DIY mule deer hunt

Discussion in 'Bowhunting Talk' started by lgreenslade3, Jan 14, 2016.

  1. lgreenslade3

    lgreenslade3 Weekend Warrior

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    As you can see, I'm from Iowa. I grew up hunting whitetails and I like to think i've been successful at it. Me and my dad wanted to expand our hunting and try a DIY mule deer hunt next fall or in 2 years. Now, I know it won't be easy and there's a good chance I won't shoot one but you can't if you don't try. I've been reading and we've narrowed it down to either Idaho or South Dakota simply because if I remember reading right, you don't have to draw for a tag there. I would just like to here some suggestions from you guys that have hunting muleys or these places as to what you think I should do and any tips you would have. Thank you
     
  2. MNbernie

    MNbernie Newb

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    I moved to Utah from Minnesota. I figured a deer is a deer... Well what i would like to tell you is take everything you know about whitetail hunting and throw if out the window... There is so much more land to hunt and so much more area that you can't hunt the same. Get a good pair of hiking boots and a good set of optics and a lot more patience ... Because you won't see as many deer ... Extend your effective shooting range out as far as you feel comfortable... I practiced at 80 yards but would never shoot an animal that far. Maybe you get one maybe you don't ... Regardless you will be glad you went on the hunt ... Good luck.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
  3. Invisible man

    Invisible man Weekend Warrior

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    I think you can buy OTC archery only in most Mule deer states.
     
  4. lgreenslade3

    lgreenslade3 Weekend Warrior

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    Thanks for the advice guys. Another thing I've heard when hunting out west is to make sure I'm in shape as well! Luckily being a college football player, I shouldn't have to worry about it much. Hopefully I can get it all planned out, I think it would be awesome regardless of the outcome
     
  5. 130Woodman

    130Woodman Grizzled Veteran

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    You can apply for a tag in Colorado still. I think the deadline is in early April.If that is the route you want to take
     
  6. Sota

    Sota Legendary Woodsman

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    Football will not prepare you for altitude, being in shape helps but it still takes a few days to get used to it.
     
  7. Scott/IL

    Scott/IL Die Hard Bowhunter

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    If I were to do a DIY muley hunt, I would probably chose Colorado.

    Yes, you will have to draw a tag, but many units can be had with no preference points.

    Sent from my LGLS991 using Tapatalk
     
  8. cantexian

    cantexian Grizzled Veteran

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    Take this advice seriously, I am a personal trainer by trade. I work out almost every day. I have hunted in the Rockies several times. I started training for my September elk hunt in January. Nothing prepares the body for mountain hunting other than mountain hunting and hiking. Put on a heavy pack or buy a weight vest and start hitting the biggest hill you can find.

    Thinking that being a college football player will prepare you for altitude will leave you miserable. The mountain will humble you. I learned the hard way on my first mountain hunt and I grew up in the mountains. I don't say this to be a jerk. I say this in hopes that your first experience will be better than mine was.
     
  9. Sota

    Sota Legendary Woodsman

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    Also make sure you are well hydrated and try to stay that way, altitude sickness is no fun.
     
  10. elkguide

    elkguide Grizzled Veteran

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    Any time that I hunt out west, I plan on getting there at least 2 days early just to begin to acclimate to the "low octane" air. I work construction as well as averaging 3500 miles a summer on my bicycle and I still need to get in better shape to hit the Rockies hard.
    Practice shooting at long distances and determine what your limit is. Get and use a good range finder, the distances look different out there. Practice shooting from many different angles, especially set up some steep uphill and steep downhill shots.
     
  11. 130Woodman

    130Woodman Grizzled Veteran

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    I'm not going to argue the point about being in shape but you don't need to make it a second job. Go out a day or two early start hiking at a lower elevation then move at your pace and enjoy it.
     
  12. AntlerAddict

    AntlerAddict BHOD Crew

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    I learned the hard way years back, of not preparing for the mountains. It's not like I was over weight at all, but I definitely wasn't ready for the altitude, and climbing the mountains. Good luck!
     
  13. Freelance Bowhunter

    Freelance Bowhunter Weekend Warrior

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    If you go to South Dakota, you will not be hunting in the mountains. Chances are, you will be hunting lower elevations in Idaho as well, unless you decide on a backcountry hunt.

    Get Mike Eastman's Mule Deer book for a better feel on how most mule deer hunting is done.
     
  14. Jake/PA

    Jake/PA Grizzled Veteran

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    Do it next fall and the fall after that. Don't wait.

    You don't have to make getting in mountain shape a job but don't think you're prepared now. Best way to get in shape is to strap a pack on and find some hills to climb up and down.

    I'd hurry and make a choice on which state then start focusing on spots to go, etc. Always have three back up plans because you never know for sure how good an area will be or how much hunting pressure it gets.

    Gear can get expensive if you don't have it already. But I'm a firm believer in "buy once, cry once" if you can. Then you'll have quality gear for years to come.
     
  15. lgreenslade3

    lgreenslade3 Weekend Warrior

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    Thanks for the advice, our program has those high altitude mask, would that help me out?
     
  16. lgreenslade3

    lgreenslade3 Weekend Warrior

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    Yes that's what I was thinking as well. I will make sure to check that book out, thanks for the advice
     
  17. bigfootcali

    bigfootcali Weekend Warrior

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    I would say the mask wouldn't help but it doesn't compare to hiking higher elevations with a pack over different types of terrain, different types of vegetation, rocks etc.
     
  18. Bryan Jeffrey

    Bryan Jeffrey Weekend Warrior

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    Be sure your in damn good shape. mule deer love steep terrain. if your hunting high on a mountain, that goes double. Also, you should spot and stalk to get the full mule deer hunting experience.
     
  19. lgreenslade3

    lgreenslade3 Weekend Warrior

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    Thanks for the advice guys, I've always wanted to hunt muleys
     
  20. SuperKirby

    SuperKirby Weekend Warrior

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    You mentioned playing college football, ever played in Wyoming? In all their visitor locker rooms for about all sports they have signs welcoming teams to 7200 feet. They mention it (or used to, been a few years since I made it to a game) during pregame warm ups. The reason is it messes with people. You have teams from or near sea level that come in and run hard the first half. By the second half they're gassed. Elevation is no joke. Being in shape is one thing, but aerobic type work outs are going to be huge for you. Focus on work outs that are going to really stretch your lungs and get you sucking wind.
    Of course all of this is moot if you're going to hunt somewhere lower elevation.
     

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