Yesterday on Record Quest we showed you video of the former SCI world-record mule deer. Here's the story of how that buck was taken ...
In October 1986, Matt Arkins was 16 years old, an Arkansas boy on his first hunt out West. He was hunting elk in the San Juan Mountains of southwest Colorado, not far out of Pagosa Springs.
He was with his father, who had put this trip together as a sort of bonding experience, and to give his deer-crazy son a taste of backcountry big-game hunting.
“We were all about elk,” remembers Arkins, now a videographer living in Bozeman, Mont. “We booked with an outfit called Backcountry Outfitters out of Pagosa Springs and the outfitter, David Guilliams, suggested we pick up over-the-counter mule deer tags, because he said, ‘You never know. Every now and then a nice buck comes out of that area.’” [ Read Full Post ]
For about an hour, I held the world-record mule deer in my lap.
Sound impossible? That’s what I thought, too, but the proof of my claim is in the video below, the first of nearly two-dozen Record Quest videos that we’ll be airing here on outdoorlife.com this fall. The videos are also being broadcast on NBC Sports.
If you think the mounted rack that I use to show how to field judge a trophy is impossibly huge, you’re right. But the real story is how I got it in the first place.
[ Read Full Post ]
A stalk on a mule deer buck starts with a brisk climb, followed by long bouts of complete stillness until the deer is spotted. Then it’s time to step up and close the distance.
Elevation is the stalking hunter’s best advantage over mule deer. A perch on a rise provides a crow’s nest view from which to scan the country with a binocular to look for a buck. Look to the east first thing in the morning, before the view is obscured by the rising sun. Then turn and glass to the west. With the sun at your back, deer stand out like lighted candles. [ Read Full Post ]
Nearly every iota of modern mapping technology is devoted to bits and bytes, turning the landscape’s ridges and valleys into digital images.
But one of the most useful hunting maps you can have in your pack is as analog as a pocket watch. It’s Rugged Maps’ topo maps, which not only lead you to the best mule deer areas, but also double as waterproof pack covers, ground clothes and tarps to keep you dry in an unexpected downpour. [ Read Full Post ]
Wolf hunting seasons have been opened in the West and are scheduled to open in the Midwest this fall. But hunter success rates are painfully low. The Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation conducted a survey polling 710 wolf hunters from last season and of all the respondents, only 7 percent killed a wolf during the Idaho and Montana hunts.
What's even more interesting is that 20 percent of the successful hunters said their kill was because of a coincidental encounter.
Here's what those guinea-pig wolf hunters learned during their first season. Use their advice when you go on a wolf hunt of your own this fall. [ Read Full Post ]
If forced to pick one caliber of bullets to use for mule deer, I’d have to give the nod to the 7mms.
While I’ve used everything from quarter-bores up to .338s on mulies with excellent results, the family of 7mm cartridges brings a combination of accuracy, killing power and long-range effectiveness that is hard to top.
The classic 7mm for hunting the West is the 7mm Rem. Mag. Now in it’s 51st year, the 7mm Rem. Mag. is still the standard by which other 7mms are judged. It shoots flat, hits hard and has a sleek, sexy profile that speaks to its speed. [ Read Full Post ]
Do you need a thumping magnum to hunt mule deer? Certainly not. Any of the classic general-purpose big game cartridges will work just fine on mulies. Standbys such as the .30-06, the .270 Win., and the .308 Win. are more than capable for this work.
While the classic perception of mule deer hunting envisions the hunter taking long-range shots, most of the time it is possible to close the gap on mulies. Even open prairie that at first glance looks as featureless as a pool table will have enough relief to provide stalking opportunities to get within the point-blank zero of most cartridges. [ Read Full Post ]