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South dakota archery mule deer
Mule Deer
Contributors to this thread:
Bass92 25-Feb-19
Tdvorak 26-Feb-19
LKH 26-Feb-19
elknailer 26-Feb-19
Mnhunter1980 26-Feb-19
Mnhunter1980 26-Feb-19
Predeter 26-Feb-19
pointingdogs 26-Feb-19
ground hunter 26-Feb-19
Brotsky 26-Feb-19
ground hunter 26-Feb-19
Tdvorak 26-Feb-19
Bass92 26-Feb-19
Michael 26-Feb-19
Bass92 26-Feb-19
ground hunter 26-Feb-19
leftee 26-Feb-19
SD BuckBuster 26-Feb-19
Brotsky 26-Feb-19
SD BuckBuster 26-Feb-19
Brotsky 26-Feb-19
Brotsky 26-Feb-19
Michael 26-Feb-19
From: Bass92
25-Feb-19
Hey everyone, a buddy and I are planning a DIY archery mule deer hunt this September. I’m currently looking around the Cheyenne river close to the badlands and north of the badlands where the Cheyenne river meets the Belle Fourche river. Any advise on these areas? What is the mulie population like in around these spots? Not asking for specifics but are there any other areas you would recommend checking out? We are kind of wanting to do a backpacking/tent style hunt so that is why we are looking at the bigger chunks of land. Thank you in advance for any advise!

From: Tdvorak
26-Feb-19
That’s as good of a place as any for DIY hunters. Like all public land you’ll have some completion in droves but the deer won’t all be chased away from the prairie dog hunters, bird dog trainers, grouse hunters and maybe a few archery antelope hunters by then. You’ll run the risk of having an awesome time. You might also try the Ft Pierre National Grasslands and stay at the Ft Pierre Motel. Good luck.

From: LKH
26-Feb-19
One thing you should consider is getting a SD chip for your GPS. It can be very difficult to tell boundaries in that country and you don't want a ticket.

From: elknailer
26-Feb-19
the sd web site has a download that will give you state, blm, school and private boundries.

From: Mnhunter1980
26-Feb-19
The onX was spot on for us. Use the topo option to find the coulees. It saved us a ton of time and gas by skipping all the featureless flatland that the antelope love. I would suggest starting in smaller parcels first. Probably less people and still holds deer. All it takes is one.

From: Mnhunter1980
26-Feb-19
The onX was spot on for us. Use the topo option to find the coulees. It saved us a ton of time and gas by skipping all the featureless flatland that the antelope love. I would suggest starting in smaller parcels first. Probably less people and still holds deer. All it takes is one.

From: Predeter
26-Feb-19
I can't tell you much about those specific areas but I've hunted similar country.

I understand the desire for a "backpack" style hunt but wouldn't do that unless I knew a large area held a lot of deer. My experience on prairie muleys is that you are much better off to stay mobile rather than putting all your eggs in one basket and hiking way in somewhere and camping.

From: pointingdogs
26-Feb-19
TDvorak: I would second the Ft. Pierre Motel. Nothing fancy but a good price. Question: I have hunted the National grasslands for numerous years for sharpies.... I can never remember seeing a mule deer... not even once. Was I just not in the right area of the grasslands??? Thanks.

26-Feb-19
Is SD going to a draw this year for NR tags, for deer?

From: Brotsky
26-Feb-19
There’s a very strong and very needed chance of that ground hunter. There is also likely to be a good sized price increase for the tags.

26-Feb-19
I just read that. I hate to have to deal with a draw, but I have no problem with the price increase, that is fair,,,,,, I have been hunting there off and on since 2002, always a great deal, for a solo DIY........

From: Tdvorak
26-Feb-19
Pointingdogs, I’m not sure where you hunted because there is literally 200 square miles of free hunting in the Ft Pierre National Grasslands. It is near the Missouri River and Jim River and a several others. You can google search those areas. Like my first post indicated, you may have been in an area where the prairie dog hunters, dog trainers and grouse hunters have chased the mule deer off the public land. When you said you were grouse hunting I’m guessing that explains everything. This might come across harsh but I’m not meaning it to...typed words sometimes do. Every year I watch bucks come through the Ft Pierre Motel from guys and gals hunting the Grasslands. Guides don’t guide deer hunters on the Grasslands so you aren’t competing with the pros. But you are competing with other hunters. You’ll find lots of areas to check with 200 square miles of free hunting. You won’t have the success you would experience with a good guide service but you’ll save a lot of cash. If you talk to the guy running the Motel he’ll give you the names of guides or he’ll be likely be able to give you a couple hints on the current hotspots much like fishing secrets. Good luck.

From: Bass92
26-Feb-19
Thank you for all the responses! When will it be finalized if SD is going to a draw this year?

From: Michael
26-Feb-19

Michael's embedded Photo
Michael's embedded Photo
South Dakota has an app for your phone that shows all public hunting lands. With today’s technology it’s pretty easy too stay off private land.

I have never hunted the Grasslands south of Fort Pierre. However I have hunted central SD a bunch. There are decent pockets of Mulies all over. I would truck camp or stay at a hotel to stay mobile like said above.

From: Bass92
26-Feb-19
Thank you! Just got the app. The the breaks along the Cheyenne river hold good populations of deer? I think we are hoping to hunt steep country as a posed to the flat grasslands.

26-Feb-19
To me this is not a back pack hunt. I had my truck set up, with a cot and bed roll, and my cooking stuff table and chair, and lanterns, and I was set anywhere. take time off and get a motel room, and have a nice shower.

Carried plenty of water for sponge bath and clean up for camp. the key out there on the public is to stay mobile...... better have great tires, when it rains

From: leftee
26-Feb-19
Rattlers.

26-Feb-19
I hunted that area last fall.. Shoot me a message..

From: Brotsky
26-Feb-19
Lots of great bucks in that area. Use your glass and stay mobile.

26-Feb-19
Brootsky,, stay mobile in a truck or on your feet? I would think they can get in a couple miles and set up camp not? spend the days on their feet out there,, it's big country..

From: Brotsky
26-Feb-19
You need to be aware of where you can camp and where you can't. Certain state lands are not open to camping, specifically walk-in areas. Federal lands would be. Frankly walking in somewhere and setting up a camp would be a waste of time and energy IMO. I would be truck mobile daily and running my glass. Sleep in the back of my truck or at set-up camp at a campground. Personally I would have 6-8 public pieces that I like and I would run a circuit daily glassing all of them. Road access is excellent, there's no need for a backpack style hunt here. If you want that style of hunt I would go up in the NW corner of the state and hunt the Custer NF or I would go to WY, MT, or CO.

From: Brotsky
26-Feb-19
"When will it be finalized if SD is going to a draw this year?"

Bass, it will be finalized in May.

From: Michael
26-Feb-19

Michael's embedded Photo
Michael's embedded Photo
Michael's embedded Photo
Michael's embedded Photo
I hunt exactly like Brotsky has said. Run and gun and look over multiple pieces of ground.

When I purchased my soft topper it was just for this reason. The area had walk in hunting. (No camping allowed). I would pull into an approach crawl in the back and go to sleep.

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