The Mule deer is indigenous to Western North America and is named for its large ears, which are large like those of a mule. Unlike the closely related White-Tailed deer, Mule deer are generally found in higher elevations and more specifically in rocky, brushy ridges and slopes where they like to browse on shrubs and grasses. The Mule deer is the larger of the two deer species and big males may weigh up to 500lbs.  Does (female deer) are quite smaller and typically weigh from 100lbs to 250lbs. The breeding season or “the rut” for Mule deer starts at the end of October and runs until late November. Does will go into estrus for a period of a few days several times. Males will become very aggressive, competing with other bucks for the chance to mate. Big mature bucks will keep a herd of females and fight off other bucks to protect his harem.

Gillnockies Guiding and Outfitting offers trophy hunts for big mule deer bucks during the rut and is a classic hunt for these timberline grey ghosts. We focus on glassing high open timber ridges in the hope of spotting bucks, but they can be found in lower elevation areas as well. If a herd of does are located, there will certainly be some bucks close by. Typically there will be one or two trophy sized bucks fighting for dominance, and several others trying for a chance to breed a doe and sparring with each other to prepare for real battle. B.C hunting regulations require Mule deer bucks to have at least 4 points on one side to be legal. Average bucks harvested in our territory score in the 150 to 170 class, with the potential for 180 to 200 class bucks, which are a true trophy in any Mule deer hunter's eyes! Every Elk hunter should carry a Mule Deer tag as well,  as these bucks can still be found in the earlier part of the fall when Elk hunting is at its finest during the bugling season.