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Over the past year I've been trying to teach myself to hunt. I grew up in CA with my father dove and quail hunting, but nothing bigger. I also don't have any family or friends (I work in tech) that hunt, so I decided that I was going to figure it out myself.

I have harvested deer before, but it was on my father in law's land in ID and I wouldn't exactly say I hunted it (we just drove around in his truck until we spotted one).

I've been going crazy with YouTube videos of local hunts and professional's giving guides. I've also been reading over tons of maps of the area and info about game behaviors. But I don't have much time to spend scouting on foot.

In short, I drew a tag for Wasatch Mtns West, ALW, and was hoping to get some pointers about where to avoid and what to look for in this area. Also, what kinds of ranges should I expect to be taking shots at. I am very comfortable out to 200, but I haven't really shot past that. I also plan to be using my 6.5 Grendel rifle, so I don't want to reach out past 350yds.

Any kind of help would be fantastic.

As a side note, I will not be going alone. My 69yr father is going to be coming with me, for moral support? He hasn't been deer hunting since the 70s, so we'll both be fairly lost.
 

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There are lots of deer in that unit but there will be lots of hunters due to the many roads and 4 wheeler trails it also has. My advice would be hunt during the week and don’t be picky if a legal buck shows himself. We see bucks every year while hunting elk on that unit during archery season.
 

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About the best thing you can do is go into the season figuring your not going to harvest an animal this year but your going to learn a lot. Get out and hunt, make mistakes and learn some new things and you just might get lucky.

Sounds like your doing all you can do right now and your probably way ahead of the game then most, get some on the ground experience and the harvests will come.

I would advise you need to cover ground, don't set on a hill somewhere and spend all your time behind your bino's as your not going to learn much this way. Hike around find there trails, water sources and probably blow a few out of there beds.
 

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The best thing that I can tell you is to try and do most of your hunting after opening weekend. Most weekend warriors will be home on Monday and not come back until Friday. You will have some that drive up after work through the week but you will find that from Tuesday morning until Friday afternoon you will have a lot of the area to yourself.
 

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utjazzfan#1
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This year will also be my first hunt. I drew in the Ogden unit and have considered both Mantua and Middle Fork WMA as potential hunting areas. Does anyone have any consideration for either of these areas?
 

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My first hunt was last year.

Finding deer was my biggest challenge during any weapons season. It took me days to spot my first buck during the open season last year.

If something isn't working, try different habitats / areas and different approaches to see what works.
 

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Here is my advise to a newbie in a new area...get up there and drive all over before the hunt and learn as much about the general area as you can. Watch for deer all the time and if you see a few deer alone the road or up on hillsides, etc, THAT might be a good place to hunt. Don't be fooled by these guys that give you the old "shoe leather" bit, if there are deer in the area, you'll see some from the road. Not to say you need to actually just "road hunt", but scouting from the road for a general area is very effective.

Now, as to the biggest mistake newbies make...SHOOT THE DAM* DEER! That sounds obvious, but the most common mistake I see newbies make is they see a deer then they put the scope on him, but they won't pull the trigger. Even if the deer is just standing there, they sit there and aim and aim and aim. So many times it only takes one step and that deer is gone.
Good luck, hunt safe and have fun.
 

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Now, as to the biggest mistake newbies make...SHOOT THE DAM* DEER! That sounds obvious, but the most common mistake I see newbies make is they see a deer then they put the scope on him, but they won't pull the trigger. Even if the deer is just standing there, they sit there and aim and aim and aim. So many times it only takes one step and that deer is gone.
Good luck, hunt safe and have fun.
No truer words.

I had a novice hunter with me one year and he had a doe tag. We were in my truck when we spotted a doe on a far hillside directly in front of us. Problem was she was around 400 yards off. I told him to get out and walk up a short distance and to shoot her. He had got within 200 yards when the does calmly turned and walked up the hill a short distance but still less than 225 yards away from him. He then turned around and looked at me in the truck and put his hands up in the air as if saying what now? The doe then headed into the thick brush never to be seen again. When I got up to him he asked me what I would of done when she started to walk and then stopped. I just told him that I would of shot her and been done with it.

We finally got him a doe a couple of days later, but he didn't listen to me on that one either.
 

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Here is my advise to a newbie in a new area...get up there and drive all over before the hunt and learn as much about the general area as you can. Watch for deer all the time and if you see a few deer alone the road or up on hillsides, etc, THAT might be a good place to hunt. Don't be fooled by these guys that give you the old "shoe leather" bit, if there are deer in the area, you'll see some from the road. Not to say you need to actually just "road hunt", but scouting from the road for a general area is very effective.
Your not going to learn anything from the cab of a pickup but yes a little road hunting never hurts.

Were I deer hunt, well really cow hunt during the muzzy deer season about the only place we see deer is off the road and I have no problem doing a little road hunting after a few days of crawling around the hills chasing cow's but if I would have told the OP to just drive around until you find a deer to shoot you all would have blasted me.
 
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