Used to day work out at the JA ranch. I've hunted Mule deer there before. Some monster deer down there. However, some of the "community" deer that are inbred and tiny have been spreading through parts of the Palo Duro Canyon. I think this has been a problem that has recently gotten a little worse the last few years. I don't know the specific spot you are going, but most places are great for some big mulees. I'd recommend using a flatter shooting rifle, as I'm sure you know, canyon hunting can often require some longer shots if your confident in taking them. However, down in the canyon it can be pretty thick with mesquite etc. Good luck, and let us know how it goes. I haven't been in a couple of years, but I am going white tail hunting on my ranch this winter, which is located just east southeast of Clarendon.
Thanks for replying. I am hunting just East of Silverton off of 256. Just North of the Caprock Canyon State Park. The ranch is Silvercloud. I talked to the game warden Clint Hunt and the wildlife biologist for the area as well. Both had good things to say about the ranch and quality of the deer. This will be my first mule deer hunt. I have hunted white tail for 30 years. I'm just now branching out. I will post the results and hopefully pictures.
That's southeast of where I've hunted, but should be great. What rifle/cal/bullets are you using, and what time of the year? Can get cold and windy in the panhandle one day, and then hot and sunny the next.
I shoot a heavy barreled .308 165 grain BTSP. I am dead on at 200yds. I have been practicing at a 300 yard range. At 300 I am about 9 inches low. At 20X on my scope it is just a little more than a 1mildot holdover. I have a Ziess 6.5 X 20 X 50. I have a Bell and Carson tactical stock and a bi-pod on the front. I have made shots on white-tails out to 225. Never really had a need to shoot much farther. This will be my first mule-deer hunt. I hired an outfitter and a guide. My guide says to plan on a 200 yard shot either up or down the sides of a canyon. I know my heavy gun may become a bit of a chore to carry. But, I am confident in my dope tags for my scope and I have a pretty good ideal where my bullit will go. Most of my white-tail hunting was either in a stand or laying down along a wheat-field. I haven't done much carrying of my rifle. So.... I have been taking some long walks with a weighted pack for the last few weeks. My hunt is the third weekend in November.
All sounds great. Only advice I would give you is to practice in the wind. The panhandle is one of the windiest places in the country. Down in the canyon, you're either protected from it, or it's funneling right into you. If you're taking long shots, you might also have to realize that the wind might be different up at the deer than it is where you are. Just take notice of the wind, and get a feal for how much a 10-30 mph wind effects your sighting. Good hunt to you.
As I sit and glass, which is common for hunters out west, I have sort of quickly discovered something I never learned when I was younger.
In my youth I had enthusiasm and spirit. In my middle to advancing years I have creaky knees, arthritis, and I tire more easily than I used to. Where I used to sit on the cold hard ground I now look for that soft spot to sooth my tired muscles. That leads me to my tip.
Carry your soft spot with you!
In my pack I carry an air filled, ultralight, camping pad....