2021 Mule Deer

shannerdrake

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Feb 14, 2017
Messages
260
Location
Indiana
HuntTalkers,

I need some help! Things really came together and I’m going to be able to make it out West with a couple of my best buddies for a deer hunt. For one of them this will be our first hunt together so we are really looking forward to it!

General Questions - we have narrowed down to three options and I’m guessing they are all good. We are from Indiana and almost all mule deer look huge. I’ve shot a 150” 4x3, one guy a 140” and a 160” 4x4, and one has never shot a mulie but has shot about a dozen 140-160” whitetails. I only give the scores to give folks an idea. We aren’t monster mulie guys trying to find a 200” mossback buck. I think we’d all be happy with a 3+ year old 4x4.

Option 1 - Montana general deer rifle. Most likely somewhere in the SE or The Breaks. I realize this is a beat to death region and topic and we are likely steering away from it.

Option 2 - Wyoming rifle, we have 2pts each as a party which looks like that will get us a general tag in one of the regions. We are eyeballing the Gillette area. I love hunting the high plains. One thing I’m also kicking around is trying to pick up a second chance Antelope tag(to save my points) but I’m still trying to figure out how that works or if it’s even possible.

Option 3 - NW South Dakota archery. There is a lot of info out there (mostly gohunt) on Montana and Wyoming, but not on SD. We are all competent and experienced archers who are comfortable shooting 50-60yds. However, I can’t get a feel for just how hard that kind of hunt will be. We’ve all shot dozens of Midwest deer with bows, but those are patterned deer from tree stands. We are looking at Perkins and/or Harding county area. Does anyone have links or advice on learning more about SD hunting?

Again just looking for advice from the community. PMs are fine. We’d also be potentially open to pay a trespass fee. I know that all of these options can be good, so I’m probably splitting hairs. To be frank I’m leaning towards Wyoming deer with a rifle. The 10/1 hunt date works well for us and a rifle is a confidence builder.

Thanks in advance!
 

nick87

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Dec 12, 2014
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3,528
Location
Northern Illinois
About a week. Looking sometime between 9/1-10/15.
I was going to say if you could go a little longer to Wyoming you could maybe bowhunt the first few days then rifle hunt another week or vice versa. Seeing as how you guys are all bowhunters. Something I've always wanted to do but like you a week is about all I can get off from work.
 

Redman

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Mar 31, 2017
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794
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Indiana
Haven't hunted WY yet. I have hunted SD many times. Personally if you want to hunt SD closer to the rut is better. Hot weather can make finding a good buck difficult. The good news is your tag is good for whitetails as well as mulies and there are some good whitetails out there. I have found that if there has been a lot of rain the grass gets tall which makes stalking in on them more difficult. Good luck and hope you have a good hunt.
 

beagle001

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Aug 14, 2015
Messages
580
Location
Central WI
I’ll speak mostly to the SD idea. I’ve spent a lot of time in SoDak for archery and four guys is, figuratively, a lot of mouths to feed. You can have a good hunt, but it’s hard to get everyone on deer in just a week. We had more success once we started going with fewer guys.

I have hunted Wyoming, and we went 4 for 4 during rifle. I think that is a much better idea for you for 2021. If your group shrinks, hit South Dakota.
 

Flatrock

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Dec 1, 2010
Messages
1,539
Location
Bismarck, ND
All options are fine. I'm sure you've heard it 100 times but it mainly comes down to putting in the time in an area. I can show you people who do really well in all those areas and people who do poorly.
 

lr123

Active member
Joined
Feb 21, 2019
Messages
151
I am working on the same trip with 2 points and also from Indiana. We will be rifle hunting for mulies but I think we are planning on going farther West than the Gillette area.
 

ccc23454

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Sep 22, 2010
Messages
1,761
Location
Wyoming
I am working on the same trip with 2 points and also from Indiana. We will be rifle hunting for mulies but I think we are planning on going farther West than the Gillette area.
Good call if target is mule deer! while Gillette has some mulies, its a ridiculous amount of whitetails especially on public lands i have been on.
 

Trial153

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Jan 4, 2016
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2,528
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New York
I would skip SD, when they pushed the start date on public land for NR back to oct 1 they didn't do us any favors
 

thusby

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Apr 2, 2019
Messages
1,273
Location
Douglas County, Wisconsin
You always have a chance at a real pounder of a mule deer in Wyoming. Pick a zone that is easy to draw with a hard draw unit next door. The biggest mule deer I have ever seen in the field was standing on public in a 2 point general unit a day after the deer season ended.
 

Korniel

New member
Joined
Mar 15, 2021
Messages
11
You always have a chance at a real pounder of a mule deer in Wyoming. Pick a zone that is easy to draw with a hard draw unit next door. The biggest mule deer I have ever seen in the field was standing on public in a 2 point general unit a day after the deer season ended.
Smart thinking!
 

timmy

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Jan 29, 2016
Messages
535
I would skip SD, when they pushed the start date on public land for NR back to oct 1 they didn't do us any favors
I went in October reminded me of the good days in Montana. Didn’t see any great bucks but a lot of nice ones. Bucks we don’t see in Montana very often anymore.
 
Yeti

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