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arrowflipper's picture
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mule deer or whitetail

Someone asked the question of which was harder to hunt, the mule deer or blacktail.  I'd like to ask that same question but substitute the whitetail for the blacktail.  Which is harder to hunt, the muley or whitetail?

Have you ever hunted an area that has both?  If so, do they react differently in the same situation?

ndemiter's picture
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i've hunted lots of places

i've hunted lots of places with both muleys and whitetail. to be honest, i hate seeing WT's in muley country, if it were up to me, i'd create a managment strategy that eliminated them, since they're becoming prevalent outside of their normal home ranges.

in my opinion, the whitetails have better eyesight. and the muleys definately hear better. as far as smell goes, i think the muleys take that category too. i often see both at the same time feeding in the mornings, and it's always the muleys that notice me first. that being said, both animals are very well adapted for survival. i do have a preference though, i'd hunt mule deer 10/10 times instead of whitetail, but i've killed a rediculous number of whitetail for my age, I no longer see hunting them as a challenge. i have several means of hunting them that are very effective, and maybe i havn't developed my mule deer skill to the same stages as my whitetail hunting abilities which is why i find mule deer more challenging.

i will have 2 WT buck tags this year (kansas and missouri) and as many does as i can kill. i will likely invest 3 days of hunting for the 2 bucks and kill the does oppertunistically while i work the horses and cattle. but i would easily invest 3 days in killing one mature mule deer.

i guess a big portion of which animal you find more challenging lies in how you prefer to be challenged.

 

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I think some of this depends

I think some of this depends on the state or terrain being hunted. I have only hunted them in the same area once and the whitetail were a far more elusive prey. But the season for the muleys in Texas is only 2 weeks or so and the whitetails had been chased for over a month before I got there. I could watch big muleys all day long but the whitetail would only come out of the brush with only minutes of shooting light left. I think if the season were reversed the opposite might be true.

Muleys will always be my first choice because of where I live and what I killed for my first buck but I will happily chase any deer I can afford to buy a tag for no matter what species it may be.

niceshot_smitty's picture
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Location: Los Alamos, NM
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Here in NM

here in NM there are both in the eastern part of the state and the smaller cousin in the southwest part of the state.   I will take Mule deer any day to hunt because they are a bigger and are more forgiving when they smell or see you.  I Just wish Mule Deer had the Numbers that whitetails do!!!

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Location: Greeley, CO
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Definately have to agree...

...it depends!

 

I am not sure there can be an answer.

 

It is all relative to each situation. ...and again agreed, many muleys are forgiving, and keep broadsiding you as they walk away! 50-100yds, turn, stand & look back, 50-100yds, turn, stand & look back, etc...etc...etc...

Though the desert whitetails I have been watching act the exact same way! ...again, goes back to "depends!" ...muleys I have hunted in the timber act just like whitetail in the prairie river bottoms!

How much pressure, terrain, rut/no rut, etc...all play factors.

 

I think it has to be the manner in which you are hunting them...maybe spot & stalk in open country with a longbow, compared to groundblind, in thick woods with a rifle? ...easy answer!

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So what DO you think about the question?

Like Hunter 25 - I have only hunted white tail and mule deer the same area once (for about a solid week of hunting).  I found the whitetail deer were a far more elusive as well. I have very limited mule deer hunting experience (just that single week) but a couple decades of chasing white tails.  While mule deer are difficult to connect with for a mature buck I think I could have tagged out on a dozen muley does in that week.  There are some years of white tail hunting where I don’t get within muzzle loader range of even a single white tail doe.  As noted by another poster, the mule deer also seemed to be more forgiving when they smell or see you. Maybe it is a factor of the country being much more open where the mule der are as compared to where I normally hunt white tail in the eastern states.   Heavy C might have hit it right on the head with the observation that a lot depends on how much hunting pressure each have received – not only in the season that you are hunting but in all the prior seasons to date, breeding that elusive behavior into the survivors generation after generation.  Ndemiter – why would you eliminated white tail deer in mule deer range?  What sorts of problems do they cause or is it just that you’d prefer to hunt mule deer?  Arrowflipper – you started this post but you didn’t tell us what you think.  So what DO you think about the question?

arrowflipper's picture
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what I think

OK Groovy Mike, here's what I think.  I have hunted whitetail in wide open country and it heavily forested.  I have hunted mule deer in wide open country and heavily forested.  In my experience, they do not act the same, even in the same situation.

I have watched whitetail detect my scent at 500 yards and bolted, even when they couldn't see me and didn't know I was there.  They hit the road.  In similar situations, mule deer have stood around for a while and then gone back to eating.

In wooded areas, whitetail have bolted the instant they saw, heard or smelled me.  Muleys have hung around to gather in a piece of lead I sent their way.

It has been my experience that whitetail are a harder animal to hunt than mule deer.  But maybe that's just me.

 

groovy mike's picture
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for what it is worth

for what it is worth in my limited experience - I totally agree with you See I knew you was smart!

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Location: Colorado
Joined: 07/13/2011
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Hunting mule deer means you

Hunting mule deer means you better be quiet. They didn't get those big ears for nothing.

Whitetails seem to have a better nose.

With that said. Muleys are very curious. Except the mature smart bucks. During the rut they're not so smart, but we can't hunt the peak of the rut.

 

So..................who knows?

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