May/June 2013 EBJ (Issue 77) - I have found that a big mule deer is one of the hardest North American species to bowhunt successfully on a consistent basis. There aren’t that many of them, they get a lot of pressure from hunters and predators, and you can’t make any mistakes under 70 yards. I love hunting them in the early season in the velvet when they are visible and semi-predictable, but as my business has grown I find myself being more responsible about leaving my pro shop in August. I know I am going to get some laughs from my buddies about claiming to be responsible.
Alberta has their early season in September, which works much better for me. They have really cut back on their rifle tags, have very little archery pressure and unlimited groceries for their wildlife. I missed a 195-class buck there by inches on a long shot and took my best whitetail on the same hunt a 178” monster in mild weather.
My other favorite time to hunt really big stuff is in the rut when we are all vulnerable. I intercepted a really nice buck last January in Sonora that was following some does out of an alfalfa field into an arroyo, a classic 5x5 typical that grossed 189”even with weak back points.