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  1. #1
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    hunting burns for mule deer?

    I live and hunt in the beautiful Black Hills of SD. due to the hunting regulations the last few years the mule deer are starting to come back in the black hills and there are getting to be some big boys around. My only realistic chance to harvest a trophy mulie is with my bow, rifle oddsare pretty tough. I've always had good luck in burns from years past and last year there was a couple real nice mulies in one of my hotspots, but I closed the deal on a 135 class whitetail on the second day of archery.

    So my question is, are burns a good place to find trophy mule deer bucks late sept - late October?

  2. #2
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    I can't speak from experience, but CO Outdoors magazine just had an article on just that. Last year in CO there were major forest fires from June thru Aug. The forest service reported deer (and elk and moose) flocking to those areas just days after the rains extinguished the fires. "The fall hunting season was phenomenal, with archers enjoying 50 percent success rate, twice the usual, and Woodward expects 2014 to be similar or better." (Colorado Outdoors, July/Aug 2014 issue).

    I'm a rookie in this business, so it's all coming from other sources. Check out the article if you can. It's a pretty good read on teh effects of forest fires all around. Colorado Outdoors July/Aug 2014 issue.

  3. #3
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    Short answer YES (IMO).

    Longer answer: Depends on the rate the vegetation comes back (and the heat/intensity of the fire).
    I've had some decent success in burns 4-6 years old.
    One of my past favorites got too thick at about 8.
    I have another area that has been really (really) slow to regrow.
    We are at 12 years and I think it is now holding some hogs.
    Most places it would be done, and the last three years I have seen progressively nicer bucks.
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  4. #4
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    Fresh burns can be hit or miss... burns of 2+ years old have produced well for me in the past. One burn we hunt regularly is 20 years old... I think it remains good because tree growth has been very slow to come back and it is located in a great area. My best friend arrowed a nice bull in this burn with the use of a decoy- the open areas allow for better visibility so the decoy really worked. I honestly don't see much difference though from a 3 year old burn to a 3 year old clear cut- if located in a good area, they both will really draw in the animals.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by OregonJim View Post
    Short answer YES (IMO).

    Longer answer: Depends on the rate the vegetation comes back (and the heat/intensity of the fire).
    I've had some decent success in burns 4-6 years old.
    One of my past favorites got too thick at about 8.
    I have another area that has been really (really) slow to regrow.
    We are at 12 years and I think it is now holding some hogs.
    Most places it would be done, and the last three years I have seen progressively nicer bucks.

    X2 I love hunting burns with new growth. Animals are easier to spot, the springs are green as can be and even the tiny seeps that you would never know they where there before the burn are green. The deer with go to these a lot to water and eat the green. Look for pockets of green trees that made it through the burn. Lots of times big bucks will bed there. North facing slopes will have more feed then the others. Also look for shade, in a burn there may not be much and the ribben rocks and out croppings of cliffs where a buck can get some shade will be a great spot for them to bed.

    Good luck!
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  6. #6
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    I've recently hunted the burn area from the 2002 Hayman fire here in Colorado. It's been pretty slow to grow back, probably due in part to the altiutude, 8500+. There are still plently of nice bucks there and a friend of mine killed a nice 6x6 bull there 2 years ago.

  7. #7
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    We hunt an area in NV that burned about 40 years ago. When we first hunted it there were alot of deer in the burned area.
    We still hunt that same area today, not as many deer now but then again we've been in quite a drought for at least 10 years.
    There has never been alot of water to begin with.
    The quakies and manzanitas are coming back and I started finding pinion pines about a foot tall, so it's taking a looonngg time
    for the area to come back. The surrounding area is very thick pinion and juniper.

 

 

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