Finding deer in mountains

Taylord9

New member
Joined
Aug 18, 2020
Messages
21
Probably get asked this a lot. I’ve hunted my entire life but never killed deer in the mountains. I get overwhelmed by how much area there is and wonder what I should look for on a map before I go scout. In all honesty the only white tails I’ve killed are when they walk into the field right before the end of legal shooting light. I’m over that and want to find a good buck n the Forest. Have a unit 5 idaho deer tag and live close to the area. Thanks for the help guys!
 

MlyHunter35

New member
Joined
Jul 12, 2021
Messages
14
No idea about whitetails in the mountains but mule deer it’s pretty straight forward. Find rough area with security and food and you will likely find deer there. Bucks specifically will be where they are less likely to be bugged. Doesn’t need to be real far from a road either just a place they aren’t getting harassed constantly by humans and have the bare essentials.
 

Griztrax

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 9, 2013
Messages
142
Location
Helena, MT
Mountain hunting for whitetails in parts of Idaho and Montana has changed a bunch in the last 20 years or so with the reestablishment of wolves on the landscape and reduced timber harvest. Prior to wolves and when timber harvest was still extensive, whitetails would readily use clear cuts, natural openings, and burns for feeding. It really wasn't that difficult to hunt them at that time. Today they are less inclined to venture very far from the timbers edge and finding timber harvest units is difficult depending on what the Forest Service and private companies are doing. My advice in scouting would be to find areas of good hiding cover (timber) with patches of feeding areas like natural and artificial openings. If you are a treestand hunter, and I hope you are, set up your treestand along major game trails and go sit and sit and sit. Still hunting for whitetails in heavy timber is difficult at best - I usually see tails wagging at me as they disappear. The very best whitetail hunter I know is from Libby, Montana and he exclusively hunts from stands in heavy timber. Have got to have patience but it pays off. Good luck!
 

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