You might want to also check out Perkins county they have a lot of public grasslands and is like badland terrain and has been very good also. Just talked to a guy that bow hunted last year and said the numbers are definitely down but think it would still be a great hunt. You won't know if u don't go and I know for a fact there are good muleys there, just going to hunt hard. By the way Perkins county is just east of Harding county. Great area also. Pheasant numbers are terrible here they dropped 63 percent last year. I talked to my neighbor which is a game warden and he checked 70 pheasant hunters on opening day and they only totaled 12 birds.
I have not hunted it, but have been planning a rifle hunt for years now. have a lot of PP's saved up. I was looking into the slim buttes area and the custer NF areas. I have driven through the area and spent countless hours on google earth.
I will say that in my last travels, the deer population seemed to be low, and the locals said as much too. There was a few years of over-harvest and bad winters. I also would suggest the Missouri river area if you can find public land. I have also seen some monster mulies on my travels to Wyoming around the Cheyenne river by wasta. not much public land, but some of the bucks I have seen would be worth the headache to find land. the buck I saw last year easily broke 180 above the Cheyenne river along I-90. it was at night and I almost smacked him with the truck, so it was a quick guestimate, but it was one the biggest mulies I have ever seen alive.
PM me if you would like. I have never done this hunt yet, but feel as if I havce after all the years of planning! The November gun hunt in SD has just never fit in my schedule yet. one of these years it will.
That bucks was just across the Cheyenne coming from the east where the interstate splits. It is the hill country dotted with cedars and scrub brush. The buck was in between where the highway splits coming onto the interstate. Funny thing was...............about 15-20 years ago when I was a kid in high school on our way to sundance on a mule deer hunt (I had a long drought of no western hunting due to school/college/marriage/kids) , we saw a mulie in almost the exact same spot. Not quite as big as the one last year......but big.
not sure if there is public land there or not.