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Seems like no matter the time of year, there will be good hunting days and bad hunting days.  The difference often lies in the conditions.  Typically the colder winter weather makes for good and even great hunting (notice the game trails in the freshly fallen snow in the lead image of this post). Problem is, hunting in subzero temperatures (0 was the low, 14 degrees was the high this day) all day long is both mentally challenging and physically tiring.

The migration is in full swing and bucks are rutting hard.  If I can stay off the trigger, I might have a chance at a really good buck. Here is today’s video.


Your clothing is your most important gear on these days.  Here’s a quick run-down on what I use in these conditions:

Base Layer: First Lite EXP Allegheny heavy weight bottoms, the Llano top, and Red Desert boxers.  These combine for warmth, dryness, and don’t hold odor like the synthetics.

Mid-layer:  First Lite Kanab Pants and Labrador Heavy Weight top (formerly the Chama) top.  More merino wool for more warmth and dryness.

Outer-Layer: First Lite Uncompahgre Puffy Jacket over a no-name down coat, and the North Branch pant/bib.  I shed the down coat and North Branch pant when I hike.  If I’m really getting after it, I stuff the puffy in my pack.

Boots: Schnee’s Hunter II Pac boot in 10″ height.  These pacs offer a good balance between walk-ability and warmth.  As I’m riding about 1.5 hours to get to my hunting area, I use the chemical boot heaters to get through the coldest hours of the morning.  

Click on any of those highlighted links to learn more.

Win a Vortex Diamondback 3-12 x 42 with BDC Reticle (1-inch tube.)  Click here and scroll down to read the entry rules. Don’t wait too long to get entered.  Good luck and thanks for following.


Read all about the research, gear, and techniques I use in my new book, Hunting Big Mule Deer, How to Take the Best Buck of Your Life


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Robby Denning
Robby Denning started hunting mule deer in the late 1970’s, only missing one season in 35 years. At 25, he gave up the pursuit of all other big-game to focus on taking the best bucks possible. He began hunting the West on a DIY budget hunting an average of 30 days a year for mule deer. Robby loves the hunt as much as the kill and the entire process from research to scouting to hunting. He’s killed four bucks over 200 inches in the last 15 seasons, mostly on easily-obtained tags. He owns a public-land scouting service and runs a private-land outfitting business helping other hunters in their pursuit of deer and elk. Robby has scouted and hunted literally thousands of square miles of mule deer country and brings a wealth of knowledge about these experiences with him. To him, the weapon of choice is just a means-to-an-end and will hunt with bow, rifle, or muzzleloader – whatever it takes to create an opportunity to take a great mule deer. He is also the author of "Hunting Big Mule Deer" available on Amazon. Robby believes all of creation is from God for man to manage, respect, and through which to know its Creator


  1. Sure do love following these hunts Robby. Your the man!!! Really enjoyed your book too thanks for sharing your knowledge.

  2. This is really interesting Robby. And thanks for taking us along on this hunt…I’m sure at 0 degrees the last thing you want to do is pull out a camera. A 1 in 20 year hunt, with weather conditions in November that probably only happen 1 in 10 years. Goes to show that no matter how coveted the tag is, killing big bucks is tough!

    I hope you got a crack at a big one!

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