sage country tactics

fillthefreezer

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so I've hunted an area a couple times with no success. the area holds lots of deer and in august I've seen some monster bucks at the watering hole but come october they are nowhere to be found. pretty common story i know.
last time over there in our first 10hours of hunting we had spotted 48 deer nothing over a forky and it a 3pt min unit.
now heres my real question, its sage country, broken with pine thickets and small rock outcroppings. but its relatively flat with no vantage points to speak of. it burned 3 or 4 years ago and that seems to have made great habitat for growing deer but I'm really not sure how to hunt it. if you get to the highest point you can still see only maybe 200yds because the next rolling hill or rocky bluff is just as tall as they one you're on. its relatively dry country as well so each step is pretty crispy. anyone have success in areas like this?
I've read many mule deer hunting books but nothing talks about hunting country like this..
 
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bearguide

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sounds tough. good camo, and go slow. glass even though you can not see far
 

Brock A

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I have hunted Mule deer in the sage here in WA too, with no success, Its tough, the guys I know that have got general season deer were mostly by luck, they stumbled upon them. Pics of the area would be good.
 
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fillthefreezer

fillthefreezer

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I have hunted Mule deer in the sage here in WA too, with no success, Its tough, the guys I know that have got general season deer were mostly by luck, they stumbled upon them. Pics of the area would be good.
not too distinct a pic ;)
its a tract of land, around 13,000 acres that has more major roads locking it in and everything the deer need, its too early for rut so the bucks are in there somewhere. its too far away to effectively run a cam as well i think
i dont want to just give up on the area as ive seeen the bucks this time of year and they are true wall hangers..
 

Brock A

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Haha, I gave up on the sage land a few years ago, I only plan on hunting that stuff again if I draw the Desert Tag (long shot).
 
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fillthefreezer

fillthefreezer

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its not quite like the desert unit, alot more timber and broken ridges. my wife and her bro drew that doe tag few years back. we were there thanksgiving weekend. hunted out of a motel. saw alot of deer a one bruiser that had about 18 does in tow. the doe my wife shot, we ended up with 120lbs of meat off :0 boy was she tasty too
 

Nick Muche

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Sage country Mule deer are fun! You just have to be patient, go slow, figure out how to get ahead of them. Our sage style hunts in Idaho are in the Rut and that sure makes it easier if that is possible. Deer running all over most days. Just take your time and wait for them to be in the right spot before you blow it on a marginal stalk.

We have hills though, which make it easier to glass and make a move on the deer. What I have found out while shed hunting in sage flats is that there is quite a bit of contour to the land that most would never know exisited if they only looked at the area from the road. Maybe get out there a bit in the winter or spring and take a hike, learn the area as best as you can so you can use that to your advantage when the hunt begins.

Best of luck!
 

Brock A

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Yea I figured the area you are talking about is a little different than the desert unit.

I spend a lot of time over there waterfowl hunting & bass fishing and honestly the biggest deer I have seen on the hoof, aside from Wyoming, have been in that unit while out fishing in the summer or duck hunting in December.
 

Outdoorsman3830

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There are some great bucks in sage country. Zach Shetler from Idaho has taken a few real nice bucks, including Idaho's State Archery Record. From what I understand, he spends much of his free time scouting. Sage country is usually challenging to glass where I grew up hunting, but the bucks are there and are very challenging to hunt.
 

bowinhand

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Maybe put together some sort of deer drive-push-nudge ... or concentrate your glassing on little shady spots at around 10am when the bucks that are in their beds loose the shade and have to get up.
 

robby denning

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Sometimes there aren't vantage points around, but make sure you're drawing your circle of vantage point out about 2 miles (so a 4 mile diameter). With good optics and sun at your back, I've spotted bucks that far when there were no vantage points closer. Just a thought.
 
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