One of the most majestic animals to hunt throughout the world is the Mule Deer. Not only is it a fine specimen of the deer family, but also lives among some of the most beautiful and rugged habitat in North America. There are many methods to hunting and harvesting, but spot and stalk mule deer hunting is likely the most used, or at least some form of it. Of course spot and stalk mule deer hunting consists of much more than just finding a buck, getting in range and pulling the trigger. Here we will look a little more in depth of what’s required.
At the very least, in addition to the appropriate clothing, you will need a weapon. A firearm or archery equipment is the most popular and work well for mule deer hunting, assuming you can hit your mark. The second most important item for success are optics. Binoculars should be the top priority with spotting scope/tripod not far behind. The binoculars are used to spot the deer and the spotting scope to determine the size/gender of the deer as well as to pick out hiding deer in hard to find areas where extra magnification is needed.
Finding Mule Deer – the “Spot”
We are going to assume the place to hunt mule deer has been established and deer are in the area. The best way to consistently find mule deer is to establish where they will be feeding, bedding, and watering. All mule deer habitat will have all three of these areas and they need all to survive. These areas, and the land in between, is where you’ll find mule deer.
Once you determine an area where mule deer can survive, you must find them. For spot and stalk mule deer hunting the best way to begin is find a vantage point and begin looking over the area, first with your eyes, followed by the binoculars and then the spotting scope. Basically starting with the widest view and narrowing it down as the need for higher magnification increases.
Spotting mule deer is learned skill. A deer on an open hill side can be easy to find, but not all will be this easy. A hunter needs to develop an “eye” for spotting deer in their habitat by not only looking where they should be, but also being able to pick out bits and pieces of a deer from long distances. Antlers sticking above brush or the rump of a deer behind a bush are the types of “spots” that can be mean the difference between filling a tag or not.