muley rut

Discussion in 'Long Range Hunting & Shooting' started by grit, Oct 30, 2007.

  1. grit

    grit Well-Known Member

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    A friend and I have tags for Colorado (near Steamboat) November 3-9th. I was wondering what to expect as far as rut behaviour. I've been told this time should be "pre-rut". I also have a Utah (near Salt Lake) archery tag, which has several "extended" areas. Meaning the seasons run through November, into mid December. When should I expect the rut to take place?

    I find myself surprised I don't really know what to expect from the muley rut. While I usually hunt elk while they rut, I've always hunted muleys during the archery (summer) and general (october) seasons.

    I'd greatly appreciate any advice on what to expect regarding behavior and timing of the rut.
     
  2. Len Backus

    Len Backus Administrator Staff Member

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    Me, too!

    I am heading to NE Montana late next week (November 8). That will be my latest mule deer hunt...except for the one several years ago on December 1. But that one, during the rut, only lasted 3 hours before I had shot my rutting buck and I didn't have time to learn all that much. :)

    So tell us both what's it like to hunt during the mule deer rut and is there any buck-seeking-doe activity going on yet?
     

  3. AJ Peacock

    AJ Peacock Well-Known Member

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    I grew up in western Colorado and we always went up and watched the bucks chase the does during our Christmas vacations. According to biologists, its the amount of light in the day that gets the rut going, but I've seen it start a little earlier when it was an early winter.

    I doubt the actual rut started early, but the weather would force the bucks and does together (I don't know if the does went into estrus early, but the bigger bucks started hanging with the does once the snow started piling up).

    Even before the rut starts, there will be bucks with the does, but in my experience these are the 2-3 year olds that aren't "really bucks yet", the largest bucks don't start chasing does until hunting season is over and the mountain is theirs again. Although there are some small trophy hunts with just a few hunters, the last big season usually ends around mid-November.

    Just my personal experience for what its worth. The largest Muley I've shot, was mid-November (last day of the last season) and he was alone in a drainage with no other deer. I'm sure he was just shy and the hunting pressure had him completely isolated from the does and smaller bucks. If I hadn't harvested him, I'm sure that by early December, he would have been in the thick of things, passing on his genes. BTW: he was just a little over 34" outside spread.

    AJ
     
  4. magicofmt

    magicofmt Well-Known Member

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    Len, exactly where will you be? We'll be in NE MT too, 8-11th. I was up there last weekend by Saco and saw some nice 150-160 bucks and one 200 + on private land. Rut hasn't started yet, bucks were still running together
     
  5. Len Backus

    Len Backus Administrator Staff Member

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    We'll be around Sidney from the 9th. Good luck!
     
  6. grit

    grit Well-Known Member

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    I believe my Utah archery ends the 15th of December. Should this give me a couple good weeks of rut?
     
    Last edited: Oct 31, 2007
  7. devildoc

    devildoc Well-Known Member

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    Muley's are funky characters, the first thing you have to realize is that a plains muley is a completely different animal than a mountain muley. A mountain muley ruts later, feeds different, drinks different does just about everything different than his brothers on the plains. But one thing they all do is run uphill when they want to get out of dodge. You ought to see some good movement from the deer that time of year, but if you want to put some backstraps on the ground, get high up, first thing. You'll see more deer, and if they get spooked and are in your area code, they'll be likely to be running toward you.
     
  8. grit

    grit Well-Known Member

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    found this: "The breeding season for most Rocky Mountain mule deer begins in late October with fawning occurring as early as late May and peaking in June. Mule deer does have a gestation period of about 210 days. Arguably, the timing of mule deer reproduction evolved to maximize both doe and fawn survival.

    Does who are bred in late October would fawn when spring weather and forage conditions were optimal. Forage plants at this time would be at their maximum protein content and digestibility. The availability of high protein forage would allow the doe to meet the energy demands of lactation. Until fawns are weaned, does will have little opportunity to build the energy reserves needed for the following rut and winter.

    Fawns also require high protein diets to achieve maximize growth. Thus, the earlier a fawn is born and begins nursing, the more likely it is going to be able to take advantage of the high protein content available in spring forages. Fawns that receive adequate nutrition during juvenile growth periods are more likely to put on the body mass needed to survive winter. "
     
  9. grit

    grit Well-Known Member

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    I purchased a report on the breeding cycle of mule deer including Utah and Colorado. The summary stated,"These methods revealed a breeding season starting the last few days of October, rising to a peak during the period November 20 to December 2, and declining gradually until the latter part of January."

    My hunting partner killed a 32" 180ish brute with swollen neck about October 20 last season in the same area. I was at his house tonight looking at Google earth, planning our hunt. That big old buck on the wall sure fired my imagination!

    Good luck guys!! Hope to have some pics soon!
     
  10. gamedog

    gamedog Well-Known Member

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    Any photos of that hog?:eek:
     
  11. AJ Peacock

    AJ Peacock Well-Known Member

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  12. gamedog

    gamedog Well-Known Member

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    Thanks. Great stories and very nice bucks:D
     
  13. TMR

    TMR Well-Known Member

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    I am at my house near the Little Belts this week....the bucks are just starting to rut. Their necks are swelling and they are beginning to chase does. But we also had snow on Friday and Saturday of last week. That may have kicked them off a little.
     
  14. grit

    grit Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for the info TMR!