Another plus to this hunt is that in south Arizona the mule deer and Coues deer rut in late December and early January. State agencies across the West have different approaches when it comes to setting season dates. The best time to hunt these units is in January when the rut spurs the bucks to come out of hiding. Gestation is defined as the length of time a bred doe carries a fawn before giving birth. Then, for reasons that are still unclear, deer populations began to increase. Photoperiodism is defined as the physiological reaction of organisms to the length of day or night. Some of the oldest bucks will continue to move very little until the first does actually begin to cycle into estrus. When the mule deer come into rut, generally in mid December and January in the lower elevations, it's exciting to hunt them with your bow because their sense of awareness is only concentrated on their doe. The other major advantage of the pre-rut is that bucks are rarely carrying broken racks because aggressive fighting has not yet started. deer, considering it is the desert. Montana is the overwhelming king when it comes to providing peak rut opportunity to rifle hunters. Below is a graph of the table above to show the differences based on latitude. The mule deer in the areas between these two examples will rut at a time between these two extremes. Another opportunity — and one of the most coveted — is with a Colorado fourth season rifle tag in a unit in the northern half of the state. Hunters will have a very reasonable opportunity at a buck ranging from 180-200+. Move quickly to try and head them off. During pre-rut, we find bucks cruising in search of does and moving carelessly about at otherwise inactive hours. Bucks chase away bucks, spar with other bucks for dominance, run after does and stand with their noses held high with the occasional lip curl while smelling the surrounding air. Nearly every hunt district in Montana will allow hunting during mid to late November. If you aren’t out looking, then you just aren’t going to see the bucks. A great tool for determining the amount of daylight per day based on latitude can be found here. Down here in Arizona, this time of year means a little more, especially if you’re a bowhunter. As a general rule, the mule deer fawning period is later as you travel south. Mule Deer Muzzleloader Hunt in Arizona. Does the Mule Deer Make a Good Pet. Bucks abandon their wits and put on one of the most awesome behavioral displays of the year. The group as a whole is indeed moving in a certain direction. The most important thing though, is that this is just a plain fun hunt. predator 02-Dec-09. This is the time when bucks are clearly most vulnerable as well as most active in daylight hours. Arizona Mule Deer Guides & Outfitters. Subtracting 205 days would suggest that the average peak rut for these extreme southern desert mule deer would take place the week of January 14. Do your homework and go make a memory! By definition, the peak rut period refers to the 48 to 72 hour timeframe in which most does go into estrus. Using your optics is a very non-intrusive way of going about this hunt. When we spot a herd, we take note of the wind, and make a move, as long as they are in a feasible spot to stalk of course. All bets are off for when bucks will be up and moving. The profiles will also help you find the units with the trophy quality you seek. The truth is that photoperiod is the driver of the rut. This outfitter offers a late season mule deer hunt. The decoys from Ultimate Predator that mount on your bow have been proven time and time again to put bucks on the ground and in the cooler. Large rocks are dead quiet to step on, while small rocks are noisy as all get out. To my surprise, this thing that I thought was probably a gimmick, worked. Im entering my senior year of high school and for a graduation present, my mom and I have been discussing a western hunt in 2021. Even though I love the holidays and spending those times with family and friends, I’m not referring to drowning in delicious food or tearing open presents. Tagged as: When planning a rut-hunt for mule deer or blacktail in new country, it will pay to call area biologists to determine when the rut generally occurs and when the peak of the rut is anticipated. Some avid mule deer hunters will argue and say that they would rather hunt the beginning stages of the rut rather than the peak rut — and for good reason. Whitetail and mule deer move in strikingly different ways: a whitetail deer wags its tall tail as it gallops away, while mule deer stot up and over shrubs. Take A Vantage Point. Arizona and Idaho both have over-the-counter archery tags available that offer season dates that will allow you to hunt during the rut. The fact of the matter is, bucks are just too antsy to bed and stay still most of the day. Bowhunting deer is always fun, but these particular seasons allow us to chase mule deer and coues deer during the rut with OTC (over the counter) tags. Although the early season high country craze is hitting its stride in popularity (thanks to growing swarms of ambitious hunters wanting to become known as backcountry experts), the late season rut hunts will always be the most coveted of mule deer seasons.Late season rut hunts find otherwise cagey bucks letting down their defensive instincts. 2019 Arizona Deer … Learn more about what INSIDER has to offer here. It’s a time where we don’t have to worry about stepping on rattlesnakes and the bucks are rutting all day long. Written by Josh Kirchner of Dialed in Hunter, Bowhunting the Deer Rut in Arizona: 5 Tips for Success, 5 Tips for Your First Early Season AZ Archery Deer Hunt, Broadheads and Bowhunting: Picking the Right One for You, Archery Releases: Handheld vs. Wrist Strap. I’m not saying that calls or decoys are going to work all of the time bowhunting deer, but they definitely CAN work. This completely went against the classic hunt the morning and the evening routine. First thing is first. From January 31st and December 31st, you can only kill one deer. In other words, the length of daylight experienced over a 24 hour period. Find several groups of does and keep tabs on them from a distance with your optics. This goHUNT INSIDER article has been made available to nonINSIDERS. You could see some rubbing and scraping activity in some areas, but I wouldn’t plan on seeing any real rut for a couple more weeks. They are also usually bachelored up with other bucks of the same age structure. Time was not on my side. In 1929, the mule deer season was closed south of the Gila River, and even as recently as 1946, fewer than 5,000 mule deer (more than 80 percent of all deer killed) were harvested in Arizona. In the process, pay attention to where you’re putting your foot. The early season Arizona archery mule deer hunts take place from mid August through early September when most of the Arizona mule deer bucks are still in the velvet while the late season archery mule deer hunts run from mid December through January when the Arizona mule deer bucks are hard antlered and are in the peak of the rut. If you start with June 7 and count backwards 205 days for gestation, that would place the peak rut dates in the mountain states during the week surrounding November 14. I have put in a good bit of research and decided on Mule Deer in Arizona. Although this season opens on January 1, it can still capture some late rut action and is capable of offering some of New Mexico’s best mule deer hunting. A western archery Mule deer hunt during the peak of the rut is a bow hunters dream. Mike from PA shot a nice southern Arizona desert mule deer The most abundant deer in Arizona is the Rocky Mountain mule deer.
Cold weather is beneficial to keeping deer on their feet and on the move, making them easier to spot.
Even this was deemed excessive by the state's sportsmen, and a public initiative in 1916 reduced the limit to one buck deer to be taken during the month of October. Use our Unit Profiles and Filtering 2.0 to search out areas that will provide the terrain and habitat that should provide rut action. According to Boone and Crockett, the month of November stands supreme for producing the highest scoring bucks since 1990. The caution with the Colorado fourth rifle season is the short number of hunting days. Across the West, the large majority of mule deer hunters take to the field in the month of October. The mule deer is the larger of the two Odocoileus species on average, with a height of 80–106 cm (31–42 in) at the shoulders and a nose-to-tail length ranging from 1.2 to 2.1 m (3.9 to 6.9 ft). Skills, mule deer, rut, late season, strategy, research. I pulled out a doe bleat. A doe started heading my way with the buck in tow. Most hunters do not realize that the cold temperatures are not what starts or drives the mule deer rut. An extremely large buck can stand 42 inches at the shoulder, measure 7 feet long and weigh up to 330 pounds, with the average mature … It’s the most wonderful time of the year. Rifle Season Tags are on a draw basis, but typically fair odds of drawing the tag. Mule deer are extremely popular game animals in Utah. Patience is the name of the game when hunting smart old bucks. Specializing in trophy Rocky Mountain Elk, Coues Deer, Mule Deer, Antelope, Javelina, Black Bear, Mountain Lion, & Predator hunts in the heart of Arizona Raging Point Outfitters is located just below the Mogollon Rim-a 7,000-foot, 200-mile-long playground for all serious Predator & Big Game trophy hunters in Northern Arizona. This scenario is exactly what most western hunters are trying to find. Cold weather is beneficial to keeping deer on their feet and on the move, making them easier to spot. During the rut though? Starting in mid December and running through the whole month of January, our archery deer seasons take place. By slowing down your foot fall, you are ultimately quieting it. Buck-only hunting was instituted in 1893, and the season was gradually reduced until 1913 when the new state legislature authorized a two-month season and a two-buck bag limit. Take advantage of this and just know that, even if you don’t see a buck at the moment, they are close by and WILL show up. I was way too timid early on. They will become sexually mature in a year and a half. Well, that is a great tactic for early season hunting, but I’ve never watched a buck bed for more than an hour during the rut. Taking this into consideration, it is evident that the majority of B&C qualifying bucks are harvested during pre-rut and rut behavior patterns. Have a chance to win hunts and gear every month — over $100,000 per year, Access strategy & tips to help you apply & spend more time in the field, Statistics and historical data to find top producing trophy units, Detailed overview of how to apply and hunt in each state, Your quick dashboard for important dates, benefits, and the latest giveaways. It’s a noisy place, filled with crunchy ground just begging to bust your stalk. At only five days in length, one severe storm can quickly cut your hunt in half. Yet, contrary to popular belief, the cold weather is not what kicks off the rut. Different surfaces make different noises. Our archery mule deer hunts are conducted during January (during the peak of the rut). Fit for the Hunt: Does Fitness Matter in Hunting. When hybrids do make it to adulthood, they typically aren’t as well adapted to their environment as either parent species. Female deer, called does, typically give birth to one or … The pre-rut is usually the two-week period that is prior to the peak of the rut. Making the decision to hunt these two units is a choice for quality instead of quantity. And where they will be, is with or around the does. If snow is on the ground does it affect the movement of the mule deer. Each hunting extreme has its distinct advantages and disadvantages. Arizona Mule Deer unit 8 in Dec. Thread starter Ramsey445; Start date Oct 26, 2020; Oct 26, 2020 #1 R. Ramsey445 Junior Member. Southern Arizona mule deer bucks do not typically have much record book potential, but they can offer a unique and exciting desert hunting experience. At latitudes like ours in the West, photoperiod follows the same pattern year after year and the rut is triggered at about the same time. Mule Deer Care. Arizona Parks & Wildlife Website. Bucks are quite aggressive this time of year. This past year the muley rut started in mid-Dec as usual, and rutting activity extended well into Feb (have video of fighting bucks on Feb 13th and saw bucks still with does the same week). Most units across the West have migratory mule deer herds. Permits are available through Arizona Game and Fish Department.The big game draw system is very limited in each unit. The animal gets its name from its mule-like ears. The first step is to identify the typical rut week for the state/area you are considering. Nutrition can also affect the timing of the rut. This is a rare situation but can happen on occasion. All of this while most hunters are back at camp either napping or eating eggs and bacon. Hunting active deer is always more exciting than lethargic deer hidden in shady, cool places. It is an awesome behavior to observe, especially with a tag in your pocket. Nov 1 – Nov 7, 2019 – Antlered mule deer Unit 28 Nov 15 – Nov 21, 2019 – Antlered mule deer Unit 29 Nov 1 – Nov 7, 2019 – Antlered mule deer Unit 29 Nov 15 – Nov 21, 2019 – Antlered mule deer Unit 30A Nov 1 – Nov 7, 2019 – Antlered mule deer. You can also utilize tools like Rimrok Stalkers or Sneaky Feet that will help quiet your foot fall. You can go days without seeing a buck, but when you finally do, there’s a good chance it will look good on the wall. Our rifle mule deer season is typically one week in late October through early November. Hunting the mule deer rut is as good as it gets! Arguably, some of the best mule deer hunting in New Mexico is offered as a January archery season. I've hunted coues and muleys at lower elevations also and I have always observed the rut for both happening mid-Dec thru Jan, give or take a couple weeks. Conversely, a good feed year can push the rut earlier. Bucks are easily found either with does or moving from group to group. When the stars align and you find yourself in the field during the peak of the rut, the anticipation is high. So, a great strategy, is to hunt the does. Although the early season high country craze is hitting its stride in popularity (thanks to growing swarms of ambitious hunters wanting to become known as backcountry experts), the late season rut hunts will always be the most coveted of mule deer seasons. Pay attention to which way the does are heading. Mule deer bucks are usually bachelored up this time of year. 2021 Western Big Game Hunting Application Deadlines, YOUTH APPLICATION STRATEGY — Take Your Kids Hunting Part 3, Four winter tips for staying dialed during the offseason, Wyoming Backcountry Mule Deer Hunt Video Series With Randy Newberg, OUT WEST - A Wyoming Backcountry Archery Elk Hunt, Missouri’s first black bear season is on horizon, Let’s not forget that hunting is about hunting. This is a great hunt for beginning bowhunters too, because the action is thick, and there is always something to do. Nevada also has some very good rut seasons offered exclusively to archery hunters. They are large, wild animals, and can be potentially dangerous. The condition of the habitat in terms of feed and water will greatly impact not only the timing of the rut, but the intensity of the rut as well. Rifle season desert mule deer hunts are up to 4 days in duration. I live in south Florida so and have been hunting tiny deer in the swamp and have no experience in western states. Unlucky for me, they didn’t make it in time for shooting light. Putting yourself somewhat close to the herd can lead to success, as the buck could rut a doe right past you. There isn’t a lot of downtime when you’re chasing rutting bucks. The early season Arizona archery mule deer hunts take place from mid August through early September when most of the Arizona mule deer bucks are still in the velvet while the late season archery mule deer hunts run from mid December through January when the Arizona mule deer bucks are hard antlered and are in the peak of the rut. Place your foot down delicately, holding your weight back, and gradually increasing it. This behavior makes bucks vulnerable. They are social animals, so zookeepers keep them in herds. Once you’re within 100 yards or so, post up and wait. At last light, I stalked a buck rutting does out in the field. Even though I never connected with him, it’s a constant reminder to hunt all day. Hunting is done in late December at the beginning of the rut. Touch or click on the state in the graphic above for peak rut dates. The breeding season, called “rut,” occurs in mid-November. Mountain hunters either find velvet-antlered bucks above treeline in September or wait for deer to follow ancient migration corridors to lower elevations once heavy snow falls. If you shot a mule deer, you can’t come back and shoot a Coues deer. You want to hunt the bucks where they are going to be, not where you may have seen them while scouting in the months prior to the hunt. Poor nutrition and intense drought can cause the rut to begin later. As I’ve stated in prior reports, southern Arizona and New Mexico are still a few weeks out. The extended archery seasons in Utah offer seasons that include the entire month of November. A mule deer has much more white on their face than a whitetail. The whitetails and mule deer in … The desert mule deer of Sonora and southern Arizona generally have a peak fawning period of around August 7. In many locations, this migration will coincide with some phase of the rut. These early stages of the rut are often referred to as the pre-rut among hunters. One time, I literally fell over while stalking a mule deer buck. This goHUNT INSIDER article has been made available to nonINSIDERS. Truly understanding the rut will help you to make this dream a reality. Near the equator, where the length of day doesn't vary much, fawns can be dropped in any month of the year. Regardless of the phase of the mule deer rut, when you combine migrating deer with bucks chasing does, you could be in for the time of your life. This short period of intensive rut activity averages roughly ten days and has become the reason for many hunters to amass double-digit bonus points in an effort to get one chance to hunt large, swollen necked bucks void of their wits. Bowhunting the desert can be tough. The major risk to targeting the pre-rut is that not all bucks will be on the move. While bucks may be bouncing around the mountain like a pinball, the does are usually on a pattern. Starting in mid December and running through the whole month of January, our archery deer seasons take place. Mule deer average 202 to 210 days for gestation. Receive updates and goHUNT's most popular content. So, they will oftentimes spend their day going from doe bedding area to doe bedding area. Before giving in to the tempting offer, I sat back up to scan the hills real quick. In Arizona, you’re only allowed to kill one deer per calendar year. I don’t know about you, but after writing that, I couldn’t be more excited for the upcoming season! Every year it seems that mule deer hunters are divided into two camps: the early season high country velvet enthusiasts and the late-season hunters with hopes of capturing the excitement of the peak rut. In the mountain states of Wyoming, Montana, Idaho, northern Utah, northern Colorado and northern Nevada, the Rocky Mountain mule deer generally have the peak fawning period during the first week of June. Not only will you be more quiet, but this will actually slow you down. From what I have read the rut should be starting around that time and look forward to getting in on some of that action. As light faded, there was no way I’d be making it. Their urge to breed is strong and that is something that you can take to the bank. One of the first drills I learned while I was still a newbie to giant mule deer … The mule deer in the southern units of Colorado rut later than the rest of the state and typically will not capture peak rut activity like the central and northern Colorado units. Mule deer are the largest of the five types of deer (mule, whitetail, Columbia blacktail, Sitka blacktail, and Couses') in North America. The desert mule deer of Sonora and southern Arizona generally have a peak fawning period of around August 7. Late season rut hunts find otherwise cagey bucks letting down their defensive instincts. As befits Arizona's principal game animal, deer received some protection as early as 1887 when a four-month season of October 1 through January 31 was established by the territorial legislature. Although capable of running, mule deer are often seen stotting (also called pronking), with all four feet coming down together. Play your cards right and pick up an archery javelina tag too. pumatagger 01-Dec-09. It is the smallest member of the deer family in Utah. No, mule deer do not make good pets. Mule deer also have much darker foreheads than whitetails, too. One of the most overlooked and hidden peak rut opportunities is buried in the archery seasons. sjbowhnter 30-Nov-09. If an exciting hunt and a chance for a long-haired cape on a hard horned muley is what you are after, then hunting the rut is your answer. “If the weather is cold, then the rut will be on fire!” This is the statement heard over and over every year. Finally, hunting the first week of January allowed us to miss very few class days while maximizing our hunting time and a return trip in late December will also coincide with some given Christmas vacation days. I’d sit back and glass these bucks waiting for the perfect opportunity, or for them to bed down. That was the biggest buck I have ever stalked with a bow. If a doe is not bred, she will be receptive again roughly 30 days later. Depending on the latitude of the deer, this can be anywhere from early November to late December and into January. It was hilarious. Maybe, the buck doesn’t come running towards you, but it might also keep him from running away all together. So, be aggressive. Subtracting 205 days would suggest that the average peak rut for these extreme southern desert mule deer would take place the week of January 14. In times of severe drought, it is not uncommon for does to shorten or miss their cycle and focus on finding feed to stay alive. Humans have not domesticated mule deer in any way. It was about 12:30 p.m. and the shade from the tree I was under was starting to pull me into a midday nap. I’ve also heard of folks rattling bucks in, especially coues deer. While it is commonly understood that whitetails undergo this rut period throughout the month of November in most northern states and provinces, it is offset by two weeks for mule deer. The deer population is not high in the area but the quality of what is seen is. Here are 5 Tips that we at Ross Outdoors have put together for chasing rutting bucks with a bow in our home state of Arizona.
Mark with his southern Arizona desert mule deer.Eli with his first mule deer. From seeing bucks fighting and chasing does all over the place, to the simply fantastic weather, this is a hunt that every bowhunter should experience one day. Utah also has a limited number of peak rut archery seasons offered. Peak rut rifle opportunities for mule deer are very limited in Arizona, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon and Wyoming.