Hunt WD3709

Price: $call for current price

Hunter success: 100% most years

Lodging and meals: Bunkhouse lodging, meals included on rifle hunts, not included on muzzleloader hunts.

Mule deer: Rarely a hunter will use his tag to take a muley. Bucks in the 160s and 170s have been taken.

Season: Mid-November for rifle. October for archery. December for muzzleloader.

In-line muzzleloaders with 1X scopes are legal.






Free-roaming bucks, lightly hunted private land

This hunt takes place on a northwestern Nebraska ranch that is not only beautiful with ideal whitetail habitat but is also well-managed by the ranch owner. He takes seven or eight rifle hunters a year, and one or two bow or muzzleloader hunters, and almost all his customers take mature bucks.

The biggest bucks taken so far have scored in the high 160s with one in the mid 170s. Bucks often score in the 140s and 150s, and almost everybody gets a chance to take a buck in the 130s or 140s.

We have been booking this hunt since the mid-80s. The rancher conducts the hunt out of a bunkhouse on his property, which covers several thousand acres. In this part of Nebraska, the deer spread out over many miles during the summer, feeding not only along the river bottom and the pastures in the bottomland but also in the various cropfields and pastures up above the bottoms. By the time fall comes most of the crops are harvested, and the deer concentrate in the remaining cover.

This ranch is ideal with small canyons holding beautiful ponderosa pines and brush patches, and the river bottoms down below features mostly cottonwood trees, brush and pastures. The land is private and not far from the South Dakota Border.

The rancher/outfitter runs some cattle and a bed and breakfast on the property.

During December several bucks usually feed on a neighboring alfalfa field and filter toward the head of a canyon on this property. Muzzleloader hunters can see the bucks coming for 15 minutes, giving them plenty of time to prepare for a 70-yard shot.

You can hunt from tree stands and ground blinds along the river. There are some good canyons for still-hunting during the day.

In the evening sometimes you might hunt a sub-irrigated meadow near a clover field or hunters take watch in one of the many canyons on the property. Some of the biggest bucks get away each year. The rancher each winter sees some great bucks scoring up to 180 B&C after the seasons.

The rancher keeps a map that pinpoints where every buck has been killed on the property since 1973. He takes his whitetail hunting seriously.