MonsterMuleys.com

The Best Nevada Hunt Units For Muley Bucks
By Jeff Keysar
MonsterMuleys.com Freelance Writer

Mule Deer Tags
Nevada has gained a reputation in recent years for producing some excellent trophy mule deer. The Silver State’s geography ranges from alpine conifers in the north to Mojave desert lowlands in the south, and makes for a variety of hunting conditions and habitats.

However, not all Nevada hunting units are created equal. Luckily, the Nevada Department of Wildlife compiles and publishes hunt statistics on an annual basis, so we’ve taken those stats from the 2013 hunt season and broken them down to discover which were the top five units for fourpoint or bigger bucks. We’ve also figured out which five units had the best draw odds and also which units had the highest hunter success. You’ll find these stats below for the resident rifle, muzzleloader, and archery seasons.

Mule Deer Tags
And as an extra twist, every hunt unit in the state has been given a "dream hunt score," which takes the stats for draw odds, hunter success, and number of fourpoint or bigger bucks and combines them for an overall score. For example, if 100% of a unit's hunters were successful, and 100% of the bucks taken were 4+ points, and the draw odds were 1 to 1, the score would be 200, a theoretical perfect score. (100 plus 100 divided by 1.) In keeping with this formula, the top five units with dream hunt scores closest to 200 are listed at the end.


Draw Odds

Many hunters aren't that worried about trophies they just want the chance to hunt. According to NDOW, these were the five units with the best draw odds for a Nevada mule deer buck in 2013. I will only list the top five unless two or more units tied for the same odds:

NOTE: The odds below are "resident" odds.
RIFLE Units with 1 to 1 Odds RIFLE Units with 2 to 1 Odds
101-109 Mid 32
033 Early
35
043 - 046 Early
51
061, 062, 064, 066 - 068 Early
071 - 079, 091 Early
101 - 109 Early
101 - 109 Late
111 - 113 Early
114 - 115 Early
121 Early
141 - 145 Early
151 - 156 Early
161 - 164 Early
171 - 173 Early
221 - 223 Mid
251 - 253


MUZZLELOADER Units with 1 to 1 Odds MUZZLELOADER Units with 2 to 1 Odds
51
101 - 109
181 - 184
271, 272
15
31
32
35
041 - 042
043 - 046
061, 062, 064, 066 - 068
071 - 079, 091
111 - 113
114 - 115
121
141 - 145
151 - 156
171 - 173
202, 205, 206
211, 212
251 - 253
291


ARCHERY Units with 1 to 1 Odds
33
34
043 - 046
51
071 - 079, 091 Early
101 - 109 Early
101 - 109 Late
114, 115
141 - 145
151 - 156
161 - 164
171 - 173
181 - 184
271, 272



Highest Success Rates

Mule Deer Tags
If you're not a trophy hunter but you do want to fill the freezer, no problem. These tags might just fit the bill this year; after all, they had the highest success rates for Nevada muley bucks in 2013.

RIFLE Hunt Unit Success Rate (%)
194, 196
121 Late
21
131 - 134 Late
221 - 223 Late
83
82
78
77
73


MUZZLELOADER Hunt Unit Success Rate (%)
21
34
201, 204
261 - 268
31
100
100
100
100
86


ARCHERY Hunt Unit Success Rate (%)
202, 205, 206 Late
194, 196 Early
195
131 - 134
81
121 Late
194, 196 Late
100
86
67
63
50
50
50



The Most Trophy Class Bucks

Of all the units available to hunt mule deer in Nevada, some are better than others. Here's where the biggest bucks were taken in Nevada in 2013:

RIFLE Hunt Unit % of Bucks 4-Point or Better
221 - 223 Late
81
194, 196
161 - 164 Late
114, 115 Late
89
73
73
68
67


MUZZLELOADER Hunt Unit % of Bucks 4-Point or Better
21
22
34
251 - 253
261 - 268
100
100
100
100
100


ARCHERY Hunt Unit % of Bucks 4-Point or Better
21
192 Early
251 - 253
194, 196 Late
211 - 212
231
100
100
100
75
75
75



The Top Five "Dream Hunt" Units

As mentioned before, all of Nevada's mule deer hunting units have been compared to each other using the formula explained earlier, and the top five units with the best combination of draw odds, hunter success, and trophyclass bucks from 2013 are listed below:

RIFLE Hunt Unit Dream Hunt Score
251 - 253
101 - 109 Mid
221 - 223 Mid
101 - 109 Late
121 Early
51
48
47
44.5
44.5


MUZZLELOADER Hunt Unit Dream Hunt Score
51
251 - 253
31
34
202, 205, 206
77
75
68
66.7
61.5


ARCHERY Hunt Unit Dream Hunt Score
181 - 184
043 - 046
161 - 164
251 - 253
101 - 109 Late
83
74
71
70
69



It's important to note that the numbers above are more reliable for the rifle season than for the muzzleloader and archery seasons due to the higher numbers of tags and hunters. Statistical reliability goes up when the sample size increases basically, the more hunters hunting and returning hunt cards, the more reliable the total result. Other factors such as disease, predation, habitat loss and even hunter skill level can affect the numbers, especially in units that don't have many tags available.

Still, the units shown represent a good place to start if you're hoping to bag a buck in Nevada this year. As we continue this analysis through the years, some very interesting trends may emerge. But until then, good luck, hunters!