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longbowpilot

Canyons or flats?

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former eastern hunter here but now proud AZ resident and becoming obsessed with desert muleys.  Been hunting this week in a desert unit that has pretty thick flats with the palo verde and cholla that is really tough to glass into.  Then there are canyon bottoms I've been glassing as well.  Only been able to locate a few does so far.  Would yall say that desert muleys generally stick to the flats or do you see them more in the canyon bottoms or on hillsides?  

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9 minutes ago, longbowpilot said:

former eastern hunter here but now proud AZ resident and becoming obsessed with desert muleys.  Been hunting this week in a desert unit that has pretty thick flats with the palo verde and cholla that is really tough to glass into.  Then there are canyon bottoms I've been glassing as well.  Only been able to locate a few does so far.  Would yall say that desert muleys generally stick to the flats or do you see them more in the canyon bottoms or on hillsides?  

Desert muleys are where you find them. Patterning them is like trying to pattern a cloud.

They seem to like creosote flats. They eat Cholla. Sometimes they bed at the base of little nobs or hills. Sometimes they bed in washes. Sometimes they are on hills or saddles. 

One thing that is for certain... watch out for snakes.

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4 minutes ago, Flatlander said:

Desert muleys are where you find them. Patterning them is like trying to pattern a cloud.

They seem to like creosote flats. They eat Cholla. Sometimes they bed at the base of little nobs or hills. Sometimes they bed in washes. Sometimes they are on hills or saddles. 

One thing that is for certain... watch out for snakes.

That's what I am starting to find out about desert mule deer I guess, it is a tough hunt.  Yeah figured rattlesnakes might still be out this time of year.  Is there a time of year in southern AZ when you don't really need to worry about them?  Do they shut down like Dec.-Feb at least?

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9 minutes ago, Flatlander said:

Desert muleys are where you find them. Patterning them is like trying to pattern a cloud.

 

I’m stealing this 

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Flat stuff is really tough to hunt.  I personally prefer the hilly stuff.  

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Get high, glass down into the flats at first legal shooting light and last light.  Seems like desert mulies like places where they are hard to see or get to.  Meaning....all over....and away from roads.  

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appreciate the tips guys, staying positive and patient with the glassing.  After about 2 hours behind glass I feel like my eyes are going to fall out but gotta stick with it.

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Usually I still hunt the flats away from vantage points for mature deer, but I can go several days without seeing anything

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Once the pressure starts they really like big thick mesquite thickets or really thick cholla flats . But it still come down to you find them where you find them. But the best glassing tip I can give is check out where you least expect to find them. I have been surprised many a time looking where they should not be. 

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1 hour ago, trphyhntr said:

I wonder what they ate through the drought this year because their horns are big 

I bet it is tbe barrel cactus fruit. Seems like therr is usually a pretty good crop of it, even during a drought. When i used to hunt desert mulies, in the dry years we would hunt areas that had more barrel cacti and always did pretty well

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42 minutes ago, GreyGhost85 said:

I bet it is tbe barrel cactus fruit. Seems like therr is usually a pretty good crop of it, even during a drought. When i used to hunt desert mulies, in the dry years we would hunt areas that had more barrel cacti and always did pretty well

I thought it had something to do with the flowers that dangle off cholla but idk just a guess. Probably just depends on the type of desert they inhabit 

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15 hours ago, longbowpilot said:

appreciate the tips guys, staying positive and patient with the glassing.  After about 2 hours behind glass I feel like my eyes are going to fall out but gotta stick with it.

If 2 hours behind optics hurts your eyes, you need better optics for western hunting.  I spend 10+ hours behind glass most days scouting and hunting with no eye fatigue. 

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I have been hunting desert mule deer for more years than I care to admit. Dry years look  near water, wet years like this it’s like flatlander said, they are where you find them. Good luck cause you’re going to need it

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