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Couple friends and I are planning on hunting Colorado for mule deer next year if we draw tags. This will be all of our first times hunting out west. We aren't looking for trophies, just want to experience western hunting and get a shot at any bucks. We were thinking of applying for tags in NW part of state, unit 3 or 4 for 2nd rifle season. We have flights, vehicle rental and lodging figured out (camping). I'm more or less looking for any kind of advice that could help us be successful. What kind of weather, lots of pressure, is it possible to get deer within a mile of roads or worth the trek in? Unfortunately we're all on the younger side and won't be able to afford a trip out there just to scout, but will arrive a day or two before season opens. Thanks for any input!
 

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Your best bet would be to talk with a game biologist from Colorado. They can help you find an area that is OTC or where zero PP's are needed. I saw numerous mule deer last month while elk hunting, but that was in SW Colorado. The state has vast amounts of public land available.
 

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Take good optics and use them, find vantage points where you can see a lot of country and glass until your eyes hurt. Also practice shooting longer ranges, out to 300 yards or 400. In my experience you can find bucks close to the roads, but they are normally the little guys, 2x2's Once you have the tag I would get familiar with the elevations and what direction the deer go to winter. An early storm will get them moving, so be familiar with where you might need to go. Big bucks stay high and like the rough country. Good luck
 

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Give yourself a day or two to get acclimated. Altitude sickness is not fun. The area I hunt requires 2 pref. points and the third attempt I should draw. Plan on staying hydrated, it's so stinking dry in the second season. As my friend who lives out there says...This is Colorado, pack for anything.... that is rain, snow and 70 degrees and anything in between. All of us easterners see a 20 inch wide buck out there and go crazy. There are a lot of those along with the little ones also. I fly into Grand Junction and go from there.... it's better than Denver and driving 4 hrs. more after that. Give yourself a whole day coming and going for travel purposes. Once you go, you won't want to come home. The scenery itself is worth the price of admission. If you shoot an oddball caliber rifle, take at least two boxes, you wont find anything like that at the local stores. Most of all.... enjoy yourself and take plenty of pictures. Best of luck.
 

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I hunt unit 4 for elk and mule deer tags are over the counter. If you're going to hunt second season rife you may as well buy an elk tag too as they're over the counter and seasons run together. Mule deer are everywhere North of Craig. They have more mule deer than we have rabbits and when you drive at night you better crawl. Not a ton of monsters but I did find an enormous set of mule deer sheds last time.
 
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