Mule deer

Hunting Mule Deer and White-Tailed Deer Day 1: Taking...

Hunter with his deer trophy

Hunting Mule Deer and White-Tailed Deer Day 3: Hunting...

Comments Off on Hunting Mule Deer and White-Tailed Deer Day 2: Hunting a Muley Deer That’s Too Close Deer Hunting, Hunting Advice

Hunting Mule Deer and White-Tailed Deer Day 2: Hunting a Muley Deer That’s Too Close

Bowhunter at sunset
Show This to Your Friends:

Editor’s Note: Keith Pullins of Rapid City, South Dakota, has been hunting mule deer ever since he started walking – for about 30+ years. Pullins has taken over 25 mule deer with his bow and 30+ with his rifle. His best bowhunt mule deer scored 164 on Pope & Young (P&Y).

Mule deer

I’ve mentioned before that when you find a mule deer buck bedded in an undercut of drainage, most of the time, you’ve got a better chance of taking him if you watch him, let him wake up, and then try and set up a strategy to get him close enough to take the shot. However, I didn’t follow that rule on the muley buck that was too close to me. Using my spotting scope, I saw this buck in one of those undercuts about a mile from my vantage point. I could tell there was a little brush on top of that cut bank where the buck was bedded. I thought that if I made the hike to come up behind that bedded buck and got in that brush, I’d have a reasonable chance to arrow him. I had learned that mule deer in my area liked to bed in these creek banks where the current had washed out a little cave-like place where the bucks could go in and lay down in that cut bank and be out of the sun. Often, there was some moisture in that spot that made the cut bank even more remarkable.

Mule deer

After I made the mile hike, had the wind in my favor, and reached that little patch of brush above the buck, I could tell that the angle I’d have to shoot wasn’t perfect. I backed off a few steps and came around the bush I’d been hiding behind. I could tell I had a much better angle to take the shot. I was so close to this buck that when I drew my bow and anchored my shot, the arrow just made a slight little sound.

The buck jumped up, and I didn’t get a shot. Most of the time, after spooking a buck, I replay what happened in my mind. I realized I should have drawn the bow somewhat further back so that when I came over the drainage, all I would have to do was aim and release the bow. That way, the buck never would have heard me draw, and I probably could have shot the buck while he was still in bed.

Mule deer

Something I’ve learned about hunting mule deer for 30 years is that each time I go after them, they teach me new lessons about how to take them or how not to spook them. Getting 2-yards away from the buck before I draw my bow is a lesson I won’t forget.

Tomorrow: Hunting for My 170 Rifle Muley Deer

Comments are closed.