Mule Deer Hunting

Colorado Mule Deer Hunting: Tips, Locations, Regulations, and Gear

In Colorado, mule deer hunting is usually difficult. By learning about these animals’ tendencies, hunters can increase their chances of success.

A total of 92,480 hunters harvested 36,380 mule deer over the 2019 season, which is a 39 percent success rate. There are roughly 418,000 deer in Colorado.

When approaching the doe groups that live in the willow bottoms and forest fringes lining the valley floor near the hunting ranch in mid-to-late November, the bucks who are notoriously difficult to hunt early in the year become quite hunt-able. Colorado mule deer are a wild, fair chase hunt.

Mule deer are regularly seen in the evenings in the meadow region and are most active at night. they take a nap during the day undercover.

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Watch for deer during hot and humid weather; it’s the greatest time because the continuous wind keeps them cool.

Mule deer Hunting is not easy you must beware of tips and tricks before hunting. I have started hunting recently and trust me every time I go hunting I learn new things every season. I developed a routine and make plans on how, when, and where to find deer or elk in Colorado. 

Mule Deer Hunting Regulations

Colorado, if you pay attention some of the best mule deer hunting is in North America, but one thing that you need to understand is in Colorado that they have a deadline of mountain time, not midnight.

Colorado System Works

We are talking about all their big game species. Now we are going to talk about how the Colorado system works, what are the costs, and then if you don’t draw what your options are for elk and mule deer. They also have the archery the second rifle and the third Survival kit. You can just show up and buy a hunting license or even after the draw for those units which I guess have 70 to 80 units.

Colorado Maps
Colorado Maps

You can go elk or mule deer hunting and get your tag over the counter without having to draw so that out of the way over the counterpart.

Colorado probably has the oldest point system out there of all the western states and so there are people with a lot of points in Colorado. There are people over 30 out points in Colorado that is how long the systems have been in that place but they have a true preference point system and what that means is the person with the most points is going to get the tag.

They have a very complicated system for their moose, their goat, and their sheep.

You have to go online and the very first thing is that they are going to ask if you have a hunter education and I think the year is if you are born after 1949 you need to have hunter education.

Now assume you have a hunter education hopefully, you are over 12 years old which is the legal hunting age in Colorado, you need to have one of the following two licenses if you are an adult either you need a non-resident annual small license which is 82$ and 78cents or you need a non-residence license. Which will cost about 153$ and 68cents. So you need to have one of these licenses if you are going to apply whether it’s Deer or Elk or Antelope.

Now how this application system works with these preference point systems, put most of your focus and most of your priority on the first choice of your application in Colorado, and you must pay really really close attention to what hunt code you apply for not just the unit but the hunt code in addition to using go hunt.

You must download the regulations from Colorado Parks and Wildlife. Every 5 years Colorado changes their season structure their season dates. Bull Elk license cost $670, Deer license cost $402 and pronghorn license cost $402 and for a non-residence youth in addition to their dollar and 26cents small game license.

It’s pretty accommodating and pretty cheap for the non-resident youth to go there and hunt. A lot of people ask about returning tags I think it’s 30 days beforehand you can return a tag 30 days before handing it either get your point restored but no money or get your money back but no points. So you need to pick one or the other.

Blaze orange and hunter orange in Colorado it is 500 square inches visible above the waist and you need a hat that is visible from both directions.

Mule Deer Hunting
Mule Deer Hunting

Colorado is pretty simple for elk or mule deer hunting if you know it’s a preference point system so you apply if you don’t draw you still have the opportunity to go and hunt Elk on one of those over-the-counter units.

You can get the tag anytime over the summer before you go here you can go online and buy it they will send it to you, you can also get it when you go to Colorado if you get there the season opens you can get it from a licensed vendor and if you get if after the season opens you have to get it from parks and wildlife’s office.

Tips and Locations

keep in mind, Mule deer hunting is an Art, not Science.

Edge habitat

Tip- Edge habitat to me is going to be the area next to some heavy timbers but also a little bit of open patch of groceries so we have to find that the vegetation that the meal they want to key it on and focus on big mature deer and lots of big mature deer are not going to be roaming out in the open field but you can probably find as much as deer in the open field in the summer.

Mule Deer
Mule Deer

They are more pattern bowl out in the open easy to see but once those deer start getting pressure they are going to start kind of hanging out near that edge habitat because the edge habitat is also where a lot of vegetation is said to going to be a little lusher be a little more water on it the trees are right next to it and that’s where deer feel comfortable because they have the cover and have the ability to escape pressure when it comes but also they will feed out in those little tiny edge habitat.

Colorado Points
Colorado Points

Try to find timber with the edge habitat that is the key don’t find big giant open basins. edge habitat is really key to looking for a bunch of big deer.

  1. Tip-  Isolation- obviously you can kill or hunt a deer especially big mule deer pretty much anywhere in easy access areas, closed roads, and closer towns. We have to find those areas that are more isolated and actually hunt on our own terms this is how deer just react on daily basis they will have to worry about a bunch of traffic from people hiking or road traffic.

Find places that are remote, it will be more physically challenging to go in those remote places. Deer are obliviously living u there every single day, they are super strong and super capable of handling environments.

look for Terrain in Super High

Tip- look for terrain in super high details-  it means that it is let’s say draw a tag for a unit maybe it’s one unit or several units sit down every single night for a very long time or you can look for maybe full week on computer or rangefinder or device and zoom. Look for every sort of piece of terrain and every ridge-line every basin looks just look at every different feature of it because you will get to know what the deer or animal that you are hunting sees so we can have more perspectives.

Just look for how the terrain lies how to do east facing slopes look like and how all the facing slopes look like so it gets easier and you get a clear picture in your mind for the whole process of finding deer and eventually figure out based on past experiences where deer might be.

Finding Glassing Points

Tip- Finding glassing points- finding glassing points is going to be super important. Find a spot where it could be glass but also move around a little area because if glass area in the morning eventually the deer can start bedding, shadows are going to start to appear in different spots and be able to move down a ridge re-glass to look back into those shadows because a lot of times those bucks are going to be really hard to locate and just by moving a little bit and re-glassing you can actually start picking up animals that we didn’t know were there.

Biology Reports

Look for biology reports and different things you can get off the internet because biology reports are actually gold mine of information and everyone should utilize those. Those were basically a quick rundown on 4 little tips that may definitely help you get your foot on the door to find mule deer for your next hunt. keep a look at lots of things and lots of strategies on e-scouting mules their biology mule their habitats.

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Some Gear Recommendations For Mule Deer Hunting

As we all know Colorado, can be challenging and unforgiving. Make sure that you are fully prepared before going on the hunt. Make a list and here are some of the few items that you must take care of some of my recommendations. 

Sitika optifade – Backpack

This backpack comes highly recommended by me. This worked well for me because it held everything. You can have it because it is super lightweight and comfortable, and it meets all of your needs. It is very simple to attach a bow to this bag. This pack also includes a hydration bladder, which is useful because we don’t want to hear water sloshing around while stalking.

Sitika optifade Backpack
Sitika optifade Backpack

Shelter Tent

This tent is designed to withstand the most extreme conditions that capture can throw at us at any time. This season can accommodate up to four climates. This tent is very lightweight, fits in your backpack, and is durable enough for harsh weather. This tent can easily accommodate people and their belongings. It keeps you warm and is simple to set up. It takes only a few minutes to set up. It’s ideal for mule deer hunting in Colorado.

Shelter Tent
Shelter Tent

Sleeping bag

Get a sleeping bag, you’re going to need it. This mummy bag is very lightweight and ideal for mule deer hunting in the Colorado wilderness. You can get a good night’s sleep in the woods. I highly recommend taking these mummy-style sleeping bags with you when visiting Colorado.

These are the few gears that you have to carry. The right gear makes the difference especially when it comes to surviving in the Colorado hunt.

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