snow to worry about? Use everything else you learned in Dwight's book and you should have opportunities. Good luck!
 

robby denning

Administrator
Staff member
Joined
Feb 25, 2012
Messages
11,856
Location
SE Idaho
If it is hilly, mountainous area, and not too cold to sit, you might do well sitting saddles and trails. If it's flat, that wouldn't be as effective.

I find the does still stick to their patterns, and the bucks go where they go. It might take a week to a get a shot, but it might take week to get a shot spot&stalk.
 
OP
trophyhill

trophyhill

Senior Member
Joined
Feb 27, 2012
Messages
1,887
Location
Tijeras NM
dually noted. and what a great book! wish i would have read it a long time ago. i'll be hunting high plains NM mulies in January. this will be my 5th try at monster bucks. they come out to play in December and January. the daytime temps can range from 30's to 80's mostly in the 50's and 60's with elevation ranging from 3500 to 5500 feet. the terrain is choya cactus, prickly pear cactus, mesquite, sage brush, elephant grass in places that will swallow a human up but nothing for a deer to bound thru or hide in. and there are draws with canyon walls on both sides and can be half a mile wide in some areas. and ancient dry river beds with islands of mesquite and cactus. here are a couple pics of one area i hunt.
 
Last edited:

bohntr

Senior Member
Joined
Feb 24, 2012
Messages
519
Location
White Mountains of Arizona
Rutting desert deer will almost always bed down with their does at some point during the day. That's when I stalk in close and wait, as the bucks will get up several times during their "nap" to check on bedded does. If you've stalked in to a good position, you'll have a quality shot at an unsuspecting and in love buck. This technique (and a lot of luck) has worked for me several times on those desert monarchs.
 

RUTTIN

Senior Member
Joined
Jun 5, 2012
Messages
357
Location
Kamas, Utah
If snow is present and crunchy wait until the sun has warmed the snow and it is softer to stalk in, those does will hear you coming every time. I use a lot of techniques that would probably be used more for whitetails than mule deer when they are rutting. I will find a place the bucks are cruising through on a regular basis, whether they are cruising for does, or are already with them and lay down a scent drag, I don't know how many times I have had a buck come running with there nose to the ground right to me. Also calling with a Primos can call can work great, from my experience a grunt call does not work well with mule deer. Rattling has also got a buck curious and they will come in the check out the fight. If a mature buck is with does already, rarely will they leave to investigate a call, but if you use a fawn in distress call, the does sometimes will come running to find the fawn and you guessed it, the buck is running in with her. Just a few things you can try outside of the box.
 

Jared Bloomgren

Super Moderator
Staff member
Joined
Feb 25, 2012
Messages
849
Open country mule deer....one of my favorite hunts! I like to let the mule deer decide their next move and be waiting for them to make it. During this time is when I like to close the distance. If I know where they are going next I will try to beat them there and prepare for an ambush or continue to stalk them while they are on the move. I have had most succes doing it this way.

Last year I killed a really good mule deer using these tactics. Spotted the buck at first light and finally killed him at 3:30 that afternoon inching along closing the distance keeping the wind in my favor and anticipating which direction they would go next. I psoitioned myself between them and their likely direction they would head in late afternoon. The terrain was an open pasture with very little terrain changes and very little cover. After ddeciding they would head back to the south for feed I crawled over 500 yards in plain sight of the deer most of the time to get into position in a very shallow draw and set up next to an old badger hole. Luckily for me the gamble paid off and they headed my way. 6 does and 2 bucks fed past me at 30 yards and pinned me down. The big buck was at 62 yards when my arrow let the air out of his lungs.

Patience will yeild you more animals than anything.
 
OP
trophyhill

trophyhill

Senior Member
Joined
Feb 27, 2012
Messages
1,887
Location
Tijeras NM
thanks J-Rod. i'm getting better with my patience. i have the knee pads, leather gloves and made a wool sock cover for my reef walking shoes for closing the final distance. there is so much darn cactus and loose rock where i hunt that crawling has been extremely difficult but i think i'm ready this year. thanks for the replies everyone.

this has been a great hunt as far as seeing and trying to stalk monster mulies in the past. it literally can make me forget about September elk. i know that sounds crazy but i just love bowhunting big mule deer. i fly out of HI Friday morning and my hunt starts on the 1st. i have 8 days to get it done but i'm going for broke and will try to get it done ASAP and will read and re read my Dwight Schuh book and try to memorize it along with the advice here. my internet service is sporadic where i hunt. if service allows i will check in and keep you all posted. thanks again everyone.
 
Last edited:
Top