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#2709105 - 01/08/09 Trophy Mule Deer Hunt
Cacciatore Offline
Campfire Regular

Registered: 08/24/06
Posts: 578
Loc: From WI...Live in IL
All,
Does anyone have any suggestions/experience on an outfitter for a trophy mule deer hunt? Maybe even with the potential to add an antelope as a combo, but not mandatory.

Thank you in advance.
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#2710064 - 01/08/09 Re: Trophy Mule Deer Hunt [Re: Cacciatore]
JGRaider Offline
Campfire 'Bwana

Registered: 08/23/05
Posts: 14816
Loc: W. Texas
What's your price range?
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#2710160 - 01/08/09 Re: Trophy Mule Deer Hunt [Re: JGRaider]
Cacciatore Offline
Campfire Regular

Registered: 08/24/06
Posts: 578
Loc: From WI...Live in IL
Pretty flexible. Quality animals is the key. There are for sure 3 of us (potentially up to 6) and we would prefer to pay more knowing that the area holds some true trophy animals. I am not saying we looking for canned hunts for booners, but I don't want to spend a fortune walking around an area that has nothing but immature deer either.
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#2710176 - 01/08/09 Re: Trophy Mule Deer Hunt [Re: Cacciatore]
dvdegeorge Offline
Campfire Kahuna

Registered: 10/29/04
Posts: 17436
Loc: Western N.Y.
Comanche Wilderness Outfitters Inc. - Scott Limmer
PO Box 236, Livermore, CO 80536
Phone: 970-223-5330
Email: hunt_coloradoyahoo.com
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#2710234 - 01/08/09 Re: Trophy Mule Deer Hunt [Re: Cacciatore]
Mark R Dobrenski Offline
Campfire Oracle

Registered: 04/19/01
Posts: 28277
Loc: Bozeman, Montana
What kind of trophy qualities are you wanting?

Thx

Dober
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#2710243 - 01/08/09 Re: Trophy Mule Deer Hunt [Re: Mark R Dobrenski]
Cacciatore Offline
Campfire Regular

Registered: 08/24/06
Posts: 578
Loc: From WI...Live in IL
I would love to say a 30" muley, but we are also realistic. We understand that it is impossible to guarantee 200" animals, but we would love opportunities at dandies.
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#2710694 - 01/08/09 Re: Trophy Mule Deer Hunt [Re: Cacciatore]
JGRaider Offline
Campfire 'Bwana

Registered: 08/23/05
Posts: 14816
Loc: W. Texas
For absolute top end trophies, and probably $$$ to match, Sonora, MX and Alberta cannot be beaten. These are areas where tags are guaranteed. As is usual, do your homework (I can help you with MX if that's what you decide). Landowner tags are possible on the E Plains of Colorado, especially so with bow and muzzleloader and some gaggers are killed there every year, as with W. Kansas (draw only now). Colorado has put more trophies in B&C by far than anywhere, and big bucks are found throughout the state. The really tough to draw areas like limited entry Utah, Nevada, the AZ strip and Kaibab have very big bucks but tags extremely hard to get. E Montana has respectable bucks and (165"-175") is reasonable expectation, with expensive guaranteed tags and high success. I would highly recommend doing your homework and looking into Sonora. Huge bucks are there (and still rare regardless of what you read), and the Sonoran experience is like none other. I've been twice and really want to go back. Hopefully this helps a little, and I'll be happy to try and answer anything I can. If I don't know I'll tell you the truth.
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#2710761 - 01/08/09 Re: Trophy Mule Deer Hunt [Re: JGRaider]
Cacciatore Offline
Campfire Regular

Registered: 08/24/06
Posts: 578
Loc: From WI...Live in IL
Thank you for the feedback JG.
I did some searching about Sonora and Alberta. I will have to dig a little deeper.

We hunt Colorado Elk every other year and I know that certain areas especially the south west had a huge winter kill last year and I heard they are getting pounded again. That doesn't mean anything for the eastern part of the state though.

Once again I appreciate the feedback and keep it coming if any other useful info comes to mind. I will keep you informed as we start to lean one way or the other.
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#2711190 - 01/09/09 Re: Trophy Mule Deer Hunt [Re: Cacciatore]
Prwlr Offline
Campfire Ranger

Registered: 12/19/07
Posts: 2152
Loc: Colorado Springs, CO
I priced some Eastern CO mule deer hunts and they ran $7 - $10K. The Kiowa Creek ranches (10K) have deer in the 180 to 200 class according to one of their guides. Heck for a little more you could go to Africa.


Edited by Prwlr (01/09/09)
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#2711445 - 01/09/09 Re: Trophy Mule Deer Hunt [Re: Prwlr]
kcm270 Offline
Campfire Regular

Registered: 11/26/04
Posts: 1192
Check out Three Forks Ranch and Piney Valley Ranch in Colorado.

Both have the kind of bucks you're looking for. Bring your wallet, and somebody else's money, too.

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#2711504 - 01/09/09 Re: Trophy Mule Deer Hunt [Re: Cacciatore]
tbear Offline
Campfire Guide

Registered: 10/23/02
Posts: 4651
Loc: Reston, Va.
A trophy hunt 2-3 years ago may be this years bust. I would recommend several sources. A good booking agent like Ray Atkinson that posts here. Ray will know the current hot spots. I wouldn't thing about booking an expensive hunt with out hunting reports from SCI & The Hunting Report. These are written by actual hunters. I have submitted quite a few. You can request individual states/Providences or a package of reports on Mulies . I would also suggest you talk to Doug Luger the Manager of Trophy Records at SCI. Doug's ph. is 520-620-1220 ext.265 & he can advise where the best mulie trophies are being taken. Plan on 7-12K for a top mulie trophy hunt. I was offered to be put on a waiting list in Utah(I believe) by an outfitter this past year where 30-36" mulies were supposodly being taken. Hunt was "only" 15K with a kicker if above a certain B&C score. I passed since I can hunt lots of animals in Africa for less. Good hunting.
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#2711696 - 01/09/09 Re: Trophy Mule Deer Hunt [Re: tbear]
Toolelk Offline
Campfire Regular

Registered: 11/04/08
Posts: 554
Loc: Montana
If the parameter is hitting the magical 200" mark (or even close) than my choice would be Sonora also. Thirty inch mule deer are there and you will see them. I suggest Arrow 5 Outfitters as they are having an amazing season (they are hunting now) and have taken several bucks over 30" this year. I would also suggest adding Coues deer to any Sonora trip - those litte deer are quite the challenge. Check out Arrow 5 @ http://www.arrowfiveoutfitters.com/html/mexico.htm.

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#2711962 - 01/09/09 Re: Trophy Mule Deer Hunt [Re: Toolelk]
Enrique Offline
Campfire Guide

Registered: 03/27/01
Posts: 3941
Loc: Mammoth AZ USA
I am spoiled by Sonora. Having guided down there, and seeing all the monster bucks I seen, I still dream of the hunts.
On two opening days, one with rickbin, we seen 3 good 30" plus bucks and rick took a 31 incher that day. The second opening day I was with akjeff. We musta seen 4 bucks over 30 and a couple in the high 20's(27 to 30).
For sure Sonora has the big bucks. Do the research tho. You got some screw jobs down there. If they talk big talk and make it sound sweet, ask for references and check up on them. Don't drop money till you do that. Like mentioned above, add a coues deer. The desert flats hold those big NT and typical bucks that are scoring high in the books. You may see one you may not, but at least if you do you got that chance to kill one. The realistic chacne of a 30 incher or 180/190 plus is there.

Then again alberta has some toads! Look into there.

Those are the two realistic place to find what you are looking for and be successful. You may find a few places here in the US, but to me nothing beats Sonora.

Kique
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#2712681 - 01/09/09 Re: Trophy Mule Deer Hunt [Re: Cacciatore]
dvdegeorge Offline
Campfire Kahuna

Registered: 10/29/04
Posts: 17436
Loc: Western N.Y.
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#2712820 - 01/09/09 Re: Trophy Mule Deer Hunt [Re: Cacciatore]
StrayDog Offline
Campfire Tracker

Registered: 03/17/04
Posts: 5890
Loc: Texas
 Originally Posted By: Cacciatore
There are for sure 3 of us (potentially up to 6)

I feel for you Cacciatore, trying to get a group to agree on an area, price, and outfitter, not even knowing the size of group.

That is the reason I just go alone to wherever I really want to hunt. Now that I have gotten "old" there is not enough seasons left to persuade others to go where I want to go.

I got a decent mulie hunting in Alberta with Ameri-Cana Expeditions

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#2713207 - 01/09/09 Re: Trophy Mule Deer Hunt [Re: StrayDog]
Cacciatore Offline
Campfire Regular

Registered: 08/24/06
Posts: 578
Loc: From WI...Live in IL
Thanks everyone.....keep 'em coming.

Thanks StrayDog, but our deal is this. I pick the hunt I want to go on. Two of the guys (my buddy and my Dad) said they trusted me doing my research and were in on whatever I select. They know I wouldn't pick a half baked hunt and spend my or their money on "marginal". The other 3 guys said that once I picked the location, type, and cost, they would let me know before I book. I told them that there may not be enough spots where I pick without their up front committment. They agreed that it's tough luck for them and if they snooze, they lose.

It is a bit stressful knowing that if it doesn't go as well as the expectations, I will hear about it for a long damn time.
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#2713379 - 01/09/09 Re: Trophy Mule Deer Hunt [Re: Prwlr]
JGRaider Offline
Campfire 'Bwana

Registered: 08/23/05
Posts: 14816
Loc: W. Texas
 Originally Posted By: Prwlr
I priced some Eastern CO mule deer hunts and they ran $7 - $10K. The Kiowa Creek ranches (10K) have deer in the 180 to 200 class according to one of their guides. Heck for a little more you could go to Africa.



I almost booked a hunt out there this past year. I found muzzleloader/bow hunts in Oct for app $4000, and late rifle hunts for $6000. Fully guided, no frills, no fancy lodging, etc.
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#2713410 - 01/09/09 Re: Trophy Mule Deer Hunt [Re: Cacciatore]
Mark R Dobrenski Offline
Campfire Oracle

Registered: 04/19/01
Posts: 28277
Loc: Bozeman, Montana
Cacciatore-perhaps I missed it but what kind of budget are you talking about for the hunt only (not the travel and such).

Thx

Dober
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#2713821 - 01/09/09 Re: Trophy Mule Deer Hunt [Re: Mark R Dobrenski]
Greenhorn Offline
Campfire Ranger

Registered: 02/25/01
Posts: 1996
You could save a large chunk of cash and have a significantly more rewarding time by just forgetting about the outfitter. You could do some research, invest in some decent gear, and do it on your own on public land in places that have tags that are not so tough to draw, and bucks that would make almost any hunter happy. By choosing that route, you could do 2 or 3 hunts in the next 3 or 4 years for the price of one outfitted hunt. Just something to consider.

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#2713877 - 01/10/09 Re: Trophy Mule Deer Hunt [Re: Greenhorn]
StrayDog Offline
Campfire Tracker

Registered: 03/17/04
Posts: 5890
Loc: Texas
 Originally Posted By: Greenhorn
invest in some decent gear,

For openers, a gas thirsty 4x4 pickup ain't exactly cheap.

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#2714174 - 01/10/09 Re: Trophy Mule Deer Hunt [Re: Cacciatore]
BobinNH Offline
Campfire Oracle

Registered: 01/28/07
Posts: 30697
I agree with StrayDog; for a concerted effort at a big mule deer at todays costs,I would not hunt with an outfit that agreed to take a party of 6.I would even be skeptical of a camp that tried to accomodate that many...maybe I'm spoiled, but I've spent too much money on those kind of hunts.My biggest bucks have all come when I was in a small camp, or hunting good country on my own.
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#2714458 - 01/10/09 Re: Trophy Mule Deer Hunt [Re: Greenhorn]
Salmonella Offline
Campfire Guide

Registered: 10/17/06
Posts: 4083
Loc: Behind Enemy Lines
 Originally Posted By: Greenhorn
You could save a large chunk of cash and have a significantly more rewarding time by just forgetting about the outfitter. You could do some research, invest in some decent gear, and do it on your own on public land in places that have tags that are not so tough to draw, and bucks that would make almost any hunter happy. By choosing that route, you could do 2 or 3 hunts in the next 3 or 4 years for the price of one outfitted hunt. Just something to consider.



Ditto that.

However DIY hunts ain't for everyone.
I know my spike camps ain't and I'm sure yours aren't either Kurt.

Big, real big muleys are about the toughest nut to crack these days.
Everyone wants them and there ain't many of them.

Sonora, extremley limited quota draws, high dollar private land hunts and expensive landowner tags tip the odds in your favor for sure.
As an example, how many years does it take to draw a unit 10 or 21 Colorado deer tag these days? 10, maybe 14 years?...The Arizona strip, the Henry's?

As Greenhorn said, there are other ways, but the odds usually ain't good and the
The bigger your budget, the better your odds.


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#2714604 - 01/10/09 Re: Trophy Mule Deer Hunt [Re: Salmonella]
Cacciatore Offline
Campfire Regular

Registered: 08/24/06
Posts: 578
Loc: From WI...Live in IL
As for DIY...the 5/6 of us hunt Colorado every even year on public land out of our tent set up at 9600 feet and do DIY. I remember in 2006 (before fuel prices shot up) it cost less than $900 a head including fuel, food, licenses, everything. We average about 3 elk per hunt and in that 2006 hunt my uncle shot a 300"+ 6x6. This past year I was fortunate enough to take a 250" 5x5.

We love the DIY hunt and are all about it. In fact none of us have ever had a guide involved in a hunt.....and my Dad and Uncles have been hunting a lot of years.

This is probably a one shot deal...once in a lifetime. That is why we want to make sure we do it right. We don't plan on making a habit to involve an outfitter (obviously unless law requires it).

With our Colorado elk hunt, we know we are going to be going back, so each year we learn and improve, knowing that the next hunt we will be better and have another crack at them. For that reason, we are not in search of an elk hunt, because we will hunt them during our DIY hunt. Same story with Whitetails....we hunt them every year on our property in WI.

We are looking for a hunt that we may not have a chance to do again....for that reason we want to give all participants a good chance at a trophy of a lifetime....because it may be the only time in our life.

If we had nothing but time, were all single, with no kids.....we would just do DIY hunts for elk, whitetails, muleys, moose, etc. every year. But that isn't the case. So we choose to hunt Elk regularly (every other year) as a DIY, whitetails regularly (every year) as a DIY, and we are thinking about one shot at a dandy muley.

WOW...what a lot of babbling. Sorry.

P.S. Hunting to us is also all about camaraderie as hunting partners/friends/family.....so we do it together for better or for worse.
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#2714682 - 01/10/09 Re: Trophy Mule Deer Hunt [Re: Cacciatore]
Mark R Dobrenski Offline
Campfire Oracle

Registered: 04/19/01
Posts: 28277
Loc: Bozeman, Montana
Lots of fun things to be planning here and for me the planning is a whole lot of fun.

What kind of budget for the outfitter part are you looking at?

Thx

Dober
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