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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey everyone,

I just moved to SLC from Michigan in early July and will be hunting the Wasatch Front extended archery deer season. Being from MI (and also living and hunting in WV and SC) I'm obviously a whitetail guy and this will be my first time chasing muleys. What I'm looking for is some advice on how to get started. Here are some specific questions I can think of off the top of my head:

1) What types of places should I be looking for deer? Above the timber, around aspen stands, are south-facing basins better than north-facing, etc?
2) What types of food sources do mule deer prefer throughout the season?
3) What techniques will work best to tag a deer? Spot and stalk, ambush, still hunting? Any thoughts or advice on sitting over water holes?
4) In general, how do deer utilize the habitat over the course of the season? That is, where should I expect deer to be (elevation and/or habitats) in September vs. October vs. November?

Any answers I can get would be greatly appreciated. I have no illusions of becoming an expert mule deer hunter over the next few months, and taking a deer of any size would be awesome. Also, feel free to point out any other resources (books, websites, etc) that might be helpful. Thanks in advance.

Brian
 

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You shouldn't have much trouble finding deer out there. I moved up here 2 1/2 years ago and last year was my first time hunting the extended. I saw plenty of deer the trouble is getting within bow range. Just pick any canyon that you like on google earth and hike it. Get over a mile out. Spend a lot of time glassing and you should be good to go. The deer could really be at any elevation I've seen them up high in the snow and down low before the snow flies. You should have a lot of fun I know I did
 

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The hardest part about the extended is getting away from people. There are deer all over the place. If we get a lot of snow it might push the deer down, but that doesn't usually happen till after the hunt gets over. Plan on hiking a lot if you want a chance at a big one.
 

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Just curious what unit do you have for the general archery tag? You can learn a lot from the deers behavior during that hunt versus the extended, plus the weather is a lot better. I know they are different deer but usually the same habits, I find my techniques don't really change from the general hunt through the extended. Just can't figure out why your focused on the extended hunt when you have almost a full hunt before it.
 

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One of the biggest turning points for my personal success at finding mule deer has been learning to use my glass. Like has been said previously there are quite a few deer on the extended unit but if you go and sit on the edge of a meadow or are only looking at a small piece of land you most likely are not going to see much. Find good vantage points where you can cover a lot of area 1-2 miles in multiple directions. My glassing strategy is this: Glass the area that is closest to me first. I will first scan the area semi quick looking at spots that I think will hold deer. Don't give up if you don't see any the first go around. Then, Pick an area I.E a canyon, hillside, or even a whole mountain side. Create a grid as you glass, Cover every square inch. I like to start at the top and keep my side to side areas a few hundred yards at most and slowly move down picking out anything unusual for further inspection. These buggers can really blend in. You are probably thinking to yourself man this sound time consuming, IT IS! I spend most of my morning and evenings glassing and its usually 2-3 hours per session. However this is the most effective way that I have found to find the deer.you can learn a lot about the areas they like to be in by doing this and best of all you wont burn yourself out hiking around all day while not seeing anything. This brings me to another tip, not on how to find the deer but the tools needed. I'm not sure what your bag of tools consists of but to glass for long periods of time effectively you are going to need to invest in some glass. Most people prefer to use 10-12 power binoculars. Buy the best you can afford and thank me later. While the bino's are a great start I think another glassing tool is indispensable, some people may not agree but I purchased a spotting scope 2 years ago and it has been my best investment so far in my hunting career. You can really stretch your range out and really pick things apart while using one and it has turned up more deer than my bino's 2 fold. Whatever route you decide, which obviously I recommend getting both, make sure you get a tripod. Glassing for long periods of time freehand sucks!! There Is a steep learning curve but this is one of those things I wish some one had told me when I first started hunting. I don't know if I will be hunting the extended area this year or not and I am by no means an expert either. But if you feel so inclined I LOVE to hunt and would gladly take you out to some spots I have seen deer in the past. Do some reading online Rokslide.com is one of my favorites look up Robby Denning on there, he just came out with a book and has a wealth of knowledge he has shared on that site. Another book that I plan on getting and have heard nothing but good things about is called Public Land Muleys by David Long I think it would be a wise investment for you. let me know if you have any more questions I love to help new hunters.
 

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Im not sure if I can give you any good pointers on the front because I've failed way to much to count. Deer can be found from just above the houses to the tops of the peaks. Some of the largest bucks I've filmed or seen can be seen with houses in the background. This goes for year round.

Learn to use other hunters to your advantage or you will get frustrated with full parking lots at 2 am.

Spotting scopes are overrated unless you think you need to count inches. I rarley pack mine so I can save weight. Nothing worse than trying to make a move on a buck quick and can't do it because your lungs are to small.

Any technique can work if you do your homework.

Learn to shoot your bow correctly. No macho ego trips. Your draw length is your draw length. Went out with a friend yesterday. He asked me to look at his form and give him some advice. I said draw is too long and bow lbs are too much. He said he was only shooting 63 lbs. I said turn it down to 55 and try again. He didn't like my advice but it was the truth. I can't even count how many people I see set up the same way and they wonder why they can't keep all their arrows in the yellow on a Vegas target at 20 yards and then think they need to shoot over a hundred to make close shots count. It's backwards BS macho talk that will cause them/you/me a buck.

There are no secrete spots. You will have to earn anything you get.
 

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Just curious what unit do you have for the general archery tag? You can learn a lot from the deers behavior during that hunt versus the extended, plus the weather is a lot better. I know they are different deer but usually the same habits, I find my techniques don't really change from the general hunt through the extended. Just can't figure out why your focused on the extended hunt when you have almost a full hunt before it.
I agree with this. Your general hunt will likely be less crowded than the extended. It should be easier to get a deer during the general hunt. I'm definitely planning on hunting my butt off to get my deer before the extended opens because I think I've got a way better chance then.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thanks for all of the help guys, this will give me a lot to think about. My general season hunt is in the Box Elder unit as that's all that was available for the leftover licenses. Having just moved here, I think my time would be better spent learning the terrain in the Wasatch over the next few weeks instead of jumping in blindly to the Box Elder hunt and then doing the same again a few weeks later once the extended opens. I've learned that the better you know your hunting area, the more successful you'll be in the long run. I'm a little strapped for cash after the move, but I need to pick up a new pair of binocs for sure. What magnification/objective does anyone recommend? Would a pair of 10x42's be adequate? Thanks again, I appreciate the responses.
 

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I use 8x30s. 10x42s are great too. Don't listen to SW's assessment of himself-- he knows the Front better than most, but do listen to his advice. Any draw/sidehill/canyon/etc with oakbrush on it will hold deer. Lots of area to hike and glass. I can't give one area because it seems every area I look at in Nov holds deer, from Draper to Ogden. Best of luck to you.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Cool, I'll have to look into a new pair of 10x42s. I like the larger objective for the low-light periods. Hopefully with all of the advice you guys gave me and Brendo's reading suggestions, I'll be that lucky SOB new guy smiling ear-to-ear behind a 180" bruiser that fell into my lap! Or maybe I'll just have that same smile behind a doe, it would be embarrasing if all I had in my freezer was vegetables this winter :mrgreen:
 
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