Archives for February 2015
The debate rages when it comes to what is the best trail camera for whitetail deer or mule deer hunting. You’ll hear plenty of folks talk about Primos, Bushnell or Reconyx, but for my money the best trail cameras on the market are made by Browning.
Browning makes several models that are top of the line. The Strike Force and Spec Ops are two of my favorites. Both bost 10 mp picture taking quality as well as under 1 second trigger time and under 3 second recovery time. Recovery time is key when you’re talking about whitetail deer. They’re always on the move and to get multiple pictures a quick recovery time is key.
We outfit our entire private ranch in Idaho with the Browning Strike Force and couldn’t be happier. Whether it’s on bear baits, whitetail trails or mule deer feeding areas the results are excellent and reliable.
I’m frequently asked when is the best time to hunt mountain lion here in Idaho. More specifically what is the best month. It can be a complicated answer, but typically the middle of December through the end of January are very reliable when it comes to having snow. Good conditions are key to a successful cougar hunt. That being said, we’ve caught some whopper lions in February and March over the years. Probably the best plan of action, if you plan on venturing to Idaho to mountain lion hunt, is to do a set date hunt middle of December through January. If you’re flexible, the hunting is excellent all the way through March if the weather cooperates.
Picking up where we left off in our previous post, lets discuss spot and stalk archery mule deer hunting. As we talked about earlier stand placement is key when it comes to patterning a big buck, but what happens when you just can’t put your thumb on where and when a big muley buck is going to show? That’s when you have to go after him.
With a bow this is no small feat. 9 times out of ten 10 when you are archery mule deer hunting in idaho, you’re going to have to wait until a buck beds down to make your stalk. It can be done while they are up feeding, but holy mackerel its tough.
There will be a whole slew of factors that determine whether you can make the stalk once you’ve put a big buck to bed. Here are the most important ones in my estimation.
1. You’ll have to make your approach from behind him.
2. The wind will also have to be in your favor.
3. You will still need ample cover to conceal yourself.
4. Last but not least you have to be wary of other deer in the neighborhood.
Mule deer are notorious for traveling in groups during archery season so this last factor is key.
Of course there are other factors to take into account, but these four should help you hit the ground running when it comes to the stalk on your next archery mule deer hunt.
Out scouting the new private ranch yesterday for potential archery mule deer hunt stands here in Idaho and found this little shed. Takes little ones to make big ones right!
Archery mule deer hunting is a little trickier than rifle mule deer hunting when it comes to picking stands. In rifle season you find the does and you find a good muley buck. It’s that simple. In archery season, however, you have to pin point daily movements between feed, water and security of a big buck. Not always easy. Trail cams and no shortage of good old fashioned time in the field is what it’s going to take.
An archery mule deer stand in Idaho comes down to two types of spots more often than not. A fence crossing a monster buck is using to get to his alfalfa or wheat field in the evening or a specific trail a big buck likes to use to get back to his water and shelter source. Typically ground blinds work best on the edge of the field and tree stands work best for the latter. You never know for sure though so be as versatile as possible.
Of course spot and stalk is entirely possible with mule deer, but complete patience and will power will be your greatest asset. That, however, is a topic for another post!
Mountain lion hunting with hounds is a subject that leans itself toward polarity. People in the big city don’t understand it. Folks from the country who grew up chasing the tail of their favorite hound, who in turn was chasing the tail of a lion, love it.
I made my first mountain lion tree in Idaho almost 30 years ago now and have a healthy respect for it as a sport and an important management tool. Cougars are notoriously sly and are rarely seen by hunters in the field thus making the ability to hunt them with dogs essential. Without steady harvest, their population would soon blossom to a point where they seriously affected the populations of whitetail and mule deer in turn.
It’s not all about population control though, the booming voice of mans best friend trailing out after a wily cat through raw and unbroken country is one of the purest sounds known to man. It hearkens back to rugged times when man and dog first made a pact to work in unison. It’s a sound that can become stuck in your heart if you’re not careful.
Regardless of the reason, sport or population control, men will follow their best hunting partner for centuries to come. Mountain lion hunting with hounds is in the blood of a select few and it will remain so.