Mule deer hunting can be both slap-down simple and exasperatingly complicated, depending on the day and the deer. And the terrain.

But there are a few constants when it comes to hanging your tag on a trophy buck, and I tried to boil them down to their essence in this video.

I want to tease one here: Prepare for Long Shots. As I’ll detail in a Record Quest post later in the week, I took a great Montana mule deer last week, but I was able to do it because I had the confidence in my ability to shoot out to 400 yards.

That confidence doesn’t come automatically. It’s earned with plenty of time behind the trigger at the range. As I note in this video, there will be times in every mule deer hunter’s career when you have to take shots at the outside edge of your effective range. The key to making them is practicing them long before the season.