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Ham Man

What section of Reddington road has mule deer?

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I'm a pretty new hunter. I have hunted Coues a couple times before in the unit but am completely new to hunting mule deer. I live in Tucson and would like to get more into hunting.

I'm not looking for any honey holes or anything, just trying to gauge how far North/East I should be driving from Tanque Verde before I start getting into good mule country. Any help is appreciated

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Mule Deer

Overview: Mule deer can be found primarily in any of the desert scrub habitat around the bases of any of the mountains. Also look for big bucks out in the flats where they are difficult to find. During these years of drought, only the “wisest” bucks will be able to avoid predators and find the necessary food and water, so they will be “wise” to hunters as well. Spend time before the season scouting and glassing. This will increase your chances for a successful hunt. This information is to help a hunter locate hunting areas not give specific animal locations. Hunters need to scout and locate animals themselves not just show up and expect to harvest a buck without any hunter effort. Use the following information and scout before you hunt to increase your success.

The quality of your hunt depends on you. Preseason scouting, preparation for the environmental conditions, and physical conditioning are important factors. The success and quality of your hunt will likely increase with the distance you hike from your vehicle and roads.

As with many areas, Unit 33 has some important access issues. When you are out hunting or scouting, be sure to know your location and the ownership of the land you are on. It is every hunter’s responsibility to respect private property. Always remember to obtain a minimum of verbal permission and preferably written permission when hunting on private land. When you leave, be sure you have removed all litter and left the area in better condition than when you arrived.

Areas: Highway 77/Oracle Rd. to the Biosphere Road is a popular hunting area. This area will have the most pressure from quail, archery deer, and rifle deer hunters. The large amount of hunt pressure has made the deer wary and the bucks are few, but does abound in this area. Scouting will be essential to learn where the bucks are located. Scouting should be done ahead of time to learn the boundaries of the Biosphere and location of the houses in Saddlebrooke. The best and easiest access is obtained by parking off Hwy. 77 and walking into the area.

The area east of Oracle State Park is another good spot. Access is obtained by taking the Mt. Lemmon Hwy. in Oracle then when the road forks, go east on Webb Rd. toward San Manuel. Take the gas line road into Smelter Wash then park and hunt the ridgelines. This area can also be accessed from Redington road going to San Manuel. Oracle State Park is closed to hunting so be aware of the park boundary.

The Mt. Lemmon Control Road provides access into additional mule deer habitat. Access can be obtained by driving through San Manuel and taking the Oracle Ridge Mine Road or by taking the Mt Lemmon Road in Oracle and heading towards Peppersauce Canyon. Hunt the lower elevations east of the Mt. Lemmon control road along the washes.

Redington Rd. (FS 371) is a popular spot for deer hunting. One should expect to meet a lot of other hunters, making hunter safety foremost on everyone’s mind. This area has both species of deer, so species identification is paramount. On several occasions, mule deer and white-tailed deer have been seen running together. To get there take Tanque Verde Road in Tucson as far east as possible. It will turn to dirt and become the Redington Pass road (FS371). There are several spots in this area to try. Areas close to town have a lot of recreational use from off-highway vehicles, target shooters, and other hunters. The further east on the Redington road you go (past MP 8), the fewer recreationists you will encounter, and the better your chances of a quality hunt.

The A-7 Ranch, located at the east end of Redington Road, is composed of State Trust land and land owned by Pima County. Mule deer can be found on the ranch all the way down to the San Pedro river. Respect the land and sign in at all sign in boxes. Hunt low rolling hills and be prepared to walk to get away from the roads.

Happy Valley also offers hunting opportunities. To access, take exit #297 off of I-10 (Mescal Exit) and head north. This area also receives a lot of pressure from hunters and recreationists, so keep safety as your first priority. The foothills of the Rincon Mountains and the Little Rincons provide opportunities for mule deer. Keep in mind there is a lot of posted private property here and you need to respect the landowners. Check with local landowners and permission to hunt their land is sometimes granted. Mule deer can also be found along the east foothills of the Little Rincon Mountains all the way down to the San Pedro River. To access, head north on Ocotillo Road from Benson and continue north on Ocotillo road for approximately 10 miles and look for areas away from the houses and private property. Again, respect the landowners and the land.

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Honestly anywhere that has water near it and under 2500 feet. Even with this rain coming they'll be within a few miles of any water. These cooler temps should make it a ton of fun this last week man! 37B has had a fair amount of deer. More than I normally find anyways! Just look for water and find a glassing point within a mile or 2 from it! Good luck man!

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