By: Josh Shaffer
Now that we are in the midst of the off-season, I decided to read up on a few books that have been on my book list for a while now. My latest read was Hunting High Country Mule Deer by Mike Eastman. In this short review, I’ve put together a few of my own thoughts on the material.
Formatting: I purchased this book as a Kindle book on my new Kindle Fire. While the content of the book was good, the formatting of the pictures and captions within the book were a bit wonky. I’m not sure why this is, but some of the pictures and caption boxes we dis-jointed from each other. Not a big deal, but a bit annoying.
Content: In my opinion, the content of this book is very informative, descriptive, and offers personal accounts of good hunting tactics. I’ll admit that I’ve not yet been on a true quest for mule deer, but I have spent weeks in the country they call home chasing elk. I do know that the tactics and strategies for elk and mule deer can be quite different so do your homework before taking off for these high country timber ghosts. This book contains a wide variety of methods for all types of hunting grounds.
Some of the quotes that I highlighted during my reading:
"The most ineffective way to hunt a big buck is to walk around in hopes of jumping and spotting him. Remember, if a mule deer knows you’re around more often than not he just stays hid until you have left the area."
"Mule deer have eight power eyesight and are accustomed to scanning the horizons and skylines for danger. Because ridges are the paths of least resistance, most hunters move along them like highways. Bucks have learned to bed down where they can scan many ridges at once for hunter traffic"
"In order for a deer to grow into a super buck, he has to survive at least seven years of hunting pressure"
"Remember one thing…your time is more wisely spent scouting and finding a trophy mule deer than blindly wandering around a creek drainage hoping to stumble upon a trophy buck during the heat of the hunting season."
Discussion: Big game hunting is a continual learning process and I'd venture to say that regardless of your level of hunting experience, this book probably has a something to offer everyone.
As many of you know, some states in the West still manage for very high quality mule deer herds and trophy bucks. Do you think we have missed the hey day of mule deer hunting? Some folks seem to think so. From the research that I’ve done, I still feel that there are plenty of mule deer hunting opportunities out there, but many great tags are likely to be swiped up by those hunters with stacks of preference points.
What’s your opinion on the outlook for mule deer over the next 10 years? I'm a bit scared that urban sprawl and human development will continue to push them out. Hopefully the mulies can become as adaptable as the whitetails across the US.
I’d also like to know your thoughts on this book. Feel free to leave a thread below in the comment section.