Mule Deer, Elk and Western Big Game Hunting - MonsterMuleys.com

A change in scouting tactics this year, in hopes for better results.

 
Previous Topic | Next Topic 
Forums Mule Deer
Original Message

iHuntNM
(3 posts)
Click to EMail iHuntNM Click to send private message to iHuntNM Click to view user profile Click to check IP address of the poster
Mar-11-17, 
04:47 PM (MST)
"A change in scouting tactics this year, in hopes for better results."

Long story short, I screwed myself scouting last year, How I did, where I did, the amount I did. Just wasnt enough to prepare for the season I had coming, THE SUPERMOON HUNT... as a matter of fact, I didnt even see a single buck on my hunt till the last day, from a very far distance might I add.

Here's why I think I didnt scount enough or right...
So going into last years hunt I knew I had drawn a unit that was tough, Not known for its deer population, but known for the quality Muleys it tends to harbor. So when I scouted a total of 6 days throughout the 2 months leading up to the hunt without seeing a single buck I didnt think much of it considering the size, topography, vegetation, and pure lack of a population. However what I didnt see coming was the SUPERMOON. After all the time spent scouting and effort I put into it I didnt once think to look at the moon calendar. Needless to say Im stepping up my game this year, and this is how.

I began scouting the Units I put in for about a month ago for many a reason. Mostly because I feel last year I didnt get to know the habits of the deer like I should have, I focused too much on the country, and access to desolate locations in hopes of finding mature, unpressed deer. This year Im focusing ON THE DEER, Im going to attempt to pattern them, get to know their habits, where THEY ARE, instead of where I think they will be. I plan to do this all over the next 7 months. Some people say that Its a waste of time... So heres why I am writing this, Whats your thoughts on scouting 7-8 months in advance. Obviously you will be catching them in their "Winter range" post rut, and then pattern them into the summer range. So whats your tactics on scouting, and how "In advance" do you implement them.

All the units I put in for a Southern New Mexico, two of which holds pinion & Juniper with more topography and higher altitudes obviously. The other is a massive unit, which hosts mostly rolling grass/brush hills. All three of which offer great glassing advantage.

I also might add I am documenting all my scouting adventures with a "HUNT VLOG". Episode #2 link is below, We will also be documenting some trips scouting for Bulls in a few Gila Units along with some shed hunts. If you like the vlogs please subscribe and shoot me some feedback.
youtube.com/embed/gXl6y5Q-yio

  Alert Edit | Reply | Reply With Quote | Top


  Table of Contents  

 Subject   Author   Message Date   ID 
 RE: A change i...  DW      Mar-11-17   1 
  RE: A change i...  Stillwater1...      Mar-11-17   2 
 RE: A change i...  iHuntNM      Mar-11-17   3 
  RE: A change i...  bugleb      Mar-11-17   4 
   RE: A change i...  jims      Mar-12-17   5 
    RE: A change i...  BrianID      Mar-12-17   6 
     RE: A change i...  BrianID      Mar-12-17   7 
      RE: A change i...  mmwb      Mar-12-17   8 
 RE: A change i...  iHuntNM      Mar-15-17   9 

Lobby | Topics | Previous Topic | Next Topic

  Messages in this topic  

DW
(7752 posts)
Click to EMail DW Click to send private message to DW Click to view user profile Click to check IP address of the poster
Mar-11-17, 
05:27 PM (MST)
1. "RE: A change in scouting tactics this year, in hopes for better results."

Don't think your link is gonna work. Although time, energy, and attitude may not allow it, I think the most productive scouting is the first few weeks after your season ends and the three weeks leading up to your season. You can learn a lot about where they are during your hunt during these periods. You can learn a lot about the lay of the land during the other part of the year. Just my two cents.

  Remove | Alert Edit | Reply | Reply With Quote | Top

Stillwater165
(41 posts)
Click to EMail Stillwater165 Click to send private message to Stillwater165 Click to view user profile Click to check IP address of the poster
Mar-11-17, 
06:11 PM (MST)
2. "RE: A change in scouting tactics this year, in hopes for better results."

I agree with what the last poster stated , right before and right after the hunt will tell you the most about what your hunting. Granted things might change some year to year due to weather or worse. I love deer hunting just as much as the next guy but there's no reason to scout year round for me , I don't see the point and I've taken plenty of good deer over the years.

  Remove | Alert Edit | Reply | Reply With Quote | Top

iHuntNM
(3 posts)
Click to EMail iHuntNM Click to send private message to iHuntNM Click to view user profile Click to check IP address of the poster
Mar-11-17, 
07:47 PM (MST)
3. "RE: A change in scouting tactics this year, in hopes for better results."

Right on, I appreciate the Responses guys. I defiantly agree/believe that about a month before the hunt is the true quality scouting. These earlier months I'm just hoping will shed some light on figuring out what genetics are where, and maybe even some "honey hole" type grounds that hold deer well. I guess if all else fails I will at least get a few sheds out of it. The main unit i am looking at gets a ton of road hunters, making the interior country close to unseen during the hunt.

Maybe this link will work.
https://youtu.be/gXl6y5Q-yio

  Remove | Alert Edit | Reply | Reply With Quote | Top

bugleb
(75 posts)
Click to EMail bugleb Click to send private message to bugleb Click to view user profile Click to check IP address of the poster
Mar-11-17, 
08:37 PM (MST)
4. "RE: A change in scouting tactics this year, in hopes for better results."

I only hunted NM once. We found very few deer and no big ones. We asked a forest ranger where the deer are one day and he said, "there are no deer, I repeat, there are no deer". They manage the unit we were in to produce elk, and the locals say there used to be deer, but now, "there are no deer".

  Remove | Alert Edit | Reply | Reply With Quote | Top

jims
(1676 posts)
Click to EMail jims Click to send private message to jims Click to view user profile Click to check IP address of the poster
Mar-12-17, 
00:23 AM (MST)
5. "RE: A change in scouting tactics this year, in hopes for better results."

Sounds like a tough spot to scout effectively. If deer densities are low your best bet for scouting may be immediately after the season or during the rut when bucks are more visible? I'm not sure when the season is in relation to the rut?

It sounds like you are putting in lots of time and boot leather. Is the area known for super bucks? If not, you may be better off devoting time to an area that has better potential?

  Remove | Alert Edit | Reply | Reply With Quote | Top

BrianID
(942 posts)
Click to EMail BrianID Click to send private message to BrianID Click to view user profile Click to check IP address of the poster
Mar-12-17, 
04:31 PM (MST)
6. "RE: A change in scouting tactics this year, in hopes for better results."

I'm no expert on Southern New Mexico but do have some experience hunting in several different units. In many areas of Southern NM the deer will move to different areas at different times of the year. In some areas they stay in the same general area year round. If the deer you will be hunting are in the same general area year round, then scouting right now would be very effective. You don't have to stress about "bumping" deer like you would if you were scouting a day or two before the season opens. If the deer do migrate to different areas throughout the year, your scouting will obviously be not as effective. If you want to see the quality of the bucks in the area you hunt, I would agree that scouting during the rut would be the most effective. October would be the best time to scout for this falls hunts. The main food sources during spring, summer and fall will be different, so the daily pattern of deer will also be different.

In my opinion, you can kill a good buck in any unit in Southern New Mexico with some hard work and a little luck. Here are a couple pictures of my 2016 and 2015 bucks from Southern New Mexico.
28" wide 2016

31.5" wide 2015

Bucks like these are very rare in Southern NM. I put some work in to get them but I also got lucky. It is very possible that I could hunt Southern NM for the next 10 years and not kill a buck as good as either of these.

  Remove | Alert Edit | Reply | Reply With Quote | Top

BrianID
(942 posts)
Click to EMail BrianID Click to send private message to BrianID Click to view user profile Click to check IP address of the poster
Mar-12-17, 
04:41 PM (MST)
7. "RE: A change in scouting tactics this year, in hopes for better results."

By the way, last years buck was killed during the super moon. I think the moon did have some effect on the activity of the deer but I won't let the moon phase have any significant effect on the hunt dates I select. Most days the moon, wind, visibility and/or hunting pressure will not be ideal. The most important thing to put the time in and hunt hard and smart. Don't give up if the morning was a bust. My 4 largest bucks were all shot mid day.
Good luck in the draws.

  Remove | Alert Edit | Reply | Reply With Quote | Top

mmwb
(2122 posts)
Click to EMail mmwb Click to send private message to mmwb Click to view user profile Click to check IP address of the poster
Mar-12-17, 
11:45 PM (MST)
8. "RE: A change in scouting tactics this year, in hopes for better results."

The one thing you can gain in the summer, is to get out in the feeding areas and see how much feeding is going on. If there is little feeding, then you know the population is small.

Look for tracks following any moisture of a degree to allow tracks to be left. Blocky tracks 3 1/2" or longer (not including dew claws) is an indicator of a mature buck. No guarantees on head gear of course, but odds are better. There is no use hunting for a big deer if there aren't any in the area. Look for tracks on logging roads (they'll cross it, not walk along it), muddy trails (if you have any in your part of the country), and soft soiled side hills with feed.

Remember a mature buck will have a small core area. He won't need to leave cover much at all. He will have a dense cover area or two to bed in. He will have feed very close to his cover. He doesn't need acres. A few small clearings in the timber may be all he needs. They seldom need water, getting most from their feed. If they need feed or water out of cover, they will go at night.

Some big bucks will never be seen with a spotting scope and a few will never be seen with binos unless it is a hunter who has the know how and tenacity to hunt the bedding areas. Some bucks are nocturnal all summer, not just after hunting season starts.

Rubs can be another indicator, though I find in areas with elk, while one can tell a big elk's rub, it is harder to differentiate between a big deer and small bull's rub. They tend to similar sized trees and similar heights from the ground. Deer don't tend to rub very high.

Also, while out and about, don't assume that because a road is close, that there aren't any bigger deer. It is rare compared to wilderness deer, but again like elk, some bucks learn that a little cover within a few hundred yards from a road will never get hunted. Check for tracks on your way in to the isolated areas.

I hunt a heavily hunted area and have taken some nice bucks. My best, a heavy non-typical, was bedded 80 yards from a four wheeler trail that had been heavily used that day. I shot him in his bed. The norm? Maybe not, but deer are adapting and it may be less rare than some think.

All of that being said: I would probably hunt the high country basins like everyone else, rather than secondary ridges and lower timbered country. My feet, knees and back won't tolerate the steep climbs and miles anymore.

  Remove | Alert Edit | Reply | Reply With Quote | Top

iHuntNM
(3 posts)
Click to EMail iHuntNM Click to send private message to iHuntNM Click to view user profile Click to check IP address of the poster
Mar-15-17, 
04:23 PM (MST)
9. "RE: A change in scouting tactics this year, in hopes for better results."

Thanks for all the reply's. I guess I should have said in the beginning that the primary unit I am now focusing on is my home unit, the one I have killed all but one of my muleys in. So, that being said, this unit is chalk full of hunters come season, and is probably one of the most hunted units in the state when it comes to mule deer. So pressure is definitely a factor, these deer receive a ton of pressure year round from multiple other seasons as well (quail, barbary, pheasant, etc.), and I know popular opinion says that theres no big bucks down here in this part of the state. But I firmly believe, and know different. We (friends and family) have harvested tons of great bucks in this area and surrounding units.

One thing I might throw in, after I posted this I came across a very interesting Podcast on "the rich outdoors podcast" EP.068 with Jason Carter. It oddly enough completely lined up with my plans as far as watching deer year round. I think yall would enjoy it.

  Remove | Alert Edit | Reply | Reply With Quote | Top


Lock | Archive | Remove

Lobby | Topics | Previous Topic | Next Topic