Well since you wanna hear it... It was morning of the last day of a 4 day mule deer hunt. I saw many nice deer but unfortunately most of the nice bucks stay on the otherside of the fence from the private property which I hunt and graze freely on federally protected land. If I didn't know better I'd say the deer are very aware which side of the fence means "safety". I glassed him from probably 800 to 1000 yds and could only see the very tops of his antlers among the tall grass. He was with two does and was 20 or 30 feet on my (shooting) side of the fence laying down. So I had to make a pretty tough stalk mostly uphill and on my belly and got within 297 yds (rangefinder) and waited for him to get up. After about 3 or so minutes he stood up to follow the does who were starting to move. I was waiting with my Kimber Classic 300 WSM with a Leupold VX-L 3-10x scope using the B&C reticle which worked perfectly. I simply moved the impact point down one dot (sighted in at 200yds) and squeezed and down he went. It was great fair chase stalk on a respectable (non-typical) mule deer resulting in a lifetime memory. Ofcourse, as I was driving off the property a mulee stood up about 100 yds in the field off to my left, a nice 4x4 typical he looked at me as if he knew I had filled my tag...Well there's always next year! Once I get him measured up I post it.
Sorry forgot to answer your question about tags. No its not hard but a lottery system for non-residents and the available tags seems to be getting smaller every year. However, I usually get tags for either my 1st or 2nd choice areas/units. Also SD is fairly generous you get 1 antlered and 1 antlerless tag so you can bring home a lot of meat.
One of the best ways to scout your hunting area is to look for signs that mature animals leave behind. Wallows, scrapes, rubs and areas littered with tracks are great evidence that game are using your area. But why not look for the single piece of evidence that you are hunting for when fall rolls around anyway... antlers. Game animals in the family cervidae shed their antlers annually. Why not use these unique souvenirs as a way of helping you fill your tag next fall?
Looking for sheds in your...