Archery Mule deer hunting


Which week is the best to hunt?
Either week is great, August 25 to 30 or Aug 31 to Sept 6. It doesn't matter too much. We usually have lots of good deer spotted and plenty of places to hunt.
How do you hunt the deer? Do you have good bowhunting guides?
Yes we have good bowhunting guides who use a variety of tactics on the mule deer. Most years we do a lot of spot and stalk hunting out in the crop fields but the height of the crop can make a huge difference on the ability to do that, too short and they don't bed in it, too tall and you can't shoot them even when they stand up. You do need to be flexible on how you are willing to hunt them. We use a variety of tactics, tree stands, ground blinds, pushes, still hunting and spot and stalk.
What is typical shot distance?
You need to be a good shot out to 40 or even 50 yards. Usually it is a range found distance and mule deer are mellow in nature enough to allow you to take your time. The further you can shoot the better though.
What size of deer can I expect to get shots at?
If you want to go home with a deer we recommend that you try to kill every 160 plus gross score deer you find, maybe even 150+. We can almost always get multiple chances at that size of deer and sometimes with bowhunting you need multiple opportunities to be successful. If you are ok with taking a chance on not getting a deer then we are still comfortable with someone who only wants a 170 plus score deer, we can usually get a shot or two at that calibre of deer or bigger. If only a 180+ deer will make you happy then we can't say that you will even get a chance at a deer that big, in a poor year they are very hard to find. In any year though we always go after the biggest ones we can find, sometimes that means a 190+ buck, maybe even a 200 incher, we just don't want anyone coming with an expectation for a chance at a deer anywhere near that big!
How many shot opportunities can I expect?
It can vary greatly; occasionally we get hunters who don't even get one good shot opportunity at a big buck. That is usually due to sloppy spot and stalking and not paying attention to details but it does happen sometimes. Other times we have had hunters who have had more than 10 good opportunities. It depends so much on hunter and guide skill level, luck and how big a deer you are holding out for.
What's the country/terrain like? Do I need to be in good shape?
The terrain is unlike most mule deer areas. It is mostly flat farm fields surrounded by heavy woods, more like whitetail country than mule deer. You don't need to be in great shape to have a good chance for success but it does help to have the fitness to try all sorts of tactics, it just gives that extra 10% edge in killing a big deer. The spot and stalk hunting especially if you do a fair amount of crawling around can be somewhat physically tough.
Do you hunt public or private land? How much land do you have to hunt? Is there much hunting pressure?
We hunt a mix of private and public land but we don't have exclusive permission on any of the private land and most of the public land has very few hunters. We hunt hundreds of thousands of acres and there is virtually no hunting pressure on any of it during the bow season.
Do you guys do much scouting or patterning of the deer before the hunt?
Yes usually several weeks of intensive scouting and the mule deer bowhunters are the first ones to benefit from it all. We pursue the biggest bucks we have seen in summer scouting. We can pattern where the deer are hanging out, whether they are bedding in the fields or going back to the trees and have a great bowhunting strategy worked out before you even arrive for your hunt.
How do you handle 2 hunters with one guide?
With all the hunting tactics we use it really isn't a problem. One hunter can be doing a stalk while the other is on the escape route or even sitting another field trying to ambush a deer. As soon as we kill one deer then it quickly becomes 1 on 1 guided and then the other hunter can also help doing pushes, blocking one spot, glassing etc. Great bowhunting guides are not easy to find and I would rather be on a 2 on 1 guided hunt with a good guide than one with a non bowhunting guide.
Do you have a wound policy?
Yes we do. You are allowed a maximum of 2 wounds per species. That means that if you draw blood on 2 animals and we can't find either one of them then your hunt for that species is over. Of course we always make every effort to recover any wounded animals and we don't encourage unethical shots.
What temperatures and weather can I expect? What clothes are best? Gear list?
The normal temperature for the August 25th to September 6th mule deer bowhunt is highs of 70 to 80 F and lows of 40 to 50 F. It can be hot and dry or cool and rainy. Be prepared for both. Any bow, arrow and broadhead set up are fine as long as you practice lots with it before the hunt. The biggest problem we see with bowhunters is not long range accuracy at targets. It is more a matter of having FUMBLE PROOF equipment that doesn't screw you up while you are in an adrenaline fueled panic to get an arrow on and get a shot. Changing equipment just before the hunt and not practicing enough with it in a variety of hunting type situations is the biggest problem.

Gear, clothing list:
  • Quiet rain gear, pants and jacket with a hood
  • Leather, waterproof, ankle high boots, Under Armour Speed Freak Hunting Boots are best but not for wide feet.
  • Light gloves, Under Armour Cold Gear Liner Gloves are best
  • Extra sweaters, long underwear
  • Binoculars, range finder, no spotting scope needed.
  • Bow and at least a dozen arrows.
  • Camo. face mask, Cabelas Leafy Versa mask is best, practice with it on
  • Dayback