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Mt Dutton Mule deer herd health

680 Views 4 Replies 5 Participants Last post by  Bucksnbulls08
I will find out next week if I have successfully drawn a GS rifle mule deer tag for Mt Dutton. I have done a fair amount of research already and was curious if anyone had some insight on what is the deer herd looking like this year? I know it was a nother harsh winter last year.
I am focusing my escouting to the southern half of the unit near flat top mountain or Clarence creek area. I am not looking for any specific info or locations but rather general info on the unit or areas to avoid.

Thanks in advance for the advice!
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The Dutton is a low deer density unit that can be a tough hunt. I hunted it a few years ago for archery. There will be days you won’t see a doe. It’s a challenging but fun place to hunt. Not a ton of roads on the unit. Southern half of the unit is very cool.
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Find some of the Dutton Bull Elk threads on here. A few members have had tags over the last couple years and would likely tell you what they have seen.
I bet the deer on the Dutton were not impacted by the crazy wet winter this year. I would imagine they have lots of good winter range on that unit.
The deer herd on the Dutton Unit is way down. 5 years ago looked terrible and now is worse. The Dutton did not have as harsh a winter as northern Utah. More snow up high but winter range was close to normal. What few deer I have seen, look healthy.
This winter and early spring, when I would go on viewing excursions, I would only see about 100 deer total. One time out I only saw 33 and that was in the evening. This same winter range, I would normally see 300-500 deer per excursion. Typically I would see a few very nice bucks. This winter, I only saw small bucks and not a lot of them.
The winter range I watch is John’s Valley and Black Canyon.
The south half is better for bigger bucks, especially in the rougher canyons.
The north half is generally smaller bucks. Spikes, forks, small 3 points.
I think the north gets hit harder because it is easier to get around.
From John’s Valley(east side), Cottonwood Creek and Deer Creek are usually full of horse hunters.
On the south, I suggest looking into Casto Canyon, east and west Hunt Creeks. I seldom see many deer south of Tom Best Springs road.
I don’t know much about the area near Panguitch.
Good luck!
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