A few weeks back, I posted about a successful scouting trip here in Nevada. However, I am new to mule deer hunting and have heard that the deer patterns are not like whitetails and can change drastically in the weeks leading up the the early season. Obviously, it always behooves one to scout an area, if only to get familiar with the landscape. However, I live nearly 5 hours from the 161-164 area and it costs a boatload in gas and time away from my wife and kids each time I scout. I have to ballance my attack, if you will. I want to time my next run to not only see the landscape, but hopefully see the deer closer to their in-season pattern without wasting so much time as to not be able to get back out once more before th eseason.

Based on your experience with the early season (bucks, in my case), when should I try to get back out if I want to try and find the deer in the pattern they are most likely to be in (barring a catastrophic weather event, of course) when the season kicks off October 5th?

Thanks for your help.