Contributors to this thread:
If you had to choose a state to hunt in '19 for mule deer with no points for archery (I'm saving up in Colorado now) where would you go?
I mainly am after the experience, as I didn't get to chase muley a ton in Montana (focused on elk) would be solo, have the gear (minus optics) for a backpack/high country hunt-or could go do a Dakota's/Nebraska style prairie hunt.
I live in Iowa, and would prefer to drive to help keep costs down (my wife is in school and we are working to get out of debt).
Wyoming in a deer Region that a 100% draw or close with no points. After getting drawn I'd buy the archery permit that generally gives you a month to hunt with your bow in the early archery season. If you don't fill the tag then, you can even go back and try to fill it during the later rifle season if you have the time and money. Not many states allow a person to hunt six or more weeks on one tag like Wyoming does.
Given your description, I would recommend Colorado. I know you said you are building points there, but if you are focused on archery I don't think points gain you much in Colorado. In my experience, NE and SD are a bit tough without private land access. Utah has some opportunities as well, but that adds distance to your drive.
If you want to come a little farther west to Utah there are lots of good mule deer units you could draw with 0 points and I would be willing to point you in the right direction.
Good deal Dikndirt. Thumbs up!!!
I have hunted Nebraska a fair amount. Not a lot of public ground but there are deer on what is public. South Dakota has a fair amount of public and has decent deer numbers. You can get decent tags in CO as a 2nd choice. Another area to try is a general area in Utah. I did that a couple of years and had good hunts in a certain unit.
I can help on specifics as well if you want.
Quite a few deer tags in Colorado that you can pull on your second choice. Get a point and a tag!
See plenty of big bucks in second choice units and usually able To kill some good ones with our bows in those units.
If you don’t draw you can watch the leftover/return lists and find something - maybe the unit you have your eyes on with your points.
If you do draw and can’t make it, you can return your second choice tag and keep your point as well as get a refund of your fees.
Good chance to come out and get your feet wet and get an idea of what you will need when you burn your points. You could even pick up an elk or bear tag.
Also a great time for fishing:-)
I can give you a good place in eastern Wyoming. It’s on state land so you can’t camp but the hunting for archery deer is very good! PM me if you are interested.
The application periods are just starting. There's so many places you could put in besides CO, even with zero points, and have a shot at getting a LE tag. I'd recommend you try and draw a tag and if you don't, then consider going OTC.
My wife and I went to SD near Rapid City for mule deer hunting on our honeymoon. We saw a ton near Mt Rushmore, none in the Black Hills and a small group of mulie does back to the east on the Buffalo Gap, my recommendation would be to camp and glass out on Buffalo Gap(buy an antelope tag too) or go way NW corner of SD
What is really nice about the Utah General Bow Buck tag Units, is that if you draw and if you Do Not harvest during the dates on your General Bow Buck tag, you can go online (FREE) and take the Ethics Course and hunt in November along the Extended Season Bow Only Wasatch Front thru November for Rutting Muleys with the same tag.
They Expanded the boundries for the Wasatch Front this year.
You are always Welcome to reach out for any intel of more info if you would like. Utah is pretty dang low cost for General tags ~~ Non-Ressy.
BULELK1@comcast.net or a PM. and I am sure Jim would be willing to help ya too.
Good luck, Robb
Coming from Iowa and on a budget, I’d stop in South Dakota or Nebraska. Use the few extra tanks of gas and tag money you’ll save, vs going farther west, towards those optics you need. Some good bucks on the prairie. Just have to put some miles on the boots.
You can also apply in ND. Plenty of public. Season is 4 months long.
You have a ton of options. I would figure out if I wanted an alpine backcountry hunt or a prairie hunt and narrow it down.
Thanks all for the replies, still thinking over my options. Colorado has always had a pull on me with the high alpine type hunt what I've always dreamed of.
No big bucks in zero point general units in Utah!
Couple of studs there Jason!