As many of you know (particularly if you follow our social media channels) hunting season started in Utah last month and is just beginning here in Idaho. We lucked out and got a coveted Muley tag for Utah, and even though we’ve been out a few times we have yet to find The One. We had the pleasure of sitting down and chatting with some other hunters and after hearing some hilarious hunting stories, we mentioned our continued search for our Muley. The guys and gals then started mentioning all kinds of awesome tips and tricks to help us locate our quarry and we got to thinking that we had to share some of these with you guys! So, here are some of our favorite tips we’ve gotten from other hunters, hunting blogs, and magazines; as well as some of our own awesome know-how. Enjoy!
1. Scope Out Your Animals!
Mule deer tend to live in more broken terrain, but they do often visit the same spots to drink, eat, and bed down. If you get a high position first off (prior to dawn), you can use your spotting scope and binoculars to glass the surrounding area. Finding the Mule deer when they are up and moving makes the actual hunt later that day more likely to be a success. However, make sure to blend in to your surroundings; a silhouette is a dead giveaway to these guys!
2. Look for the Magpies!
One tip we got, that while it seems odd is entirely accurate, is to look for groups of Magpies. Magpies love to hang out near, and on, Mule Deer in order to make a quick snack of any insects or lice on their coats. So if you keep your eyes peeled for any Magpies making frequent trips from the bushes down towards the ground, more often than not you’ll see them making a pit stop on a nice Mule Deer.
3. Think Stealth!
Thanks to the large size and shape of the Muley’s ears, they have very sensitive and acute hearing, so you’ll want to take extra care to keep quiet. Take an extra minute or two to scan for any errant branches, twigs, or brush that might cause unnecessary noise and make sure to step gently so you remain as quiet as possible. You’ll also want to leave any windbreakers or other noisy clothing that tends to rustle at home; otherwise they might cost you’re your prize. They’re hearing is so acute, that depending on how cool it is outside, you may even consider stalking them in socks, crawling, or creeping up on them on your belly to get into range for your shot.
4. Make Sure You Are Well Equipped.
Hunting Muleys is definitely physically taxing; you can track these guys for miles before you find The One. Mule deer are by nature travelers and can cover several miles of terrain each day between their preferred feeding spots and the area they like to bed down in. Since these guys also tend to prefer more uneven terrain, plan for a harder hike over several miles each day. This is where those Getting into Hunting Shape tips we put up come in handy. Last, but certainly not least, this is the perfect type of hunt to use your Pro-tracker system! Our system will help guarantee that once you’ve found The One that you don’t lose your prize due to uneven terrain. You can still track using the traditional methods, but you’ll be able to rest easy knowing that if the trail runs cold, our Pro-Tracker tracking and recovery system will be there to keep your trail hot!
5. Don’t Always Think High!
Many hunters like to aim for the higher country, expecting the bucks to seek shelter to avoid the mad rush of the opening of the season and all of the noise that entails, but that is not always the case! More often than not, you can find tons of beautiful bucks that opted for smaller brush coverage (like sage) in the lower areas or basins. Depending on where the majority of hunters seem to be heading, we would recommend heading the opposite direction. Not only will it be quieter with fewer hunters out and about, but you’ll have a great chance of spotting that Muley…just remember to keep your eyes peeled!
So, those are some of the great tips we’ve both used and been told about. So, what other tips and tricks do you guys have?