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  1. #11
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    My idea of a trophy buck is a buck that has that something special. Maybe it has short forks, but outstanding mass. Maybe some extra points, Maybe super long main beams, Maybe a nice symmetrical buck with a little bit of everything.

    I like high-scoring deer as much as the next guy, but some bucks just have "it."

  2. #12
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    For me it's total overall score. A 30" wide buck is defiantly on my list but I would have no problem taking a 20" wide buck that scores 170"+. Most of the bucks I've taken are in the 24-28" wide range and one 32" but it had a cheater that gave him the wide measurement. I do also really like the non typical bucks but a typical frame with trash just gets my adrenaline pumping!

  3. #13
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    i have been hunting mule deer diy otc in NM since '97. until 2007 i hunted them with a rifle. i had no rhyme or reason on how i hunted them. i got away from the roads and used glass and a whole lot of boot leather. these hunts were always in November after the Muzzy hunt in Oct. you want to talk about alot of pressure. the 1 good thing about the sea of orange vests was the fact that the deer were up and movin but the bad thing was that they were always on the move. imho there were way too many hunters during rifle season but i was one of the lucky ones that always seemed to kill a buck. however most of the time these bucks were not very big. respectable but not giants. and any time i ever saw a bigun he was 600 yards and running full speed over the horizon. i considered myself lucky to get out of these hunts with my life. thats no joke. it was like WWIII out there at times.

    there are 2 archery seasons for deer in the unit i hunt. September and January. now let me just say that the deer in the unit i hunt Rut in January and Herd Bulls are rutting in September so you can guess when i hunt mulies. thats right, in January because i love chasing screaming herd bulls just as much as these giant mulies that come out to play in January. but i never knew NM had such big mulie bucks until my first archery deer hunt in January of '09. i had drawn a archery elk and archery deer tag that year so i had to go out and buy a bow. so after making many mistakes and striking out during the Sept elk hunt i focused on January mule deer and what a ride this has been so far.

    so here are a few observations i have made about rutting mule deer in this being my 4th year. i killed a respectable 3x4 last year but a dink in comparison to what i am really after but it was my first with a bow. first off i am hunting the same area i hunted with a rifle for 11 years so know the unit like the back of my hand and had my favorite areas to hunt for obvious reasons and some not so obvious.

    i hunt Desert Mulies and some of them are no doubt mountain mulies that have migrated out of the southern tail of the Rockies. these big bucks have 1 thing and 1 thing only in mind in January and they simply do not care when you are watching them from a distance. let me give you an example. during rifle season one of these monsters could spot you from 600 yards and off he goes. during the rut however it is not the rutting bucks you have to look out for. it is the does. they are still just as leary of human presence in January as they are any other time of the year with an exception. the hot does arent really paying much attention because they constantly have a bucks nose up there you know what but the does that are not in estrus yet. part of the herd are centurys with a very watchful eye. this is the hard part about hunting mulies during the rut. i find these big bucks by glassing. a spotting scope isn't even necessary for me because they are up and around for the most part. they may bed down briefly at times thru out the day but i have had great luck in finding them without use of a spotting scope. and i want to be able to move quickly traveling as light as i possibly can. if not for the need of water i wouldn't even take my backpack with me but i stay out from sun up to sun down so i take a lunch as well. during the rut and this will be my 4th year hunting them with a bow, i have been able to find and hunt multiple "big" bucks every single day that i am hunting. i spot them and then i stalk them. and then i blow the stalk for one reason or another with my patience or should i say my lack of patience at times probably being my worst enemy. moving close enough for a bow shot is difficult because of all the watchful eye of the does. i have been close to getting a shot on many instances though and i know its just a matter of time.

    one thing i have noticed is that these mulies rut in the same areas and on the same grounds every year so finding them is much easier now that i have found a few of these areas. the hard thing is trying to guess which rout the deer will be using from 1 day to the next. they are still mule deer and though they may be in the same general area, you could set up where you know you will be able to see them once the sun comes up but they could be 200 yards away from where you set up. i cant tell you how many times i have had a herd of does with a giant buck sniffing them, walk past me just out of bow range.
    w
    i feel very good about this years upcoming hunt. i know i will find them. my confidence is where it needs to be and my bow shooting has never been better. killing a bigun is the challenge and these monster bucks didn't get to be 180 and bigger by being stupid even though they can be stupid this time of year. but when the does run, the buck runs and not cuz he's sceered but because he wants what the does have. will i take a smaller buck? we'll see about that but for now my focus is on "the monster"

    good luck to all of you on your upcoming hunts whatever those hunts may be.
    I Love the smell of Elk in the mornin
    The arrow is everything

  4. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by trophyhill View Post
    i asked this question on another forum regarding elk and it spawned the question "what do you consider a big bull" so lets say for the sake of argument that a Big Muley is 24" wide or bigger. how do you all "find and kill" big mulies consistently. i think there are probably more guys that kill big mulies every year than kill big bulls every year.
    I actually think that guys kill way more big bulls than big mulies!! Mainly because big mule deer are much smarter and more sensitive than big bulls! But that may also just be my view because I live in New Mexico where big bucks are far and few between where as big bulls aren't all that rare!

  5. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by dhershberger View Post
    I actually think that guys kill way more big bulls than big mulies!! Mainly because big mule deer are much smarter and more sensitive than big bulls! But that may also just be my view because I live in New Mexico where big bucks are far and few between where as big bulls aren't all that rare!
    Id say its cus your from NM

  6. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by dhershberger View Post
    I actually think that guys kill way more big bulls than big mulies!! Mainly because big mule deer are much smarter and more sensitive than big bulls! But that may also just be my view because I live in New Mexico where big bucks are far and few between where as big bulls aren't all that rare!
    i hear what you're saying neighbor but are these big bulls being taken by the same guys every year or are they being taken randomly by different hunters? when i asked that question regarding elk on another forum, the concensus seems to be that it is almost a statistical impossibility to kill a big bull every year due to the way the draws are set up in the west and the fact that in OTC units like in CO ID MT the bulls are lucky to make it to maturity and it would be highly unlikely for the same hunter to find what few big bulls might be availabe in a given OTC unit consistently year in year out not only in an OTC unit but also any draw unit because of the frequency you draw a unit. i still think there are guys that kill big animals every year. if i drew the Gila units every year i'd say my odds would increase significantly
    Last edited by trophyhill; 12-05-2011 at 12:33 AM.
    I Love the smell of Elk in the mornin
    The arrow is everything

  7. #17
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    I'm kind of torn on this... I have two mule deer that I have european mounts of on my wall that I consider trophies. One is 155" but he is a gorgeous 6x6, which is why I liked him. He had good character. The other one I have is 150" and I liked him because he is a 4x5 with a kicker off each side. Both of these bucks also have big eyeguards and for me, that is my biggest weakness in a mule deer is if they have eyeguards. So to me, these are trophies because they both have stuff that I love in a mule deer. I like the stuff that looks different than every other mule deer out there

  8. #18
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    When you talk about width, do you mean inside or outside spread/greatest spread?
    I really don't go by width and I don't have a 180 either but would really like to have one! My biggest muley grosses 172 6/8 and nets 167 4/8 and his inside spread is only 20 2/8". I have shot other deer that didn't score near that but am still proud of them cause of the hunt. I have never hunted mountain country but where I hunt in the sandhills of nebraska I use a lot of glass to find my deer and sometimes get lucky and just stumble accross one. I think that's called luck. It is very hard to pattern a deer here unless you have all the time in the world to watch him. I have seen the same buck 10 miles from where he was the day before. They travel a lot here and so do the whitetails.

  9. #19
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    I first of all want to say thanks for considering a "big" mulie starting at 24 inches. I probably won't answer your question but I might vent a little. But I am with you 24 inches and 175 to me is where you start with "big". Sooooooo many people have no clue TRULY how to score an animal and all this TV stuff has gotten out of control. If you do not have a special unit tag and are not paying thousands to hunt. You have to be an excellent hunter to consistently harvest a "big" animal and more than likely you won't, it doesn't mean you are not a good hunter, there just aren't that big of deer running around. I have friends,ok people I know, who are always talking about shooting a 180 buck. I ask them, how many 180 deer have you EVER even seen in real life, while hunting. Zero, it's all the same thing, very few people truly know how big a 180 buck is. And it is enormous. So to answer your question, I don't think you can, not year after year. it doesn't mean you are a bad hunter, they just aren't there. Unless you are looking at big money or a special tag. A 160 to 175 year after year with an occasional buck topping the 175 mark, to me, that is getting the job done.

  10. #20
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    That is very true Montana, a lot of people don't know. I have the privelage of knowing 3 people who have shot deer in the 180 class. I always hear of people who seen one or missed one but it's always the same few people, I never can figure out why they can't get one of them though, haha, then they end up shooting a 120 inch 2 1/2 year old. hmmm.... In my 17 years of hunting, by that I mean old enough to have a tag, actually been going hunting with my dad since I could walk and maybe even before that. I have never seen one except for the one my dad got when I was with him. I think it would be great if everyone knew how to score a deer the B&C way.

 

 

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