Mule deer can be a challenge for any hunter. It is much larger compared to whitetail deer, but is still very easy to spook, which requires that a hunter be very careful when stalking them. In addition to this, mule deer often reside in difficult terrain, which adds to the difficulty in hunting these animals.
Research: as with any animal, one of the most important things a hunter has to do is to do his research. Know everything you can about mule deer, paying careful attention to anything that can give you an advantage. Aside from hitting the books, another way to do this is to get in touch with veteran mule deer hunters, who can give specific advice and strategies for hunting mule deer.
Scouting: related to Research, this involves actually going to the area you will be hunting at to familiarize yourself with it. If you have the time to do so, take note of watering holes, paths, and good areas to set up a blind or tree-stand. You may also want to speak with any locals familiar with the mule deer of the area; they can be very valuable in providing specific locations and habits of local mule deer.
Equipment: one of the most important tools a bow-hunter can have, aside from his bow, is a good set of binoculars. Mule deer can be difficult to spot, partly because of the terrain where they reside. In addition, a good rangefinder can also make the difference between a shot that takes a mule deer down, and one that lets it get away. You may also want to consider a fawn call, which could stop a deer from racing away – be careful when using one, however, as a deer can also be spooked if you overuse a fawn call.
Practice: as previously mentioned, mule deer can be found in difficult terrain – mainly mountainous areas. One of the mistakes novice mule deer bow-hunters make is that they do not realize the difference a steep angle can make, and are unable to correct their aim. Take the time to practice shooting at steep angles, so that you are prepared to take steep uphill or downhill shots to take down that mule deer.
Keep Fit: this is another very important aspect to consider when choosing to bow hunt mule deer. Again, the areas where they are found in have difficult terrain, and maintaining good physical health and building up your endurance is important, more so if you choose to hunt them at higher elevations. I’m sure you would hate to finally find your trophy mule deer, but be unable to draw your bow, or be shaking too hard because of exhaustion.