High desert mule deer help

Salmonhead

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Joined
Mar 6, 2021
Messages
44
Location
Michigan
Hunt starts October 5th and runs through November 5th. I have to hunt the front side. I drew a moose tag in Maine and will be there the end of the month and should do some work between hunts. I should have up to about 7 days to hunt, plus 2 days to scout. Weather reports have been showing 80 to 85 daytime and about 40 nighttime at the nearest town. The next couple days might be 10 less but by the time I get there back to the same.
 

Recon$$

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Joined
May 24, 2011
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564
Location
NEW MEXICO
For what it's worth here was my experience last year. If its anything like NM, you are not close to the rut. I found a spot hunting sheep and practiced shots on multiple monsters I ran across at the very beginning of last year "the rut". I thought I had found a honey hole.

Your thinking is correct. I glassed every morning from a high point the first 3 days and saw nothing but does. There was one water source I was aware of and they hit it in the middle of night, not even close to sunrise sunset. I could see it from camp. I found the bucks almost did not move at all except for a few 1 year Olds. I worked the drainages hard after the first 3 days and managed to sneak up on one big boy who had eyes in the back of his head... did everything but pull the trigger before he figured it out. The second opportunity on the last day we did long methodical drives where one guy posted and one guy crept through the drainages. We both missed a very very nice deer on the run. I'll admit he was dead but my safety was on...and the second shot in the drainage (So the first shot that went boom...) was rushed. I would work big intersections within the drainage section and glass long hours in them. It's a tough hunt because they don't move. My weather was 85-20, winds 0-60 mph. I got beat up, but learned alot.
 
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Salmonhead

Active Member
Joined
Mar 6, 2021
Messages
44
Location
Michigan
Thank you all for the advice. I will read through it several more times and make some notes on others experiences. I sure hope to post up some pics in a week or so.
 

nicholasjohn

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Feb 12, 2019
Messages
851
Location
Vancouver, WA
Glass from a tripod that can sit with you or standing. You can't "freehand" the binos to really look in bedding cover etc.

I'll second that - it's a lot less tiring than holding the glasses in your hands. This type of hunting is an endurance contest, both mentally & physically. Packing enough water is a big consideration.
 

sp6x6

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Joined
Dec 8, 2009
Messages
4,376
Location
NW MT
The mule deer here rut mid Nov,before the whitetail rut.Interesting its later there,course we get 10 feet of snow in places i hunt
 

R2rr

Active Member
Joined
Feb 13, 2018
Messages
26
Hunted Nevada 6 times since the '80's. In my experience: you will find deer at all elevations, including in the desert sage flats. Most will be in the mountain ranges, and the buck ratio in the first week of October will be highest at the highest altitude. I mean high. Even with no visible cover up there. Usually no does at all way up top. Rut is still weeks away, once witnessed rut instantly start in second week of second (late) season with sudden snowy very cold front.
One thing is certain. These are what we call 'vampire deer'. They are out in the morning before light, then when the sun hits them, they will lay down in the closest shade. Even in 5' tall sage, where you think nothing's there. So glass, glass, glass. Put them to bed and then make a plan.
Good luck. We'll be out there, too, this year!
 

orifdoc

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Joined
Aug 2, 2020
Messages
107
Location
Idaho
As dry as it is out here this year, everything will depend on water. The big bucks will be up for 30-45 minutes after sunrise and a few minutes before sunset. It’s too early for them to be paying attention to the does. Those peak times represent 80-90% of your opportunities. Find them, watch them bed, and figure out how to get to them. I’m sure you know they have horrible eyesight but pick up movement very easily, even at hundreds of yards. Watch the wind and make a quiet stalk, in moccasins or stocking feet if necessary.

If you get that moose done, try to come back. It’s a whole different ballgame in November and your odds of a nice buck go way up.
 

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