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Wondering about a diy mule deer hunt?
Me and a couple buddy's are wanting to make a trip. Where is the best chance to draw a tag or buy? Thanks bowsiters.
It sounds like you are a bit new to western US hunting.
Although there are still some opportunities available for over the counter tags, most of our western states are drawings for mule deer. Most of the better hunts in the west require you to draw a tag. The systems are different in each state, but basically you apply, pay for the application and/or license fees, and wait several months to see if you draw. The majority of the draws will give you a preference or bonus point if you do not draw. These points will help you draw the higher quality hunts over time. The systems are frustrating (especially when you just get started out), but can result in some awesome opportunities over time.
There are many resources out there that will give you advice on how and where to apply for hunts - Huntin' Fool, Eastmans, GoHunt. These resources will simplify the drawing process for you so that you can understand how it works. The drawing systems change year to year and the better units also change year to year so it is good to have several sources of information and make some comparisons between them to really get a good idea of the hunt quality. I am really liking GoHunt for researching hunts in the west. It has a great database set up that will really help you understand how the western drawings work and what to expect. Some of their information is a bit off, but they do a pretty good job of updating it.
There are a number of states that you can draw a tag with no points or pick up an over the counter tag and do a DIY hunt.
PS - Arizona has Over-the-Counter tags for archery hunting that are good for most of the state and are good for either Coues or Mule deer. The season varies by area and you can hunt in January then again in late August thru September and yet again in December in different units. It is a great opportunity hunt with the mule deer typically in the rut down there in January. The best chances for higher quality hunts in AZ are draw, however.
You can get OTC tags in Arizona, South Dakota, Nebraska and Idaho. Montana has been 100% on the general deer License for the last several years. Colorado has several units where you can draw the archery tag with no points. Wyoming always a few leftover deer tags aswell. Good Luck
Do a lot of research. Muley populations are very localized in most units. Often the elk habitat and muley habitat are many miles (and feet of elevation) apart.
SHUT UP ABOUT AZ... WE ARE TRYING TO KEEP THAT A SECRET!!! LOL!
There are a number of units in Co that can be drawn with zero points for archery deer. Depending on what your looking for in a hunt as well as quality.
Co app deadline is a ways out yet. So you could still hunt this year.
It's to late for this year but a general Utah archery tag isn't hard to draw. I have drawn both years I have put in.
I hunt Ne for mulies every year. Good hunting can be had there as well on the limited public that it has.
WHATSSS GOIN ON!!!!?
Nothing better than hunting muleys in PARADISE. aka the turtle mountains
Can you still draw for medican bow wyoming and hunt without guide i use to hunt there back in the 90s . group hunts are a better chance of drawing at least it use to be
Ok I'm leaning towards Idaho any suggestions on areas I was thinking maybe unit 10
I don't know much about mule deer in that area but i believe you can also buy two bear tags for $42 each in unit 10
I'm probably not gonna shoot a bear since that is what I outfit for here in Manitoba unless I see a very large boar. But you never know.
If you are talking strictly mule deer, I don't think I would do unit 10 unless you had someone to show you around. In the 70's I hunted there for 4 years. The deer are in summer range and all we ever saw were whitetails. There are mule deer, but I couldn't tell you where would be best.
Call the biologists.
Craig - being Canadian if at all you have any contacts (from guiding etc) in Alberta to get you in for a hunter hosted hunt that is by far the way to go. I don't know if there are quality mule deer anywhere like there is Alberta.
Unit 10 in Idaho would be one of my last choices for mule deer hunting.
What kind of hunting do you want to do? Open country? Desert? Alpine? Rut or September hunt?
I'm not picky any kind of hunt that involves me getting a mule deer buck and maybe some fishing. Hills valleys whatever I'm all about exploring and in it for the experience all your thoughts are greatly appreciated.
Haven't hunted Idaho, so no help there.
You should start looking at Colorado, though. At least apply for a preference point before the draw deadline - easy on line. Some of the best mule deer hunting available across widely varied types of terrain from desert and plains to above treeline. Some of the best areas can be drawn with one point for archery.