I got out to the western edge of the unit for which I was drawn this year here in Nevada to have a look at the landscape and spot some deer. I did this scouting with a friend who knows the area. I know nothing about it, so it was very important that I start asking questions and taking any opportunity, right now, to get my eyes on the game and where they call home.
We went out to a spot where my friend from work has seen many mule deer during the regular season. The viewing spot we chose sits just over 9,000 ft. elevation in an area that tops out around 10,000 ft. and bottoms out around 7,000. The closest "deery" looking spot was a facing peak and it's adjoining foothills about 1 mile away. There were deer out there, but boy, was I in for a lesson in just how far our mule deer can be from your scouting point and the amount of ground you may have to cover out here just to get within shooting range. Keep in mind that as a Midwest whitetail hunter in my former life, this is all new to me.
The deer we saw were just barely visible with the naked eye. Below are some shots that I took using a 300mm telephoto lens. Still, despite the magnification, you can see just how tiny these deer look. As most of you already know, if you don't have quality optics out here, consider yourself screwed.
This was the first deer of the morning. It heard us coming up the hill in the truck from incredibly far out and I got this shot of it bounding toward the top of a foothill...
...and then stopping for a look at us.
Then, another group came in from the right on the face of the mountain across from us...
...and a couple more came to join them.