1st Mule Deer Hunting Trip - A 3rd Season Hunting Success Story

Wayne Clark

Member
Joined
Sep 9, 2021
Messages
26
I finally got a chance to check off another DIY bucket list hunt!

I drew a Colorado 3rd season mule deer tag this year, and boy was that a fun hunt! I’ll lay out the details below.

Day before opening day: After over 1800 miles and 28 hours of driving, I finally got into my unit around noon that day. That gave me around 6 hours to check off some areas I e-scouted, so I was able to drive around and get a good look at areas I picked out prior to heading there. I found a spot that I really liked that I could also truck-camp at.

Opening day: I was up super early on the opener. I got up the mountain and 2.5 miles later, I was into the area I wanted to hunt right at daylight. At 9:30, I had a spike roll through the drainage and got within 150yds. At 1:30, I had a nice buck come through, but never got closer than 750yds. That was all my action for opening day.

Day 2: I went and tried a different area on day two. That morning, I glassed up a pile of pronghorn and also seen a coyote, but no deer. That afternoon, I went way across the unit to another area I hadn’t put eyes on yet. It was a gorgeous spot, but no critters were seen. Just a pile of orange hats. I left out of that area almost sideways. Day two ended up being a bust for deer.

Day 3: The morning of day three, I went back up to the drainage I seen the 2 bucks in on the opener. I sat until right at noon, and didn’t see a critter. I came on down, and decided to drive around and put eyes on a few more spots. I was seeing a bunch of deer on private land mid-day, including some nice bucks checking does. I ended up driving by some private right next to public, and there was a real nice buck bumping some does. They weren’t 200yds off public land, so I decided to go sit and watch and see if they were going to make their way over to the public. About 3 hours before dark, they ended up making their way over, but never got closer than 450yds (I don’t shoot anything over 350yds). The buck eventually ran his doe back on private, and I watched them until dark. I knew I was going to come back the next day and be there well before daylight ready to glass um back up and make a play on him.

Day 4: I was back in the spot before daylight, with the glass up and ready. Right after daylight, I had the buck and his does glassed back up, and they were on public! I had to get closer though. I ended up having to go over 900yds, including crawling on my hands and knees for close to 400yds to keep from getting busted. I finally made it around to within 200yds of where the deer were, but they had made it back to private. I glassed them back up, and decided to get to a better vantage point in case they decided to come back over. After watching the buck bump that doe around for another hour, he decided to leave them and come back on public by himself for whatever reason. I let him get 100yds onto the public, and the .308 popped off.

To say this hunt was challenging would be an understatement, but boy was it fun! I definitely learned a lot about myself, making that long trip SOLO and being persistent, not letting myself get down when not seeing much. Can’t wait to get back after um again!
 

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JohnBud

Member
Joined
May 20, 2018
Messages
92
Location
Lake Country, Wisconsin
I finally got a chance to check off another DIY bucket list hunt!

I drew a Colorado 3rd season mule deer tag this year, and boy was that a fun hunt! I’ll lay out the details below.

Day before opening day: After over 1800 miles and 28 hours of driving, I finally got into my unit around noon that day. That gave me around 6 hours to check off some areas I e-scouted, so I was able to drive around and get a good look at areas I picked out prior to heading there. I found a spot that I really liked that I could also truck-camp at.

Opening day: I was up super early on the opener. I got up the mountain and 2.5 miles later, I was into the area I wanted to hunt right at daylight. At 9:30, I had a spike roll through the drainage and got within 150yds. At 1:30, I had a nice buck come through, but never got closer than 750yds. That was all my action for opening day.

Day 2: I went and tried a different area on day two. That morning, I glassed up a pile of pronghorn and also seen a coyote, but no deer. That afternoon, I went way across the unit to another area I hadn’t put eyes on yet. It was a gorgeous spot, but no critters were seen. Just a pile of orange hats. I left out of that area almost sideways. Day two ended up being a bust for deer.

Day 3: The morning of day three, I went back up to the drainage I seen the 2 bucks in on the opener. I sat until right at noon, and didn’t see a critter. I came on down, and decided to drive around and put eyes on a few more spots. I was seeing a bunch of deer on private land mid-day, including some nice bucks checking does. I ended up driving by some private right next to public, and there was a real nice buck bumping some does. They weren’t 200yds off public land, so I decided to go sit and watch and see if they were going to make their way over to the public. About 3 hours before dark, they ended up making their way over, but never got closer than 450yds (I don’t shoot anything over 350yds). The buck eventually ran his doe back on private, and I watched them until dark. I knew I was going to come back the next day and be there well before daylight ready to glass um back up and make a play on him.

Day 4: I was back in the spot before daylight, with the glass up and ready. Right after daylight, I had the buck and his does glassed back up, and they were on public! I had to get closer though. I ended up having to go over 900yds, including crawling on my hands and knees for close to 400yds to keep from getting busted. I finally made it around to within 200yds of where the deer were, but they had made it back to private. I glassed them back up, and decided to get to a better vantage point in case they decided to come back over. After watching the buck bump that doe around for another hour, he decided to leave them and come back on public by himself for whatever reason. I let him get 100yds onto the public, and the .308 popped off.

To say this hunt was challenging would be an understatement, but boy was it fun! I definitely learned a lot about myself, making that long trip SOLO and being persistent, not letting myself get down when not seeing much. Can’t wait to get back after um again!
Well done! Thanks for sharing your story.
 

Wayne Clark

Member
Joined
Sep 9, 2021
Messages
26
Welcome to CO, and thanks for the write-up. Hope you'll join us again.
Thanks! I love CO. That was my 3rd trip out there. First muley hunt. First two trips were September archery elk hunts, with some success on both trips. Love that state. Will definitely be back.
 

Kellama

New member
Joined
Dec 1, 2021
Messages
3
Great looking buck! Congratulations and thank you for taking the time to post your story and pics!
 

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