Hi Everyone, Have returned from my annual Wyoming mule deer hunt in the Bighorns. We hunted Sept. 5th thru 11th. I must say the hunting was decidedly tougher this year. Two issues had to be dealt with; the first few days were very hot and deer numbers seemed to be down a little. Those first few days there was very little deer movement in the daylight, the first hour of daylight was about the only time we saw activity. We passed up a few small and medium bucks thinking we would see better. Mid week temps cooled and we started seeing more deer. I shot a small buck on the last morning of the hunt, not a trophy, but he'll make excellent steaks, brats, and snack sticks. My buddy ended up sorry he didn't take a mid size 4x4 on the first day.
A couple of observations; We saw quite a few spike bucks this year. I don't know if I have ever seen spike bucks here before. Also the buck I shot had almost no fat reserves on his body. Usually there is fat around the brisket area and on the back above the back straps. Here's my opinion. Due to the drought of last year the winter range has very poor feed available for the deer, hence, spike bucks and deer in poor condition for the upcoming winter. Pray for a mild winter this year.
I did see more elk than I ever have this year, probably because we started concentrating on secluded springs and water sources. Between my partner and I we could have shot 7 different bulls, all under 20 yds. No, don't ask. I hope to draw an elk tag in the near future.