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Found 5 results

  1. As a reward for reading, here's a picture I found of our beautiful desert. It looks about like the area I'm hunting. I've been fumbling around through the desert (mostly down low in 24b) the last couple of years trying to find a buck to kill with my bow. After all this time, I've realized I still haven't learned something critical to hunting desert mule deer. What type of area makes a feeding area? And what should I look for in a bedding area? What makes one section of hill, wash, or flat better for feeding than others? Especially this time of year what plants are the deer focused on? I still haven't even figured out what makes up the bulk of their diet when they're below the elevations with sagebrush and such. Now and then I spot bedded deer, or deer traveling to/from beds. Or I will find sign indicating beds from a previous days rest. But for the life of me I can't figure out much sense to where they will be. Have you seen any patterns? Do these desert deer prefer thicker cover for bedding? Or would they rather bed on an open hillside with a clear view all directions? Last year I struck out, and this year despite weeks of scouting its not looking too good. I can't consistently find deer or predict where they will be or go. This week my bow hunt opens up again, and I really want to fill the freezer. Basically I'm hoping to move up the learning curve a little bit further so I can have a better chance at tagging something, anything, this year. Any advice or tips appreciated here or in PMs.
  2. gaps

    23 Muley Hunt...

    Just got back from my Brother-In-Law's muley hunt in 23 and we didn't have much luck. We hunted there for 3 full days and didn't see but 2 muleys. I glassed a coues buck opening morning at 437 yards that i think was with another buck but we could only see its rear end because it was bedded in the bush. This was at an area between black mesa and aztec peek. The next day on black mesa we walked up on 2 muley bucks that were bedded down right at sundown but they took off and we couldn't get back on them, especially without any sun. We were primarily hunting on top of black mesa and around coon creek and we had no problem seeing coues. My buddy glassed a couse buck and doe on top of black mesa at 351yards. We saw plenty of sign of deer on top of black mesa, a buck and doe skull and backbones that some coyotes got (looked like coues), one shed from a coues, and plenty of bedding spots. We were only familiar with that part of the unit and so we hunted there all three days, especially because of all the signs of deer. My question is, are there many muleys down low this time of year or are they in the higher elevation? We stayed low and glassed in the rollers but only saw coues. What have others seen and what do you recommend to get on some muleys? I hope some others that were out there had better luck, but from looking at their camps and driving past them it didn't look like it....I believe we had a tough 3 days seeing much of anything was because of the moon being almost full every single night we were there! Do you think the moon has a large part of bedded bucks during the day? Regardless it was great to get out there!!!
  3. I'm new to this site and to New Mexico and am looking for some guidance on NM Unit 23, first rifle hunt in November for FAMD. I've been looking at maps and reading through these forums and am hoping someone who hunts unit 23 on a regular basis (for coues or mule deer) can point me in the right direction of where to hunt. I live in Albuquerque and with gas prices the way they are and an upcoming wedding in just a few weeks, it doesn't look like I'll be getting to scout before my hunt. I'm planning on getting down there the day before the hunt opens and I'm ready to spend the day hiking in (no animals or ATVs to help me out) and camping that night to get away from the road hunters (I hear there is a good possibility of seeing quite a few) into the wilderness where the good mule deer are. I have that entire week off of work, so I'm not afraid to really get into the backcountry. From what I've seen with the maps, it looks like the area north of Mule Creek would be promising but probably full of hunters. I'm also pretty interested in the Whiterocks Mountain area and from there up north along the AZ border. I would guess these are my best bets for getting away from the road hunters where the good deer hide. I would love a shot at a big deer, but I recently graduated from college and haven't been hunting in three years, so this year I'll be happy to get what I can get. Anyone have any suggestions? Where are my best bets to get into the deer and any other suggestions would be very much appreciated. Since I'm new, I wasn't sure whether to post this in the Mule Deer forum or the NM forum, so if I would get a better response elsewhere, I would appreciate your help. Thanks much!
  4. JakeL

    Mule Deer Behavior

    I'm busy scouting out area for my first real desert muley hunt this december. I'll be hunting one of the OTC desert units and I am trying to get a good lay of the land, as well as try to find where the deer hang out. My question is what time of year do the does begin to herd up? And when do the bachelor herds generally break up? I am correct to assume that these desert bucks wont be in with the does until the rut kicks in right? Will they remain in the bachelor herds up till then? I guess another related question I could ask that may be even more helpful would be if you guys know of any good literature on the subject of desert mule deer, hunting them and their biology/behavior. Most of the stuff I've found deals mostly with deer at higher latitudes, and simply makes mention of some desert muleys existing. Thanks for all the info guys.
  5. HEADACHE

    Archery buck down!

    Got skunked yesterday.... Today my rookie partner took a shot first thing, barely missed a nice 3x3. We hunted slowly and patiently for a few more hours. Spooked some elk off the top of this mountain, one last elk spooked a different way and I saw he startled a small buck! I slowly worked my way a couple hundred yards into view... turns out there were 5 bucks.... all bedded up in some thick nasty downed timber. I crawled to within 85 but no shot.... they eventually saw me and spooked. I literally chased them about half a mile through the woods. Finally getting them cornered between a mountain bike trail and the corner of a bald hill peak. Click click click my shaky rangefinder to show a downhill slightly quartering to me shot of 65 yards. Draw, tried to slow my breath, tried desperately to settle the pin... nearly yanked the trigger as they started to walk off yet again. I heard the arrow clank hard into the giant downed tree just behind them.... Miss I thought! Crap! Got on the phone to my buddy, telling him where to go to intercept bucks.... Walked down to find arrow just in case... found broken arrow covered in blood! HECK YES! arrow went straight through and then into stump! Got back on phone Yelling at him "bloody arrow!" He made his way back to me.... just as I was about 50 yards into the blood trail. There he lay piled up in the dead timber! Shot was a touch forward, but exited behind the far shoulder. Good enough to get the job done and finished this guy in less than 60 yards! My 3rd archery buck and I am glad to say he is bigger than last years!
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