Mule Deer Hunting Brian Strickland 

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I love bowhunting mule deer, but I especially love hunting them during the early season. There’s just something about those fuzzy antlers. Early season hunts often end up being a year-long chess match of sorts: researching and scouting an area before finding, patterning, stalking and ultimately killing the buck you’re after. It’s a long road with bumps, pit stops and challenges. But the reward of finally tagging a buck makes the experience rewarding.

Anyone can get lucky. But when it comes to hunting mule deer, that luck comes after hard work, skill and determination. That’s why there are several factors that contribute to consistent early season success – especially for non-residents who require extra planning.

It all starts with compiling data on a potential hunting spot. Deer population densities. Hunter numbers. Success rates. Type of terrain. State agencies can and will provide this data, and much more. You should also find out where the biggest mule deer are being killed, since that’s generally one indication of properly managed areas. And according to Boone and Crockett’s record-book mule deer entries, the top states are, in descending order, Colorado, Utah, Idaho, Wyoming and Nevada. New Mexico and Arizona fall to No. 6 and 7, respectively. All-time entries rank slightly differently, with Colorado, Idaho, Utah, Wyoming and New Mexico taking the top five spots."

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