As tempting as it is to focus on whitetails, especially as the rut starts firing on all cylinders this week, mule deer will always be my first love. That’s why my eyes lit up when western Nebraska’s Ryan Reisdorff sent me an e-mail last week with a photo of his nice Nebraska mule deer and the following report.
“Connected with this muley on November 1st my first ever with a bow. Finally made a successful spot and stalk and got to 25 yards of him. I caught him bedded late in the morning next to a tree row. It was the exact same spot I had screwed up a stalk two weeks before. The blown stalk helped me learn that tree row and area a little bit better and I was fortunate enough not to make the same mistake twice. It was my sixth stalk of this bow season. I had been busted a few times on previous stalks, and I had another successful stalk on a smaller buck that I decided to pass. The high wind last Friday really seemed to help–both from masking scent and also from buffering the sound of my footsteps on the dry grass/sticks. Spot and stalk is definitely a different game than tree stand hunting. I definitely have a new found respect for the guys who spot and stalk, especially in open country. At least I had a tree row to help me out.”
Reisdorff added that bachelor groups are finally split up, but does and fawns are still running together. That’s pretty typical of mule deer, which tend to stay in loose social groups throughout the rut. While they might not be in the herds found earlier in the year, if you find a group of does, there will be few bucks near by. Still, those bucks will break off during the day and bed by themselves, usually in a place that commands a wide view. Reisdorff took advantage of a windy day to get close. Congratulations, Ryan.