Tips for Scouting Mule Deer With BaseMap
Mule Deer State Specific Layers
Mule deer numbers are up and down, but mainly down, across the West. Many states that used to offer over the counter mule deer tags have now gone to a draw system. Some of these areas can change year by year, so keeping up with regulations may be a challenge.
Because of the regulations, before you can even start scouting an area you have to know if you can hunt there. BaseMap luckily takes the homework out of the equation for you.
With BaseMap’s state specific layers, you can select the Western state you’re planning on hunting, then select the species you will be chasing, in this case mule deer.
The mule deer specific data will tell you everything you need to know. You will be able to browse through unit boundaries, check season dates, regulations and drawing odds when available. The state specific layers will also show you traditional mule deer range.
The data can go even further by showing number of hunters who hunted the area, number of days hunted and harvest data. This is the perfect jumping off point for your scouting.
Feel the Burn
Well seasoned hunters swear by hunting old burnt sections of forest. Often times these seasoned hunters can’t be bothered to hunt in any other kind of terrain. Old burns will produce healthy, nutrient rich foods mule deer love to feed on. Scouting the edges of burns can be a great place to begin your scouting mission and BaseMaps database of historic wildfires provides you with every wildfire that has affected your neck of the woods over the last 10 years plus. Each fire will be featured by a red perimeter indicating the extent of the fire’s boundaries, the name of the complex and what year it took place. All these clues can help you search for smaller burns and older burns which will have significant new, nutritious growth. When you get to the spot in person, be reminded that while there may not be much wildlife in the spot at the time, as we get closer to general hunting seasons, more and more mature animals should move into the area. During your scouting trip pay more attention to old tracks, scat and rub trees, instead of actual animals.
Four by Fours, Horses and Bikes…..Oh My
Every scouting trip, just like every hunt, has to have a starting point. You may bail off the trail early and opt for bushwhacking to your waypoints, but having a national database of trails at your fingertips can certainly help expedite your trip into mule deer country. BaseMap trails aren’t the only feature that can help you get to your scouting grounds either. BaseMap’s database of roads features forest service roads and breaks them down based on which sort of transportation is allowed on them. Whether you’re traveling via a low clearance vehicle, 50 inch clearance outfitted four by four, an atv or dirt bike, BaseMap can help you find a suitable road to travel on. BaseMap also features horse approved trails and roads, as well as bicycle approved trails.
Mule deer can be the species of a lifetime to hunt and merely seeing a mature buck can be a life changing experience. Mulies embody the spirit of the West and because of that, hunting them is no walk in the park. Make sure you do your homework this year and start scouting with BaseMap at your side, helping you every step of the way. It may be summer now, but before we know it crisp air will move in, the leaves will be changing and our favorite time of the year will be upon us once again.