Ollin Magnetic Digiscoping System

Mule deer mistakes


New member
Apr 15, 2015
Like I said in my earlier post I'm planning to go to wyoming on a mule deer hunt in October. I have been reading a book outlining basic strategies for hunting them. I was wonder if you guys had any helpful insight that you have picked up over the years and some of the stories behind your personal experiences. Any insight is helpful. Thanks very much.
i was once told: "if you want to shot a big muley, go sheep hunting" the big boys aren't where you would expect as a whitetail hunter.
Mule deer don't make mistakes....not many anyway. You'll find them in the worst places, out of place too.
Glass like crazy. Although my Wyoming mule deer came almost from sheer luck last year. After hiking 6-7 miles and found a few about 1/3 mile from my truck on the way back. A forkhorn gave himself away by rubbing a tree out in the open. Eventually a 3x3 and a 4x4 stood up out of the oaks - I'll let you guess which one is in my freezer and on my wall!
It kind of depends on what kind of country you are hunting. Glassing is the most effective way to hunt most places where its wide open, or open enough to glass long distances. If your hunting country that is really broken up, ide walk it and be ready to judge and shoot off hand quickly. If you are trying to get a BIG buck, stick with the area for a few years and learn it well, no amount of replies to your thread with everyones "secrets" will make up for what you learn in one area over a few years time actually hunting it. Young mule deer bucks may be one of the easiest animals to hunt with a rifle, but a big old mule deer buck is the hardest animal on the NA continent to kill when hunting outside the rut, I can almost guarantee it ;).
If you shoot a nice 4 X 4, broadside, at twenty meters, with a .54 ball over 110 grains of ffg and you are sure of yourself, and he doesn't go down, don't worry. Just wait.

Don't drop a patch and another ball down your barrel, mount a cap and fire again, only to have nothing happen because you forgot the powder, forcing you to remove the nipple, pack a little powder behind the ball, re-cap, fire and roll it out on the ground, all while the buck stares at you like a full-mount F&G decoy, then reload properly and, as you are about to fire the third time, have the deer finally drop in his tracks. No, don't do that. Just wait. And wonder. If you are sure of yourself, he will drop. Eventually. :eek:
If you see one buck WAIT! Glass around because he is not alone. I shot a small 3 pointer last year in Nevada and as soon as he hit the ground, his big brother took off out of the canyon. I knew better and had even visualized myself making sure the big guy wasn't around before pulling the trigger. Still kick myself.

I found that looking at pictures on this site that others have taken of groups of bucks helps to prepare for that moment when you are tempted to shoot. Wish I would have taken my own advice.
THe theory of random encounter plays here. If two objects are moving in the same vicintiy, they are less likely to intercept each other than if one object is stationary and one moving. Find a place and park it. Glass everywhere you can think of, then glass some more. Start by watching the west and south facing slopes just under the rims. An area generally known as the military crest. (Which by the way is a good place to watch from.) Glass there then switch to the deepest, darkest places you can find.
I'm no expert on mule deer, a lot of you guy know way more than I do, but I have had luck watching does. If it is fall, and I see a pod of doe mule deer, I babysit them as long as I can. It doesn't have to be the heat of the rut, either. The biggest muley I ever took (and probably ever will) was getting personal with the females the weekend before Halloween. I bleated like a fawn and a doe trotted to my lap, with Mr. Big close behind. A month before the "peak" of the rut.
You have to find the right habitat... You can glass till your eyes bleed, and not see a deer if you're looking in the wrong type of country. Find the food, you'll find the deer. Sometimes you have to spend a few days looking at the same hillside before you find the deer that live there...
I had decent luck finding them on upper third of break country canyons,and in dried out creek beds.I haven't mule deer hunted much but all the deer I found were in one or the other type terrain listed.Don't skyline yourself when moving to a spot to glass.Use the terrain to your advantage .Shouldn't matter in the morning as you should be looking thru glass at first light so you made your way in in the dark,but drop down to move locations as the day goes on.I personally don't like using flashlights in the dark either in the morning but not sure that really matters.Just take your time and glass every inch of what you can see before moving spots.If you see one buck, chances are another is close by.I think I saw only one solo buck during my trip.Most were in groups of 2 or 3.Practice long distance shots in the wind.Coming from the east its something you need to be prepared for.I go to the range on very windy days after initial sight in,and see how far the bullet gets pushed by the winds which will surprise you.Its always windy in Wy!!!!I think a 40 mph wind is considered a gentle breeze out there
Also, if you don't get a shot off and they spook, they generally stop about a hundred yards out from where they initially were spooked,but not always.Just be ready for them to stop and hope they do.In my experience it happened more often then not.All good imfo in the above posts.You plan on hunting the open country or deep woods??Mule deer hunting is a lot of fun,and I'm hoping to draw a good tag in Wy this year.Don't get too picky hunting regional units in Wy unless you don't mind eating your tag
I plan on hunting the open country doing a lot of glassing. I might try to hunt some of the wooded areas maybe a stalk day just to mix things up alil I read in a book that if you hunt around elk country and let out a cow "mew" as they called it you can sneak up on mule deer fairly easily taking you put the stalk on correctly. Has anybody used this tactic and found in truth to it?
You can never tell. One of the largest bucks my dad ever shot was on a bar leading up to a canyon we always glassed and hunted. He wondered why a sagebrush was moving when no breeze. Ended up being a being a big nasty just brushing his rack. Boom, whack and we ended up back at the ranch under an hour and a half from start.....
I plan on hunting the open country doing a lot of glassing. I might try to hunt some of the wooded areas maybe a stalk day just to mix things up alil I read in a book that if you hunt around elk country and let out a cow "mew" as they called it you can sneak up on mule deer fairly easily taking you put the stalk on correctly. Has anybody used this tactic and found in truth to it?

There is nothing easy about sneaking up on a mule deer.

As for having a deer stop after 100 yards or so after it's been spooked, it may happen with very young deer.
That's what old timers used to say about mule deer back in the 60's.
Big bucks will take off like a bat out of hell and not stop.

First and last light are the absolute BEST times to be glassing.
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