Here are some of the most helpful tips a mule deer hunter needs to know. To beat them at their own game, try to position yourself so you catch them slipping into bedding areas at first light. In many areas, mule deer like to feed and water throughout the night. This means that at first light, they can often be seen moving back to their bedding areas. Getting to a vantage point under the cover of darkness allows hunters to spot deer while they are still moving and plan a stalk. If you have spent your life hunting farm lot whitetails, the first thing that will strike you about mule deer hunting is the vast open spaces. Muleys (especially in the early season) tend to get up in the evening, feed all night and get back to their beds by mid morning where they will spend the rest of the day.
Page 1 of 2 – What makes a feeding or bedding area? – posted in Mule Deer Hunting: As a reward for reading, heres a picture I found of our beautiful desert. Well, in the mountains a bedding area is generally a north or northwest facing slope with cover and shade and a quick escape route nearby such as a saddle between two peaks or ridges. I was a benefactor of this tag allotment surge and got drawn for an antlered mule deer tag in units 161-164 Early season, which runs from October 5-20. The bucks will move down to water, then back up to a bedding area, generally a bench that offers shade & escape routes. Tip: Hunting the Buck Bedding Areas. This scouting reveals rubs and scrapes along a buck’s preferred entrance and exit routes to the bedding area. Look for these signs in secluded locations where the bedding area borders forest or some other habitat that provides transitional cover to feeding sites. O course i hunt Mule deer and thats deffernet from whitetails.
Steve Alderman shares some tips for hunting mule deer in the summer. Read more at goHUNT. Given this information, when is the best time to scout for a mature mule deer buck, and when is your best chance to harvest a buck of a lifetime?. Early season scouting and hunting is the best time to use your glass as deer are more apt to stand up and switch their beds during the heat of the day. I grew up in western Colorado hunting mule deer, rarely getting skunked, and I would like to think I can help out those who may not have that advantage. Sunup and sundown are the two best times to catch them moving to and from their beds. In the middle of the day, look just under ridgelines or other obstacles the deer can bed down by to protect their backs.
What Makes A Feeding Or Bedding Area?
Make sure you know the water sources and bedding areas. Study topo maps until you get a sense of mule deer travel patterns based on feed, water, bedding areas, escape routes, and contours of the land. To take your scouting a step further, buy aerial photos of your primary choices and study them for more clues. Each year mule deer use migratory pathways to move from high elevated areas in the summer to lower elevations to avoid harsh winter weather. Preseason scouting is important to locate migration routes, bedding areas, feeding areas, and water sources. California mule deer (Odocoileus hemionus californicus) is a subspecies of mule deer whose range covers much of the state of California. From that reference point of water consumption they may roam one to two miles, and typically make their beds in grassy areas beneath trees within such a one-mile distance radius from both water and forage. California mule deer browse most actively near dawn and dusk, but will also forage at night in open agricultural areas or when experiencing hunting pressure. Most muley hunters get up before dawn, glass the animals as they head into bedding areas, and attempt to stalk within rifle range through trees or other cover. You can stalk to within yards of a bedded mule deer at lunchtime because of the unique geology of central Montana. Conventional deer-hunting wisdom says you should never enter a buck’s bedding area. For that reason, my advice goes against the grain, but here it is: Hunt bedding areas, escape cover, safe zones, secluded hideouts under cover anywhere whitetails like to spend their days. As novice hunters we tackle our first mule deer season. The mule deer hunting mistakes abound. Fresh deer beds in the open desert.
Mule Deer Hunting Tips Hunting Mule Deer
Tracks that are moving steadily, then abruptly change direction could indicate a deer heading to or from a bedding area. As with open country Whitetails, good optics is key to finding mature Mule Deer bucks. For bedding areas look for deer draw or washes, bowls up on the sides of big hills with scattered timber or even big sage brush. Bedding areas are often surrounded by thick cover but allow the deer to see and hear approaching danger. Whitetail bedding areas are often found close to feeding areas. Blacktail Deer- a mule deer, esp. the subspecies (Odocoileus hemionus columbianus) found from N Calaifornia to Alaska Bleat- A sound made by does and fawns. If you have time, the best way to hunt mule deer is to use a combination of glassing, stand hunting and still-hunting; this is done by spotting deer in the morning as they feed and watching them as they head for their bedding areas. Then you can return in the evening to see if they come out to feed again.
One of the biggest mistakes most mule deer hunters make is invading the mule deer’s bedding area. I’ve learned you’re better off to let the bucks have their bedding area. Stay out of it and away from it. Instead attempt to take the bucks either as they leave the bedding region or as they come to it. You know the mule deer buck is bedded and looking away from you down the mountainside to chokecherry thickets and aspen with yellow leaves in a meandering draw and, far below, to a dirt road alongside green fields and a barn of bare wind-washed wood. This meant that most deer movement was still from feeding areas to bedding areas early and then back again in the evening. During the middle of the day, the Mule Deer beds down in a cool, secluded place. The mature buck seems to prefer rocky ridges for bedding grounds, while the doe and fawn is more likely to bed down in the open. Habitat Mule Deer moves between various zones from the forest edges at higher elevations to the desert floor, depending on the season. How to Hunt a Mature Buck Near His Bedding Area. Article by Travis Faulkner. As the rut nears, switch over to dominant buck and estrous-doe scents, and get more aggressive with your calling. Apprentice and Mentor: A Girl’s First Mule Deer Hunt.