Black Gold Sights
Mule deer Private vs Public Diy hunt
Mule Deer
Contributors to this thread:
Luvtotrap 09-Aug-19
Nick Muche 09-Aug-19
ROUGHCOUNTRY 09-Aug-19
midwest 09-Aug-19
Franklin 09-Aug-19
Trial153 09-Aug-19
Buskill 09-Aug-19
Grey Ghost 09-Aug-19
Rocky D 09-Aug-19
Luvtotrap 09-Aug-19
Irishman 09-Aug-19
Bowboy 09-Aug-19
cmbbulldog 09-Aug-19
Shawn 09-Aug-19
RK 09-Aug-19
t-roy 09-Aug-19
JL 09-Aug-19
Genesis 09-Aug-19
wildwilderness 10-Aug-19
ground hunter 10-Aug-19
sticksender 10-Aug-19
nmarchr 10-Aug-19
Grey Ghost 10-Aug-19
Grubby 10-Aug-19
Shawn 10-Aug-19
caribou77 10-Aug-19
lv2bohunt 10-Aug-19
YZF-88 10-Aug-19
tradi-doerr 10-Aug-19
Grey Ghost 10-Aug-19
Luvtotrap 10-Aug-19
wytex 10-Aug-19
MichaelArnette 11-Aug-19
Bill in MI 11-Aug-19
MichaelArnette 11-Aug-19
Surfbow 11-Aug-19
Luvtotrap 11-Aug-19
midwest 11-Aug-19
RD in WI 11-Aug-19
Brun 11-Aug-19
tradi-doerr 11-Aug-19
Korey Wolfe 14-Aug-19
tradi-doerr 14-Aug-19
Luvtotrap 15-Aug-19
From: Luvtotrap
09-Aug-19
Long story short after a long nasty custody battle and divorce I'm finally in a position to start enjoying life again.

Made myself a promise once my divorce was over I'd do one bucket list hunt a year , NO EXCUSES.

Over the past year when my ex made me mad instead of doing something stupid or running my mouth. I wrote down a animal or hunt that I really wanted to pursue. Let's just say the list is long.

Printed out the list last night , cut out the hunts individually , folded and put then into a fish bowl. Let my son draw one this morning and for 2020 its Mule deer.

As someone with no points and hunting experience is strictly treestand whitetails. Would a guided hunt be a better option than even attempting a diy ?

-Realistically I would only have 10-14 days to do this hunt , travel from NC included. - Opportunity for P&Y would be nice - budget 8k max

From: Nick Muche
09-Aug-19
Go to Canada with a Bowsite Sponsor and hunt for a giant! Best of luck!

From: ROUGHCOUNTRY
09-Aug-19
Western North Dakota or Eastern Montana DIY for plentiful chances at 145-160 inch mule deer. Normally, you'll need several opportunities to seal the deal. And there's always the dream for something bigger to wander by. No need to pay for this hunt as there's plenty of public land and probably a few landowners that will turn you loose if you ask.

From: midwest
09-Aug-19
Depends on the kind of hunt you want and your expectations. I like DIY, public land but if seeing lots of deer with a good chance of killing a big buck were paramount, I'd go guided. Probably eastern Colorado or Alberta Canada.

From: Franklin
09-Aug-19
With $8k you can get a helluva hunt.....is that for you and your son or just you?

From: Trial153
09-Aug-19
with an 8k budget I am going to Alberta or getting my feet in some primo private Colorado ground and holding out for 180 plus. However you said you be happy with a 145 plus buck...in that case I wouldnt spend a dime and I go would on my own. I haven't been to many places thats I couldn't stumble on a 150-160 mule deer. Put the cash towards another hunt that you cant do on your own.

From: Buskill
09-Aug-19
I’d go on my own, save the money. With a little research you’ll find a decent deer. I hope your hunt is great !

From: Grey Ghost
09-Aug-19
DIY all the way. P&Y mulies aren't that hard to find, and the satisfaction of doing it yourself is so much greater, even if you don't score, IMO.

Matt

From: Rocky D
09-Aug-19
X2 what Nick said! I never really was intrigued by mule deer but a friend wanted to go to Alberta. So I we went with Mike’s Outfitting and it was definitely the right decision. Now I in the point game planning a DIY.

From: Luvtotrap
09-Aug-19
8k budget is everything included flights, food , travel expenses and tips .

From: Irishman
09-Aug-19
I agree with Grey Ghost, DIY all the way. Find a state with lots of public land, and maybe get some advice from bowsite folks from that state. Maybe you don't kill one, but the satisfaction comes from doing it yourself.

From: Bowboy
09-Aug-19
I'd strongly suggest Alberta.

From: cmbbulldog
09-Aug-19
Alberta or Eastern CO!

From: Shawn
09-Aug-19
Depends, you can kill a good buck either way. With 10 days Alberta guided would be the way to go if you like that type of hunt. I have hunted whitetail a couple times with an outfitter. Killed a 183 gross NT with one. It was not what I had expected, no effort on my part other than to make the shot. I want to work for my animals. Shawn

From: RK
09-Aug-19
It's cool that you asked but the answer is really simple.

You have been through a lot You are on the good side now

Go do the hunt that YOU think you will have the the most fun with

If it was me there would be no issue at all. GUIDED. have fun relax and kill a big deer. You have lots of time to think through and plan other hunts. This one is to go and enjoy being free!!

From: t-roy
09-Aug-19
Another vote for Alberta and Mike’s Outfitting. He has some real gaggers up there. Spot and stalk too.

From: JL
09-Aug-19
I'd think for $8K you could do a two-fer.....a muley and elk hunt combo. You could apply for a Montana NR big game combo tag and go DIY.

From: Genesis
09-Aug-19
Shawn was that a bow kill or gun?

10-Aug-19

wildwilderness's Link
Looks like you should give this a call

https://forums.bowsite.com/tf/bgforums/thread.cfm?threadid=485846&messages=1&forum=7

10-Aug-19
Alberta

From: sticksender
10-Aug-19
For the short notice you have specified (2020) your best option is probably an eastern plains Colorado private land outfitted hunt during the rut. You will see a ton of rutting bucks and have plenty of stalks. Alberta is known for greatness but might be a couple or three years wait in line with the better outfitters.

There's also Arizona if you don't need a monster buck.....bowsite sponsor Steven Ward or Wards Outfitters could probably set you up. He also has great Mexico hunts, but you might have to expand the budget slightly.

From: nmarchr
10-Aug-19
Agree, Canada or Colorado would be my choice. Don’t sleep on the pan handle area of Texas either.

From: Grey Ghost
10-Aug-19
It surprises me how many of you think eastern Colorado is still a destination hot spot for big mule deer. That was true 2 decades ago, when it was relatively unknown, but it has changed significantly since then.

Matt

From: Grubby
10-Aug-19
Times getting short to plan a diy trip

From: Shawn
10-Aug-19
Genesis it was bow, don't gun hunt out of state and rarely in my home state. I do like the post about western ND and that would be the way I would give it a go but I would want at least 15-18 days of actual hunt time. Shawn

From: caribou77
10-Aug-19
Ive done both guided and DIY. The guided hunt was with a rifle and so were several of the DIY hunts. I had way more fun on my 1 DIY bowhunt. That said with that budget, you could easily do a great guided hunt. And as many here have said, Mikes Outfitting is the place to go. I hunted moose last fall while 4 others were pursing velvet mule deer, Shot 2 180s, a 155 and hit/lost another good buck while I was there. 100% opportunity. I am heading up there this fall to do a rifle hunt with my dad in November (hes not a bowhunter and its his dream to chase a giant). Someday I will do the velvet mule deer hunt.

Now all that said, A DIY hunt will be MUCH cheaper, Look at your list and see what you can do on your own and what will take a guide. If you have sheep or moose on that list, Start saving for those and do your diy hunts now.

From: lv2bohunt
10-Aug-19
I could be wrong but from the original post it looks like he wants a two person hunt for mule deer and $8000 is his max budget. I’m not sure some of these suggestions fit the bill.

From: YZF-88
10-Aug-19
Out of all the animals I have tagged, my public land DIY general season archery mule deer is the trophy I stop and look at the most. Even more so than any of the 6 elk taken over the last 7 years. It’s not even close due to the effort put forth.

From: tradi-doerr
10-Aug-19
Research Eastern Colorado Mule Deer hunts, great opportunity for a big buck.

From: Grey Ghost
10-Aug-19
"Research Eastern Colorado Mule Deer hunts, great opportunity for a big buck."

Really? What recent personal experience do you base that on?

Matt

From: Luvtotrap
10-Aug-19
Appreciate all of the input. I will say I my biggest concern is time restraints with a diy.

I'm a traveling pipefitter/welder. My work requires alot of extended stay travel out of state. I might be in texas or New York the days leading up to my hunt. Staying in a hotel might be my only option on a diy hunt.

From: wytex
10-Aug-19
Look into the Texas Panhandle or west Texas. You could do your mule deer and add something like javelina or perhaps aoudad well within your budget. Use the left over cash to fund your PP til you can draw a nice DIY tag somewhere, or go on a drop camp elk hunt the next year.

11-Aug-19
With zero points in any western state I would definitely go guided...Chances of shooting anything over 145 inches on a zero point unit or over the counter state are slim. Go with a good guide and yes I would look into Alberta. Then start playing the point game and plan a DIY

From: Bill in MI
11-Aug-19
The OTC AZ late season bow tags and a good outfitter (I've been with Big Chino a few times). You'll see a ton of P&Y bucks and a couple of 180 plus type animals. Pick up a Javi tag and you'll have a great hunt around xmas thru new year timing (edit- you might be able to secure a chance to hunt velvet bucks in the early season and then if unsuccessful go back during the late....you'd have to research the licensing as I've been out of the game for a bit...)

11-Aug-19
Another option is to pay an access fee, which is really the best way to do it I think. I have several friends have done really well in Nebraska and South Dakota doing this

From: Surfbow
11-Aug-19
Do the one where your son can go...

From: Luvtotrap
11-Aug-19
Son is 3 . He will be joining me this fall in a few blinds I specifically set up for him. Also have set aside certain hunts for him to join me Africa, guided elk, and Alaskan moose. At what age can I start putting him in for pp ?

I really appreciate the PM's and input from everyone.

Now if someone can make a 3 year old understand why his arrows bounce off the deer target, I'll gladly buy a case of any beverage you choose.

He keeps telling me his bow is broken lol

From: midwest
11-Aug-19
haha....too cute!

From: RD in WI
11-Aug-19
Good job surviving your divorce. My first marriage ended after a year-long tour in Mosul. The divorce was worse (I hadn't fell out of love) - and I was wounded in Iraq! Given your circumstances, I would seek a guided hunt if your monetary limits allowed it. In any other circumstance, I would DIY western South Dakota where I have observed some great mule deer. Best of luck.

From: Brun
11-Aug-19
You should look at J and D Outfitters for the eastern plains of Colorado. They have some really good deer and lots of leases. I don't know their rates, but it's worth checking into.

From: tradi-doerr
11-Aug-19
"Really? What recent personal experience do you base that on?" Matt Teter (Grey Ghost), I base that on some of the big bucks that I've been measuring the last 24yrs for hunters and Outfitters that come from Eastern Colorado. It's no secret Matt, anyone can find the information via record books, web postings, etc.

And some of the biggest bucks in the last 6yrs, most of this land is leased and you would have to go through the outfitter to get to these big bucks. Dennis-

From: Korey Wolfe
14-Aug-19
I had a wonderful hunt with Hidden Valley Outfitters in eastern Montana. I killed a 167 velvet buck and had stalk opportunities every single day with multiple opportunities a couple days. I’d highly recommend that hunt as it was one of my foundest memories. You would be significantly under your budget.

From: tradi-doerr
14-Aug-19
Another one is Full Draw Outfitters, Fred & Michelle Eickler, they cater to bowhunters and are reasonably priced.

From: Luvtotrap
15-Aug-19
Cant thank you all enough for the help.

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