Mule Deer – Blacktail

UTAH TROPHY MULEY HUNT
RIFLE SEPTEMBER 1-5 VELVET

This 20,000 acre private ranch is located in southeastern Utah near Moab. It is one of the most scenic ranches you will ever hunt and definitely has some mule deer that will gross 200 inches. If you are a serious muley hunter you realize not many properties have deer of this quality, but killing deer of this quality is another story. It is in the CWMU program allowing hunters to use rifles September 1 when the bucks are still in velvet and bachelor groups. It can be one of the most productive times to hunt a trophy muley. This $4,500 hunt is priced on a sliding trophy fee scale, making it quite a bargain.

The 2017 September hunt had 5 hunters tag 5 bucks. Top bucks gross scored in the 170’s and averaged close to 170. Two archery hunters killed a 188 and crippled a buck.

In September of 2016 they had 6 hunters tag 5 bucks averaging 173 inches. Best buck went 176.

5 hunting days guided 1×1 with cabin accommodations will be $4,500 plus a trophy fee on a sliding scale if your buck gross scores over 170 Boone and Crockett. 170 to 179 will be an additional $1,000 trophy fee, 180 to 189 is $2,000, 190 to 199 is $3,000 and any buck grossing 200 or more inches is $4,000.

Nice lodging, home cooked meals and the ranch is picturesque with high deer numbers. Hunters fly into Grand Junction and rent a car. Limited 2018 openings or book now for 2019. HCU’s Craig Green has hunted this ranch. Hunt MDGE72.   MDGE72 Hunt Photos.

 

COLORADO TROPHY MULIES
TYPICALLY AVERAGE OVER 180 INCHES
REQUIRES 6 TO 12 POINTS TO DRAW
$5500 5 DAYS 2×1 OR $6000 1×1
LANDOWNER VOUCHERS AVAILABLE

This trophy hunt is for the serious mule deer hunter, whether it be archery or rifle. These trophy units do not require all that many preference points like some other units in Colorado, only 6 to 12 depending on the season and unit (he hunts two). He has over 10 properties varying from mountain country with oakbrush hillsides to agricultural property including alfalfa and hay fields.

In 2017 his 2 bowhunters killed a 195 and a 170. He did 4 rifle hunts totaling 17 hunters killing 15 bucks, 2 hunters on the last hunt passed. Top 4 bucks grossed 201, 196, 195, 191, with an overall average of 180, only one buck scored under 170.

In 2016 he had 2 archery hunters kill a 178 and a 170. Over the course of 3 rifle hunts a total of 15 hunters tagged 13 bucks, including a 206 and a 194.

Archery hunts are spot and stalk, normally conducted along the river bottom near agricultural land. Rifle and muzzleloader hunts take place on many private lands and also BLM. As the season progresses more deer come off the high country and filter down into agricultural lands for feed and the breeding season.

Archery, muzzleloader or rifle hunts are $5,500 for 5 days guided 2×1 or $6,000 guided 1×1, with escalating trophy fees of $500 for every 10 inches; deer harvested gross scoring 170 to 179 inches has a $500 trophy fee added to the price, 180 to 189 is $1,000, 190 to 199 is $1,500 and any buck taken scoring over 200 inches is $2,000.

Cabin accommodations include a shower house and cook cabin. Second gun season (first deer rifle) normally takes 6 points to draw a deer tag, third season (second rifle) is 12 and fourth season is 20 plus, but landowner vouchers are available. Airport pickup included at Montrose or Grand Junction. April 4 draw deadline, limited 2018 openings. HCU’s Bob Wodzisz has been on this ranch. Hunt MD163.         MD163 Hunt Photos.

 

SMALL RANCHER/OUTFITTER
SOUTHEASTERN MONTANA
MULE DEER OR WHITETAIL $3450

This rancher/outfitter has been 100 percent on nice mature deer and pronghorn for several years. He runs a small personal no frills operation in southeastern Montana on about 40,000 private acres. Muley bucks average 22 to 25 inches with good mass gross scoring in the 155 to 165 class, with the chance on a 170 inch deer. Deer tags are good for either mule deer or whitetails and he takes some nice whitetails. IF YOU DRAW A PRONGHORN TAG HE ALLOWS YOU TO TAKE ONE AT NO CHARGE DURING THE FIRST TWO DEER HUNTS.

Success has been 95 percent on mule deer ranging from 155 to 170 inches, same with whitetails in the 130 to 160 inch range and 100 percent on antelope. This rancher will normally take about 12 rifle deer hunters per year between mule deer and whitetails.

4 days guided 2×1 is $3,450 and accommodations are an old trailer with meals provided. Hunt dates are about October 20 to Thanksgiving. Hunters fly into Rapid City or Billings and rent a car for the 2 1/2 hour drive.

Montana has changed their deer license program, so now you can typically draw an elk/deer license for $944 and then apply for the special draw for bull elk in this trophy unit and it is very unlikely that you would draw so you should get back $383, so your deer license is only $561. If you do draw the elk tag this is a great trophy unit and the outfitter will upgrade your hunt to include a bull on a $2,500 trophy fee only. Montana now allows you to purchase a bonus point if you are unsuccessful in the draw. Deer/elk draw deadline is March 15 and pronghorn draw is about 30 percent with a June 1 deadline. Hunt MD427.  MD427 Hunt Photos.

 

UTAH CWMU TROPHY MULE DEER
SEPTEMBER TO EARLY NOVEMBER
2017-7 HUNTERS KILL 5 BUCKS
2 OVER 190 INCHES $7500 1×1

This small personal outfit normally does 8 or 9 trophy mule deer per year on this 14,000 acre ranch in the CWMU program allowing them to hunt from September 11 to November 10.

In 2017 he had 7 trophy hunters and they killed 5 bucks, including 2 grossing over 190 and 1 in the 180’s. They also killed 7 management bucks.

In 2016 they hosted 8 trophy deer hunters and they killed 6 bucks. A 191 and 2 in the high 180’s were the best and 2 hunters passed.

In 2015 they had 9 hunters tag 7 bucks. A 203, 2 in the low 190’s, 185, a 29 inch 4×4, a heavy 27 inch buck with a 10 inch cheater and a 170. The unsuccessful hunter passed on 3 bucks that would gross in the 180’s.

Accommodations are travel trailers parked where they can take ATV’s right into the hunting area. Hunts are Monday to Friday and include meals priced at $7,500 guided 1×1 or $7,000 for 2×1. Hunting is mostly done by using pickup trucks and Ranger UTV’s with plenty of glassing and spot and stalk.

They also offer several management deer hunts priced at only $3,500 guided 2×1 for mature 3×3 or sometimes 3×4 bucks, typically scoring in the 140 to 160 class. This is a serious hunt for mature deer that will never grow a high scoring rack, but they can be just as elusive and difficult to hunt. Lots of fun.

Licenses are guaranteed, NO DRAW, landowner vouchers are included in the price, but you still purchase a license at $345. Airport pickup at SLC is included. Hunt MD830.   MD830 Hunt Photos

 

ALBERTA TROPHY MULE DEER $9500
MULE DEER/WHITETAIL COMBO $10,500

At press time they had taken 13 muley bucks for 17 hunters and top buck went in the 190’s. They had killed 6 whitetails and the best was in the 150’s.

In 2016 they killed 26 really good mule deer for 27 hunters, including a 209, 207, 5 in the 190’s and lots in the 180’s. The first couple combo hunters with whitetail tags harvested a monster 187 and a giant 4×4 whitetail grossing in the 160’s. Total on whitetails was 25 hunters killing 15 bucks and most were combo hunters with mule deer as their primary deer.

He takes a very limited number of hunters in this trophy unit that is a draw for residents. The hunt takes place in farm country east of Red Deer near Stettler, Alberta. It is known for big mule deer, whitetail and hard to believe moose. This Zone 204 only gives out 125 permits to residents and just a few for non-residents and the area is 40 square miles.

6 day rifle hunts guided 1×1 are $9,500. Nice cabin accommodations, meals, and airport pickup in Edmonton. He also offers a 6 day combination hunt for both mule deer and whitetail for $10,500 guided 1×1 or the last hunt is 9 days for $12,000. Whitetail success has run 70 percent or better on bucks averaging close to 150 and some real big deer are taken. Archery hunts are for 6 1/2 days for $7,000 and consistently produce some monster mulies. Hunters are responsible for licenses and tax. Limited openings for 2018 and 2019. Hunt MD883.  MD883 Hunt Photos.

 

WYOMING MULEDEER $4000
MULEDEER/PRONGHORN $5000

This outfitter has over 30,000 private acres in southeastern Wyoming. Deer tags for Region J Area 64 are generally left over so the draw should be good on the regular tag. Pronghorn will probably require the special tag to draw or have one preference point and you should draw on the regular tag.

Last fall he had 8 combo muley/pronghorn hunters and all 8 filled their tags. One really big buck grossing 181 inches was taken and the rest averaged around 150 inches. One pronghorn grossed over 82 inches and the rest were in the low 70’s.

In 2016 his 6 muley hunters all killed bucks ranging in size from 135 up to their best buck grossing 170. Average is probably in the 150 to 155 range. Pronghorn was 100 percent and averaged in the high 60’s.

5 day mule deer hunts guided 2×1 are only $4,000 or combination hunts are $5,000 from October 15 to 25. Rustic cabin accommodations with electricity make this a very nice affordable hunt. March 31 draw deadline. Hunt MD264.

 

NEW MEXICO TROPHY MULE DEER
LATE NOVEMBER EARLY DECEMBER
TROPHY 1×1 RUT HUNT $7500
AVERAGE BUCK GROSSED 170+ INCHES

This outfitter only takes 2 hunters for each of the 2 hunts starting late November and early December to try and catch the rut. This hunt has a landowner voucher guaranteeing a tag, no draw. This is a special hunt New Mexico has opened for certain areas to hunt trophy bucks in the rut. 5 days guided 1×1 is $7,500. They could do a trophy muzzleloader hunt late September and we think it could be the best hunt. If you are interested give us a call as this should be a great chance for a buck over 180 inches. 2017 season was under way at press time.

2016 finished with all 3 hunters taking bucks home. Nothing big, just nice bucks scoring a little over 170 inches.

2015 ended up with all 4 hunters tagging bucks scoring from 175 to 185 inches.

This outfitter hunts several ranches in northeastern New Mexico totaling over 120,000 acres. Guaranteed landowner voucher is included so there is no draw. Hunters fly into Colorado Springs and rent a car. Very limited openings for 2018. Hunt MD278.  MD278 Hunt Photos.    

 

NUMBER 1 TROPHY MULE DEER HUNT
VELVET OR HARD HORNED RIFLE HUNT
2017 – 7 FOR 7 ALL 190+

2017 produced 7 bucks for 7 hunters, all scored between 190 and 195 4/8 inches. This is the first year in the last 10 that they have not taken a 200 inch deer. The 2016/2017 winter was tough, but there was a break in January that melted the snow allowing the deer to recondition before winter resumed. The ranch biologist felt the deer came through it in good shape.

In 2016 on the early velvet hunt one hunter creased a 209 inch buck that they later killed on the hard horned hunt and also tagged a 213 inch buck. The other trophy hunter passed on several shot opportunities. They typically take 2 early September velvet hunters. On the next hunts 8 more bucks were killed, including the 209, 203, 199, 196, 192, 2 in the high 180’s and a low 180’s.

2015 was a spectacular year for big deer on this ranch. A very mild 2014 winter and a very wet 2015 spring produced super antler growth. This outfitter killed 9 bucks for his 9 hunters and amazingly 6 grossed over 200 inches along with a 197 and 2 in the 180’s.

This 35,000 acre ranch normally averages gross scores over 190 Boone and Crockett and several bucks have been taken over the 220 inch mark. The ranch is in the Cooperative Wildlife Management Unit Program where they can set their own dates and the guaranteed landowner permit is included in the price. State license and tag still need to be purchased. Hunts typically take place in September and October.

The ranch is located in northeastern Utah along the Wyoming border. 5 day hunts guided 1×1 are $16,000 including lodge accommodations and airport pickup in Salt Lake City. These hunts are currently booked out until 2020. Hunters can put a $1,000 deposit down to hold a future spot. Hunt MD255.  MD255 Hunt Photos.                                       

 

COLORADO TROPHY UNIT $5500
BUCKS AVERAGE CLOSE TO 180
12 POINTS MINIMUM TO DRAW

Last fall exceptional warm weather made it tougher than normal. He hosted a total of 10 hunters killing 8 bucks, including 4 bucks grossing 180 or better, but no monsters.

In 2016 this outfitter had 12 muley hunters kill 11 bucks, one hunter passed. Best buck taken was a 208 inch typical and had a 34 inch frame. Next best bucks went 187 and 186.

In 2015 over the course of 2 hunts 16 hunters tagged 14 bucks, with the best buck having a 33 inch main frame and gross scoring 196 inches.

This is a premier hunt that requires 12 preference points minimum to draw. Landowner vouchers are sometimes available, but they are normally at least $5,500.

5-day hunt guided 2×1 is only $5,500 with cabin accommodations and airport pickup can be arranged in Grand Junction for $150. HCU has had over 100 hunters with this outfitter in the past 20 plus years without any complaints and have taken lots of great trophies. Next available deer opening is in 2018. HCU’s Cliff Graham has been on this hunt. April 4th deadline. Hunt MD21.  MD21 Hunt Photos.

 

SOUTHEAST MONTANA MULE DEER
60,000 PRIVATE ACRES
TRESPASS FEE HUNT $2000

This 60,000 acre private ranch is located near the town of Powderville in the southeast corner of Montana. The property has good deer numbers and easy country to hunt, pretty open with coulees, good for glassing, and decent vehicle access if the roads don’t mud up. If you want to apply in the June draw for a pronghorn tag and are successful there is no additional charge if you are deer hunting. Pronghorn hunting is good up to about November 5.

Last fall they only took 8 muley hunters and all 8 took home bucks. Best buck was 26 inches wide and a couple days after everyone filled their tags a giant buck was spotted.

In 2016 they went 9 for 9, with the better bucks grossing in the high 160’s.

Accommodations consist of a small rustic cabin for no additional cost. It is 12 x 16 with 4 bunks, mattresses, running water, small gas stove, propane heat with a wood stove, no shower. Hunters should take sleeping bags and towels, so they can get a shower at the ranch manager’s cabin. If a hunter wants to butcher his own deer they have a facility with a hoist and tables.

Hunters arrive on Saturday, hunt Sunday to Friday, 6 days, and leave Saturday morning. Hunts start about October 20 and run to the end of November. It takes a group of 4 minimum to book the ranch. Remember this is a trespass hunt, no guides, no food and you will need at least one four wheel drive truck.

Deer draw deadline is March 15 and antelope is June 1. If you don’t draw make sure you get a preference point to draw for the following year. 2019 prices will increase to $2,500. Hunt MDUN534.  

 

HUNT KODIAK ISLAND
SITKA BLACKTAIL/DUCKS/FISHING

HCU works with 2 Kodiak Island outfitters offering sitka blacktail deer along with ducks and fishing.

This outfitter offers a 4 day unguided hunt for $3,800 and hunters can take up to 3 bucks and also enjoy some fantastic duck hunting and fishing. Private cabins or suites for accommodations with prepared meals are included, along with daily transport to hunting area by boat. He starts about the second week of November and finishes by early December.

5 days/6 nights is $4,750 or 6 days/7 nights are $5,500. License is $85 and deer tags are $150 each, no taxes. Hunt SD162.

 

We work with another outfitter that operates out of a lodge with 6 bedrooms, shower, bar, TV and sauna. Success has run 100 percent on this 7 day guided hunt from October 5 to November 30. One deer limit priced at only $4,000 guided 2×1 or $5,000 1×1. Many hunters have taken record book bucks with this outfitter including the new #3 SCI and #11 Boone and Crockett. Excellent sea duck hunting for many species and fox hunting is also included. Hunters fly into Kodiak and charter to the lodge for about $200 round trip. Hunt SD783.   SD783 Hunt Photos.