Mule Deer, Elk and Western Big Game Hunting -

"What to do when the hunting season is over?"

It's mid-November and much of the Mule Deer and Elk hunting is over, so "what are we going to do?" Well, here's some idea's. Try some mid-winter scouting, November through January is one of the best times for viewing trophy game. If you don't mind the cold weather and possibly some deep snow, you might be able to find some monster bucks or bulls for next year. Because of the rut, mule deer bucks can often be found casing the doe's during November and early into December. This offers you a great opportunity to find one of these monsters. When the bucks smell the sweat aroma of a doe in heat, they'll typically stop at nothing to get her. Mule deer bucks are much less wary during the rut, so catching them in the open is not uncommon. Currently in northern Utah we haven't had any snow in the high country, so deer may still be very spread out. But I'm sure that within' the next couple weeks we'll get a good snow fall in the high mountains. The benefit of the deep snow in the high mountains is that it'll push most of the deer into the lower country. Having the deer in a smaller, more accessible area increases your chances of seeing a monster buck. The drawback to scouting the game on the winter range is that they'll be many miles from there by next summer. The benefit is that if you find a monster buck or bull, it'll motivate you to search for him next summer. Who knows, you might just find him next year. But more than anything, just getting out and viewing some trophy bucks and bulls, is great fun. I personally have as much fun just seeing a trophy buck as I do actually hunting them.

For some sportsmen the hunt isn't over. Utah Bowhunter's actually have 'til Dec. 12 to hunt along the Wasatch extended archery area. This is the best time to be hunting that area, with the leaves off the trees, a little snow and lots of "Excited Bucks" running the mountain, you might get lucky. Many of the other western states also have late season hunts. Whether it's a late rifle, archery, or muzzleloader hunt, take advantage of the rut. It's one of the few times that a trophy buck might make a mistake.

If you're an elk-hunting fanatic, winter scouting can also benefit you. Many hunters in Utah and the surrounding states put in for limited entry elk hunts nearly every year. Mid-winter is one of the best times to view the elk and it gives you a chance to see just how big the bulls are in the various limited entry units. For those who really don't care to walk, the drive from Evanston, WY. To Jackson Hole is great for seeing game. Jackson Hole also has about 10,000 head of elk that winter just outside of town and it's an incredible site.

If you're looking to improve your chances of harvesting a monster mule deer or elk, mid-winter scouting is a must. It is the best possible way to find new mountain ranges to hunt. During mid-summer it's hard to find time to really scout more than one or two ranges, but during the winter you probably have nothing better to do. If you decide to make some mid-winter scouting trips or just a nice drive through the hills, please keep a lookout for poachers. Mid-winter is when many animals are taken illegally, so keep an eye out. They ruin the hunting for everyone and we need to send them to jail.

Click-a-Pic ... Details & Bigger Photos

Click-a-Pic ... Details & Bigger Photos

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