New to the mule deer world

Joined
Oct 19, 2022
Messages
27
I wouldn't kill the idea of arizona, just consider some of the easier to draw units as opposed to the top 5. If you put in a good mixture of 4-5 states, in 3 years you should be able to go on a quality hunt every year somewhere. AZ also has the 5 year loyalty preference point and the hunters Ed point that would give you 7 points in 5 years. Looking at some pretty good hunts with those kind of points.
 

cscott925

FNG
Joined
Jan 7, 2020
Messages
16
I came across this forum on my search to do as much research as possible on mule deer as it’s my next venture. I current spend a lot of time chasing white tail in my home state, as well as the Midwest with a few elk trips scattered in in Wyoming when drawn so the entire western hunting thing I’m kind of familiar with but not well versed with. What would you guys tips, or recommendations be for someone just wanting to dive in the Muley world to chase quality bucks. I’m currently looking into colorado zones and figured I mine as well dive in head first and start sinking points for the coveted
Zone in Arizona by the time I draw it I should hopefully have some old experience. Fully understanding no one’s going to tell you their spot zone etc is there any recommendations for something in Colorado to apply to but a decent zone to still be able to jump in get your feet wet while chasing a quality buck? Everything I’ve found is either a boat load or reported as terrible for quality. Nothing seems to be in the middle.
I'm fairly new to mule deer hunting myself but have found success just by getting out as much as possible as opposed to stacking points hoping for that coveted tag. Try to apply in as many states as your budget allows, familiarize yourself with a few state's returned tag programs (Nevada First Come First Serve, Colorado Returned Tag preview list) etc. Also don't shy away from low point units with little or scattered public land. The Wyoming mule deer in my profile pic was taken on public in a unit with only 19% public land and only took 1 point to draw at the time. Good Luck!
 
OP
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d_camp

FNG
Joined
Aug 5, 2023
Messages
7
So pretty much the census is and a bunch of podcasts and etc I’ve listened to are don’t be afraid of a unit you can draw easily as there’s quality on all and the more you hunt it the better your odds will be of better quality if I’m getting it right. E scouting wise as a non resident what do you all look for? I watched a few videos and read a few things but I for the life of me can’t comprehend for whatever reason. I can e scout something for whitetail and show pinches funnels special terrain features and even difference in habitat features but as for western stuff e scouting just is not clicking other than the ability to find glassing spots to see a vast amount of land that look like a deer would be.
 
OP
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d_camp

FNG
Joined
Aug 5, 2023
Messages
7
So pretty much the census is and a bunch of podcasts and etc I’ve listened to are don’t be afraid of a unit you can draw easily as there’s quality on all and the more you hunt it the better your odds will be of better quality if I’m getting it right. E scouting wise as a non resident what do you all look for? I watched a few videos and read a few things but I for the life of me can’t comprehend for whatever reason. I can e scout something for whitetail and show pinches funnels special terrain features and even difference in habitat features but as for western stuff e scouting just is not clicking other than the ability to find glassing spots to see a vast amount of land that look like a deer would be.
For instance we’ll say like unit 22 of colorado. What makes you e scouting wise pick a spot in the vast area and go for it?
 

Blackcats06

Lil-Rokslider
Joined
Jul 13, 2019
Messages
161
As mentioned. You'll never be guaranteed a tag in arizona for 13a 13b 12aw late. Points right now take 18 plus with thousands of people in front of you. You can always get lucky so you have to apply. Don't just buy points.
 

TaperPin

WKR
Joined
Jul 12, 2023
Messages
2,392
For instance we’ll say like unit 22 of colorado. What makes you e scouting wise pick a spot in the vast area and go for it?
This is a somewhat random location in western Wyoming that I grabbed a topo for. I did hunt this area one year, and did see a very very good deer within rifle range during the season, but not this particular part of the area.

This is how I went about deciding how to hunt it. I literally took a topo just like this and it shows ridges that are good bets to be bedding areas. These are in broken vegitation, often little scrubby krumholtz pine, with somewhat of a view of what’s below. The arrows also suggest on this open face there are patches of krumholtz that bucks might bed in since they have a view below and to the sides.

Ive never been there, but already have a pretty good idea of the best spots to hunt in this two or three square mile portion. These circled areas may not be bedding areas, but at least 1/3 of them probably are. Old well used bedding areas will be worn with 100s of years of use. Maybe a deer will be there, maybe he won’t.

The plan of attack is to get high and glass as many spots as possible without spooking anything. Maybe that means slowly hunting one of the ridges in order to get a good glassing spot. There are some bedding spots that aren’t huntable - you’ll have to wait for them to move, use one person to kick them out so the other can intercept them, or something else.

With only one day to hunt I‘d get up high as early as possible, glass what can be seen, hunt one ridge, move over to another ridge, maybe kick something out, maybe not. Those spots with arrows I’d glass a lot - even in mid day a hidden deer may stand up to stretch and lie back down.
 

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TaperPin

WKR
Joined
Jul 12, 2023
Messages
2,392
I found a known bedding area on this same mountain on google maps - the detail of satellite photos is so good its ridiculous. The little knob is on a ridge about 10,000‘. The arrow shows a game trail to this bedding spot in the loose shale. Below this spot is loose shale as well. Hunters coming from either side barely get a view of a buck as it slips to the other side of the ridge and disappears.
 

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Joined
Aug 6, 2017
Messages
551
Location
On the Road my Friend
With the contraction of Mule deer numbers, (and tags) and the expansion of hunter numbers, I wouldn't waste a lot of your time, or treasure on it.



The tags you can get, you don't want.

The tags you want, you can't get.



If your well off, look for private ranches with solid habitat in OTC units.
 

dtrkyman

WKR
Joined
Oct 2, 2014
Messages
3,054
Check the number of point holders ahead of you and the amount of tags available, you may never draw some top units regardless of the point you gather, too many people in the pool!

Plus it is likely there will be less tags available due to the mule deer struggling in many areas, not likely they will be adding any opportunity.

Find places to hunt and go hunt, do it enough and you will run into a solid deer sooner or later!
 
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d_camp

FNG
Joined
Aug 5, 2023
Messages
7
What are some of your must have pieces of equipment? Wall tents, gps, jet boil, filter pumps, etc etc?
 

WCB

WKR
Joined
Jun 12, 2019
Messages
3,435
The current issue with Wyoming is my father has been goin there for 25-30 years. He’s dead set on his zone 100 elk and his top tier mule deer zone and with 18 some points he’s going to stay set till he draws or dies. So till we draw Wyoming it’s pretty locked and he doesn’t want to stray from it. Part of the reason why I was looking at Colorado and the neighboring states as well as just started some research into Montana and its opportunities. Do you guys wall tent it like elk high up or is it more zone specific not a necessity deal?
My opinion...don't plan on hunting with your dad in WY. Let him go for whatever unit he wants to and go apply and hunt for yourself as much as you can. Figure out a hunt or two you can do every year with your dad and don't tie yourself down with a zone/unit/region dreamer.
 
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