Mule deer are elusive, adept at hiding from predators, and exceptionally wary. However, with the right gear, camo, and safety measures, you can successfully hunt for these beauties, and get them down to barbecue sized portions. Nothing tastes better than venison you hunted yourself, after all. 

We know how hard it is to schedule that time away in the outback. In order to make sure your trip has every chance at success, we put together these tips on how to score a mule deer. So get out there, get hunting, and get that barbie warmed up and ready.

The 5 Core Tips for Mule Deer Hunting Success

There are 5 main ways the pros make every mule deer hunt a success. 

1 – It’s all in the Smell

Top of any good hunting list is your scent. Take soap and body products that are scent free, don’t spread your smell around the area too much, and keep your scent to a minimum. Some mule deer hunters will keep their hunting clothes in a sealed pack before they arrive and change in the van, just to avoid becoming contaminated by human smells that will ultimately spook animals. 

2 – Practise Emerging

If you need to come out of your den to shoot when you spot a deer, then you need to practise doing so in a way that’s not going to attract attention. You might get to an area, see a deer straight away, and come down to shoot – only to scare them away with all the rustling. Check the descent or doorway to ensure you’re not visible while moving, too.

3 – The Beaten Track

The beaten track is beaten for a reason: it gets you easy access to the mule deer you came to hunt. On the other hand, you do not know what he hunter that was there before you behaved like. There may be other hunters there at the same time as you… all of these are things you need to prepare for. Sometimes it is better to turn off the beaten track. Sometimes it is noisier and more likely to spook the deer. If you do go off into the bush, though, be sure to take your compass. 

4 – Safety Matters

Your safety is as much a priority as catching the deer. You need rations if you’re unsuccessful, somewhere to sleep, and enough knowledge of outdoor living to get by safely. You need to think about all the animals out there that potentially see you as prey. You need to dress appropriately, wearing the hunter’s orange wherever possible. Finally, you must have the correct first aid and navigation tools.

5 – Stay Silent

It is a known fact that the quieter you are, the less likely you will be to spook the mule deer. The best way is to lie in wait until they are upon you, and then emerge silently. It is better to take the shot without moving, if you can, but this is not always possible. Be silent and be patient. Deer are actually pretty noisy themselves so if you stay still, you should be able to hear them without them hearing you.

Happy Hunting

Good luck out there. If you follow these five core tips to mule deer hunting you should come back with a full stomach and a set of antlers as a prize.