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> Mule Deer Behavior
hunterofwild
post Sep 21 2008, 12:31 AM
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Do Mule deer bucks run a scrape line? I've seen what I think might be a ground scrape in mule deer country, but I am not sure. If they do not, how do they know their territory and and when the does are in heat?
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m gardner
post Sep 21 2008, 08:58 PM
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Sometimes when mulies and whitetails overlap in their teritories the mulies will sometimes emulate their behavior but as a general rule the mule deer rut is totally different. The does gather on the winter ranges and the bucks go there to breed them.
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This post has been edited by m gardner: Sep 21 2008, 08:59 PM


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Goriath
post Oct 1 2008, 02:21 AM
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It has been my observation that they do not run lines.
Muleys rut totally different than white-tails for sure.
They might not even live on the same mountain from one night to the next, thats why hunting them is so much harder than people think. Ha ha. Harder to pattern, and they act like they could care less about scents or calls, or anything.
My humble two cents worth.


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INKANE
post Oct 22 2008, 07:57 PM
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I would add that as far as I have observed, their is a considerable difference in behavior between mountain mule deer and plains mule deer. Plains mule deer typically do not migrate, or at least to the extent of mountain mule deer. That being said, I have never observed a mule deer either initiating or visiting a scrape. If you have what appears to be a scrape, it would be interesting to set a trail camera nearby to see if something might visit. You have really peaked my curiosity with this subject. I will dig up some information and let you know what I come up with.

As far as scents and calls, I have had great success with mule deer responding to a can bleat, grunt call, and snort-wheeze. The timing that this has worked for me has typically been mid to late November in the Great Plains. Although I have never used a scent, with mule deer, I am confident that this can be achieved. As with a whitetail, mule deer are very olfactory oriented and often use these cues during breeding season. Now, most commercial estrous scents are produced for whitetail hunting and might not provide the same reaction from a mule deer. But if you can obtain the correct mule deer scents and use them appropriately, it should be effective.
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daspudster22
post Oct 22 2008, 09:41 PM
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I have not seen mule deer run a scrape line either. I feel when hunting mulies in the rut the best way is to hang out with the does get a high vantage point and glass glass glass. Many times I have been glassing for mule deer and over looked them in the most subtle terain. And put in lots of time. and dont be affraid to move around and look in other areas. Mulies like whitetails will travel quit a distance during the rut. Especially towards the end of the rut.
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INKANE
post Oct 23 2008, 06:28 PM
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According to Valerius Geist, a noted behavioral ecologist of mule deer,

"Mule deer do not form "scrapes" as do white-tailed bucks...Only once did I see a mule deer buck scrape the ground with a front leg three times while horning an overhanging branch. There are no reports of black-tailed deer forming scrapes."

Currently, this is the included in the authorative text on mule deer biology and management (although somewhat dated). If it is true that you have a mule deer forming a scrape line, make sure you get the correct documentation such as pictures or even better video and an idea of how often these scrapes are visited by the same buck.


(cited from Behavior: Adaptive strategies in mule deer in Mule and Black-tailed Deer of North America, 1981)
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BULL Buster
post Oct 28 2008, 01:56 PM
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I read a book called "The Mule Deer Quest" and the author is a wildlife biologist from Utah. He has been studying and hunting muleys for over 20 years and he says they do but do not visit them as often But the best way I have found to hunt rutting muleys is look for does and glass and then glass again.


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hilljack
post Oct 28 2008, 07:17 PM
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From my experience and others on here I would say they may make scrapes rarely and they wont be much use hunting. Spend as much time behind good optics as you can to be successful.
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