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(If you missed this mornings’ post, you need to view it first here Hunting the Rut & Migration: Day 9 or this one might not make much sense)

To me, the most suspenseful moments in hunting are those between the shot and confirming a lethal hit.  Because big mule deer often live in broken brushy terrain, this task is harder than it might seem to the uninitiated.  After a shot, I always remember the old proverb “Fools rush in.”

Thanks for following this hunt to completion.  I truly hope you learned something that will help you Take the Best Buck of Your Life

I’ll draw for The Vortex Diamondback 3-12 x 42 with BDC Reticle (shown below) on 12/22 according to the rules posted here.  Make sure you check your email as you’ll only have 24 hours to respond to be entered in the final drawing.

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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

40 COMMENTS

  1. Robby, love your hunts! Thanks for sharing and great buck!!

    Also just wondering, I really like your hat, who makes it?

  2. Excellent Buck….enjoyed the hunt and appreciate and value your willingness to share expierence, wisdom, and advice.

  3. Awesome buck robby congrats. Being patient bad off big.thanks for taking us along and sharing all.the little tips on buck hunting every little bit helps. I hope your holidays are great.

  4. Robby that’s a fantastic buck way to push through all of that cold weather and find that guy. On that shot, were you laying prone on a down slope with your rifle across your pack? I shot a coues down here across a canyon on an extreme down slop and had to resort to some crazy measures to get a stable rest on the stalk.

  5. Awesome! I’ve read your book and enjoyed seeing you apply the techniques explained in it. Good work on journaling your hunt for a big muley!

  6. Awesome!!! Congrats on a sweet buck!! I have really enjoyed following your hunts this year!!! My 2 little girls did to:)!!!

  7. Robby, you are stinking’ crazy…and good. congrats on such a great deer, again. As always, thank you for taking us along.

  8. Congratulations on a beautiful animal Robby!!! Always enjoy your posts and thank you for taking us along.

  9. Thanks so much for sharing this hunt. I know how much work it was and I found it extremely educational and fun to watch. Thanks

  10. Thank you all for following and commenting. It is hard to update a blog every day for 9 days but so worth when I hear your excitement and appreciation. A serious big thanks and hope you learned something that you can apply to your hunting, as that’s one reason I do this. You guys/gals make it all worth it.

    I’ve had a few people ask the unit/type of tag but it doesn’t really matter. The techniques I used on this hunt apply in most of the Western mountain units where deer migrate- figure out a way to be where they are and be ready to move when they do, along with glassing, tracking, and moving slow enough to not spook them- time tested techniques that can apply anywhere the rut/migration coincide. That is how I can help the most people. The “where” isn’t near as important and is why if you follow you my blog notice that I hunt many areas hundreds of miles and even states apart over the years. Also, I’ve seen over the decades what happens to areas that hunters with a high profile write about- they end up with a disproportionate amount of attention and pressure which helps no one. I’ve seen entire units that weren’t anything special ruined by that type of press, so I really try to avoid it for all of our good. Hope you understand. Thank you again for following. I’m gonna rest now 😉 Merry CHRISTmas to all.

  11. Congrats Robby! Where you using the 130gr? If so how was the penetration,expansion…etc

    Thank you for taking the time to put this all together. It is a commitment to do these daily, again thank you as you have helped even if it is just one little thing or the whole hunt.

  12. Hi Chris,
    yes Chris, the Berger Classic Hunter 130 gr I wrote about in Part 1 and Part 2 of the Christensen article series. First shot at 450 yards hit high in last rib (remember he was quartered steeply so exactly where I aimed.) Second shot hit low in brisket – quick shot at 80 yards as I approached him and he got up (he’d only gone about 40 yards after first shot). That shot probably not needed as he was bleeding heavily and about to expire. Did not find exit holes which is common with Bergers as they are designed to come apart once inside delivering full energy and massive internal damage. I used the gutless method and it was dark by the time I got that far, so I did not see what was in there but by the angle of the first shot I guess it was high lung. Really can’t be sure but he was toast.

  13. Great Hunt and nice Buck!

    So was that buck and bull migrating out after most of them had already gone through that area?

  14. Robby, way to get it done and thanks for taking us along. I was thinking earlier that you should have shot one of those 180 ish bucks but you held out and it paid off.
    Merry Christmas!

  15. Nice work! That is some serious self-control to wait for the big guy! Thanks for taking us along and sharing tips,gear reviews, and tactics!

  16. Rizzy, yes by the time I shot that buck I was seeing very few animals in that area. That bull was actually with four other mature bulls but he was the only one I shot video of. A few days before that I saw about 50-100 elk there and nearly that many deer. I can’t say for sure that the big bucks and bulls always come last but I have heard that before. I just know when the rut is in full swing they are around the does so you better be too. Thanks

  17. I was turned on to your blog from a fellow monster muleys viewer. I have been hooked ever since. I really enjoyed watching your hunt this year. I have learned a lot by listening to your commentary and tips. I will be back for sure!!

  18. super cool Robby. Way to give thanks to our maker and savior–especially this time of year as we celebrate the birth of our savior.

    J

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