Trophy mule deer are one of the most sought-after species of the North American big game. Unlike whitetails, mule deer are more commonly found in areas west of the Mississippi River, and more specifically along the Rocky Mountain regions.
The most obvious differentiator between mule deer and white-tailed deer are their large ears which earned them the nickname "mule" deer.
Variables to Consider When Hunting Mule Deer
Location: From the great plains to the Mexican boarder, the habitats of mule-deer are as vast as they are wide. Mule Deer tend to live in arid, rocky environments thrive in areas of plentiful shrub growth with a wide variety of plant species. Western Colorado, Northern Arizona, and Southern Utah tend to have the highest populations of mule-deer.
Solunar Calendar: According to a theory laid out by John Alden Knight in 1926, animal movement is affected by the position and fullness of the moon. This theory was said to be used by hunters and fishermen long before Knight’s theory was published and is still widely accepted and adopted today.
Time of Year: The best tie of year to hunt mule deer depends on your hunting technique. If you're an archer the best time will fall in the late summer season between August 15-31st. However, for rifle hunters, later in the season hunting is better between November 1-30th.
Time of Day: The best time of day to hunt mule deer is in the first hours of morning when the deer who have been feeding throughout the night can be seen heading back to their bedding areas.
Temperature: Similar to other deer species, mule deer are the most active during the coolest parts of the day including the early morning and evening hours.
Barometric Pressure: Deer are extremely sensitive to changes in weather. When the barometric pressure begins to fall signaling an oncoming storm front, deer movement rapidly increases as they seek shelter. This is prime time to get out there.
General Weather Conditions: Deer understand the dangers of severe weather conditions and will take shelter at the threat of a storm. It is better to hunt for mule deer during days of calm weather, however, humidity can also affect their movement, as deer prefer humidity between 40 and 50 percent.
Wind: Like other deer species, mule deer have an acute sense of smell, making wind the most important factor to consider when planning a stalk. Be prepared to change locations frequently to ensure you are always downwind from deer activity.
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