Four Late Season Mule Deer Rut Tactics

Hunting the mule deer rut is beyond exciting when timed right. Rut hunts are not available in all states and it doesn’t happen on an exact schedule. November is rut season overall with a peak that varies based on the region. Wyoming and Montana are two of the primary states where rut opportunities exist. Many are limited draw or require outfitter access to privately leased ranches. Here’s what to expect on a late season rut hunt.

Prepare for the Weather

You might find yourself sweating in the sun or freezing in the snow. November is a month of major temperature swings and dressing in layers is critical. Pack clothes for the worst and shed them as needed. This is especially important for backcountry trips.

Wyoming Mule Deer Hunting

Expect to See Some Nice Bucks

Hunting the rut opens up some great opportunities. You may or may not pull the trigger but you are more likely to see some great animals. Watching them sniffing around, chasing does is exciting. You may see sparring and the bigger bucks that are typically very difficult to locate may cross your field of vision. The trick here is being patient and finding the right opportunity.

Rutting Bucks are Still Wary

While you may see more bucks, they are still very difficult to approach and stalk. Does are on the lookout for trouble and traveling in groups. They are quick to alert a buck when you make a wrong move. Make a game plan and look for more isolated does and small groupings. Fewer eyes increase your odds of making the stalk. While the bucks are motivated to breed, they will slip away for good if your presence is known.


Simple Tactics

Hunting mule deer can mean hours of glassing, following tracks in the snow and sitting on groups of does until a buck presents himself. Rattling is also effective when working through timbered areas that don’t have an open view. Horses are a major advantage for accessing high basins and hiring an outfitter means having comfortable camps on cold nights. Getting into the high country puts you in places where hunting pressure is low, especially during the later seasons.



SNS Outfitter and Guides offers some incredible opportunities for hunting trophy deer during the rut in Wyoming and in Montana. We lease hundreds of thousands of acres of beautiful ranches and we’ve been carefully managing these properties for decades. You can explore our Mule Deer Hunting opportunities. For details, you can call us at 307-266-4229 or send us a message.