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Location: Washington
Joined: 10/05/2002
Posts: 1
help me with mule deer hunting

I have written permission to hunt on a ranch in eastern Washington,The Ranchhands have been seeing 6x6 and 4x4 mulies, But i cant figure out how to get close to them. I can see them a good 1500 yards away, and try to put a sneak on them, but when i get within 300 yards of them they run away. I just bought a new Remington 710 chambered in 30-06, and i dont feel comfortable taking a 500 yard shot, So i need to get some help on how to get closer. I am walking as quietly as i can, and sometimes i even take my shoes off to be quieter, but every year the same deer eludes me. I have been hunting at the same place for five years, and i havent even shot there except for once at a coyote. I have seen close to 100 deer in a day. The terrain is basically rolling hills of tall grasses, weeds,sagebrush, very few tress except for by the irrigation ditch, and lots of rocky hillsides. I always see deer in the alfalfa field, but the biggest i have seen there is a two point. I can only shoot three point or better for mulies, and there is a good chance of getting a trophy in this area. So i was just wondering if anyone would have some tips for this area, bascially, it is spot and stalk hunting, So it is kinda tough to get a decent deer. Especially in this terrain. Does nayone have any tips for me?

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Location: Nova Scotia
Joined: 08/17/2002
Posts: 1762
help me with mule deer hunting

I have no experience with mule deer so take this for what it is worth (maybe nothing). If going to the bucks is not the answer, try some calls and grunts, rattles, etc. to get them to come to you. If this is not an option, use the terrain as best possible and keep the wind in your face. Try to anticipate where they are going and set up an ambush site instead of going at them directly. I hope some of this is helpful. BTW, it works for whitetail anyway.

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Location: Colorado
Joined: 02/27/2002
Posts: 2973
help me with mule deer hunting

I'd say if you are sneaking within 300 yards of mulies on open terrain you are doing pretty good. 300 yards is a range where you can setup and probably get off a decent shot.

Instead of stalking, maybe just try attracting (like ChesterGolf suggests) and also waiting. Can you setup early in the morning (or near dusk) near the irrigation ditch and just wait for the mulies to come in? They have to get water sometime and they probably get water at regular times in the day.

Where I have hunted mulies, we typically have rolling draws with a creek/stream running in the bottom of the draw. We will wait until dusk until the mulies move into the draw and start making for the water. When the deer have their backs turned we can usually sneak in another 50-200 yards. This requires patience (lot of waiting), but it can be exciting when the deer follow their daily routine and you have been waiting for them for a few hours.

Mid-day always seems like a bad time to hunt. The mule deer (and elk) seem to move around more in the dawn and dusk, so that's when we tend to hunt.

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Location: N. CA
Joined: 03/13/2002
Posts: 42
help me with mule deer hunting

Bitmasher is correct, you should be able to make a good prone shot at 300 yards. If not keep the wind in your face, untuck your shirt and crawl to them, very, very slowly. You can also go as far as getting yourself a Ghillie Suit, remove all odors from it, add a bottle of skunk scent (if they are in the general area) and slip into where you have been seeing the deer 4-5 hours before dawn. sounds extreme but it has worked for me.

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Location: Montana
Joined: 07/20/2002
Posts: 117
help me with mule deer hunting

jake
where are you hunting the muleys ?????? I have to go with the other guys let them come to you if you can't get to them. I know if things havn't changed you don't have a real long deer season in WA. Good luck

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Joined: 10/14/2002
Posts: 10
help me with mule deer hunting

Muleys really don't react to any kind of calling. Their rut isn't until early december most of the time. My recomendation would be to get to a spot close to where the deer have been feeding before daylight. Camoflage yourself, and wait until they start coming out on the field. There has to be a stray bush or tree somewhere near where they are coming out. A little reminder. Try to avoid using a flashlight walking into the area that you will be hunting. The mule deer could be bedded down out in the field. Be quiet, and you should do just fine. GOOD LUCK!

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Location: Colorado
Joined: 02/27/2002
Posts: 2973
help me with mule deer hunting

That is a good point about the rut Coon. I have never used attractants (smell, rattling, calls), but only suggested it because I thought it might help Jake out. Guess I shouldn't suggest things, I haven't tried... Wink

DS
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Joined: 11/24/2002
Posts: 11
help me with mule deer hunting

I would try belly crawling through the grass,..... you mentioned there was grass.
Wait til mid day when the deer should be least active........try belly crawling out to where you have seen them feeding.....then you should be in good position to intercept them come evening time.
DS

2506deerslayer's picture
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Location: Nebraska
Joined: 12/24/2002
Posts: 118
help me with mule deer hunting

Mule Deer , especially big ones aren't stupid like a lot of people say they are, but always take into consideration if they are with does, there is always at least one doe who is always on the lookout, even though you might not see her she will see you and that my friend is your answer cause if she spooks the big guy will be with her running away.

I got within 55 yards of a nice 5x5 just last saturday with my black powder and smoked him, he was with 4 other bucks,, I just belly crawled in the sandhills of Nebraska and had good luck,, it just takes patience and you will get one, I know!!!

good luck!!!

[ This Message was edited by: 2506deerslayer on 2002-12-25 22:11 ]

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Joined: 01/10/2003
Posts: 274
help me with mule deer hunting

Biggest thing about mule deer is how much patience do you have? I hunt mule deer with my bow and it is the ultimate experience. If looking to get close to these bucks there have been some awesome suggestions here. But if you do have alot of patience then the best way to aproach them is to belly crawl. but move as slow as you can. No fast movements. I have a bino system on my binos and I keep looking threw them as I crawl so I can see them deer at all times up close. One little movement can tell you if they are looking at you. If you see them looking stop do not move. They will stare at you and see you as no threat after about 5 minutes. Then move closer and closer. This will work if you do it slow. Even if they stare at you they will only do it for a few mintues till they rule you out as a threat. Trust what the suggestions are it will work. All of these are good.
But one thing about the rut I have never seen any mule deer come into a call. They are a different breed of animal. They say whitetail are more agressive than the mule deer when it comes to this. Also I have only had 1 buck come into scent Doe in heat. It scared me to death. I was after another and this buck was coming up behind me and was at 20 yds still coming at me. With his head down I caught him out of the corner of my eye. I have worn it just for a cover scent. I have stalked alot of mule deer here in the flats in the desert. So just be patient.

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Location: Colorado
Joined: 02/27/2002
Posts: 2973
help me with mule deer hunting

Only thing I would add to what is already dead on advice: is keep track of the does especially if you are really trying to close the distance (100 yards or less).

Usually the buck is with some does, keep track of them, because if a doe throws up those radar ears she is on to you. Hang tight like has been said, until they go back to milling. Then slowly start making your approach again.

If a doe blows the coup, so will the buck, then all you'll get to see is the bounce....bounce...bounce... as they bolt...

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