Take to the Trees for December Muleys

When spot-and-stalk tactics haven’t produced, it’s time to steal an idea from the whitetail playbook and use a treestand for muleys.

Take to the Trees for December Muleys

It’s December and you’ve yet to notch your plains mule deer tag. You’ve crawled for miles and your knees are riddled with cactus. You tried a decoy. You grunted and rattled, but other than a few close encounters, there are no backstraps for the grill. Don’t fret, here’s one more trick to try.

Mule deer country is dotted with lone trees — mostly gnarled cottonwoods — standing alone in a sea of sage. In some locales, small creeks slice through the landscape, offering small stands of trees. Your job: Gain a vantage point and watch how the deer you’re hunting navigate the landscape. Chances are, they are walking by a tree or two.

Lone trees in the middle of nowhere draw deer like moths to a flame. Find that lone tree and I almost guarantee a trail riddled with tracks sliding by it. Don’t hang a camera; it’s too late. Simply observe deer movement from a distance, and then slip in and hang your set.

Millennium M7 MicroLite
Millennium M7 MicroLite

If you’re fortunate enough to have a small waterway winding through your muley area, put on your whitetail cap. Mule deer travel waterways just like a whitetail, especially waterways that lead to grain-rich ag fields.

Once you find where you need to hang, go with a lightweight and maneuverable treestand because most western cottonwoods aren’t treestand friendly. I like Millennium’s M7 MicroLite and Summit's Featherweight Switch hang-on portables.

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