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Hunting Mule Deer


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#1 Spirithawk

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Posted 19 March 2010 - 07:41 PM

Jason and I will be going to Arizona to hunt Mule Deer with RL later this year. Jason will be using his Oprima Elite Compact in .50 cal and I'll be using my Optima Pro also in .50 cal. Soooo, any tips from you exsperienced Mule Deer hunters would sure be much apreciated.Posted Image

#2 REDGREEN

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Posted 19 March 2010 - 08:44 PM

Find what you like, and hope that the antique deer getter goes off, Norm. They "usually" stop and have a look over their shoulder, so you will have time to put your cheaters on and draw a bead, and pray that there is smoke after you drop the hammer. Posted Image

#3 Spirithawk

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Posted 19 March 2010 - 08:52 PM

Find what you like, and hope that the antique deer getter goes off, Norm. They "usually" stop and have a look over their shoulder, so you will have time to put your cheaters on and draw a bead, and pray that there is smoke after you drop the hammer. Posted Image



Well bud, I keep my rifles spotlessly clean and am very meticulous when I load them. That, and with the 209 primer, I am not too worried about it going boom. Posted Image

#4 Phil

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Posted 20 March 2010 - 06:00 AM

I put in for a Mule Deer Tag in CO....so if the draw is good too me then there'll be another rookie chasing the "hopping deer" this fall!Posted Image
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#5 PA RIDGE RUNNER

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Posted 20 March 2010 - 07:13 AM

I hunted them in New Mexico a few years back. In their natural habitat they are pretty hard to see. They hang around the canyons and are usually fairly active at dawn and dusk. I hunted them for nearly 4 years till I was successful. On our first hunt I was using a flintlock and had 6 huge bucks at about 400 yds doing a stare down with me. The terrain we hunted was high desert and not much cover to do a stalk. If Arizona is like New Mexico watch where you walk everything will either stick you prick you or bite you. Take a good pair or tweezers with you. Take the best pair of binos also as you will hunt with your eyes more that your feet. Do a little shooting practice at 100 yds or more. After the shot yess for Jason as mule deer are routinely larger than a whitetail.
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#6 Spirithawk

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Posted 20 March 2010 - 09:29 AM

Thanks Paul. I saw lots of Mule Deer in Wyoming when hunting Pronghorn and fell in love. Been wanting to hunt them ever since. I learned the hard way about cactus too!Posted Image We'll be with RL so will be in good hands.Posted Image

#7 silvertip-co

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Posted 21 April 2010 - 06:23 AM

Cool beans. Good luck on that, RL is a great guy.
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#8 bonecollector34

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Posted 21 April 2010 - 11:31 AM

I have a bunch of nice ones but my best advise is listen to RL and do exactly what he tells you to do and your be fine

BC


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#9 Spirithawk

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Posted 21 April 2010 - 04:45 PM

Thanks guys. Posted Image

#10 Leo

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Posted 21 April 2010 - 05:10 PM

I hunted them in New Mexico a few years back. In their natural habitat they are pretty hard to see. They hang around the canyons and are usually fairly active at dawn and dusk. I hunted them for nearly 4 years till I was successful. On our first hunt I was using a flintlock and had 6 huge bucks at about 400 yds doing a stare down with me. The terrain we hunted was high desert and not much cover to do a stalk. If Arizona is like New Mexico watch where you walk everything will either stick you prick you or bite you. Take a good pair or tweezers with you. Take the best pair of binos also as you will hunt with your eyes more that your feet. Do a little shooting practice at 100 yds or more. After the shot yess for Jason as mule deer are routinely larger than a whitetail.


I've only hunted them once. Saw deer but didn't get one.

Good point about getting stuck and bit. Bring some Hemostats (the clamping type doctors forceps). They'll work better pulling out the more stubborn cactus spines. Cholla spines are particularly stubborn. They keep digging in even after they are loose from the cactus. They are barbed and hurt just as bad pulling them out.

Bring the best binoculars you can. They will stay pretty much glued to your eyes. Cheap binos will give you a pretty serious headache.
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#11 Spirithawk

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Posted 22 April 2010 - 08:02 AM

Thanks Leo, I've got a pair of Bushnell Legend 3 x 9 x 40 that I'm taking. Also, I learned about those cactus needles on my hunt in Wyoming. I was making my stalk on the Pronghorn I shot and got me a knee full of needles. Posted Image

#12 Leo

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Posted 22 April 2010 - 11:10 AM

Thanks Leo, I've got a pair of Bushnell Legend 3 x 9 x 40 that I'm taking. Also, I learned about those cactus needles on my hunt in Wyoming. I was making my stalk on the Pronghorn I shot and got me a knee full of needles. Posted Image


Trust me, those Wyoming cactus are kinder and gentler than Cholla. They still hurt though.
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#13 PA RIDGE RUNNER

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Posted 02 May 2010 - 05:25 PM

Leo is right those Cholla are downright nasty. Got stuck with both those and prickly pear. The cholla when dead does make a decent firewood though. I began calling dead Cholla Popewood as it is very holy. I also liked the smell of the Juniper when you broke it.
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#14 Whip

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Posted 03 May 2010 - 01:09 AM

I've hunted with R.L. and he is a great guide, you will have an awesome time. One thing to remember is that hunting mulies in AZ is a bit different than it is here in the plains of NE and WY and the mountains in CO, ID, and MT. They are a lot tougher to spot against the desert landscape. Take a good pair of binos and be prepared to spend a lot of time glassing. If you have a spotting scope, take it with you. R.L. can spot those things a mile off and will be invaluable. Distance can be deceiving in that kind of country as well. A mistake that is often made by hunters who come hunt mulies in the plains and open areas of NE is thinking an animal is closer/farther than it really is. The rocky hills and mountains in AZ will play tricks on your eyes, so a rangefinder is very handy.

Speaking of rocky terrain, your boots need to be well worn in and have good tread. Huck and I went on a death march one day and I'm not sure if my feet have ever recovered...haha. If i were to do it again (which I will at some point), I would wear ankle braces for the country R.L. hunts in....loose footing in quite a few areas and my bad ankles wanted to roll often.

As Leo said, seriously take some tweezers and have R.L. show you right when you get there what a cholla is...then steer clear of them...lol I took a cholla needle clear through my thumb....literally in one side and out the other. I had to use my caliper archery release to pull it through.

Have fun and hunt safe....take pictures, beautiful country in his neck of the woods!
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#15 mzlloader

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Posted 07 May 2010 - 08:34 AM

Norm

I am looking foward to having you and jason out here, its gonna be fun, and with all the rain we had over the winter and spring so far the critters are looking good, should be a great year for horn growth. as I get scouting pics I will post them up for all to see,

R L
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