The majority of time I’ve spent chasing big game has involved ambush hunting whitetails. That’s the reality of living in the Midwest, and I love it. However, there is nothing quite like the freedom of traveling out West with a mule deer tag in my pocket.
Spot-and-stalk mule deer hunting is an archer’s heaven. Being proactive and making hunting opportunities happen every day is always a refreshing deviation from the world of whitetails. The only thing I wish I had known when I started mule deer hunting is how bad I would truly be. And I was bad, terrible really.
These days I’m better at hunting the big-eared prairie and mountain dwellers, but it has come at the cost of plenty of mistakes over the years. Trial and error while spotting and stalking has resulted in a firmer understanding of what to do — and what not do — during each individual stalk, and my success has slowly but steadily climbed.
If you’ve got visions of 30-inch wide, deep-forked bucks dancing through your head and just happen to be planning a mule deer hunt, listen up. Following are seven tips that will help you seal the deal once you do step out of the truck and inhale your first lung-full of that delicious, sage-scented western air.
<h2>Rcognize the Lost Cause</h2>I suppose there are a few individuals out there who could potentially kill every buck they spot, no matter the situation. I’m not one of them and am not very likely to be mistaken for an <a href="http://www.randyulmer.com/" target="_blank">Ulmer</a> any time soon, so I’ve learned to recognize the lost cause. Some deer can’t be stalked because of their position. Terrain, wind direction, and timing all play into whether you can legitimately sneak into range. <p></p> Take your time to be honest about each opportunity and decide if it’s possible. If not, don’t push it. You’ll do far more harm than good. Don’t use this as an excuse to not stalk a deer, though. Sometimes stalks are hard but doable. Learn to recognize the difference between the two and you’ll be much better off.