Mule Deer habitsContributors to this thread:
So far, I've struck out without even seeing a deer. Hunting in Colorado is new to me as this is my first year ever hunting here. These Mule Deer aren't very cooperative. Just wanted to get some insight from the guys that know about Mule Deer out here. I've done quite a bit of research and found a lot of conflicting info. I've read Mule Deer hunting is best below 8,500 feet and read its best around 10,000 feet. I've also read that if you see signs of elk, move on because the Mule Deer stay away from elk herds. Im in Unit 38 and have seen a ton of Elk signs, but no deer signs. Anyone have an opinion or any prior knowledge about this? Thanks everyone and hope everyone has safe hunts!
It has been a very frustrating year for me as well. I had several nice bucks located prior to the season. Opening weekend they brought in the sheep to the area and the bucks disappeared. Two things I think are affecting the hunt right now. First is the heat, it has been hot, after a really cool August, summer decided to come back. The other element is the moon cycle. Deer are not moving much during the day. Hunt early and late. Full moon is tonight, and then it will wane fast. Last week of the season should give us our best opportunity. This is just my observation.
I was thinking the heat wasn't helping us at all. Is it possible the smoke from fires in other states that has been putting a big haze around us may have something to do with it as well?
Go above treeline...
Cheese - by NO means am I an expert like many on the site, but I found them (bigger bucks) much higher than I expected. Get good glass and check out every shady ledge above treeline. Unfortunately, it took me 3/4 of the hunt to figure that out. Stay up there past dark and get there before dawn to have the best chance of seeing them moving.
The small bucks/does I found lower and in higher populations.
The two biggest bucks I have seen in CO were at 3,500' and 12,400'. I'm not that familiar with 38 but I would likely be hunting the timberline stuff at the west end. There are bucks at every altitude but finding them in timber is tricky. They are rubbing off right now and that makes predicting where they will be difficult. They spend less time in the open.
I really appreciate everyones input! I'll be pulling out the map to study it a little tonight before heading out over the weekend. Thanks again everyone and be safe!