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Best Mule Deer Hunting Locations

June 27, 2021 3 min read

Best Mule Deer Hunting  Locations

Mule deer is native to the western part of North America. The deer got its name due to its large ears, which resemble those of mule ears. In addition, mule deer resemble whitetail deer because both have the same mtDNA. Thus, mule deer evolved from the blacktail deer. 


The diet of mule deer is very similar to whitetail deer; their diets vary greatly depending on the season, geographic region, year, and elevation. Mule deer are intermediate feeders rather than pure browsers or grazers. Mule deer are ruminants; they employ a nutrient acquisition strategy of fermenting plant material before digesting it. 


Mule deer occupy a lot of different types of territories. However, with a bit of research, you can find the best place. They are present from the Great Plains to the Western coastal ranges and from the Yukon Territory to Sonora and Baja Mexico. 


There is nothing quite like seeing a big mule deer buck skylined on a distant ridge. You can hunt mule deer in 15 states. Some of the best go-to states for mule hunting are listed below.

  • Idaho

  • Colorado

  • Montana

  • Nebraska

  • Wyoming


In Idaho, you can buy a mule deer buck tag over the counter. You can hunt many units with a general counter tag. You can also apply for  “controlled hunts”  that reduce the hunting pressure and limit the number of titles. 



Southeast of the Panhandle region of Idaho has the best mule deer numbers. The landscapes where you can find the mule deer range from dry, high-desert foothills to the rugged, mountainous, alpine zone. September is the best archery season. 


Due to the best mule deer habitats, Colorado is the  nation’s top  mule deer destination. Mule deer are widely distributed anywhere depending on weather conditions; the deer is present from high country summer range to low elevation wintering grounds.


The state has the most significant mule deer because of the excellent food and sound management by Wildlife. The best archery season is from August to September. 


The hunters must apply for a general tag to easily hunt a mule deer all over the state. The tag is much more costly than in any other state, but it is not a bad deal as it has pretty much deer, and you can easily find the deer all year long. 




The western half of Nebraska has mule deer in common. Mule deer have many places to hide, from ponderosa pine-covered ridges to the broken Sandhills country.



Nebraska is known for its whitetail deer hunting and has a lot to offer for hunters. However, some regions of the state are closed for mule deer hunting in certain seasons, and in certain areas killing of mule deer is prohibited. 


The droughts and harsh winters result in low quality and a number of buks. Wyoming was once considered as the cream of the nation’s mule deer hunters. The state still provides ample opportunities for good hunting with good destinations. 

Unit-specific tags are available with different season dates from the general region tags. Public land is limited in the east and vast in the west. 



Wyoming has certain off-limits to non-resident big game hunters unless or until you have hired a licensed outfitter. So before applying, research for which tag you are applying for. Despite all the limitations, Wyoming is the first go place for public lands mule deer hunt. 

Mule deer populations decreased because of the winter range in some parts of the West, which resulted in the loss of habitats. Still, there are many good places where you can hunt.



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