At one point or another, almost every hunter dreams of hunting mule deer. Whether it is the thrill of the adventure, the terrain they live in, or the animal itself, it is an exciting thing to think about. So how do you go about planning a DIY mule deer hunt? Where do you even begin? Let’s go over a few things to consider when planning a DIY muley hunt!
Do Plenty of Research
Doing your homework is one of the most important aspects of any hunt. Planning a DIY hunt doesn’t have to expensive with the proper research and planning. You should be able to answer questions like where you would like to hunt, how you plan to get there, where you will stay, and how you want to hunt. Where is your ideal state or location to hunt mule deer? And what weapon do you want to use when you are there?
Hunting Regulations, Licenses, and Tags
Once you decide where you want to go, it is time to do even more research. Every state has its own unique hunting regulations and license system and different ways of acquiring deer tags. After picking the state that you want, you should dive in and figure out the best way to get a tag. Learn everything that you can about their rules and regulations. The last thing that you want to do is accidentally break a rule or miss an important deadline because you didn’t thoroughly read the regulations!
State wildlife departments generally provide a breakdown of licenses sold, success rates, and percentages of the harvest of bucks (sometimes age structure is also provided). You should also look for units with ample public land, far from population centers. The pressure is usually greater near larger cities. Every unit will have different ways of getting a tag, from over the counter tags that can be purchased to those that must be drawn in a lottery system.
Scouting and Where to Hunt
The next step is to find an actual place to hunt in the unit. Most western states have plenty of public land. When hunting mule deer, look for feeding and bedding areas that the deer might be using. One of the best things you can look for on your maps, especially on digital versions like Onx maps or Google Earth, is glassing points. Finding the perfect vantage point can make or break a mule deer hunt.
In order to have the best DIY mule deer hunt as possible, you should do as much preparation as you can before you ever set foot in the unit. With plenty of research of the area, the hunt regulations, and the terrain, you can find the best spots and stand the best chance at coming home with a trophy mule deer! Don’t forget to check out the Bradley Smoker Blog For Expert Hunting & Fishing Tips Year-Round!