Our guides are experts at finding big mule deer bucks and we love hunting them here in Montana. Here are a few of our guides’ tips for find more and bigger mule deer:
Slow down and glass. Then glass some more. Mule deer blend into the landscape and you must glass hard to find them. A buck laying in waist high sagebrush is difficult to spot. Find a good vantage point, look for travel paths and glass until your eyes hurt. Cover ground as necessary but really take your time when you have a good view. Study the brush, pick apart the tree-line and study rock outcroppings until you have the area thoroughly covered. Look for game trails and water sources as well to find travel routes.
Work with the Landscape
The landscape will play tricks on your mind and you can easily lose sight of deer. Once you spot a mule deer, observe landmarks in reference to the position. This becomes increasingly important during the stalk. You can use these landmarks as a guide during the stalk. Using a rangefinder to measure the distance between the animal and the landmarks increases the value of your reference points.
Know their Senses
Mule deer rely heavily on their senses and you can blow a stalk when they see, hear or smell you. Prioritize the wind position above all else to prevent being winded. If you think a deer hears you, stop and do not move until the animal resumes normal behaviour. Freezing on the spot will often save the stalk. Just flat out stay still and wait it out. Sight is the least worrisome sense. A deer may see you but it’s the smell and motion that send them running. If you are spotted, keep your eyes down and do not move. It’s a waiting game.
Put the Stop on Them
Every now and then you are going to blow a deer out. In some instances they will just start moving unprovoked and you won’t have a clean shot. Make a loud whistle or grunt and setup for the shot. The deer will often stop, turn broadside and look back. Taking advantage of a mule deer’s curiosity is your chance to take a clean shot.
Find Your Buck
There is nothing wrong with passing on any number of animals. Wait until you find a buck that gets you excited. Glassing, hiking and looking for a great buck is half the fun. Watch and study the ones you find and look in odd places for that monster. The biggest bucks tend to have slightly different habits and you will find them in some surprising places.
For more information on our Montana deer hunts at Lazy J Bar O Outfitters, please give us a call at 406-932-5687 or send us a message.