Many hunters will often say that mule deer are the ultimate western hunting experience as they are a ton of fun to hunt, it can be done relatively cheap, and there are fewer animals more iconic to the West than the mule deer. Even novice hunters can expect to have a ton of fun and see some success if they learn the basics of hunting mule deer.
Where to Find Them
Mule deer are native to the western portion of the United States, as well as Canada and Mexico. For hunters looking for a great place to hunt them as well as good trophy quality, look at states such as Wyoming, Montana, Idaho, Utah, Nevada, and the king of them all, Colorado. All of these states have great hunting opportunities for mule deer, and tags can be easily acquired.
Once you have a state and region picked out, you have to actually find the mule deer. Muleys live almost everywhere, from the subalpine mountain peaks all the way down to the low deserts. No matter what type of terrain you are in, look for things such as water, feed, and shelter. If there are these three things around, you will most likely find some mule deer nearby.
Best Hunting Methods
Spot and stalk hunting is easily the most popular and most productive method of chasing mule deer. Plan on using your binoculars to their fullest extent, and learn to put them on a tripod to sit and glass with. Mule deer blend in great with their surroundings, so using a quality pair of binoculars on a tripod will help you pick them out from their surroundings.
Other successful hunting methods include still hunting and tracking. Tracking can be a great way to find a big buck when there is a fresh layer of snow on the ground, as you know you are not too far behind him. Still hunting also works great in thicker areas where your binoculars are of no help, and mule deer typically love bedding down in these types of areas during the middle of the day.
No matter where you are hunting mule deer, it will always pay off to be prepared. Practice with your weapon long before the hunt, whether it is a bow and arrow or a rifle. You should also try to be in fairly decent shape, as a little bit of physical preparation will help you to hunt harder.
Mule deer are amazing animals that are extremely fun to hunt. There are fewer animals that represent the West better than a mule deer, and every hunter owes it to themselves to hunt them at least once in their life!
For more great ideas on how to fish and hunt from the experts, check out the awesome articles on our Bradley Smoker Hunting & Fishing Blog for more great tips & tricks.