It’s here again: scouting season.  As much as I wait for this time, when it finally arrives, it’s almost a feeling of dread.  The clock begins to tick.  There is only a finite amount of time between now and the opener to find a good buck.  I’ve journaled most of my hunts and scouting trips these last 20 years. Reading the old entries, I find a common thread.  Of the good bucks I’ve killed, virtually all of them came from country I had scouted preseason.  That is why there is pressure.  I have to scout.  Family, work, and life will suffer as I carve out time to get into the deer country.  It’s hard to break routine…

Scanning through some old computer files the other night, I found some video from a few years back.  It was a Colorado hunt where I took (and saw) my last 200″ buck.  I clicked “play” and within seconds, I was back on the hunt of a lifetime.  By the time the video ended, the dread of this season upon me had ebbed.  I was reminded of why I do what I do. 


I thought I would share this video with you.  Maybe it will inspire you.  I should warn you, though.  I’m a Christian and I believe that all good things in life come from the God of the Bible.  As you’ll see, I’m not afraid to thank Him for that. If you don’t already have this perspective, you might consider it.  He won’t let you down.

The video is over 20 minutes, so sit back and relax.  If you’re a deer hunter, I share some of my hard-earned tips for finding big mule deer.  I promise you’ll learn a thing or two.

If you have questions about anything in the video, post them in the comments section and I’ll get them answered.  Don’t forget to subscribe to the Rok Blog (top of page under the Fitness/Other menus) so you can be the first to see new information.

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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. Great video Robby! I’m not a religious man but I can truly appreciate your connection when you spend so much time in the wild solo. And boy did it pay off.

    I watched this video with my girlfriend, and her and I both wanted to know how long it took you from kill to freezer to get the meat cared for? While she is not religious either, she is passionate that no meat and life is wasted. I’m sure you share the same sentiment.


  2. Hi Kevin. I killed the buck on a Monday night at dark and had him cooled off by midnight. Got snow and freezing temps that night. Took a day to get him back to Idaho so I covered him in an insulated army tent. By Wednesday, he was hanging to age. I aged him 28 days and he ate very well. Not a scrap was wasted. The lab aged him at 6 years old. I did weigh the buck field-dressed on a certified truckers scale two days after the kill and he weighed 284 lbs- so he was around 350 on the hoof. Thanks!

  3. Great video Robby. Thank you for sharing such a spectacular day of your life. I’m not a real church goer (although I have thanked the lord many times for my hunting successes) but my hunting buddies are and I will definitely be sharing this with them.

  4. Robby, thanks a bunch for posting this! I am hunting the Idaho unit 27 rut hunt this season and I like these tactics. I think I will focus on finding a Doe in heat during the hunt and watch for a couple days.
    How do you tell if a Doe is in heat?

  5. Thanks MOHunter.
    Ron, the best way to tell if a doe is in heat is by the calendar. For fawns to have the best chance of survival, they have to be born first week of June. Biologists know that gestation period for mule deer is right around 195 days (just like doctors know humans are around 40 weeks). Subtract 195 days from June 1 and you land about Nov 15. As with most things, the bell curve applies, so does are in heat a few weeks before, most around Nov 15, and some a few weeks later (not considering a second rut for does that didn’t get bred). No matter what you observe on the mountain, after about Nov 1, does are coming in and bucks are getting more active. Keep an eye on those does, especially the ones near cover and in rougher country. I’ve seen mature bucks actively chasing does as early as Oct 28th.

  6. Hi Robbie, That vidio is good stuff.Well done.You remind me of me. Praise the LORD GOD JESUS for all our blessings. Keep up the good work.

  7. Robby what a great video! I should be able to draw in CO next year for my first Rocky Mountain mulie hunt. I really appreciate you taking the time to film those teachable moments; really good stuff!

    On a side note…do you ever find that your hunting can become like an idol? It’s something I struggle with in my relationship with The Lord at times. What’s your thoughts if don’t mind me asking?

    Thanks again,


  8. Hi Jason,
    Remember, the biblical definition of an idol is something that takes the place of God or represents God falsely. Hunting would be a poor excuse for a god. Hunting, like anything, can become an idol if you let it. I have to check myself often to keep this from happening. That is why my biography in my Rokslide profile says

    “I’m a Christian, a husband, a father, and a deer hunter. On a good day, I keep it in exactly that order.”

    The reason I say that is that sometimes I haven’t kept my priorities in that order and have suffered for it (as have those I love.) The great thing about a relationship with God is that He will tell you when you’re out of balance- either through His word, your conscience, or through others. That is why I try and spend time with Him daily, so I can hear that “still small voice”.

    I also know He loves me and promises to meet my every need. Well, if He’s any God at all, then He knows that hunting is a blessing to me and He’s going to take care of that need too. I can say emphatically that He is meeting that need- just as He promised. Sometimes as Christians we believe the lie that if it is fun or fulfilling, then we must be idolizing it, which isn’t true at all. He loves us and wants to bless us! Walk with Him and keep your priorities straight, then watch what He does.

  9. That was an awesome hunt Robby, I take a lot of similar self video “journal entries” when I’m out hunting/scouting and looking back on them after the season is always a treat! That was a phenomenal deer…. Sure loved hearing that hit on the second shot and my heart rate was up when you were on the gun thats for sure!! 🙂

  10. We got an email from someone who was offended by the use of an ATV in the video to retrieve the buck. Thought I should clarify that the road was legally open to ATV’s (leased state land) and that I had permission from the lessor to retrieve the buck (it was his ATV) and that nothing was damaged. According to the Forest Service office, the lessor can give permission to access as long as the resource isn’t damaged. I can see how someone who wasn’t there might make the wrong assumption. We don’t condemn the legal use of ATVs on Rokslide.

  11. Enjoyed every minute. Maybe some day my passions will be fruitful and the lord bless me with such a beast!

  12. Than you so much for sharing your knowledge, tips, and LOVE hearing the word of god! That’s always a plus!! I have been following your blog and have taken so much from it!

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