New Western hunter needs advice on Mule deer hunting

mattfly77

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Jan 9, 2016
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Hello all, I'm new to the western hunting arena. I live in TN and want to go on a DIY mule deer hunt this fall.....and I don't even know where to begin. I did do a DIY pronghorn archery hunt this past August in WY and filled my tag. That was awesome. But I really want to do a spot and stalk archery hunt for mule deer. I'm not after the biggest trophy I can find. Just a decent buck.
Any advice would be greatly appreciated. I don't know which states would be better for a draw, for public land hunting, for paying a trespass fee and hunting on private, etc. I seriously need a lot of help, but I was watching the Fresh Tracks show the other day and heard Randy talk about this website so I figured I'd give it a try. I was originally thinking wyoming or montana, and will do some reading about those states, but would love some help from someone who has some experience out there.

Thanks!
 

Walkathon

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Hi mattfly77. I've never hunted the west with a bow, only with a rifle so I don't have any tips for archery hunting I know some guys that hunt the Big Horns in WY for mule deer with their bows and they usually have about 50% success but have years of experience. I'm sure others will chime in and give you some direction.
 
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JohnCushman

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Welcome to the forum!! Your best bet might be to wait on the leftover tags in Montana and maybe combine the trip with an elk or a cow elk. With Montana, if you strike out in archery season, you can come back during rifle season and try again. Also, start buying points in as many states as possible. Just a couple of points can get you a nice archery hunt in Colorado, and I think it could get you a good hunt in WY, especially in the special draw.
 
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SFC B

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Welcome to the forum. I just shot my first Muley last year after 3 tries. He was only a forky but between that, the antelope and of course elk I am hooked on the West as I am sure you will be. I was lucky enough to have Uncle Sam move me out here but I am not leaving if I have any say in it.
 

JLS

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Welcome.

Tip #1: Buy good binoculars, you'll be using them a lot.

Tip #2: Buy a good spotter, or better yet find a buddy that has one and borrow it. A good spotter is pretty invaluable for mule deer hunting.

Tip #3: Get a tag and go hunt. MT usually has leftover deer tags, but demand may be overtaking supply again. Don't wait years for a primo draw tag, especially if you're wanting to bowhunt muleys. Get out and do it. It's loads of fun.

Tip #4: When you're stalking a deer with your bow and arrow, think in terms of hours and yards, not minutes and miles. Go fast until your close the gap to a couple hundred yards or so, then slow WAY down.

If you're in good shape and an experienced backpacker, the Rubies in Nevada is one of the funnest mule deer hunts on the planet.
 

mattfly77

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Jan 9, 2016
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Thanks guys! I feel like I have so much to learn, which I do, but it's tough know where to start. I'll check out the leftover tags in Montana and the Rubies in Nevada!
 

bigbear450

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I've only hunted mule deer once but what I learned is if you don't see deer look harder it sometimes takes awhile to spot them. The other thing is to find a water source it seemed I found more deer around water.
 

slipinonem

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I moved out here to Utah from Tennessee myself, welcome to western hunting. Like has been said already good glass will save you a ton of time and walking. You wanting to do a backcountry hunt? Hunt from the truck? Motel? Several of the states out here have tags available for archery deer, don't overlook Idaho as its OTC, but we've killed most of the deer out of there and the Rubies. Montana and Wyoming would be your best bet lol
 

VAspeedgoat

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I don't think I would get too worked up about what state is best unless boone and crocket is your goal. There are good and bad areas in each state. Pick a few states, start doing some initial research, and go from there. Game departments and the forums on this web site will steer you in the right direction. Just a simple search on here will go a long way. Things will start to line up quickly as to where. Also don't overlook driving distance. This is a limiting factor for me as days off are very limited and planes add too much expense most of the time.
 

mattfly77

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I moved out here to Utah from Tennessee myself, welcome to western hunting. Like has been said already good glass will save you a ton of time and walking. You wanting to do a backcountry hunt? Hunt from the truck? Motel? Several of the states out here have tags available for archery deer, don't overlook Idaho as its OTC, but we've killed most of the deer out of there and the Rubies. Montana and Wyoming would be your best bet lol

I like the OTC deal. I'll do some research on Montana and Wyoming.....Thanks for the info.
 

mattfly77

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Do landowners allow hunters on their land via a trespass fee in Wyoming? That's what I did for my antelope and it worked out great! Was going to try that for mule deer if possible.
 

mattfly77

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Anyone have some advice on which areas in wyoming I should look in? I tell ya, this is quite overwhelming as there's so much freaking land out there. Lots of reading to do!
 

JLS

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Or North Dakota if you are archery hunting.

Also, I believe (but don't know for sure) that New Mexico and Arizona both have OTC archery tags for mule deer in some units? As I recall they are much later in the year.
 

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