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Posted from: https://blog.eastmans.com/guys-top-mule-deer-hunts-2019-edition/

Aspen Mountain

Wyoming’s mule deer continue to have a very rough and tough go. Winter after tough winter have put the deer on the western side of the state in peril. Of the 140 total mule deer hunt areas, less than 20 of them are over objective when it comes to population counts. The logical side of my brain wants to make all five of my top picks, “points only”, but I know some guys are going to want to hunt anyway so this is what I have come up with as my top five picks making the best of a bad situation in some regard.

Keep in mind, while the numbers of deer are down drastically state wide, there will still be some big bucks killed in Wyoming this fall, there always is. Good bucks will just be harder to find than ever this year.

5) Region-G (Grey’s River): Anything big deer related in Wyoming usually boils down to this single region of the state. Even with the deer on a very steep decline, it is always hard to count out this very prolific big deer producing region. The seasons have been drastically shortened in this part of the state in an effort to increase big buck escapement but keep in mind, the resident hunters can buy this tag over the counter every year. That said, the hunting pressure in this area is very, very high and you will need to find a place as far away from the crowds as possible. Some big bucks will certainly be had this year as the moisture in this region has been very, very high with a very late spring. A true 200-inch deer is certainly possible here. Antler growth should be very solid here this year. Points needed to draw: (7)-regular draw, (6)-special draw. Area hunt score: 80/100.

4) Area-90, Type-1 (Muskrat): With only 75 tags on quota and a four-week season during the entire month of October, this hunt is a very welcome sight when it comes to lack of hunting pressure. With nearly 90% public land and 60,000 acres of Walk-In area to hunt this area has plenty of room to roam for the less than 100 hunters with a tag here. The buck to doe ratio is a paltry 28/100 and the deer herd is less than half of the target objective. Although there are way fewer deer in here than there should be there are some good bucks to be had as nearly half of the bucks checked in here last fall were over 25” wide. This hunt is a very good place to put a tag on a 160 to 180-inch buck. Points need to draw: (11)-regular draw, (13)-special draw. Area hunt score: 85/100.

3) Area-102, Type-1 (Aspen Mountain): This hunt has certainly had its issues over the past decade. With way, too many elk and more than enough wild horses, deer habitat in this area has struggled to expand and improve. This area has seen plenty of moisture over the past three winters and this should help. Although the deer numbers are down here, I believe the antler growth will be very solid this year. The buck to doe ratio is here is expanding with more than 38 bucks per 100 does and growing fast, which indicates an improving deer herd. I think a good hunter here should be able to take a buck in the 170 and above class this year. Points needed to draw: (12)-regular draw, (12)-special draw. Area hunt score: 87.5/100.

2) Area-87, Type-1 (Ferris): The Ferris hunt is probably one of the best deer hunts Wyoming has to offer at this point in time. A recently increased quota of 175 tags should make the draw odds on this hunt a tick better than in years past. The buck to doe ratio here is nothing short of spectacular with 64 bucks per 100 does and expanding fast with a deer herd that is only 12% below objective this hunt is a very, very solid prospect, on paper anyway. In reality, this should be a very fun hunt with a great chance to kill a buck pushing 180 inches if you hunt hard and catch a lucky break. The area consists of 70% public ground and a hunter success rate of nearly 90% on some years. Points needed to draw: (12)-regular draw, (12)-special draw. Area hunt score: 92.5/100.

1) Area-101, Type-1 (Black Butte): Nearly everyone that I have sent into this area after big bulls has come back with a story of a giant buck deer they found while elk hunting in the Black Buttes. This area is a huge sea of sage and bucks are certainly not around every corner in here, but there are some giants, particularly on the East side of the unit. With only 50 tags on quota and big area to hunt, this is a very high quality and low-pressure hunt. With nearly 80% public land and a solid buck to doe ratio, the 101 hunt is a very good place to find a 180+ buck, and probably the best place in the entire state of Wyoming at this point to find a big buck in my opinion, hence the #1 ranking. The winter was a tick tougher than normal here, but the moisture and resulting antler growth should more than make up for any winter loss in this deer hunt area. Estimated points needed to draw: (15)-regular draw, (15)-special draw. Area hunt score: 95/100.

Best low point option- Points only, or Area-79/161 (Kennady Peak/St. Mary).

 

The post Guy’s Top Mule Deer Hunts: 2019 Edition appeared first on Eastmans' Official Blog | Mule Deer, Antelope, Elk Hunting and Bowhunting Magazine | Eastmans' Hunting Journals.

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Why Passing This 180-Inch Deer Was the Right Thing to Do

https://www.wideopenspaces.com/why-passing-this-180-inch-deer-was-the-right-thing-to-do/

Facebook: Don Higgins / Higgins Outdoors

Don Higgins passes a giant buck he named Smokey in 2016. You might think he’s insane, but not so fast.

It’s common knowledge in the deer hunting world: if you want to kill absolutely giant bucks, you’ll have to pass great bucks. And, as you’ve seen in another article of ours, Don Higgins recently tagged a buck he called Smokey during the 2017 Illinois archery season. Not just any buck, but the buck of a lifetime.

Many people don’t know the history Don has with this 200-plus Illinois giant. He passed this buck many times in 2016, and Smokey was no slouch. This deer was probably a 180-inch deer then, but Don knew the potential it had with another year of development.

Along with knowing its potential, Don had this buck dialed in. He knew its personality, its favorite bedding area and its favorite place to feed. Therefore, he was extremely confident he would be able to get another crack at him the next year.

Here’s a video of one of the hunts when Higgins passed Smokey. Would I be able to do it? Absolutely not at this point in my hunting career! But do I think he’s an idiot like most hunters screamed? Absolutely not! I admire the man for his discipline, as well as his knowledge and expertise in the woods. And if a hunter has the abilities to let a deer walk like that, more power to him.

Here is the video, check this out!

Passing Smokey

Posted by Don Higgins / Higgins Outdoors on Wednesday, August 16, 2017

As you can see, this is an incredible buck for any bowhunter. When Don posted this video on his social media pages, it was followed with mixed opinions. Some praised him and many said he was a fool because the deer was at full potential.

Don Higgins

But Don was able to silence the haters this year when he harvested Smokey just like he thought he would. A whopping 207 inches of Illinois bone later, Don had harvested his second 200-inch Illinois whitetail.

Well done, Don. I just can’t get over this video and also what Smokey turned into this hunting season.

NEXT: IS IT OK TO SHOOT A DOE WITH FAWNS?

WATCH

oembed rumble video here

The post Why Passing This 180-Inch Deer Was the Right Thing to Do appeared first on Wide Open Spaces.

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https://www.wideopenspaces.com/why-passing-this-180-inch-deer-was-the-right-thing-to-do/

Facebook: Don Higgins / Higgins Outdoors
deer hunting

Don Higgins passes a giant buck he named Smokey in 2016. You might think he’s insane, but not so fast.

It’s common knowledge in the deer hunting world: if you want to kill absolutely giant bucks, you’ll have to pass great bucks. And, as you’ve seen in another article of ours, Don Higgins recently tagged a buck he called Smokey during the 2017 Illinois archery season. Not just any buck, but the buck of a lifetime.

Many people don’t know the history Don has with this 200-plus Illinois giant. He passed this buck many times in 2016, and Smokey was no slouch. This deer was probably a 180-inch deer then, but Don knew the potential it had with another year of development.

Along with knowing its potential, Don had this buck dialed in. He knew its personality, its favorite bedding area and its favorite place to feed. Therefore, he was extremely confident he would be able to get another crack at him the next year.

Here’s a video of one of the hunts when Higgins passed Smokey. Would I be able to do it? Absolutely not at this point in my hunting career! But do I think he’s an idiot like most hunters screamed? Absolutely not! I admire the man for his discipline, as well as his knowledge and expertise in the woods. And if a hunter has the abilities to let a deer walk like that, more power to him.

Here is the video, check this out!

Passing Smokey

Posted by Don Higgins / Higgins Outdoors on Wednesday, August 16, 2017

As you can see, this is an incredible buck for any bowhunter. When Don posted this video on his social media pages, it was followed with mixed opinions. Some praised him and many said he was a fool because the deer was at full potential.

Don Higgins

But Don was able to silence the haters this year when he harvested Smokey just like he thought he would. A whopping 207 inches of Illinois bone later, Don had harvested his second 200-inch Illinois whitetail.

Well done, Don. I just can’t get over this video and also what Smokey turned into this hunting season.

NEXT: IS IT OK TO SHOOT A DOE WITH FAWNS?

WATCH

oembed rumble video here

The post Why Passing This 180-Inch Deer Was the Right Thing to Do appeared first on Wide Open Spaces.

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Follow us on Instagram @freaknhunting

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Ruger Announces New Custom Shop 10/22 Rifle with Skeletonized Green Mountain Laminate Stock

Posted from: http://huntinginsider.com/ruger-announces-new-custom-shop-10-22-rifle-with-skeletonized-green-mountain-laminate-stock/

Sturm, Ruger & Company, Inc. (NYSE: RGR) is proud to introduce a new 10/22® Competition Rifle to the Ruger® Custom Shop line of firearms. This new variation boasts a skeletonized green mountain laminate stock and a stainless steel bull barrel. The 16-1/8″ stainless steel bull barrel features black Cerakote® accents and is fluted to reduce […]

The post Ruger Announces New Custom Shop 10/22 Rifle with Skeletonized Green Mountain Laminate Stock appeared first on HuntingInsider.

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Posted from: http://huntinginsider.com/ruger-announces-new-custom-shop-10-22-rifle-with-skeletonized-green-mountain-laminate-stock/

Sturm, Ruger & Company, Inc. (NYSE: RGR) is proud to introduce a new 10/22® Competition Rifle to the Ruger® Custom Shop line of firearms. This new variation boasts a skeletonized green mountain laminate stock and a stainless steel bull barrel. The 16-1/8″ stainless steel bull barrel features black Cerakote® accents and is fluted to reduce […]

The post Ruger Announces New Custom Shop 10/22 Rifle with Skeletonized Green Mountain Laminate Stock appeared first on HuntingInsider.

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Land & Legacy – Determining the Success of Your Season

Posted from: https://sportsmensnation.com/podcasters/land-and-legacy

Here is your pre-season pep rally! We take time this week to discuss how you should gauge the success of your season. Yes, big bucks are fun and play a role in our season, but there is much more weighing in on the success of a long hunting season. The outdoors is a medium or a way for you to draw closer to creation. Don’t overlook the opportunities this season to understand the importance of being silent and listening!

In addition, to determining the success of a season, we also discuss why you need to record your hunting observations. Each hunting season is an opportunity to learn more about what deer want to be doing on your property. These patterns or lack of patterns you are observing are strong indicators of the habitat work that needs to be completed on the property. We walk you through how to interpret these signs on your property. We will teach you to be intentional this hunting season and take a note pad to the stand with you. Learn more about your property and yourself more than ever this fall.

We hope this season is filled with encounters, not only with target deer, but with the Creator himself. Enjoy.Learn.Share! #ForLoveoftheLand

Follow FreaknHunting on Instagram @ http://instagram.com/freaknhunting
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Published

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Posted from: https://sportsmensnation.com/podcasters/land-and-legacy

Here is your pre-season pep rally! We take time this week to discuss how you should gauge the success of your season. Yes, big bucks are fun and play a role in our season, but there is much more weighing in on the success of a long hunting season. The outdoors is a medium or a way for you to draw closer to creation. Don’t overlook the opportunities this season to understand the importance of being silent and listening!

In addition, to determining the success of a season, we also discuss why you need to record your hunting observations. Each hunting season is an opportunity to learn more about what deer want to be doing on your property. These patterns or lack of patterns you are observing are strong indicators of the habitat work that needs to be completed on the property. We walk you through how to interpret these signs on your property. We will teach you to be intentional this hunting season and take a note pad to the stand with you. Learn more about your property and yourself more than ever this fall.

We hope this season is filled with encounters, not only with target deer, but with the Creator himself. Enjoy.Learn.Share! #ForLoveoftheLand

Follow FreaknHunting on Instagram @ http://instagram.com/freaknhunting
Catch us on Twitter @ http://twitter.com/freaknhunting
For the hat trick, we’re on Facebook @ https://facebook.com/FreaknHunting/

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