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Mule deer question
Mule Deer
Contributors to this thread:
MichaelArnette 29-Aug-17
Mark Watkins 29-Aug-17
MichaelArnette 29-Aug-17
Treeline 30-Aug-17
MichaelArnette 31-Aug-17
Buglmin 31-Aug-17
Treeline 31-Aug-17
Velvet Muley 31-Aug-17
Treeline 02-Sep-17
What would you guys who have a clue do? So I'm in the high country at 12,000ish feet. I hike up the side of this nice looking bowl at daybreak and bust two bucks out on my way up. They fled over the hill and the next thing I see is another nice buck on the other side of the bowl. He is at a muleys fastest trot before the hop and getting out of the canyon. It's midday and I haven't seen hide nor hair since first light.

Question: if my camp is right next to the bowl should I stay there hoping that bucks will filter in at night and be more careful in the morning in my approach...or should I pack up and find another spot

From: Mark Watkins
I'd remain optimistic, thinking that I'll relocate them (even if it is a couple miles away).

So...to answer your question, I would remain camping high (to maximize first light and last light glassing opportunities)...making sure I am tucked out of the way from where I think I might relocate them.

Hope this helps,


Thanks mark, my campsite is tucked away and I don't think it's the issue but rather my poor choice of approach.

From: Treeline
You are too close to the deer. The bucks in your first basin are blown out. They might come back, but you should be easing over to look in other basins.

Many times, I have been after a really big buck that I busted once and never saw again. Sometimes they will come back, but not if you are still camped out in their backyard or they see you walking the ridgelines...

Thank you Treeline! Your advise has been spot on. I ended up moving a mile or so and put a close but failed stalk on a really nice one. Now that area is overrun with Amish who arrived last night so I'll have to move again...maybe I'll try the same bowl again and hope the bucks have returned

From: Buglmin
Best to move and relocate different deer. I'm after two huge bucks and have been within 60 yards of them several times, but can't close the distance. I just wait till they feed out sight and into the timber before leaving. Be patient with them, don't blow them out, and sooner or later you'll get your chance. I think Colorado will fill up with hunters this weekend. It's been nice having the ar as to myself but know it won't last long...

From: Treeline
Gets really tough soon. The early rifle and muzzle loaders start showing up and bumping the deer. Unfortunately, I have never seen mule deer in the early season get bumped and be any easier to hunt... Makes it exponentially harder to stalk a mule deer buck after he has been bumped - even by an elk bumbler that doesn't even know he stumbled by that buck in his bed.

Elk at different and will settle in to a new area and just go back to doing what elk do pretty quickly. Mule deer bucks tend to pull the invisible act after only a couple of hunter screw-ups.

Good luck!!

From: Velvet Muley
Instead of walking through the basins you should be on top glassing into them at first light. If that means camping higher to get above that's what you should do.

From: Treeline
Most mule deer above treeline that I have hunted don't like folks walking through their home up the bottom of the basin.

I usually want to be glassing at first light from a high ridge with a good vantage, but I want to get there without spooking anything (even a marmot or pika!).

Definitely don't skyline, though! Have seen many a mule deer's ass going over the other ridge when a hunter walks the top of the ridgeline! You can get away with it mid-day for a few hours, but from daylight to about 11:00 and again from about 4:00PM to dark - stay in cover (use the terrain) and stay low and slow.

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