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Keith Pullins Shares 6 Lessons He’s Learned About Mule Deer Hunting

provided by John Phillips

Mossy Oak Pro Keith Pullins from Rapid City, South Dakota, has been hunting mule deer for 35 years. After high school, he joined the Armed Services and became a radiology tech in the U. S. Air Force. After service, he immediately returned to hunting mule deer and elk. Throughout his career, he’s harvested 30 mule deer bucks and also enjoys hunting elk.

mule deer buck

1. Good optics are critical to mule deer hunting success, especially early in the season. 

2. You have to be patient. I have spotted mule deer in the bed before and then had to wait three hours for them to stand up so that I could take a shot at them. 

3. You will have numbers of long-lasting hunts. The winds may change and spook your buck, and that muley may see or smell you. Sometimes, another buck even may come in and spook your buck. Never be upset when you aren’t able to stalk and harvest every big muley you see.

4. You must cut your movement to half the speed you’re going, when you’re stalking a mule-deer buck.
5. A mule-deer buck may bed down twice and stay for about an hour or perhaps longer. When that buck gets up and moves, he only may walk 50 yards away or perhaps 200 yards away. However, once he beds down for the second time, you should have plenty of time to shoot him with your bow, your rifle or your muzzleloader, if the terrain allows you to get close enough. 

6. Early in the season, when the weather’s very hot, the bucks usually will look for shady places to bed-down. Two years ago, I got within two yards of a bedded buck, saw it under a cut bank and came in on the back side of him. I was so close that I probably could have grabbed his antlers. But when I drew my bow, I made the slightest sound, the buck stood up, and I shot right over his back. That buck taught me something that I’ll never forget - no matter how close I am to a bedded buck, I need to draw my bow before I get within two feet of him.

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