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Southern Arizona Mule Deer Guides & Outfitters
Desert Mule Deer Hunts
We also offer hunting packages for the desert sub-species of Mule Deer. These desert deer live in the lower foothills of Southern Arizona's mountain ranges. Southern Arizona mule deer bucks do not typically have any record book potential, but they can offer a unique desert hunting experience. A typical mature desert mule deer buck might have a rack sporting an 18-25 inch inside spread and 3 to 5 points per side. The largest bucks are seen during the January rut period when it is archery-only season.
Our guides have mastered the techniques and have done their scouting homework so that our hunters see a significant number of deer, considering it is the desert. Our hunting style is the spot and stalk method. We hike to a good vantage point where a couple square miles can be seen at one time. Most of our mule deer hunting is done with our eyes through tripod-mounted 15X binoculars and 20-60X spotting scopes. Once a good mule deer buck is spotted, we make our move from the vantage point for the final stalk. There may be a great deal of hiking involved, so hunters are encouraged to condition themselves before arriving.
Our rifle desert mule deer hunt is in early November. The terrain is very open, therefore shots tend to be over 200 yards. Rifle season desert mule deer hunts are 4 days in duration. Rifle Season Tags are on a draw basis, but typically good odds of drawing the tag.
Our archery desert mule deer hunts are conducted during mid December through January (during the peak of the rut). Since we hunt open terrain, expect archery shots to range from 30 to 60 yards. The further you can shoot with a bow accurately, the higher your chances for success. Archery hunts are 5 days and can be combined with javelina as an added bonus, provided you apply for a javelina tag. Archery deer tags are over the counter.
Shooting opportunities have been 95% (taking shots) for rifle hunts and rut archery hunts!
Accommodations for our fully-guided/outfitted deer hunts are usually in deluxe tents with heat during the colder months. The size of our tents are spacious; either 10x14, or 12x12, depending upon the number of hunters in camp. Hunters sleep on cots with pads. Arrival to and from camp is done in 4x4 trucks and s.u.v.'s. For those that own a camping trailer/pop-up and would like to bring it to camp to sleep in are more than welcome to do so, but we cannot discount the hunt any. Hunting for desert mule deer is done mostly on foot since it is usually not feasible to use horses or pack animals. This is a fairly physically demanding hunt, therefore hunters should be in good shape.
Licenses and Seasons
Rifle tags are by a Lottery Draw System with an online application process in May through June. The Desert species has good draw odds. Archery desert deer tags are over the counter. AZ Tag fee (NonRes): $232.75 and hunting license fee: $151.25. If you are interested in a hunt, contact us as soon as possible since spaces fill fast.
Our Archery dates: December 13 through Jan. 31 for late Archery Desert Mule Deer
Our Rifle dates: November 1-5 for Rifle Desert Mule Deer
$ 2014 RATES $
Description of Mule Deer Packages
Fully-Guided Rifle Mule Deer Hunts: Includes accommodations (tent camps), meals, a complimentary ride to camp if flying (pick-up/drop-off point: Tucson Airport Hotels Only), camp transportation, a guide, and many extras. Choose from 1 on 1 or 2 on 1 packages. 1 on 1 means one hunter per guide and 2 on 1 means two hunters per guide. If choosing 2 on 1, you must bring the other hunter to share the guide with.
Archery Desert Mule Deer/Javelina Combo: This hunt allows January archery hunters to have an added bonus of hunting javelina while archery hunting desert mule deer. The javelina tag is by draw in September and is optional with the archery deer hunt (we don't charge extra to add on javelina). Includes accommodations (tent camps), meals, complimentary airport transfer, camp transportation, a guide, and many extras.
Booking Info: The first step for a rifle hunt is to sign and return a "hunt contract" with a $500 nonrefundable deposit. You will then be locked-in to the current rate. The next step is applying for rifle tags and licenses. Hunters apply for time frames in a given area. Odds for drawing October and November rifle tags are usually high when putting down Oct. and Nov. (or vice versa) as first and second choices on the draw application. If for some reason you do not draw, your deposit will be transferred to the next year or until you draw and you will be locked-in to the previous year's rate. Another payment equaling 50% of the hunt cost is required after rifle tags are drawn. The remaining balance is due at least 21 days prior to the hunt. All monies paid are nonrefundable. We recommend cancellation insurance for all of our guests. Visit our policy page for more details.
If you already drew a mule deer tag, give us a call or email to see if we are available. We guide in many parts of southern Arizona. A 50% deposit is required for those that already have tags.
Since Archery deer tags are over the counter, a minimum 50% non-refundable deposit is due upon signing for an archery hunt.
For those that own a camping trailer/pop-up and would like to bring it to camp to sleep in are more than welcome to do so, but we will not discount the hunt any. It must be small and high enough to be pulled on rough dirt roads.
We can accommodate 4 to 6 hunters per camp.
If the hunter has not tagged by the scheduled end of hunt, there is an option of paying at a daily rate thereafter.
Non-Hunter Fee: Some hunters like to bring along a buddy or family member to video their hunt or share the experience while they hunt. Invite your partner as a non-hunter while on your guided mule deer hunt for a fee of $750.00.
Cost for licenses and tags, butchering, shipping of meat, taxidermy, hotel stay before/after the hunt (if flying) are the hunter's responsibility.
* Hunters arrive in camp one day prior to hunting. Rifle seasons are typically Friday morning through Monday with hunters arriving on Thursday.
Be sure you visit our general info page.
Latest Mule Deer Photos
Jim Webber from Michigan took this buck with a rifle on our Southern Arizona Desert Mule Deer hunt.
Anthony Ransom from California and Outfitter/Guide Pat Feldt with an Arizona Desert Mule Deer. It was taken during the January rut season using a bow.
Twelve year-old Bryce Hurd with his first deer. He used his Remington Youth Model 7 in .243 caliber to take this desert mule deer with one shot at 150 yards.
John Thompson with a Southern Arizona desert mule deer. He used a .30-06 to take this buck at 150 yards.
Greg Jackson of Annapolis, Maryland with a good 4 X 4 desert mule deer buck He shot it with his .300 Ultra Magnum.
Thomas Ostrum with a 4 x 3 desert mule deer. He shot this deer at 320 yards with a .300 Magnum.
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This website last updated: Dec. 10, 2013
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