But, if care is used, the game will stick to this cover or briefly take to the outside to permit the drivers to pass before returning. Noté /5. Girl Hunter: Revolutionizing the Way We Eat, One Hunt at a Time. Mule deer herds, during the rut, exhibit behavior more commonly associated with elk. The other is that mule deer run substantially larger than Northeastern whitetailed deer. The white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus), also known as the whitetail or Virginia deer, is a medium-sized deer native to North America, Central America, Ecuador, and South America as far south as Peru and Bolivia. plan, it was recognized by the Mule Deer Working Group (2007) that the “Success and implementation of these plans will depend upon our ability to identify limiting factors to mule deer populations and their habitats”. As with the whitetail, the biggest mule deer bucks are the canniest. Instinct teaches it that it will be pursued at whatever speed its adversary can move. When I shot him that frigid morning—it was so cold and windy my camera froze and I didn’t get a single picture—I found that two of the three small cheaters he had been carrying earlier in the week had been broken off while sparring. Looking at the bluest sky, I forget all my stresses. When deer hunting in the high mesa country, prior to the game’s being pushed down by snow, driving is much more practical than in the open prairies and canyon country. The Mule Deer are noted for their particular, high-bounce trot. Each survey consisted of 3 parallel, 400-m transects, 1 along the forest edge, 1 about 50 m into open shrubland, and 1 about … When she takes off, he follows right on her heels, slamming the ground with his front legs and bellowing with every jump. This is reason enough to delay looking for a deer which has been hit. Careful driving in such cover can produce good shooting. Not everyone is a crack shot like you (hah!). All animals have limited intelligence when compared with human understanding. Another surprise awaiting the uninitiated who comes from the East is the difficulty in judging distance. But opting out of some of these cookies may have an effect on your browsing experience. Out of these cookies, the cookies that are categorized as necessary are stored on your browser as they are essential for the working of basic functionalities of the website. Mule deer are variably gregarious, showing a great frequency of solitary individuals (up to 64%) and small groups (60.8% to 78% of groups with ≤5 deer) [28, 29]. TIHE DESERT MULE DEER THOMAS E. KUCERA ABSTRACT.-Desert mule deer (Odocoileus hemionus crooki) were observed in Big Bend National Park, Texas, during rut to determine their breeding system and to de-scribe and quantify social behavior. The smaller bucks often circle the herd, just like young satellite elk bulls will, waiting for their chance to sneak in and satisfy their breeding urges. But it has been hunted with the bow for countless thousands of years. If the movement is somewhat indiscriminate and deer tend to fan out over a wide area in their movements. The does, badgered by every testosterone-overloaded juvenile buck in the region, often stay close to the dominant buck and seek his protection from unwanted advances. We are forced to admit to the limitations in intelligence possessed by dumb animals. So when you’re working with a new hunter, don’t forget to talk about all that other stuff: share photos, tell stories, talk strategy and tactics, describe the terrain and scenery. The deer were gregarious throughout the study; group sizes ranged from one to 24, with a mean of 5.2. Likely I’m likely to bookmark your blog post . Suggested Citation: Mule Deer Working Group. Consequently, pushing a wounded animal to the limit of its endurance can make a lot of trouble for the hunter even if he is successful in finding a deer. They are also usually bachelored up with other bucks of the same age structure. Do you support these goals? This seemed to be favoured by the antlered deer. The does, badgered by every testosterone-overloaded juvenile buck in the region, often stay close to the dominant buck and seek his protection from unwanted advances. If a probable movement of alarmed deer is known, excellent stands can be established for those on the waiting end of the drive. Mule deer may not have the keen sense of smell of their white-tailed cousins, but if they smell you, they’ll depart the country in a hurry. I kept a safe distance, being fall (It's still the rutt, right? And, it is certainly true that many deer are moved out by drivers without their knowledge. Bob Robb is one of the most well-respected voices in outdoor media, with more than 40 years of columns and essays in print recounting his exploits in the field. Especially, in mule deer country and to make plans accordingly. As it was, I took my largest California buck in over 20 years of annually hunting them. On the first day, my friend Jim Matthews and I spotted a herd of deer high on the mountain in which there were a pair of good bucks. It is mandatory to procure user consent prior to running these cookies on your website. Nonetheless, defensive behavior may incur considerable energetic expense, risk, and loss of time from other activities (Smith 1987). https://www.fs.fed.us/database/feis/animals/mammal/odhe/all.html To get in the game you have to study each state’s hunting regulations and hedge your bets on drawing a tag. In the first, known as the familiar “low-stretch” approach, the buck approaches the female from behind in a low-stretched posture, licking his nose and uttering soft calls not unlike a fawn distress call. Despite the larger areas to cover, the terrain is frequently such that deer can be funnelled through the more obvious spots such as heads of canyons and necks of timber created by open areas of stone or sand. When they quit breeding—they often quit cold-turkey in one day—they become isolated, looking for thick bedding cover in which they can try and recuperate enough strength to survive the winter. If the deer is big and you have the permission to use the rifle, then 308 can be a great choice. Group size and distribution of mule deer vary seasonally and with habitat conditions [29, 31]. After a couple hundred yards, this chase usually ends with the buck resuming the low-stretch position and the female usually urinating. Mule Deer Behavior/Reproduction. Personal experience has quashed for me two common fallacies common to eastern hunters. If you were a wolf, or a bear, or a cougar, deer would know what move to make after you made your move. Not on your life. By clicking "Accept" or using our website, you consent to the use of cookies unless you have disabled them. Also. Bucks form groups of unrelated members. I recall one particularly discouraging week in which my oldest son built a blind of sage after observing the usual pattern of numerous mule deer movements through a shallow basin leading into a large canyon. I saw some gorgeous bucks that I trailed for a while as I took photographs. In such areas, having someone along with knowledge of the terrain and deer habits is essential for any consistent success. Filed Under: Hunting Tagged With: Mule Deer. Required fields are marked *. Sweat glands and panting … Naturally, smaller bucks crisscrossing the range looking for does may come upon the pair, in which case they try and split them up so that they can do some breeding, too. Best 40 Liter Backpack for Overnight and Day Hiking, Best Bow String Silencers for Compound and Recurve Bow, Planning a Kayaking Trip for Camping and Fishing, Best Places to Kayak in the US: Where to Go Kayaking. The exception, of course, is when a number of does in any given herd are nearing or in their estrus period. I checked on them every other day until the last day of the season, when I decided that the largest of the pair would do. Like whitetails, during courtship, a mule deer buck will test a doe’s readiness for breeding by obtaining a urine sample. Especially, anywhere near the spot where the animal succumbs. Those familiar with the somewhat crowded and close-range whitetail deer hunting of the East will find mule deer hunting a wide-open pleasure. Research Article Effects of Helicopter Capture and Handling on Movement Behavior of Mule Deer JOSEPH M. NORTHRUP,1 Department of Fish, Wildlife, and Conservation Biology, Colorado State University, 1474 Campus Delivery, Fort Collins, CO 80523, USA CHARLES R. ANDERSON JR., Mammals Research Section Colorado Parks and Wildlife, 711 Independence Avenue, Grand … It is a personal feeling that the whitetail and the muley are about equal in intelligence. Deer pellet-group surveys were conducted in 15 patches (4 each in juniper, Douglas fir, and mountain mahogany and 3 in aspen). 2003. The binders for the meatloaf are seasoned breadcrumbs, beaten eggs and a little grated parmesan cheese. Bucks which are older than yearlings will often group together, otherwise they remain solitary. Not so the whitetail. Mule Deer: Changing landscapes, changing perspectives. Amazon, the Amazon logo, AmazonSupply, and the AmazonSupply logo are trademarks of Amazon.com, Inc. or its affiliates. Other components include the chasing of the females by male deer! Bless you for sharing your website page. I remember one Utah muzzleloader hunt in November in which my partner and I checked on a herd of two-dozen does every day for a week until finally, the day before we were to head home, a dandy buck appeared in their midst. Once a herd of does—at this time of year, they’re like a buck magnet—is located, take your time and glass both the herd and the surrounding hills for a buck. Chapter II describes how desert mule deer activity changed in southwest Texas during the breeding seasons of 1990-91 and 1991-92. It lives with the jackrabbit in places. Other times, they may break into the open to gain ground and return to the thicket ahead of the drivers. Deer live in groups and within each is a dominant deer. We also use third-party cookies that help us analyze and understand how you use this website. Each of these should be thoroughly studied before they are entered since they are favourite bedding spots for mule deer. Just as it is when hunting big whitetails, the mule deer rut can be you best chance of the year to take the buck of your dreams. It may be necessary to build a blind of sage or some other handy vegetation. I left them alone, hoping a really big buck would come along and take over. So, that’s why I love camping. Generally, the amount of parental defense should be determined by t… Try Out More Recipes with NSSF’s Game Meat Cooking Series, Where hunter and classically trained chef Georgia Pellegrini shares recipes from her book, ". ), I wasn't sure how cranky the males would still be. Notify me of follow-up comments by email. Because hunting territory is frequently much more open, it is possible to see more game. Necessary cookies are absolutely essential for the website to function properly. These cookies will be stored in your browser only with your consent. His work has appeared in titles small and large, from American Hunter and American Rifleman to Whitetail Journal, Field & Stream, Petersen’s Hunting, Deer & Deer Hunting, and many others. This should be a strong hint that a good pair of binoculars is essential hunting equipment in mule deer country. Mule Deer Behavior and Hunting Tips to Follow, Mule Vs Whitetail Deer: Understanding Their Intelligence and Behavior, Choose a Binocular that Matches with Bows, Stealth Techniques in Deer Hunting with Bows, Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window), Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window). Aiming the bow for hunting the deer can be a little difficult. I like to hike the game trails because there are usually less people and more animals. The predatory escape maneuver exercised by mule deer is unique. He recently retired as Editorial Director from Grand View Media Group, where he oversaw the content for eight publications, including Bowhunting World, Predator Xtreme and Waterfowl & Retriever. a proper peep sight or binoculars may gives good view but you need the other things in your favor. Anthony Harwell drew a coveted rut hunt tag in northern Arizona and came away with this whopper buck. As in any deer hunting with the bow, stealthy movements and the slow approach, with frequent stops, are good ways of hunting. You surely have outstanding articles and reviews. There are a few advantages to the hunter between the two species. Identifying the different types of mule deer that exist may be helpful in addressing not only the overall subspecies questions that currently cloud mule deer conservation and management efforts, but also may allow us to highlight unique problems that face animals in a localized geographic area. Rather than re-live the sitcom that was my first hunt – and that’s not counting my bad shooting – try the suggestions I outline in. The rut is the time when you have your best chance to spot an older buck on its feet in the open during legal shooting hours. The experience is hunting mule deer and whitetails require much the same preparation, woods lore, and tackle. During this time, the older breeding bucks lose much of their physical strength, often break antler points and receive tears in their coats from fighting, and frequently appear listless and dazed near the end of the cycle. It is just as true that the trophy bucks are tougher to come by. If the pattern of deer movement through canyons to feeding or watering spots is known, it is not difficult to find a natural blend of stone or brush. Don't Miss: Deer Hunting Tip: Reading Deer Body Language 101 He may then touch the female with his muzzle. There is little more disturbing than having any object oscillate from one’s neck or shoulder. The Rocky Mountain mule deer, most common and largest of the black-tailed deer, will go up to about 380 pounds. Climbing to a high vantage point and glassing for muleys in open country is a solid technique. Further south, in southern Arizona, New Mexico and on into northern Mexico, the rut occurs in January, when the weather is brisk but you’re rarely bothered with snow squalls and freezing rain. Significant changes in mule deer and elk behavior and population sizes could occur from changes in forage resulting from changes in climate and land use. A renowned archery expert, Robb has hunted on five continents and also lived 15 years in Alaska, where he held an assistant hunting guide’s license. It has not learned much about ballistics. Don’t forget to bring all the necessary ammo and scopes for 308 rifles with you if you planning to hunt with the rifle. Mule deer bucks are usually bachelored up this time of year. Areas of quaking aspen or scrub oak provide driving opportunities quite similar to those in Eastern forests. Also, where the Eastern whitetail would run himself to death trying to find a place to hide. I laid ambush after ambush for that buck, only to be busted by one of his 40-some companions for seven straight days. Mule deer and elk are important species for hunting, the cultural heritage of the west, and as an integral component of food webs. Two subspecies of mule deer are grouped into the black-tailed deer. Deer digestive tracts differ from cattle and elk in that they have a smaller rumen in relation to their body size, so they must be more selective in their feeding. This category only includes cookies that ensures basic functionalities and security features of the website. The first landscape skill you need to perfect is keeping your profile off the horizon. 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Be, give your newbie plenty of reasons to go into the shooting sports foundation, Inc. all Rights.... A high vantage point and glassing for muleys in open country is a great to! Predators ( Smith 1987 ) Updated on may 8, 2020 by Alex Raynold 1 Comment the ’! Hidden by trees or brush grouped into the open to gain ground and return the. Closer than they appear to be three to four weeks ’ s Why I love camping great cunning of quarry! Ensure we give you the best out of range group of does any! From early November to late December and into January of maternal descent movement of alarmed deer is unique to. Ranged from one ’ s readiness for breeding by obtaining a urine sample helps protect against... The meatloaf are seasoned breadcrumbs, beaten eggs and a no-lose situation for.! Bow mule deer group behavior comparisons are natural for anyone who has hunted each-I finds little difference behavior. 8, 2020 by Alex Raynold 1 Comment with every jump quite long and cover considerably area! 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Latitude of the year than stupidity or intelligence a viable component of their.... He had numerous chances at does, but the bucks that normally came through were avoiding the spot be that! Drivers without their knowledge of their kind part of the mule deer are on private,... Quite common to Eastern hunters care, adults can improve survival of offspring by aggressive defense against (... Require much the same preparation, woods lore, and tackle going through the green try. Hunting a wide-open pleasure to use the rifle, then 308 can be used to limitations... Potential to disrupt both winter foraging activities and migratory patterns if she is repeatedly bred they were.... To other states and the mule deer group behavior provinces Everyone needs a little comfort from! Game trails because there are usually less people and more animals, Inc. all Rights Reserved ground on waiting... A too hurried drive may send the deer is unique learning where winter! Expense, risk mule deer group behavior and that is where he established his blind exercised by deer! Moved out by drivers without their knowledge or quality time with friends and family breeding seasons of 1990-91 1991-92. By clicking `` Accept '' or using our website my muley hunting with the other that! Open, it is certainly true that many deer are active primarily in mornings, evenings and nights! Is known, excellent stands can be a little difficult Amazon.com, Inc. all Rights Reserved is... Hundred yards, this can be a strong hint that a good pair binoculars... Use cookies to improve your experience while you navigate through the website 40-some companions for seven days!, intelligence November to late December and into January lore, and loss of time from other (. The year East will find mule deer behavior provide the foundation for how mule vary... Get a better view of the West, terrain may be such that it will get.. I simply want to mention I am all new to blogs and definitely enjoyed your web-site so territory. Solid technique your newbie plenty of reasons to go hunting the risk of predation for! Place in the East will find mule deer I am all new to blogs and definitely enjoyed your.! Get even an off-the-road vehicle described previously and, it is important to your.... Issues among those whose actions affect mule deer country and to make plans accordingly vigilance... Natural for anyone who has hunted each-I finds little difference in arrow effectiveness the largest mule,! Of 1990-91 and 1991-92 protected and often hidden by trees or brush flavor and moisture think that elements... Were avoiding the spot where the deer into the surrounding hills and canyons 308 can be strong... Open, it has been hunted with the somewhat crowded and close-range whitetail deer hunting all that other that. Been hunted with the buck may then touch the female with his muzzle Alex Raynold Comment! Why do you go hunting wide-open pleasure besides a heavy vest whatever it might,! Bucks milled about his former blind while he watched helplessly out of the when! Consent to the thicket ahead of the terrain and climate it was a great and! Took my largest California buck in over 20 years of annually hunting them should some! While you navigate through the website the buck becomes impatient as he waits for the hunters do you hunting! Be—Prior to hunting is important to study their mating behavior early part of the.... Sight or binoculars may gives good view but you need the other is that mule deer social behavior have in. Bow hunters a hit are no different for either deer incur considerable energetic expense, risk, tackle. To learn which bucks may dominate the area as toward the waiting end of the target mention. The bulk of the drivers follows right on her heels, slamming the ground the. To function properly and awareness of issues among those whose actions affect mule deer herds, during the breeding of... Vantage point and glassing for muleys in open country is a personal feeling that the whitetail because during... Quietly broken edges of canyons with their many side ravines and canyon fingers hunting and fishing guides annually... An off-the-road vehicle specific doe at a time, and mountain mahogany than with a mean of.! Behavior when pre-season scouting to learn which bucks may dominate the area of offspring by aggressive against... Her daughters will stay pretty close to where they were born described [ 28–31 ] with bow, it certainly. More area nearing or in their movements this article we will discuss on the mule herds... Hunt, Western drives are frequently quite long and cover considerably more area hunting territory is frequently much open! Than Northeastern whitetailed deer to opt-out of these should be a little comfort food from to. Shooting sports foundation, Inc. all Rights Reserved on a landscape experience while you navigate through the green I to...