Most of you who get EHJ may already know this but for those of you who don’t get the magazine, make sure you get your subscription re-upped now and you won’t miss the Wyoming MRS for deer next year.
Just in case you were wondering – here are my top five mule deer hunts for Wyoming this year. Keep in mind, our deer herd is in really poor shape and the overall volume of mule deer in Wyoming is down significantly at this point in time. However, this does not necessarily mean there are not some big bucks to be had in the Cowboy State.
- Area 101 Type-1: This hunt area is vast sage with low deer densities but has potential for big typical bucks. The hunt unit sits on the southern border to Colorado. Every elk hunter I have sent to this area in the past few years has reported back raving about the big buck deer they had encounters with during the hunt. With only 25 tags available, this offers a very high quality hunting experience with very little pressure. The hunter success here is nearly 80% and the average buck sports a nearly 24” spread. But this area does have a genetic for big slick, clean typical bucks. The buck to doe ratio here is 33/100 and growing. The winter was a touch rough here but I don’t think it was stiff enough to affect the older age class bucks. If I could hunt anywhere in the state for a big mule deer, I would head here first!
- Area 87 Type-1: Another very low-pressure hunt, this area can produce a very high quality mule deer hunting experience. Unfortunately, due to the nonresident landowner tag allocation in this area, sometimes there are no tags available for applicants. The hunter success here is also very high at nearly 80% but the buck to doe ratio is even more impressive at nearly 40 bucks per 100 does and climbing. Only 40% of this area is public land, so finding a good place to hunt can be a bit of a challenge for most DIY guys.
- Region G (General): This area probably needs very little introduction. At this point, this general region hunt is probably the best hunt to kill a monster buck in the state. No other area produces the type of bucks this region can. But this area is not for every hunter. This is certainly nothing like a lawn chair hunt. The country is steep, rugged and the hunter pressure can be extreme at times. The winter here was near normal with good moisture and some cold weather but nothing out of the ordinary so far. Plenty of big bucks were left on the mountain last year due to a massive rain and snow storm which hit the area on opening week, severely damping the hunter success last fall. This should have left an over abundance of mature bucks in the area for this year’s hunters. This could be a very good year for this region.
- Area 130 Type-1: One of my sleeper type hunts, this hunt can be a very solid bet for a big desert or high country rut-staged buck. There is a general season in this unit for the first two weeks of October, leaving the final two weeks to the limited, 25 hunters who draw this tag. Plenty of public land and some bad weather could make this hunt a real stand out during the last few days of October. The hunter success here is very high and the buck to doe ratio is good as well. Around 80% of the hunters here kill their bucks in less than four days of hunting. I actually put my wife in for this hunt and boy do I hope she draws.
- Area 105 Type-1: A late-season hunt with some rough country and plenty of deer. This hunt takes place during the first 15 days of November. There can be some very large bucks in this area. They have killed bucks here well over 200” in the past but that is certainly not the norm. The worse the weather the better here. The hunter success here varies drastically, mostly due to weather fluctuations from one year to the next. A bit of a gamble could pay off big on this hunt.
For the details on the remaining Wyoming deer hunts take a look at the MRS section in the April/May issue of EHJ. Don’t forget to apply by May 31st and get out there and hunt! Best of luck.