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Mule Deer hunt

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Hey guys,

Heading out to SD on a solo rifle hunt in November. Going around Hamill area on some private land I have been fortunate enough to get access to. Wondering how the area is, and what to expect, along with any tricks of the trade and so on. I am really excited about it, but don't know anything as it is my first ever time hunting on the "prairie." Land owner said there is a lot of deer, but what should I expect as far as size, charateristics, and demenor of the deer? Also, should i hold out for something really big, or is it a waste of time? Whitetail population around there good or bad? Is the drought going to wreck my hunt?

Any info would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks to all, and safe hunting.

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I would definately stay in contact with the landowner as the blue tongue outbreak is pretty bad in some areas. Find out if he has noticed a drop in deer sightings and he would probably be your best judge on what caliber deer are roaming his property. I have hunted out in meade and butte counties the last 2 years and have shot two 10 point whitetails and an ok mule deer all on public land......EHD is affecting the areas I hunt so I will probably be sending back my tags this year. The rut was in full swing both years I was out there and deer were moving all day and they use the land alot differently then deer in minnesota do. They will go anywhere and come from anywhere and are just as at home in the middle of a wide open field as they are in cover. I saw lots of whitetails(mainly seen on private land while driving)in the 120" to 135" class and a few pushing 150"

Mule deer where smaller but I did see one 2 years ago that was around 170"

good luck and you should have no problem filling your tags, especially on private land

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Pumper, I live in Medina and I've been hunting Gregory County for about 6 years on private land. I looked on the map and although you are north of us a bit you are also near the river from what I see. The ranch we hunt on you can see the river and there are a lot of draws that usually come up to pastures or some green fields.

It is really cool territory and quite different than hunting in northern minnesota which I also do. Where we hunt there are more whitetails than muleys (probably 6-1 ratio) and the we see a lot more big whitetail bucks than muley bucks but they are there.

I would wait for a bigger buck. Every year in the three days we hunt I see a lot of 125-140 white tails and normally one 150 plus at a minimum. You just need to be patient and you'll probably get a crack at a bigger buck. You will see a lot of bucks.

Last year Saturday morning my 12 year old son and I saw 12 bucks before 9am. Mostly 4x4 and 5x5's that just weren't big enough. Also saw a brute that was chasing a doe and I was confident he was going to stay in the draw we were in so I waited for a better shot but the doe boogied out of there and he followed right across a pasture. Oh well.

I gotta run right now but would be happy to help you in any way I can, especially it being your first year out there.

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Thanks a lot leech! I appreciate the feedback. I actually have company now, my dad. I am pretty excited to have someone to head out with me. I do plan on waiting for a bigger deer, and with blue tongue I think my options will be mostly mulies... I am looking forward to differnt terrain and seeing lots of deer, which is so different than northern MN and the 4 der i see in a weekend of all day sits.

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