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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've been wanting to shoot a mule deer and an antelope for years and always flinch when I see most of the outfitters's prices.

I'm not exactly a trophy hunter and would probably shoot the first legal antelope and would try to look for a 4x4 mulie but wouldn't hesitate to bust a little one during the last day or two of the hunt. My intentions are not to put heads ont he wall - but to get a breath of that wild air and do something I'll probably never do again.

I guess my questions is - where is a good place to start looking at?? I'm from FL.

(I aslo designed and build 1-man Hybrid duck boats and know how to catch sea trout & redfish if anyone wants to trade for a mule deer or mule deer & antelope combo hunt - let me know.)
 

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I myself am on a mission to shoot an Antelope this year. I think I am going to sacrifice my deer hunting this year to try for Antelope.

Being as I am from the west of the US I know that Montana and Wyoming have some REALLY nice Mule Deer. I am not too sure about what would be offered closer to you.
GOOD LUCK!
Ryan
 

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If you want big country and a chance at big mule deer montana or wyoming. The hard thing is the seasons are different for both. I live in sd and the goat season is begining of october then the deer season is november. I have been looking at montana for a diy hunt. Check out eastmans those guys hunt hard on public ground.
 

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An option for you to think about is Trophies Plus Outfitters which operates in Wyoming, Montana, and South D. Several of my buddies gave them a try and where real impressed and had a great time and all killed very nice Mule deer, White-tail, and Pronghorn. So my Brother and I always wanting to go out west on a hunt decided to book with them the following year which was Nov of 2006. In our group we had 16 friends close and new that went on the trip from my home state of VA, we had a blast. Some hunted M & Wt both, most hunted Mule deer only and 3 pronghorns where killed. Out of our group all but one guy took home a nice trophy for their walls. The hunt was not the cheapest in the world but for what we got and the experience to hunt with friends and have success was worth every penny. I think after everything was said and done the hunt cost me about $5K, that's airfair, lic, the hunt, guide fees, etc. Hopes this gives you an idea to a place to give a try maybe. You can check them out at www.trophiesplusoutfitters.com. If you have any questions I'll be glad to help answer them you can email me at [email protected].

Phillip

 

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Thats a really nice deer. Congratulations. What state did you end up hunting? Did they only kill 3 antelope because that is all they could find, or all they chose too? Thanks
Ryan
 

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I hunted Wyoming, now for white-tail deer montana is where most of the guys in our group hunted. There were 3 hunters that went after pronghorn and they all scored. The outfitter takes some really good pronghorn from their ranches. The Eastmens mag. is a good source for hunting out west but I recommend if you've never hunted out west that you strongly look into a guide service because I know a couple guys that went out there and hunted some public hunting areas and were highly disappointed. You need to know what your doing, areas open to the public, lic info, etc to really get a good hunt out of a public hunt. Good luck!!
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Thanks, guys. I've been fortunate enough to have been invited to Idaho, New Mexico, and Kansas - really hoping the Idaho or New Mexico hunt will pan out - in that order. (We scrapped the Kansas deer idea and may focus on pheasants and ducks/geese. Sounds like a lot of fun.)

Outfitters range from super expensive to just costly. It isn't so much the outfitter costs, it is when you start adding things up - airfare, a vehicle, meat processing, shipping home the meat, let's not forget the $250-$300 license for each animal, etc.. I have an outfitter I would love to go with for $3,500 but the tally hits $6,500 once all the variables come into play - I'll have a the little lady along for the ride. That just aint gonna happen - that's what it would cost us to go to Israel again (saving for that).

A trip with a friend will run anywhere from $2500 to $3500, including licenses, airfare, a new gun (already got it!), some accessories, and lodging - maybe meals. That's something I could do every 3 years or so.

I'm starting to gear up and learn a bit about the topography and how they hunt the deer. Seems to be glassing from a distance and then sneaking within gun range. It is actually more up my alley than picking a trail and waiting for something to wander by.

If the draw is successful, I plan on scouting 3 or 4 days before the hunt opens and hopefully will only need 1 or 2 days with a rifle to bring home some meat. 8-10 days in the hills should produce something. I'll have local knowledge to run with if the fellow doesn't actually hunt with me.

If I can't get to either Idaho or New Mexico, I'll figure something out to put meat on the table this year - and hopefully do my dream hunt next year, Lord willing and if the creek don't rise.
 

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If you get a goat tag in new mexico they have some toads there dont know what land accses is like. if you are going to spend a little extra on anything i would get great optics. That will save you alot of walking and time. Also dont know the cactus situation there but in western south dakota they suck a pair of knee pads come in real handy when crawling in on the antelope.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Kurt, Thanks!

Everyone keep saying to get good optics but I can't get anyone to tell me what is best to get - binocs AND a spotting scope, or just good binocs?

From what I'm seeing a pair of light 10x42 binocs and a 15-25x or better spotting scope seem like good investments.

In all honesty, I'm thinking of getting a Burris Fullfield II 3x9x40 scope and binoc combo - it's about $30 more than just the scope. (I've heard a lot of good things about Burris). If I do that, then I'll probably get a halfway decent (power wise) spotting scope for the range and hunting.

Aside from the GPS, optics are my last major expense.

Thanks for the knee pad suggestion as well! I saw a video with someone's knees all chewed up - bloodied pants.... Never thought of getting a pair of knee pads! I did think about wearing leather work gloves (the nice ones)... COOL! :thumbsup: I'm there.
 

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I dont have any experience with burris but a buddy of mine has a scope from them and swears by it. If i had to pick i would spend more on binoculars but then there is times to have the kick butt spotting scope i just need to win the lottery! the guy i deer hunt with has swarovski spotting scope and binoculars and everything you hear about them is true. After looking through his he has to pry them out of my hands. Spendy though. Good luck and let us know how it gos.
 

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Now these are 2 items that you don't want to fudge on, esp. the binocs. When your hunting out west unlike the eastern states for the most part you are constantly using your optics to spot game so they are very much needed in an out west hunt. I recommend Zeiss, Nikon, or Swarovski at least a pair of 10x30s. I have the Zeiss conquest and really like them :thumbsup: , they are super clear, durable, fog free, and not priced to high for the quality that you'll be getting so I highly recommend the Zeiss it's just the best I could afford and you can't go wrong with them. Go to a dealer and check them out I bet you'll be impressed with them or any of these brans. Now spot scopes :huh: , if your hunting with a guide I wouldn't get one but if your going to hunt on your own and you could swing a decent spot scope than it can't hurt. Well I hope this has helped you some.
 

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what they al say about optics is right, get the best you can afford!!!

I would into the Vortex line of optics, they are great quality, with a lifetime warrrenty, no questions asked!!!

9er
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Sometimes we change our minds about what we are going to say...

I've never heard of Vortex. I have looked thru the Burris binocs and was impressed at the clarity and such.

As an update - I'm booked with an outfitter out of Montana - for mule deer, and maybe an antelope if I can draw a tag. It really takes a load off - unless there is a major problem, I'm going in November.

The guys I was supposed to hunt with were nice fellas. One said he wanted to qualify me to hunt with him, the other clammed-up & went underground real quick. So - what if I did book the airline, get the licenses, gather additional materials, and get there to suddenly find myself a stranger in a strange land... :hammer:

I can appreciate the energy & effort it takes to take someone else hunting and it gets tough if there are expectations on either person's part.
 

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Montana is great country(Gods Country). But I have heard of some pretty darn good mulies out in Arizona. I personally live out in Nevada and have to say that I feel we also have some darn good mulie hunting out here. Our group of 8 guys last year each got a deer. One was a super nice 5x5. The hunting out in nevada can be pretty tough but also very rewarding. Sounds though like you got yourself a good one in montana though!
 
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