Spot And Stalk Mule Deer Hunting

Discussion in 'Bowhunting' started by Len Backus, May 7, 2010.

  1. Len Backus

    Len Backus Administrator Staff Member

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    I have a PSE Tac 15i crossbow coming soon. It slings an arrow at 402 fps with incredible accuracy. I am thinking of this as an ideal western state mule deer hunting tool. Especially for Spot and Stalk.

    Tac 15 video It takes a while for the video to load.

    PSE Tac 15 Spec Sheet

    But I have zero experience in mule deer with archery equipment.

    So tell me how to Spot & Stalk mule deer. I'll be hunting up on the top of the Big Horns in NW Wyoming this fall. 8,000 feet or so of elevation.
     
    Last edited: May 7, 2010
  2. zuba

    zuba Well-Known Member

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    After shooting that at the deer & turkey show with you I decided I needed a faster bow. I'm now shooting @ 334 fps! I am hoping to get a chance at bowhunting mule deer next year, didn't put in for a tag this year... So I'm going to have to watch this thread and try to remember!
     

  3. WildcatB

    WildcatB Well-Known Member

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    1. Walk in the dark and get high on a ridge.
    2. Glass basin’s and ridges below.
    3. Find your buck feeding. Watch him until he beds down. Mark where he is in reference to something close to him – bush, tree, rock, drainage….keep referencing this point as you sneek because things will look different when you get closer to him
    4. Plan your stock.
    a. Get the wind in your favor
    i. Afternoons the wind is usually going up hill
    b. It’s usually best to come in from above them because they often bed looking down hill
    c. Start your sneek – like Elmer Fudd – be vewy vewy quiet.
    d. Use any cover you can and never move when the deer is looking your direction.
    e. Drop your pack and take your shoes off when you get to about 150 yrds. This will force you to slow down and make you a lot quieter.
    f. If your lucky enough to not have the wind swirl on you or have other deer bust you, when you get to a comfortable shooting distance wait until the deer stands up (or shoot him bedded if he’s positioned so you can hit both lungs.) then let it fly.
    5. Patience is a virtue. Stocks can take several hours.
    6. Plan on lots of stocks before getting a good shot. Don’t get discouraged.
    8. If you do make a good hit, give the animal lots of time to die before trying to recover it.

    There are some good videos on eastmans.com that show how it's done:
    Full Episodes | Eastmans' Hunting Journals | The Magazines for Western Big Game Trophy Hunters

    look at:

    2009 Eastmans' Hunting TV Episode 4Bow Hunt with David Long

    and

    Nevada Mule Deer Bow HuntBow Hunt with Cameron Hanes
     
  4. Chas1

    Chas1 Well-Known Member

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    Pretty cool, shoot us some pics once you get it. Enjoy.
     
  5. bigngreen

    bigngreen Well-Known Member

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    Mule deer will pick you out a mile away if you sky line, more than other deer or elk but if you don't do that they aren't that hard to stalk. Muley's are super curious so just when they are gone they do something stupid.
     
  6. Len Backus

    Len Backus Administrator Staff Member

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    Thanks, guys.

    Paul, there seems to be the foundation of a really good feature article from you in that list of "How To's". gun)

    The videos are really helpful, too.
     
  7. tlshootst

    tlshootst Active Member

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    Hunting Open Country Mule Deer by Dwight Schuh is an exellent book. I have read that book many times over.
     
  8. Len Backus

    Len Backus Administrator Staff Member

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    Yes, I just got my copy and I am half way through it. Very good.
     
  9. 188MULE

    188MULE Well-Known Member

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    One thing I've learned in a big way bow hunting mule deer is to never over look the evening hunt. Here in central ND things may be different than high country mule hunting. Around here It seems that even in the early season bucks and does hang together, not always tight together but in and around the same areas. This usually ends up screwing any possible chance of a stalk because of wind, eyes and ears. I like to make hay when I can so if I have the buck I want located I'll wait until he starts making his move in the evening. Once he seems to have committed to a draw or creek I'll grab my bow and haul ass to get out in front of him. Its worked for me just as well as stalking and is as exciting. When I finally get a good mule in the spotter I am going to make every effort I can that day because to many times I've put them to bed thinking I'll be here tomorrow and watch him bed, hopefully he will be stalkable. The next day he's in a bad spot, winds bad, to many eyes,he's gone, or someone else screws things up. Like I said make hay when you can.

    Good luck

    Joe Vogle
     
  10. winmag

    winmag Well-Known Member

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    +1 with what he said. Id also add to try to come in quartering from behind and above if wind and terrain permit. In certain senarios this may alow you to view the deer (from cover if possible) as you close the distance. When the tail twitches the head will move within seconds. Stop and be patient.
    If the deer stands, but doesnt blow, DO NOT make direct eye contact. watch him out of the corner of your eye, squinted if possible.
    You know that feeling you get when someone is eyeballing you? you can feel it, even if you cant see it. When you turn to look and theres some googley eyed gomer lookin at you you split or chalange. (fight or flight response). On the other hand, if you turn and cant tell who's lookin at you, sometimes you go back to doing what you were doing before, while still keeping an eye over your shoulder.
    Muleys, like all wild critters, make a livin out of staying alert/alive. Dont get discouraged if your first few stalks get blown. They are good at thier job:D.
    Good Luck, Len.
     
  11. Ol'Gator

    Ol'Gator Well-Known Member

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    Spot 'n stalk mulies with a bow is very doable and loads of fun. A lot of good advise here so will only add some western states do not allow crossbows as a normally accepted weapon. I believe some states will issue a special permit because of a medical reason or above a particular age.

    You're probably way ahead of me on this but thought I'd mention it.

    Good luck,

    Bob

    Okay, just looked up the regs for Wyoming...........looking forward to the pictures of that monster mulie.
     
    Last edited: May 25, 2010
  12. Len Backus

    Len Backus Administrator Staff Member

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    I appreciate all the help! I have read both these books and they are great.

    Hunting Open Country Mule Deer by Dwight Schuh

    Public Land Mulies by David W. Long
     
  13. Buffalobob

    Buffalobob Writers Guild

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    I was out today shooting to test stabilizers and shooting off of a shooting stick. Interestingly enough using a shooting stick with a bow is very similar to using it with a rifle.

    Shot a test group unsupported at 60 yards for reference then shot a group with the very end of the stabilizer resting on the shooting stick cradle and then shot another group with the shooting stick supporting the stabilizer at its junction with the riser.

    Group sized actually doubled over freehand when the end of the stabilizer was resting on the shooting stick and was half of freehand when the stick was next to the riser.

    So if you are going to take long shots and need to support the bow, it is advisable to test out your method before hand.
     
  14. winmag

    winmag Well-Known Member

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    I naver wouldve thought of that BB. I always had my bow tip forward a bit after the shot. Thats a pretty neat idea for long pokes (with the right pre-hunt testing as you mentioned).