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trophyhill
12-04-2011, 11:39 PM
do you have any experience hunting these guys during the rut?

Maxhunter
12-05-2011, 05:52 AM
I hunt them every year on the Utah Wasatch Extended Archery Hunt which is in the rut, unless I get one in the early season. I've been fortunate enough to take 3 good bucks since I start hunting them in 2007. I think it's one of the best times to get an opportunity at a big buck. You'll see them but it's not easy to get a shot since the brush and terrain makes it difficult to get close enough to get a shot. It just makes my day just seeing them from a distance and trying to figure out a way to get an opportunity.

Why are you asking?

BOHNTR
12-05-2011, 07:14 AM
I've bowhunted them every year (Dec/Jan) during the rut for the last 25 years in Arizona. In fact, I'm leaving the day after Christmas and spending three weeks in the Arizona desert chasing those random, ruttin', big ol' desert muleys. I can't wait....one of my favorite hunts of the year.

trophyhill
12-05-2011, 07:44 AM
Why are you asking?

care to share any tricks of the trade for anyone who may be doing it for the first time or those that haven't had any success hunting them in the rut yet?

this will be my 4th year hunting rutting desert mulies with my bow (in January NM) and it truly is an exciting hunt. i manage to blow at least 1 stalk a day on this hunt and many times multiple stalks in a day on some very nice muley bucks. it is tough getting past all the does. ideally i can find one bedded up all by himself but that hasn't been the case yet. i got the monkey off my back last year on a small 3x4 buck right after a blown stalk on a monster muley. i feel like this is the year.

trophyhill
12-05-2011, 07:46 AM
I've bowhunted them every year (Dec/Jan) during the rut for the last 25 years in Arizona. In fact, I'm leaving the day after Christmas and spending three weeks in the Arizona desert chasing those random, ruttin', big ol' desert muleys. I can't wait....one of my favorite hunts of the year.

Nice and good luck to you. i have a friend going to AZ for the same hunt near the NM AZ border west of the Gila. he's pretty pumped about it.

RUTTIN
12-06-2011, 08:02 PM
Trophyhill, I'll give you some insight as to what happened to me this year on my rut hunt. Like Maxhunter I hunt the Wasatch Front in Utah. I have not had the luck he has had. This year I decided to try some new tactics and see what would happen. I tried using a Primos Can call (doe bleat) I called in a nice 170 buck into 18yds, he came from 500yds away on a dead run, shot and my arrow hit a branch in the thick oak brush and sailed over his back. A week later it was snowing so hard I couldn't see 100yds. tried the can again and had a 30 inch buck come in, I wasn't ready, he watched me knock an arrow and was getting ready to leave, I shot for 50 and he was 61yds, shot right under him. Long story short I stayed in that canyon for 6 more days and called in 7 more bucks with the can. Most were small and I didn't want to shoot. Seemed like if they were searching on their own, they would come to the can. When that quit working I tried grunting(they didn't like that, most would run others would just look) So I tried rattling. I had 9 other bucks come in to rattling. (same canyon) Had some bucks that if they were with does they would not come to anything and the does could care less at my calling. So then I tried a fawn in distress call, the does came on the run, and you know who would follow. It was an amazing year that I just could not put together to harvest one. Hope this helps and I'm sorry it was so long. Can't wait till next year, it was kind of like hunting elk.

dhershberger
12-06-2011, 08:09 PM
Hey trophy hill, what unit are u hunting in? I live in New Mexico and I'm familiar with some of the units and i like to hear about other NM hunters!

trophyhill
12-07-2011, 10:46 AM
Trophyhill, I'll give you some insight as to what happened to me this year on my rut hunt. Like Maxhunter I hunt the Wasatch Front in Utah. I have not had the luck he has had. This year I decided to try some new tactics and see what would happen. I tried using a Primos Can call (doe bleat) I called in a nice 170 buck into 18yds, he came from 500yds away on a dead run, shot and my arrow hit a branch in the thick oak brush and sailed over his back. A week later it was snowing so hard I couldn't see 100yds. tried the can again and had a 30 inch buck come in, I wasn't ready, he watched me knock an arrow and was getting ready to leave, I shot for 50 and he was 61yds, shot right under him. Long story short I stayed in that canyon for 6 more days and called in 7 more bucks with the can. Most were small and I didn't want to shoot. Seemed like if they were searching on their own, they would come to the can. When that quit working I tried grunting(they didn't like that, most would run others would just look) So I tried rattling. I had 9 other bucks come in to rattling. (same canyon) Had some bucks that if they were with does they would not come to anything and the does could care less at my calling. So then I tried a fawn in distress call, the does came on the run, and you know who would follow. It was an amazing year that I just could not put together to harvest one. Hope this helps and I'm sorry it was so long. Can't wait till next year, it was kind of like hunting elk.

thanks for the insite Ruttin. last year i took my grunt tube and a "Rattle Cage" with me and my experience was similar to yours in one respect. knowing i did not have a chance to move any closer because of all the does and no cover, i tried a grunt on one occasion. of all things it spooked a doe and she took off taking the herd of does with her and lets just say that the buck wanted nothing to do with that grunt and followed his does out of site. the same thing happened a day later when i tried to rattle a big buck with does.

a couple days after that i tried to grunt a smaller 3 1/2 year old 10 point that was all alone. its funny because when i spotted him he was thrashing a mesquite bush. reminded me of an elk that i got into a raking match earlier that year with. although he was interested or acted like it i couldn't get him in closer than 100 yards. and finally he didn't see what he heard and thought better to skidaddle rather quickly once he started.

so i guess i need to choose my grunts and rattles a little more wisely if i am to do this or choose when to do this i should say. i do have a doe bleat can by Primos that i used for Ohio white tail this year. i'll take it with me this year.

trophyhill
12-07-2011, 10:54 AM
Hey trophy hill, what unit are u hunting in? I live in New Mexico and I'm familiar with some of the units and i like to hear about other NM hunters!

i live in Tijeras also dhershberger. no doubt we have probably seen each other on the road some where. i drive a black f150 with a bunch of elk, deer and bow huntin decals on my windows. i hunt in south east NM for open country mulies. i'll give you a hint on where i hunt. you can see Sierra Blanca and El Capitan from where i hunt and on a clear day the Sacramentos around Cloudcroft off in the distance. i love hunting these monster Desert Mulies during the rut. its funny because when i used to rifle hunt i never saw many big bucks but now that i have been hunting them with a bow in January, i see big bucks on a daily basis.

Maxhunter
12-07-2011, 07:59 PM
Trophyhill - I mainly treestand the rut. I found a spot back in 2007 that has a bunch of canyons that come together and thought it would be a good place for a stand. Well I guessed right and there is a lot of does and buck that come through the area all day long so theres lots of action somedays and others it's very slow. I've noticed from about the middle of the month until the end of November is best from my experience. I did the spot and stalk thing but sometimes it's tough getting an opportunity do to the brush. Ruttin, method will definitely work also but I've had my best luck sitting in tree. My shots are from 13-18yds typically. It takes patience to sit for 7-8hrs in the cold but IMO it's worth the results I've has so far. I'd bet money a ground would be deadly in the right spot if there weren't any trees available. What's the terrain like where you'll be hunting open or semi-forested?

dhershberger
12-07-2011, 08:18 PM
i live in Tijeras also dhershberger. no doubt we have probably seen each other on the road some where. i drive a black f150 with a bunch of elk, deer and bow huntin decals on my windows. i hunt in south east NM for open country mulies. i'll give you a hint on where i hunt. you can see Sierra Blanca and El Capitan from where i hunt and on a clear day the Sacramentos around Cloudcroft off in the distance. i love hunting these monster Desert Mulies during the rut. its funny because when i used to rifle hunt i never saw many big bucks but now that i have been hunting them with a bow in January, i see big bucks on a daily basis.
Oh, okay I think I know the general area where you hunt. In fact I'm pretty sure I know the exact unit. Its cool you live in Tijeras like me. I live not to far from the Zuzax I-40 exit. I usually hunt deer with a rifle. To be honest I think one of the most underrequested deer hunts that is excellent is the Gila rifle deer hunts. They give you all of the 16 units and some of them barely have any deer while others have some great bucks. Theses hunt are from early to mid november which is the beginning of the deer rut and is perfect for trophy hunting. This year I busted a stalk on a huge 170+ deer, one of the biggest I've seen in NM! I sure wish he was on my wall! I love the southeastern units and took a great bull this year in the Gila which is my profile pic. I hope you have a great bow hunt and if you get anything, post some pictures!

trophyhill
12-09-2011, 05:31 AM
Trophyhill - I mainly treestand the rut. I found a spot back in 2007 that has a bunch of canyons that come together and thought it would be a good place for a stand. Well I guessed right and there is a lot of does and buck that come through the area all day long so theres lots of action somedays and others it's very slow. I've noticed from about the middle of the month until the end of November is best from my experience. I did the spot and stalk thing but sometimes it's tough getting an opportunity do to the brush. Ruttin, method will definitely work also but I've had my best luck sitting in tree. My shots are from 13-18yds typically. It takes patience to sit for 7-8hrs in the cold but IMO it's worth the results I've has so far. I'd bet money a ground would be deadly in the right spot if there weren't any trees available. What's the terrain like where you'll be hunting open or semi-forested?


the terrain is open country foothills with the cover being cactus, mesquite and in some cases sage with lots of canyons, draws and ridges. i still cant figure out why people around here call this area "down in the flats". nothing big enough to support a stand. i have kicked around the idea of a ground blind at a water tank. i know where a few natural funnels are but picking the right spot to put a ground blind is a tough call. i have set up and used what cover was available only to be out witted by these mulies. for example their is a ridge with 2 saddles side by side on this that spans 5-600 yards and the deer cross over from one side to the other right here. the result so far has been if i set up on the west end, the deer cross on the east end. if i set up on the east end they cross on the west end. if i set up in the middle of the 2 saddles the deer will cross on either end. when i set up on either end the deer will cross in the middle. do you see where i am going with this? when i try a set up on this particular ridge i am there before sun. also with limited cover stalking can be difficult at best with all the eyes ears and noses on you. God i love this hunt!

Maxhunter
12-09-2011, 05:49 AM
Sounds like you know the area and deer very well. Hopefully you'll find some method to be able to get opportunities. Good luck!

trophyhill
12-09-2011, 09:25 AM
Sounds like you know the area and deer very well. Hopefully you'll find some method to be able to get opportunities. Good luck!

Thanks Maxhunter, i do know the area very well and have figured out that these particular deer rut in the same areas every year. ya know? i feel like i have been doing alot of the right things to have seen what i have seen in this being my 4th year hunting them with a bow, but so far haven't been able to put it all together at the right time with the big bucks. i always seem to be early or late if you know what i mean. although i did kill my first archery mule deer last year so maybe having killed a smaller buck it will get easier.