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Location: Midwest
Joined: 03/21/2009
Posts: 40
Any opinions on the early season muley hunts ?

I was wondering if anyone had any experience or opinions on the early season mule deer hunts ? These are the hunts that are held September and some are high altitude or wilderness hunts from what I can tell. I talked to a guy last year about them and he only hunts these hunts and really liked them. That was the first I had heard of them and he is the only person that I had talked to about them. I realize there is an article about these in this forum, but I was looking for any other experiences - especially on the higher altitude hunts. Comments ?

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Location: Colorado
Joined: 09/19/2008
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Re: Any opinions on the early season muley hunts ?

They certainly aren't for everybody, as they are almost exclusively wilderness only hunts. There are a few exceptions. The North Park units have an early season, late September hunt, and those are quality managed deer units. Unit 471 is the only other unit that isn't pure wilderness. There are a few roads, but more than half of that unit is a wilderness area. I've been wanting to do one, but I probably won't this year. Anyway, if you aren't willing to back pack in, climb to the higher peaks and spend untold hours glassing, they probably aren't for you. But if you are, and the idea of deer hunting with a rifle in September is appealing, then this is one of the better ways to hunt mature mule deer.

Location: Utah
Joined: 02/24/2003
Posts: 596
Re: Any opinions on the early season muley hunts ?

There is nothing quite like a late summer high altitude Mule Deer hunt. For me aside from a late September Elk hunt they are my favorite hunts to go on.

Even though the weather can be unpredicable anytime in the Rockies for the most part the weather is very mild and is a great time of year to be at high elevation. The deer out grazing like crazy getting fattened up for winter and they haven't been chased at all yet. Usually there aren't a lot of people that do these hunts either so you don't have a crowded mountain typically.

At least this is how it is in Utah during the first archery deer season of the year.

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Location: NE NV
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Re: Any opinions on the early season muley hunts ?

Been hunting Mule deer in september here in NV ever since there's been a separate muzzleloader season for them. It'a great time with great potential for quality animals but with limited range weaopns I think it might be one of the toughest times. The bucks are still pretty much separated from the doe/fawn summer areas (we call em Disney lands cuz thats were the families hang out) often in bachelor groups. They have typically just hardened their antlers and have lost the velvet. Now that the antlers aren't as sensitive, the bucks tend to spend more time in thick cover - quackies, P/J, mahogany, etc - where a few weeks before they were on the fringes of tight cover.

If you aren't on the hill before daylight or past dark, you'll be missing the most productive times of the day.

Wouldn't say that wilderness is a neccesity. Depends on the area. The bucks will be separate from the "disney" areas & way up high is the most likely place to search but I've seen plenty in lower areas

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Location: western co.
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Re: Any opinions on the early season muley hunts ?

I have been saving my points for one of these hunts and cannot wait.how many points is it suppose to take?i dont understand why the dates for them are jumbled around?

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Location: El Paso, Texas
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Re: Any opinions on the early season muley hunts ?

From 2005 to 2008, I hunted early season mulies during the New Mexico restricted muzzleloader hunt in Unit 30. This hunt usually takes place in mid october which is still pretty warm down here.

I've always enjoyed this hunt due to the warm weather and less crowds.

As stated above "If you aren't on the hill before daylight or past dark, you'll be missing the most productive times of the day".

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Location: NE NV
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Re: Any opinions on the early season muley hunts ?

The early season mule deer in Nevada is also a muzzleloader hunt and has always been in September, right after the archery season. As a resident, I'm lucky if I get a deer tag every 2 or more likely 3 years, depending on the areas we put in for. Don't know how many points it would take for a nonresident. Take a look at the NV DOW website - I'm sure there's information on it.

Start putting in now, take the scope of the smoke pole & practice with open sites. If/when you get a tag, bring your shotgun along in case you see some blue or ruffed grouse. Makes the best camp meat.

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Location: Pueblo Colorado
Joined: 12/18/2006
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Re: Any opinions on the early season muley hunts ?
huntin fool wrote:
I have been saving my points for one of these hunts and cannot wait.how many points is it suppose to take?i dont understand why the dates for them are jumbled around?

hunting fool, if you're talking about Colo the points depend on the unit. Some units can be pretty easy to draw. Now the thing about the early season high country mule deer hunts for those that don't know, were not talking about muzzleloader season (which can be considered a an early season hunt) but rather the rifle early season mule deer buck hunts which starts Sep. 4th and runs thru Sep. 12th. This is a rifle hunt above timberline and believe me they expect you to prove you killed your buck above timberline. I talked to the DOW about this and they said the rule is you have to kill you buck either above timberline or no further then I believe fifty yards into the timber (maybe less). He said they can get pretty strict on this even checking the location of your gut pile. That means if on your way up to timberline you see that 35 inch once in a lifetime buck in timber you gotta pass him up because he ain't legal. With this kind of hunt you are up in the rocks and alpine tundra where the monster bucks live and where they usually have the advantage of being able to see, hear, or smell you, well before you see them. Of course you're advantage is a weapon with 3 to 4 hundred yard capality depending on the shooter. In my opinion this hunt is for those in exceptional physical shape and with a lot of skill when it comes to hunting high country big smart bucks.

If in Colorado and associating muzzleloader as the early season mule deer hunt then you're good at any elevation but as we know with smoke poles one shot and max killing range of 150 yards.

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Location: Roaring Fork
Joined: 11/21/2008
Posts: 14
Re: Any opinions on the early season muley hunts ?
SoCoKHntr wrote:
huntin fool wrote:
I have been saving my points for one of these hunts and cannot wait.how many points is it suppose to take?i dont understand why the dates for them are jumbled around?

hunting fool, if you're talking about Colo the points depend on the unit. Some units can be pretty easy to draw. Now the thing about the early season high country mule deer hunts for those that don't know, were not talking about muzzleloader season (which can be considered a an early season hunt) but rather the rifle early season mule deer buck hunts which starts Sep. 4th and runs thru Sep. 12th. This is a rifle hunt above timberline and believe me they expect you to prove you killed your buck above timberline. I talked to the DOW about this and they said the rule is you have to kill you buck either above timberline or no further then I believe fifty yards into the timber (maybe less). He said they can get pretty strict on this even checking the location of your gut pile. That means if on your way up to timberline you see that 35 inch once in a lifetime buck in timber you gotta pass him up because he ain't legal. With this kind of hunt you are up in the rocks and alpine tundra where the monster bucks live and where they usually have the advantage of being able to see, hear, or smell you, well before you see them. Of course you're advantage is a weapon with 3 to 4 hundred yard capality depending on the shooter. In my opinion this hunt is for those in exceptional physical shape and with a lot of skill when it comes to hunting high country big smart bucks.

If in Colorado and associating muzzleloader as the early season mule deer hunt then you're good at any elevation but as we know with smoke poles one shot and max killing range of 150 yards.

This is all dependent on the unit. Some units the high country hunt runs concurrent with the muzzy season. Furthermore some units do require the kill at or above treeline(Sangre De Cristo units and the San Juan units) some have exact elevation requirements(Rawah wilderness I believe) and some only require the kill be made in the wilderness area of the unit(the units in the Elk Range, Holy Cross Wilderness, a few others) As exibio said 471 is an exception as anywhere in the unit legal. But it is a small unit and most of the it is wilderness and what isn't is just as high and rugged.

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Location: Pueblo Colorado
Joined: 12/18/2006
Posts: 1776
Re: Any opinions on the early season muley hunts ?

RFV, thanks for the clarification. When I talked to the DOW I was asking about a unit in the Sangre's and thought the info given was for all the early season rifle buck hunts. I thought about it but in the area we hunt we've seen some big bucks, 28 inches or better up high but still at or below timberline. I'm sure there are some dandy's above that, but I'll take my chances in the timber with my muzzleloader for now. It's really ruff, rocky, and steep, country where it's legal for early rifle in my unit we actually see alot of bighorn sheep there.

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Location: Roaring Fork
Joined: 11/21/2008
Posts: 14
Re: Any opinions on the early season muley hunts ?

Yeah the seasons that don't have elevation or timberline requirements are the ones that run later with muzzy season. I suspect the reasoning is that, at least in my neck of the woods, by muzzy season many of the bucks have rubbed their velvet and are spending less and less time in the open and more time in the timber. One of the biggest bucks I saw last year was the morning before the muzzy opener. He had already rubbed his velvet and was hanging out down near town in someone's backyard at 8,000ft. The big ones don't get big by being dumb I suppose.

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