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5 Tips For Success In High Country Mule Deer Hunting

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Unread 09-01-2010, 09:28 AM
Junior Member
Join Date: Aug 2010
Posts: 16
Re: 5 Tips For Success In High Country Mule Deer Hunting

Good advice, Jason. The only thing I may add to your excellent article is to take good care of your wheels. Don`t ever be Scotch when buying boots, and never head into the back country without properly breaking in a new pair. I always kept at least one pair of dry, good wicking socks in the daypack. Barking dogs will ruin an otherwise good experience in pursuit of your favorite quarry.

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Unread 03-13-2011, 06:54 PM
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Join Date: Dec 2010
Posts: 79
Re: 5 Tips For Success In High Country Mule Deer Hunting

Being in shape changes the way you hunt and vastly increases success.

The best way I've found to stay in shape for hunting and backpacking is the Forest Service Pack Test. You carry a 45 lb. pack 3 miles in 45 minutes. It is tough enough that some folks have died trying. It isn't something to start if you're not already in fairly good shape. For years I ran 3 miles each morning and rode my bicycle to work (20 mile round trip) and still suffered the first few days of a hunt. My joints started to hurt with the running, so when the Forest Service came out with the pack test, I decided to try it. The first time I tried it without a pack, and I couldn't walk 4 mph. With my short legs I couldn't get a long enough stride. I finally learned to take short steps, very quickly. As I got older (I'm 57) I found my hips didn't like that stride, so I quit racing and just walk with a 45 lb. pack. A comfortable pace for me is about 2.7 mph. Two years ago we hunted Colorado and backpacked in to hunt. We were climbing 2000 feet every day. Carrying a pack is the best practice for climbing when you don't have hills nearby. This year on an early elk hunt two of us knocked two bulls down 3 miles from the truck in 75 degree weather. Boned out, we made it in three trips, and still felt good.

One last trick. Endurox. It is a magic potion that guarantees a 10% increase in endurance. It takes away the muscle pain and helps build new muscle. I take some with me and drink it like Kool Aid at lunch and again at the end of the day. It works!
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Unread 07-20-2012, 12:46 PM
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Join Date: Jul 2012
Posts: 27
Re: 5 Tips For Success In High Country Mule Deer Hunting

Thanks for the great article! All will be put in practice this year.
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Unread 07-20-2012, 03:18 PM
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Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Tri-Cities, WA
Posts: 135
Re: 5 Tips For Success In High Country Mule Deer Hunting

I liked the article. Hunting high country mulies is a passion of mine as well. A few things I have learned...

Buy really good glass, the ability to spot bucks hanging out in the shadows is greatly increased with nice binoculars.

Be patient, spend most of the morning and evening glassing, its boring but pays off. Change vantage points every hour our two, there are lots of draws bucks can use to stay out of sight.

If you can't spot bucks by the late morning try pushing them around by having a buddy hike through their feeding grounds, sometimes you can catch them on their escape routes this way. It seems mulie bucks feel pretty comfortable at about 300 yds and out, I have seen them bedded and stand up after the intruder puts some distance between them.

I find that the best way to get in shape for the high country is to spend July and August scouting and bear hunting, I have not found any exercises that come close enough to mimic the strain of having 60 lbs on my back for 5 miles our coming out with 120 lbs. The first hike of the season is brutal but by the third scouting/hiking trip my muscles fall right in line and I feel like I can go forever.
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