American Hunter - November 2016 - 47


Boundary Bounty
You need to be on your A game when
worlds collide. Regions of mule deer
country often contain vast open spaces
squarely adjacent to a forest maze. You
really can't predict which one deer might
prefer. While hunting the prairies of
eastern Montana next to pine-covered
mountains, easily within walking distance of feeding fields, I've noticed bucks
routinely stop short of the assured refuge.
On other occasions I followed along as
deer left lowlands and I eventually gave
up the chase as they marched to distant,
pine-covered bluffs miles away.
This randomness means you have to
be ready for mule deer to spend time in
the wide-open one day and timber the
next. Think like a whitetail hunter and
work edges. This pays dividends in Western real estate where public and private
lands meet, generally in an edge setting. It's common for lush bottoms to be
under private deed and the upper forests
under public domain. Survey the edges
of public timber with a view toward
lower openings or sprawling, private

fields. GPS programs like HuntXMaps
(huntinggpsmaps.com) are invaluable
in these bottlenecks.
Deer may race to timber or shortstop in
between. Depending on boundaries, you
may be in place to waylay a buck with a
timber tendency or you may see deer lingering in the field-to-forest transition area.
If you get the GPS green light, plan a stalk.
Whatever you do, do it speedily. Randomness is an evolutionary characteristic that extends past habitat preference. If you bust a buck and it senses a
trap, you may never see it again. Mature
mule deer bucks can be just as slippery
as a whitetail. One year I was hunting
with a good friend in Montana and we
watched a trophy-class buck on a hayfield two days in a row. We put a plan
together and my friend missed a shot at
250 yards. It was the last time we saw that
buck. Even the local outfitter didn't have
any luck tagging it.
Did that buck hire a moving company or simply become craftier? Bill de
Vergie, a 25-year veteran of Colorado
Parks and Wildlife, serves as the area

americanhunter.org ❘

47 ❘ november 2016

wildlife manager for the entire northwest
quadrant of his state. He offers another
factor to consider for a buck's disappearance. Regarding elk, de Vergie absolutely
knows hunting pressure causes them to
move, but 30 years of data and new GPS
studies confirm mule deer stick close to
home until a specific date. When that
calendar date arrives they make their
autumn move to more hospitable habitat for winter with atomic-clock-like
precision.
"Mule deer are hard-wired to move
almost the same day, every year. The
minute, whatever it is, decreasing daylight
or another factor triggers them, they move,"
notes de Vergie. "It's nearly the same day
year after year. They are very repetitive in
the process and it doesn't matter if we are
in the middle of a drought or facing 2 feet
of snow. They begin to travel."
De Vergie says wardens talked about
this phenomenon for years, and now
transmitter studies confirm it. He doesn't
argue that hunting pressure on deer may
cause major movement in certain areas,
but in northwest Colorado, major mule


http://www.huntinggpsmaps.com http://www.stealthcam.com http://www.americanhunter.org

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of American Hunter - November 2016

Contents
American Hunter - November 2016 - CW1
American Hunter - November 2016 - CW2
American Hunter - November 2016 - Cover1
American Hunter - November 2016 - CW3
American Hunter - November 2016 - CW4
American Hunter - November 2016 - C2
American Hunter - November 2016 - 1
American Hunter - November 2016 - Contents
American Hunter - November 2016 - 3
American Hunter - November 2016 - 4
American Hunter - November 2016 - 5
American Hunter - November 2016 - 6
American Hunter - November 2016 - 7
American Hunter - November 2016 - 8
American Hunter - November 2016 - 9
American Hunter - November 2016 - 10
American Hunter - November 2016 - 11
American Hunter - November 2016 - 12
American Hunter - November 2016 - 13
American Hunter - November 2016 - 14
American Hunter - November 2016 - 15
American Hunter - November 2016 - 16
American Hunter - November 2016 - 17
American Hunter - November 2016 - 18
American Hunter - November 2016 - 19
American Hunter - November 2016 - 20
American Hunter - November 2016 - 21
American Hunter - November 2016 - 22
American Hunter - November 2016 - 23
American Hunter - November 2016 - 24
American Hunter - November 2016 - 25
American Hunter - November 2016 - 26
American Hunter - November 2016 - 27
American Hunter - November 2016 - 28
American Hunter - November 2016 - 29
American Hunter - November 2016 - 30
American Hunter - November 2016 - 31
American Hunter - November 2016 - 32
American Hunter - November 2016 - 33
American Hunter - November 2016 - 34
American Hunter - November 2016 - 35
American Hunter - November 2016 - 36
American Hunter - November 2016 - 37
American Hunter - November 2016 - 38
American Hunter - November 2016 - 39
American Hunter - November 2016 - 40
American Hunter - November 2016 - 41
American Hunter - November 2016 - 42
American Hunter - November 2016 - 43
American Hunter - November 2016 - 44
American Hunter - November 2016 - 45
American Hunter - November 2016 - 46
American Hunter - November 2016 - 47
American Hunter - November 2016 - 48
American Hunter - November 2016 - 49
American Hunter - November 2016 - 50
American Hunter - November 2016 - 51
American Hunter - November 2016 - 52
American Hunter - November 2016 - 53
American Hunter - November 2016 - 54
American Hunter - November 2016 - 55
American Hunter - November 2016 - 56
American Hunter - November 2016 - 57
American Hunter - November 2016 - 58
American Hunter - November 2016 - 59
American Hunter - November 2016 - 60
American Hunter - November 2016 - 61
American Hunter - November 2016 - 62
American Hunter - November 2016 - 63
American Hunter - November 2016 - 64
American Hunter - November 2016 - 65
American Hunter - November 2016 - 66
American Hunter - November 2016 - 67
American Hunter - November 2016 - 68
American Hunter - November 2016 - 69
American Hunter - November 2016 - 70
American Hunter - November 2016 - 71
American Hunter - November 2016 - 72
American Hunter - November 2016 - 73
American Hunter - November 2016 - 74
American Hunter - November 2016 - 75
American Hunter - November 2016 - 76
American Hunter - November 2016 - 77
American Hunter - November 2016 - 78
American Hunter - November 2016 - 79
American Hunter - November 2016 - 80
American Hunter - November 2016 - 81
American Hunter - November 2016 - 82
American Hunter - November 2016 - 83
American Hunter - November 2016 - 84
American Hunter - November 2016 - 85
American Hunter - November 2016 - 86
American Hunter - November 2016 - 87
American Hunter - November 2016 - 88
American Hunter - November 2016 - 89
American Hunter - November 2016 - 90
American Hunter - November 2016 - 91
American Hunter - November 2016 - 92
American Hunter - November 2016 - 93
American Hunter - November 2016 - 94
American Hunter - November 2016 - 95
American Hunter - November 2016 - 96
American Hunter - November 2016 - 97
American Hunter - November 2016 - 98
American Hunter - November 2016 - 99
American Hunter - November 2016 - 100
American Hunter - November 2016 - 101
American Hunter - November 2016 - C102
American Hunter - November 2016 - C103
American Hunter - November 2016 - E102
American Hunter - November 2016 - E103
American Hunter - November 2016 - MW102
American Hunter - November 2016 - MW103
American Hunter - November 2016 - S102
American Hunter - November 2016 - S103
American Hunter - November 2016 - SW102
American Hunter - November 2016 - SW103
American Hunter - November 2016 - W102
American Hunter - November 2016 - W103
American Hunter - November 2016 - 104
American Hunter - November 2016 - 105
American Hunter - November 2016 - 106
American Hunter - November 2016 - 107
American Hunter - November 2016 - 108
American Hunter - November 2016 - C3
American Hunter - November 2016 - C4
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