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Top Tips & Techniques for Mule Deer Hunting

Mule Deer Hunting

One of the most popular species that we tend to hunt is the Mule Deer, but there are some handy tips and tricks that you need to learn before you go out on the hunt. After all, Mule Deer differ dependent upon the region that you are hunting in. To be clearer on that point, mule deer that you find in deserts will behave differently to mule deer that you find living in mountain ranges. They eat differently, look different and this leads us to hunt them differently.

So without further ado let’s look at our top tips for hunting mule deer, so next time you are out on the hunt, you will come home victorious.

Tip 1: How to Spot Mule Deer

The first thing we need to identify is the mule deer itself, so how do we spot them?

hunter looks in binoculars

Mule deer and more specifically the bucks of the group will wander about near streams, gullies, and basins. Basically anywhere that has a food source or a water source. Look for high points in the area where you can safely get to and begin the stakeout (Tip 2).

The higher you are the better scope you are going to have of the surrounding area, but make sure that you are facing away from the sun so it does not impede your vision and that all important shot.

Tip 2: The Stakeout

Now we come to the good old fashioned spot and stalk method. However, for mule deer hunting you should want to be sitting in one place, and use a pair of good binoculars to observe their actions.

Pick out a mule deer, and then stick with it.

The Stakeout

Slowly begin to sneak in, gradually and carefully until you are at a good enough range where you can take your shoot. Remember that you will get one chance at the shot so you need to be 100% confident you going to make it. Any doubts you have, recompose yourself and start again.

Tip 3: How to Not Blow Your Cover

Once you have begun the process of slowly creeping in to the mule deer, several other factors will come into play.


These are the three S’s:

  • Smell
  • Sounds
  • Sight

One of the mule deer’s strongest senses, are its sense of smell. As soon as they pick up on this, you’ve lost your chance at the shot. Some tips to avoid being picked up are to:

  • Keep your bearings on the wind direction so that your smell isn’t being sent across to the mule deer.
  • Try not to bath in scented products, wash in just plain water
  • Put your clothing in a bag that is full of natural smelling items such as dirt, vegetation and other things that you would expect to find in the location that you are hunting in.

To combat sounds, you simply need to be careful of where you are treading, and more importantly move slowly. Remember, this isn’t a race and it will take time so don’t blow all the hard work up until now.

Finally, to combat the sight aspect you should invest in some camouflage clothing and paints that can disguise your hands, your face and anything else that is open to sight. It may seem like a bit of a way to go, but it will pay off.

Tip 4: Find Out The Best Time of Day to Hunt

Rather than lying in wait from 9 in the morning until 9 at night, do some planning and find out when mule deer’s tend to be at their most active. We can tell you that you are going to see them throughout the day but the best times are usually first and last hours of light.

goose binoculars

Our advice is to plan a day where you can watch their movements in the morning so you can get a feel for their daily routine. What this will do is give you a good idea of patterns and whereabouts so you can be in a great position before the first signs on light, and eventually get your trophy.

Above all, when you go out mule deer hunting you need to be patient, you need to act slowly, and you need to be well prepared. Hopefully these tips will give you a better insight into how you can be more efficient on your next mule deer hunt.