Heading West !!

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JAK
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Heading West !!

Postby JAK » Mon Jan 29, 2018 2:12 am

So a few guys I hunt with invited me to Wyoming for antelop and mule deer. They have gone before and got a couple. They way they hunt is just walk the ravines trying to jump shoot muleys. So I got to thinking wouldn't they bed on either side of ravine wind based. Any input would be greatly appreciated. I really want to take a beast approach out there. I feel it would be way more successful having a general idea of where they might be instead of being suprised by one. I plan to cyber scout the area allot once I know exactly where we will be


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Re: Heading West !!

Postby flinginairos » Tue Jan 30, 2018 1:06 am

I've been doing a ton of research on mulies and I believe you are going about it the right way! All the videos I have seen they bed just like we see whitetails do. Wind to back, facing downhill so they can catch the thermals rising.
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Re: Heading West !!

Postby hunter_mike » Tue Jan 30, 2018 8:40 am

Sounds like a blast! Bowhunt or rifle? What time of year?

When I was out in WY for my antelope hunts I saw lots of muleys. One day sitting at my waterhole, I watched a group of 5 bucks from sunup to a couple hours before sundown. This was mid august, temps in the mid 80's. Wide open sagebrush hill country. I was amazed at how little they moved throughout the day. They would stand up, stretch, move a couple hundred ft and bed back down. I don't think they moved more than a couple hundred yards the whole day.

My most successful time of day to see muleys was right at daybreak and also right at dusk. I think this was not only due to the cooler temps but also because they seemed to enjoy skylining themselves on top of the highest hills available. Whatever the reason, they definitely tended to be most visible at those times.

Another thing that amazed me was how well they disappeared when bedded or even standing out in plain sight. They were just really hard to see without them seeing you first.

These are some pics I took of the group of bucks I mentioned. They are bedded on the leeward side in this pic but they are also bedded on a NE facing slope which was the most shaded slope at the time of the picture. They definitely liked hanging in the shadows.

Image
Image
Image
Image

I have never muley hunted but I think a beast's approach would be to make sure he was in a good vantage point every day when the sun comes up and when the sun goes down. And also to just be able to cover a lot of ground with a good attitude. And of course a lot of pre scouting of maps. And some good binoculars. Good luck!
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Re: Heading West !!

Postby ghoasthunter » Tue Jan 30, 2018 10:11 am

JAK wrote:So a few guys I hunt with invited me to Wyoming for antelop and mule deer. They have gone before and got a couple. They way they hunt is just walk the ravines trying to jump shoot muleys. So I got to thinking wouldn't they bed on either side of ravine wind based. Any input would be greatly appreciated. I really want to take a beast approach out there. I feel it would be way more successful having a general idea of where they might be instead of being suprised by one. I plan to cyber scout the area allot once I know exactly where we will be

I think the bedding would be the same with any deer species even elk and moose.
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Re: Heading West !!

Postby JAK » Tue Jan 30, 2018 11:27 am

hunter_mike wrote:Sounds like a blast! Bowhunt or rifle? What time of year?

When I was out in WY for my antelope hunts I saw lots of muleys. One day sitting at my waterhole, I watched a group of 5 bucks from sunup to a couple hours before sundown. This was mid august, temps in the mid 80's. Wide open sagebrush hill country. I was amazed at how little they moved throughout the day. They would stand up, stretch, move a couple hundred ft and bed back down. I don't think they moved more than a couple hundred yards the whole day.

My most successful time of day to see muleys was right at daybreak and also right at dusk. I think this was not only due to the cooler temps but also because they seemed to enjoy skylining themselves on top of the highest hills available. Whatever the reason, they definitely tended to be most visible at those times.

Another thing that amazed me was how well they disappeared when bedded or even standing out in plain sight. They were just really hard to see without them seeing you first.

These are some pics I took of the group of bucks I mentioned. They are bedded on the leeward side in this pic but they are also bedded on a NE facing slope which was the most shaded slope at the time of the picture. They definitely liked hanging in the shadows.

Image
Image
Image
Image

I have never muley hunted but I think a beast's approach would be to make sure he was in a good vantage point every day when the sun comes up and when the sun goes down. And also to just be able to cover a lot of ground with a good attitude. And of course a lot of pre scouting of maps. And some good binoculars. Good luck!

Rifle and we're going October 1st for a week gunna cut into my hunting hear but thinking it should be a great experiance
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Re: Heading West !!

Postby Lockdown » Tue Jan 30, 2018 11:54 am

JAK wrote:
hunter_mike wrote:Sounds like a blast! Bowhunt or rifle? What time of year?

When I was out in WY for my antelope hunts I saw lots of muleys. One day sitting at my waterhole, I watched a group of 5 bucks from sunup to a couple hours before sundown. This was mid august, temps in the mid 80's. Wide open sagebrush hill country. I was amazed at how little they moved throughout the day. They would stand up, stretch, move a couple hundred ft and bed back down. I don't think they moved more than a couple hundred yards the whole day.

My most successful time of day to see muleys was right at daybreak and also right at dusk. I think this was not only due to the cooler temps but also because they seemed to enjoy skylining themselves on top of the highest hills available. Whatever the reason, they definitely tended to be most visible at those times.

Another thing that amazed me was how well they disappeared when bedded or even standing out in plain sight. They were just really hard to see without them seeing you first.

These are some pics I took of the group of bucks I mentioned. They are bedded on the leeward side in this pic but they are also bedded on a NE facing slope which was the most shaded slope at the time of the picture. They definitely liked hanging in the shadows.

Image
Image
Image
Image

I have never muley hunted but I think a beast's approach would be to make sure he was in a good vantage point every day when the sun comes up and when the sun goes down. And also to just be able to cover a lot of ground with a good attitude. And of course a lot of pre scouting of maps. And some good binoculars. Good luck!

Rifle and we're going October 1st for a week gunna cut into my hunting hear but thinking it should be a great experiance


Depending what your hunting is like at home, you’re not going to regret heading West. I know I certainly don’t! Spotting and stalking mulies is probably my favorite thing to do.

Mike and Flingin both gave good advice. I have some more details I can add once the kiddos are in bed.
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Re: Heading West !!

Postby ghoasthunter » Tue Jan 30, 2018 2:03 pm

keep everybody posted on how all the animals bed id like to see if my theory is sound for all big game
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Re: Heading West !!

Postby Lockdown » Tue Jan 30, 2018 6:23 pm

They do bed like whitetails do in the hills. Wind to back. However, I would ignore any thermal tunnel type stuff... They probably do get a thermal advantage here and there but I see them bed high and low both. Also it doesn't always take structure. When Tyler and I were out there in 2016 the first two big bucks we saw were bedded on one of the highest hills near the top on a slight bench. They will lay on a pretty good slope sometimes too (more on that later).

They were bedded in the wide open. No structure at their back, just laying in the short grass. Even then they can be hard to see. If the sun is hitting them you'll see them. If its not, good luck. Hunter Mike is spot on... they blend in INCREDIBLY well. Especially if they're up against a bush or rock in the shadows. The two bucks we saw got up and moved to shade after a while. I've read that this is pretty common.

Don't focus just on the big leeward ridges. For example if the wind is out of the West, and the Ridge runs East and West, you might be tempted to skip it. After all you can't cover everything, right? Well if it has some decent spurrs or eroded banks on it, check the downwind sides of those. I think in that country they mostly just want to be out of the wind. They aren't near as smart as a whitetail, but after the last trip it became very apparent the big boys know when they find a strategic place to lay.

When HM mentioned the deer he watched getting up to stretch, keep that in mind. If you find a nice observation spot don't be afraid to hang out for a half hour and glass. Or longer. Maybe have a predetermined lunch spot picked out where you can sit down, eat, and glass at the same time. I've told this story before, but years ago when I was tagged out and helping a buddy's Dad peaked over a ridge and spotted a mulie doe laying down in a rock outcropping on the other side. We were proud of ourselves for seeing her. I watched her in the spotting scope for several minutes and settled on the fact that she was alone. Then a head swiveled. I couldn't believe it when there were two fawns laying RIGHT BY HER. :shock: Mind you they were close... like 200 yards. They have a lot of white on their butt. Look for that if you can. The biggest thing to pick up on is movement. Sneak along and stop often.
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Re: Heading West !!

Postby JAK » Sun Feb 04, 2018 3:33 pm

Lockdown wrote:They do bed like whitetails do in the hills. Wind to back. However, I would ignore any thermal tunnel type stuff... They probably do get a thermal advantage here and there but I see them bed high and low both. Also it doesn't always take structure. When Tyler and I were out there in 2016 the first two big bucks we saw were bedded on one of the highest hills near the top on a slight bench. They will lay on a pretty good slope sometimes too (more on that later).

They were bedded in the wide open. No structure at their back, just laying in the short grass. Even then they can be hard to see. If the sun is hitting them you'll see them. If its not, good luck. Hunter Mike is spot on... they blend in INCREDIBLY well. Especially if they're up against a bush or rock in the shadows. The two bucks we saw got up and moved to shade after a while. I've read that this is pretty common.

Don't focus just on the big leeward ridges. For example if the wind is out of the West, and the Ridge runs East and West, you might be tempted to skip it. After all you can't cover everything, right? Well if it has some decent spurrs or eroded banks on it, check the downwind sides of those. I think in that country they mostly just want to be out of the wind. They aren't near as smart as a whitetail, but after the last trip it became very apparent the big boys know when they find a strategic place to lay.

When HM mentioned the deer he watched getting up to stretch, keep that in mind. If you find a nice observation spot don't be afraid to hang out for a half hour and glass. Or longer. Maybe have a predetermined lunch spot picked out where you can sit down, eat, and glass at the same time. I've told this story before, but years ago when I was tagged out and helping a buddy's Dad peaked over a ridge and spotted a mulie doe laying down in a rock outcropping on the other side. We were proud of ourselves for seeing her. I watched her in the spotting scope for several minutes and settled on the fact that she was alone. Then a head swiveled. I couldn't believe it when there were two fawns laying RIGHT BY HER. :shock: Mind you they were close... like 200 yards. They have a lot of white on their butt. Look for that if you can. The biggest thing to pick up on is movement. Sneak along and stop often.

Thanks for the input will be invaluable ;)
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Re: Heading West !!

Postby JAK » Sun Feb 04, 2018 3:34 pm

I just found out the area we will be hunting I'm gunna cyber scout and probly run my wife out of ink in her printer :lol:
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Re: Heading West !!

Postby Lockdown » Sun Feb 04, 2018 4:18 pm

JAK wrote:I just found out the area we will be hunting I'm gunna cyber scout and probly run my wife out of ink in her printer :lol:


8-)

Are there any hay/crop fields in the area?

Alfalfa and wheat can be a magnet out west. And obviously any corn or sunflowers. I have maybe even had more success following them back to bed in the morning than I have cutting them off in the evening. I think this is mostly because I know where they SHOULD be in the early morning darkness (the food).

Here's a good evening tactic. If the deer get by you, or if the wind is an issue for getting on them in the evening, you can let them filter into the field. Then when they're where you want them, get into position in the hills. Send a guy out into the field and they'll head back to the hills for safety. A mature whitetail might end up in the next county if you tried this, but Mulies don't get quite as "panicked" as a whitetail does. It's not uncommon for them to run off 400-500 yards and stand on a hill and observe. If you try this, you obviously don't want to scare them too bad. Have the "pusher" wander around the far side of the field so they get uncomfortable. And just keep getting closer until they move off. It's a good tactic in the right situation.

I have a friend who killed a mulie buck this way a couple years ago. Bow kill. So it can be done.
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Re: Heading West !!

Postby JAK » Sun Feb 04, 2018 4:24 pm

Lockdown wrote:
JAK wrote:I just found out the area we will be hunting I'm gunna cyber scout and probly run my wife out of ink in her printer :lol:


8-)

Are there any hay/crop fields in the area?

Alfalfa and wheat can be a magnet out west. And obviously any corn or sunflowers. I have maybe even had more success following them back to bed in the morning than I have cutting them off in the evening. I think this is mostly because I know where they SHOULD be in the early morning darkness (the food).

Here's a good evening tactic. If the deer get by you, or if the wind is an issue for getting on them in the evening, you can let them filter into the field. Then when they're where you want them, get into position in the hills. Send a guy out into the field and they'll head back to the hills for safety. A mature whitetail might end up in the next county if you tried this, but Mulies don't get quite as "panicked" as a whitetail does. It's not uncommon for them to run off 400-500 yards and stand on a hill and observe. If you try this, you obviously don't want to scare them too bad. Have the "pusher" wander around the far side of the field so they get uncomfortable. And just keep getting closer until they move off. It's a good tactic in the right situation.

I have a friend who killed a mulie buck this way a couple years ago. Bow kill. So it can be done.

Ill keep all that in mind. It's allot of walk in land were gunna be hunting I would think there's crop on that. Im gunna have to get on x maps out there just so I can see Arial and topo together. Having a hard time finding maps
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Re: Heading West !!

Postby Lockdown » Sun Feb 04, 2018 4:29 pm

JAK wrote:
Lockdown wrote:
JAK wrote:I just found out the area we will be hunting I'm gunna cyber scout and probly run my wife out of ink in her printer :lol:


8-)

Are there any hay/crop fields in the area?

Alfalfa and wheat can be a magnet out west. And obviously any corn or sunflowers. I have maybe even had more success following them back to bed in the morning than I have cutting them off in the evening. I think this is mostly because I know where they SHOULD be in the early morning darkness (the food).

Here's a good evening tactic. If the deer get by you, or if the wind is an issue for getting on them in the evening, you can let them filter into the field. Then when they're where you want them, get into position in the hills. Send a guy out into the field and they'll head back to the hills for safety. A mature whitetail might end up in the next county if you tried this, but Mulies don't get quite as "panicked" as a whitetail does. It's not uncommon for them to run off 400-500 yards and stand on a hill and observe. If you try this, you obviously don't want to scare them too bad. Have the "pusher" wander around the far side of the field so they get uncomfortable. And just keep getting closer until they move off. It's a good tactic in the right situation.

I have a friend who killed a mulie buck this way a couple years ago. Bow kill. So it can be done.

Ill keep all that in mind. It's allot of walk in land were gunna be hunting I would think there's crop on that. Im gunna have to get on x maps out there just so I can see Arial and topo together. Having a hard time finding maps


A lot of ground out there (At least where I hunt in SD) is just grass and they'll bale the low spots. Even that is a draw so don't overlook any type of hay field. The fresh regrowth tastes way better than the mature grass that has went to seed.
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Re: Heading West !!

Postby stash59 » Mon Feb 05, 2018 1:53 pm

Good advice so far. Randy Newberg and the Hushin crew have some good videos on YouTube on hunting mulies. Watch those that look like similar terrain to where your going.

Don't just rely on binos. Spotting scopes can save alot of miles on the legs in the long run.
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Re: Heading West !!

Postby Lockdown » Mon Feb 05, 2018 4:25 pm

stash59 wrote:Good advice so far. Randy Newberg and the Hushin crew have some good videos on YouTube on hunting mulies. Watch those that look like similar terrain to where your going.

Don't just rely on binos. Spotting scopes can save alot of miles on the legs in the long run.


An absolute must. Bring a tripod too.

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