Sitka Gear
First Mule deer hunt upcoming
Mule Deer
Contributors to this thread:
Iowabowhunter 17-Mar-22
JohnMC 17-Mar-22
Iowabowhunter 17-Mar-22
LKH 17-Mar-22
7mm08 17-Mar-22
Iowabowhunter 17-Mar-22
groundhunter50 18-Mar-22
Habitat 18-Mar-22
Lawdog 18-Mar-22
Grey Ghost 18-Mar-22
Iowabowhunter 18-Mar-22
groundhunter50 18-Mar-22
Bandicooter 18-Mar-22
HUNT MAN 18-Mar-22
Iowabowhunter 18-Apr-22
APauls 18-Apr-22
DonVathome 18-Apr-22
wytex 18-Apr-22
Have this on another forum, wanted to get it on Bowsite as well in case not everyone uses both forums.

I'm heading to Wyoming with a buddy this fall to chase after mule deer with our bows.

I've lost 13# since we decided to go, lost 6% body fat percentage and have been mindful of my eating habits along with hitting the gym 5 days per week. I'm excited to continue on my fitness journey, with the goal of being under 15% body fat percentage by the time we leave.

I went back to my old standard Easton Axis arrows, put the Iron Will HIT and collar on there. Have some IW Wide heads that i'll use for my Iowa whitetails, going to order a half dozen or so 125 grain solid blades for my trip out West. Also ordered a Carter Evolution 20 resistance activated release, excited to start practicing with it more now that it's getting decent outside.

My wife will be joining me at TAC in South Dakota, i'm lined up for the Sitka course which will hopefully give me the opportunity to practice shot angles/distances that I don't get to simulate much at all here in Iowa.

Reading a bunch of mule deer centric books and listening to as many muley podcasts as I can trying to soak up info.

Just mainly wanted to put this out there to help keep myself accountable on my fitness journey.

If you have any tips for a first time mule deer hunter, i'd love to hear them- or any stories would be good too.


From: JohnMC

JohnMC's Link
Hunting out west for the first time is fun. If looking for tips give a little more information on where you will be, are you hunting above treeline, the mountains, the plains? Just make sure your not the guy in the link attached!

haha that link is hilarious.

I'm not entirely sure just yet, it will be above treeline/real close to it!

From: LKH
I've taken muleys spot and stalk in SD, MT, and WY. All with trad gear so I have to get close.

Nothing has been more useful than the military booney hats with the loops around the brim. What I do is cut 3-4 pieces of the local flora (sage) and put them in the loops so they stick up 2-4" over my head. I think it breaks up the round predator dome look of our heads.

Then if I get caught peeking up for a look I never duck down when I think they may have caught me. I don't care how long it takes I stay still until they relax or flee.

From: 7mm08
Good glass. Be patient, glass until you covered every inch, then glass some more. Get good at marking the spot. Use ONX to drop a way point on them. Things look different as you move in.

Hey Rocky- we have a total body scanner/scale deal @ the gym, measures skeletal muscle mass, body fat %, lean mass etc. I’m going off the #’s it’s provided.

238 down to 225 and added good lean muscle mass.

Running 5-6 miles per week, @ or under 2k calories per day of good clean food. Since it’s warming up I’ll add hikes with my pack.

Before I could give you advice, I would have to ask.... Are you packing in, or back packing in the high country over 10000 feet, or are you hunting foot hills and ranch land?

From: Habitat
Thats really good question because if you are hunting sage flats and stalking bucks bedded in outcropping or shade it's not that bad.

From: Lawdog
If you're spot and stalk, you'll want both knee and elbow pads. I could put the pads in my ACUs, but I got in a hurry to begin a stalk and left my elbow pads with the ATV. Crawling a hundred yards or so on a stalk will skin up your knees and elbows without them.

From: Grey Ghost
I've been blessed to kill a lot of beautiful mulies spot and stalk. The one thing that improved my success ratio the most was getting over my instincts to crawl. Instead, I carry a heavy duty pair of wool socks to throw on after kicking off my boots, for the final 50-100 yards of the stalk. I find it forces me to slow way down, and be conscious of where I'm placing my feet. It's amazing how much more quiet you can be in stocking feet over stalking with boots on, or crawling. Yes, I've picked plenty of cactus spines out of my feet as a result, but that's a small price to pay for a successful stalk, IMO.

Approach angle is also critical. Mule deer will almost always bed facing downwind. That way they can see any danger approaching from downwind, and smell anything approaching from upwind. So, if possible, I try to select an approach route that is perpendicular to the wind.

Just a few of my thoughts.


We’ll be backpacking in, looking at a high mountain/treeline type hunt.

I’ve got my pack and boots sorted out, clothing will be next as most of my stuff that I had when I lived in Montana is tattered and not at all waterproof anymore

First of all I am going to assume you are young,,,,, I am in my mid 70s. Got hooked on mule deer hunting with a bow, in the 70's. gear was junk, from what it is today, had really no insight to study up on, but little pressure, and deer not too tough above timberline in some areas, due to the fact, they never saw anyone all year.........

Your from Montana at one time, so you know altitude. I dont care how much in shape you are, if you do not live in that atmosphere, your lungs are going to suck and your going to slow down...... That is what I have found. So make sure you plan on having enough time to hunt, and rest....................................... Started this at 25, and was inspired by Chuck Adams, Larry Jones, and Dwight Schuh. Best book to read but I am old school, is Open Country Mule Deer, by Dwight Schuh.

Being young I was a hard charger, and my job with the Div of Forestry for California was my work out,,,,, Hunted the High Sierras, it was really special back then. Moved on to Nevada, and to Colorado............................ Could have stayed out west, but love the UP........................ At 48 I got altitude sickness, and not for the good. I was lucky to have 2 partners that got me down to 8000 to rest for a long time. After that I went to a doctor, and got medicine for it,,,,, Nothing to fool around with,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,

Best backpacking book, I got to read was Back Country Bowhunting, by Cameron Hanes, wish I had that book when I was young,,,, ha ha...........

Today with Mike Eastman and You Tube, their is so much info its ridiculous. Again its all about oxygen. I remember all the work out guys, that came out in the summer, to fight wildfires, they all looked in great condition, fat wise etc,,,, but they came from the east, and went down like flies in the high country, till they got use to it,,,,,,,

Good luck..... now when I go, its South Dakota, which is easy on me..... If I stayed out west, I would still be at it,,,,, but it is too crowded for my tastes,,,,,,,,,,, stay well

From: Bandicooter
JohnMC Oh, that is funny!!!

I like to stay 35-40 yards out. Get in to tight and bad things happen. Also let them make the mistake. Don’t force it you don’t have to. They will stand and give you a shot.

They find a morning bed but that is only good until 10-11 o’clock and they will adjust most times. Sometime a few feet sometime a different ridge altogether . Good luck . Hunt

Looks like I’m heading to Wyoming solo, buddy had to back out.

From: APauls
I've only hunted them 4 times so can't add much wisdom other than to say enjoy it. Beginning to end they are a super super fun hunt. I have loved every hunt to pieces. Enjoy it man. Doesn't get much better. My last hunt was also solo. Still a blast.

From: DonVathome
My thoughts on dieting is that intermittent fasting is the easiest. It sounded impossible, I work out a lot and eat a lot but found it pretty easy. Biking (real bike) is by far my favorite cardio. I do not even feel like I am working out.

From: wytex
Work on your hips too in the gym. You'll be climbing over deadfall and a stair stepper is not the same. Your abductors and adductors will get a work out , get them ready.

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