I did not draw an archery tag this year in CO as a second choice. I now have enough points for next year that I should be able to go anywhere. But here is my dilema. I have never hunted mule deer so I dont want to waste my points next year on a good unit without some form of education. I am from the east coast and can only do one trip out west a year. So what will help me the most in terms of years to come? I was out elk hunting last year in a different unit so I have that under my belt. But, my thought is I have 3 main choices

1. Go to unit this year right before season in August that I want(hope) to draw in the future and scout. This way I can find the deer, feel comfortable with the land, see other hunters, etc.

2. Wait until October, grab a OTC elk tag and scout the unit I hope to draw for deer while maybe running into an elk. Bonus.

3. Go mule deer hunting anywhere to learn how to hunt mule deer!

Since I want to do this with a bow and backcountry solo(unless I find someone who will go with me, but thats another story) I keep going back and forth as to whats more important. Season, location, or practice?