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West Texas Mule Deer  

 

Big mule deer are some of the most sought after trophies in North America.  Decreasing area and outside influences make finding big mule deer more and more difficult.  Texas has a large population of mule deer, but is rarely thought of when talking about trophy deer.  This is definitely not the case.  Due to strict management by Texans, hunters are taking bigger and bigger deer each year.  The great thing about hunting mule deer in west Texas is that there is no draw.  A Texas hunting license is all that is required.  The right ranches are producing more deer over 180 each season.  Texas may be a sleeper state for big mulies.

 

Trophy Mule Deer

 

TWC Hunt Co. hunts mule deer on two ranches totaling 200,000 acres.  Our home place is 20,000 acres in Brewster County.  We have been managing the deer with supplemental feed and selective harvesting for over 12 years.  We only take 4 -5 trophy deer each year depending on the conditions.  We focus intensely on taking 8-10 management bucks each year.  Producing big bucks for hunters is not just about shooting the biggest deer you see.  It requires harvesting the right deer.  We adhere to our strict harvesting criteria for continued success.  We have been on the Managed Land Deer Permits (MLDPs) for 4 years. This has allowed our management to step to the next level.  The normal season starts the Saturday after Thanksgiving and goes for 16 days.  The MLDPs have extended the season to nearly 60 days.  This has allowed us to take the time needed to make sure the right deer for proper management are taken.  With these permits, it allows the hunter to take more than one deer.  The regular Texas hunting license only allows one buck. The trophies taken on this ranch are scoring higher and higher each year. 

 They average in the high 160’s to mid 170’s.  We generally take a buck over 180 each year.  Normally we see 50 -100 deer a day with a high number of bucks.

 

The lodging is a new but rustic log cabin.  It sleeps 4 comfortably in the loft and has one private bedroom.  We try to keep groups small so we can pay more attention to the quality of each hunt. 

 

 

We also have the hunting on a 180,000 acre ranch in the famed Delaware Mountains in Culberson County.  Anyone who has hunted mule deer in Texas knows about this area and the kind of deer it produces.  This ranch has produced three bucks over 200 since 2000.  This is big country and on a four day hunt you will probably not see any of the same are twice.  In fact it is hard to see all of it in the 16 season.  This ranch is not yet on MLDPs.  Last year we saw from 20 – 85 deer a day.  Make no mistake that this is hard country to hunt and takes lots of patience to find the right deer.  The rewards can be so great though.  We had 90% success last year. 

 

The lodging is a nice ranch house that can sleep 10.  It has 2 private bedrooms and two bathrooms.  There is also a guest house which sleeps 3.

 

The hunting is all done safari style or spot and stalk.  We may spend hours in one spot glassing for the right deer.  We also might cover as much country as possible in our jeeps

and trucks which are equipped with high racks for better spotting.  How we hunt depends on what the deer are doing.  We change our tactics in order to produce the best results.  Our home place has feeders which help locate the deer.  This helps us consistently see more deer.  The ranch in Culberson County has lesser deer density but great quality.  Be ready to hunt hard.  Taking a big mule deer in West Texas is very gratifying. 

 

Management Mule Deer

 

As stated before we focus on harvesting the right deer.  This means that the deer taken must be done so with one goal in mind:  Continue producing big deer.  In order to do this you can’t just shoot the trophies.  There are deer that are big but not quit genetically superior for producing what we want.  Management deer hunts allow someone the opportunity to come hunting for a nice deer at a fraction of the cost.  You get the same experience with a smaller budget.  These bucks range in score from 120 -160 but usually average about 135.  We did kill a couple bucks last year that were over 160, but that is not the norm.  Generally these deer are post mature bucks with 6 – 8 points, although we do take some with 9 and 10.  These hunts allow you to take a deer that is old enough with 8 points or less no matter the score.  Deer with more than 8 points are taken at the guide’s discretion.

 

 


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