We head for WY Muleys late next week in the Big Horns. Been watching the weather and so far it looks like the snow/moisture is coming earlier this year than the past (probably normal though). I was outside of Buffalo this time last year and they got a good snow and they shutdown the Hwy going through the Big Horns, but it opened real quick after that. I was hunting antelope, so it didnt bother my hunting all that much but it sure made for a sloppy mess down in the BLM land between Buffalo and Gillette.
Another night it snowed on me while I was camping in the Big Horns, caught me off guard though I wasnt far off a paved road I was still off it. Woke up to beautiful blanket of white, but couldnt tell North from South, etc.
I wasnt hunting in the mountains but wanted to hang out for a couple days, after that snow I headed off that next day. On the way down I seen a few cow elk and some doe mule deer, stuck out like sore thumbs.
My question is; how much snow does it take to get them moving down? The snow hit me on Oct 4, 2012 so I am sure it was one of the first snows. But this year it seems snow has hit more often and tonight I think they are getting almost 3 feet in some places, and its Oct 3.
We plan to hunt the lower foot hills, but I was wondering is it possible for the higher country deer to come down around the middle of the month or even for them to head out of the foothills this early too?
I honestly do not even know the migration route of the Big Horn mule deer, or do they just move off the high ground all the way around with no direct route.
My understanding is they will stay as high as they can for as long as they can, with the ability to find food being the determining factor for when they move to lower elevations. A dusting isn't going to move them lower, but the deeper the snow, the more difficult it becomes to find food, the lower they move.