During the general rifle season, the mountains near my home are full of red and orange, with hunters standing on about every ridge. My neighbor Rush had wanted me to guide him on a mule deer hunt, so I told him to be at my house before daylight, and we’d go to a public-hunting area. I was confident he could take an animal there. The next morning, we arrived at the top of the mountain, just as daylight was breaking. I told Rush to get his gun up and be ready. A big mule deer buck stood only about 60 yards away from us. Rush got his rifle to his shoulder and squeezed the trigger. The buck went down. We field dressed the mule deer, quartered him and carried him out. Rush was very excited about taking a mule deer that big on opening day of the general rifle season, with so many other people hunting around us.
I also enjoy hiking in the mountains, just looking for elk, mule deer, turkeys and all the other critters that live there. I think that’s one of the reasons that so many people ask me to guide for them. They know I’ve found the places where a hunter is most likely to be able to take an elk or a mule deer. Because of where I live, I can be in the Wasatch Mountains only about 10-15 minutes from my home. I believe that’s one of the secrets to finding the elk and the mule deer on public lands. I spend so much time in the mountains during mule deer and elk seasons, I’ve learned where other hunters hunt, and more importantly, where other hunters don’t hunt. All the information I gather helps me take my family, friends and friends of friends to successful hunts. I guess I’m really a stay-at-home mule deer and elk hunter.
Day 3: Kelly Hicks’ One-Hour Mule Deer Hunt