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mule deer newbie

Old 01-20-2017, 03:49 PM
Typical Buck
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Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Minnesota
Posts: 576
Default mule deer newbie

I'm looking to mule deer hunt for the first time this next fall. I haven't applied for any unit yet anywhere and not sure really where to go. Can someone help me out a little. Where would be the best place to buy over the counter and have a good chance at 160"ish buck. What units should I start to apply for? best time for me to hunt is sep-oct with rifle or muzzle. thanks
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Old 01-20-2017, 04:43 PM
Nontypical Buck
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Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: Central VT/Big Horn WY
Posts: 1,502

The "best" units require preference points and/or access to private property. Not saying 160"+ don't exist on public land, but everyone else is pressuring them as well. I would suggest buying preference points in several states to get things started.
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Old 01-20-2017, 05:29 PM
Join Date: Dec 2014
Location: idaho
Posts: 2,773

if you want a 160 my advise would be pick a likely unit ,hunt it and learn it for a few years. bucks like that can be found in many units but if your a newbie you'll be lucky if you can find and kill one on your first hunt in a unit. not saying it can't be done just unlikely.
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Old 01-20-2017, 08:00 PM
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Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Trumbull County, Ohio
Posts: 8,871

As mentioned your best bet would be preference points and wait for a good unit. I put in for my first WY preference point for mule deer last year. I believe it cost $40. I have no plans of hunting them for at least five years and maybe by then I'll be able to get into some good ones!
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Old 01-21-2017, 05:55 AM
Giant Nontypical
Join Date: Oct 2013
Posts: 9,225

A 160 class buck can be taken just about anywhere good numbers of mulies exist but they aren't just standing next to the road waiting to get popped. If you want to hunt public land for them you're going to have to get off the beaten path and that means getting away from the roads. Northwest CO and central CO have a lot of public land, a lot of mulies and a lot of good mulies. Any area there could be good.

There is a Division of Wildlife office in Craig, CO, one in Grand Junction, CO, one in Glenwood Springs, CO and one in Hot Sulpher Springs, Co. My suggestion is to contact all of them and ask to get the contact info for the main deer guy. Most of these guys/gals are really friendly, know the areas they are responsible for and want to see hunters be successful. Point in fact many many years ago I lived in Glenwood Springs and I did just that. They pointed me to a guy named John Broderick (now deceased) and he tolf me to bring topo maps of the area I wanted to hunt and to meet him for coffee. Over a couple of cups be showed me where on the maps the best chances would be to take a good buck. These folks are a wealth of knowledge.

Another thing to consider is the plains. There are some great deer on the plains of CO but most of that land is private and most of that is leased. But there is some pockets of really productive public land if you know where to look. CO has thousands of acres of State Trust Lands open to the public for hunting and Yuma County CO alone has more than 7000 acres, all of which you can hunt and all of which has mulies, whitetails and a few hybrids.
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Old 01-21-2017, 07:43 AM
Nontypical Buck
Join Date: Nov 2014
Posts: 2,744

Me personally,. I would be out in SD on an Indian reservation, the tag is then a either or deer tag, so IF you see a BIG whitetail you can then still shoot that
my last hunts out , was seeing 15-20 bucks a day(not all big by any means) but seen lots of both species, a few 160+ mule deer WAY out there , and just too far for me to go after, but some stud's
tags are first come first serve and you can then double dip if you like and try for a state tag and maybe make it a two buck trip, if you time things right!
or you can buy a over the counter archery tag and still have a shot at a second buck if you tag out on the reservation?
traveling far (from PA) I like to make my trips worth while and get as much hunting in as possible
SO< it gets my vote here
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