9 Best Mule Deer Hunting Tips For Successful Hunt

Mule deer hunting is a big game for hunters who like large animal hunting. They are found in North America, especially in rocky mountain. Arid and the Rocky Mountains are the most suitable place for mule deer.

This sought-after species weight is 130 and 280 pounds and the antler measurement is nearly 200 inches. Hunting this large animal requires lots of technical skills and experience.

Spotting the mule deer is difficult always until they move. So, you need lots of patience as well for hunting mule deer.

Here we are listing some mule deer hunting tips that will help you to learn and hunt mule deer effectively.

How To Identify A Mule Deer?

Mule deer has some identifying characteristics that help people to identify a mule deer.

They have large ears which are near three-fourths of their head. In summer they are tannish-brown and in winter they look brownish-gray in color. The distinctive black forehead contrasts with the beautiful light gray color.

You can easily identify a mule deer for its large antler that is nearly 200 inches. Generally, they have a small whitetail, but black-tailed subspecies are also found in some regions.

Comparatively, the tails are small than normal deer. Mule deer is 3 to 3.5 feet tall and 4.5 to 7 feet long. The male deer is bigger than the female deer.

Where Mule Deers Are Found?

Mule deer are specially adapted species found in North America. The west of the Missouri River and Rocky Mountain is the best place where you will find mule deer. The arid and rocky environments are the best places for living mule deer.

They eat emerging and young plants as they are more nutritious than normal trees and leaves.

You will also find them in Colorado, Nevada, Utah, and some other places.

  • Colorado
  • Idaho
  • Nevada
  • Utah
  • Wyoming
  • Arizona


Colorado is a potential place for mule deer hunters. You must try mule deer hunting in Colorado.

The environment is absolutely perfect for the mule deer and you will find lots of mule deer in this place.

The hot dry season, for this reason, is October to November. The season is the best for going to Colorado for mule deer hunting.


Another place you will find a large number of mule deer. Idaho is also famous for elk hunting that provides you a double chance to make the hunting successful.

You get permission for both types of deer hunting as you have already invested your money. Idaho has control over firearms that you just need to abide by.


Nevada is known as Silver State where you will find mule deer and some other sub-species. In other states, you have to follow the state rules and regulations.

If you are a professional hunter, you must try this region for mule deer hunting.

Similar to Colorado, this state has a point system. You need to follow the point system or you will be penalized.


Utah is popular for Paunsaugunt and Henry Mountains. You will find all giant mule deer bucks in these Rocky Mountains.

For being a hilly area, mule deer feel comfortable living in these areas. You can also explore these mountains for mule deer hunting.

You will get two types of permits – a general season permit and a limited-entry permit.


This deer hunting spot has a limited quota system for mule deer hunting. You will get a limited season for hunting.

Point systems like Colorado and Nevada narrow down the scope of hunting.

But following the rules, you can go to Wyoming for mule deer hunting. Consulting with an experienced person will help you to learn the basics of mule deer hunting in Wyoming.

People also go to this spot for research purposes.


Non-residents get very few permits in Arizona for mule deer hunting. But obviously, there has a huge opportunity for mule deer hunting.

If you live in Arizona like me, you can get permits easily, but you need to invest a regular charge for the permit.

Getting the lawyer voucher is essential in Arizona. So, you have to follow the guidelines and rules of the state.

You need to read about the points system and get the required points for deer hunting.

Mule Deer Hunting Tips For Beginners

#1. Knowledge About Season

For any type of deer hunting, you just need a good knowledge of the seasons. If you are going for mule deer hunting, then the dry season is the best time for you. The dry season in the different territories is different.

You can consult with local people or an expert to know about the season. In the season, deer are most active that is suitable for hunting. The brownish color helps them to hide in the mountain.

You will only be able to identify them when they are active. This is the reason; you have to build knowledge on deer hunting seasons. In the season, they move for food and breeding that is helpful for the hunters.

Knowing the season reduces the hard work and stress of hunting. You can easily make the hunting successful if you know the season properly.

#2. Practice Patience

In the mid-day, mule deer tend to enjoy the shade. During these hours your spotting scope is the only thing that will help you identify a mule deer. You need lots of patience and enthusiasm for your hunting in the mountain.

A hunter should be ready to cover a few couple of miles in the rugged area. You don’t know the exact place they are staying in. So, you have to travel a couple of miles in a rough and tough situation.

Many people lose patience and fail to hunt any mule deer. Because you might not see any mule deer the whole day depending on the situation. You need huge patience and wait till the eleventh hour.

In the meantime, keep searching with your binoculars. Wait until you see the first mule deer on the place.

Enough patience can change the game and make you the ultimate winner. So, there is no alternative to patience in deer hunting in the mountain.

#3. Be Physically Prepared

Without good physical strength, you won’t able to enjoy the hunt. Because a huge hard work is involved in the journey of mule deer hunting. They are large in size and keen to hide.

So, you have to pass a couple of miles in rough mountains to find them. If you are not physically fit, it will be hard for you to handle the situation. The wild area is not suitable for everyone. You can get ill in extremely hot weather.

You can join the deer hunting training program to improve your physical strength. They teach all the tips and tricks to survive in the wild. You can follow daily routines and meals to get physically fit.

Before you go hunting, you better concentrate on physical fitness. This will help you to enjoy your hunting when you are on the field.

#4. Mule Deer Habitat

To find mule deer, you need to understand the ecology of mule deer. What they eat, where they live, and other natural activities as well. Understanding the ecology will help you to follow and find them for hunting.

If you know the habitat, you can make the mule deer hunting success easily. All the subspecies of the mule deer live in the Arid and the Rocky Mountains. But they move for food and breeding.

In winter they are brownish-gray, but, in summer they look tannish-brown. The color helps them to hide in rocky mountains.

Expert hunter always uses this information to find mule deer effectively. You can use the natural habitat to identify mule deer in mountains. This will reduce the hard work on your hunting.

Special Tips: Use peanut butter to attract mule deer.

#5. Be Careful About Mule Deer Ear, Nose & Eye

Mule deer is very clever that easily can easily detect a human or hunter. If you can’t hide from mule deer eye, ear, or nose, it will be really difficult to take the perfect shot.

They are masters in rocky mountains. Mule deer can move on the rocky ground, but you can’t. They take advantage and hide really quickly.

If you do a little unconscious movement, they will understand the present and it will be hard for you to hunt a mule deer. This is the reason, you need lots of patience and hard work for mule deer hunting.

Keep glassing the mule deer with your binoculars until they are in a suitable place for shooting. Avoid their nose and ears, because they are prone to smell and movement.

#6. Use The Right Weapon

Mule deer hunting requires lots of strength and heavy weapons. Because they are comparatively larger than normal deer.

So, you need to choose the perfect weapon for this type of deer hunting. Choosing the wrong weapon will impact on your hunting negatively.

You need a good knowledge of firearms on hunting. This will help you to choose the right type of firearm in your hunting. You will be able to hunt the mule deer effectively.

Also, taking the right shot is essential. If you miss the shooting at the last moment, you won’t able to make the hunt successful.

You have to practice regularly with your best weapon. This will help you to improve your shooting skills and get the perfect shot on hunting.

Avoid using light weapons on mule deer hunting as they are comparatively large.

Must-Read Review: Scope Under $300

#7. Judging Antlers

Mule deer is identical for its large antlers. Judging the antler can help you to find mule deer effectively. People always want to move where the deer is. Finding the mule deer is easy for its large antlers.

You can build your hunting strategy before you go on hunting. This type of deer has large antlers and big ears, but the forehead is small. This makes the complication and they can hide effectively.

You can improve your skills in deer identification. Mule deer antlers are 20 to 24 inches long. You can follow their antlers to find them easily. The antler color is similar to its body and forehead.

So, it’s always difficult to identify them. If you wait patiently and keep glassing with binoculars, you will get a chance to identify them. Wait for the change and keep glassing until you find one.

#8. Pay Attention To The Weather

Weather is an important factor for deer hunting in the mountain. After a rainstorm deer come out in open fields to feed on water-soaked. Sun goes behind the cloud and always there has the possibility to start rain again.

If you go hunting on a rainy day in the mountain, get prepared for the rough situation. This type of condition is hard to move but good for deer hunting. When they come out after the rainstorm, you can easily identify them easily.

The weather has a great impact on any type of hunting. You have to gather knowledge of different weathers to enjoy hunting.

Follow weather forecasts, news, or mobile apps before you go hunting. This will help you to stay aware of rough weather. You can avoid any unwanted situation on your hunting.

#9. Off-Season Training

If you have a goal to become a professional mule deer hunter, you should follow these tricks.

Keep the eye on the calendar and go for off-season training. This will help you to grow confidence and become a better shooter for next season.

You can practice with multiple weapons or firearms to build your skills. This is the easiest way to learn different types of firearms operating effectively.

You can also participate in other types of animal hunting in the offseason. Elk hunting is a similar activity that helps you to learn mule deer hunting.

Many different agencies arrange deer hunting training in different states. You can join those courses to develop your shooting & hunting skills.

Final Words

Mule deer hunting is similar to elk hunting and something challenging for new hunters.

If you love you accept challenges, you must follow the above-mentioned tips before you go for mule deer hunting.

This will help you to avoid risks and enjoy your hunting.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *