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Crowning the king of deer.

Picking the best deer in this great land is a hands-down, no-contest easy choice. It is obvious to anyone who has hunted both; it's the whitetail. Or mule deer ... or whitetail. ... Heck, maybe it isn't so easy after all!

I cut my teeth hunting those sneaky old whitetail bucks on my family's farm in Booger Bottom, Georgia, so I hold them in high regard. And rightfully so--an old whitey anywhere you find him is a cagey animal. To reach maturity, he has made it through several seasons, has probably had numerous encounters with hunters, and is about as jacked up as any animal in the world.You can occasionally luck into a trophy buck, but more often Mother Nature rewards the persistent and diligent. Scent control is paramount, but stand location, solid preseason scouting, and pure patience pays dividends.

If I could do nothing but hunt whitetails the rest of my life, I would die happy. At least I used to think that ... then I traveled out West and fell in love with mulies.

The allure to mule deer, at least for me, is the country. The West is hands-down some of the most scenic country in the world, and if the game Monopoly had a Western version, mule deer would be living on Boardwalk. From desert scenes right out of a John Wayne movie to the highest of the Rocky Mountains, you will find majestic mule deer.

Another mark in favor of mule deer is their sheer size--they are just an impressively built animal made for bounding up shale chutes and across ridges, and when it comes to pure bone on top of their head, it is really hard to beat a big ole mule deer.

As for hunting skills--all I can say is they are just different. Both require their own unique set of skills completely different from one another. A mule deer requires a hunter to be a masterful stalker and a darn good shot (especially with a stick and string). A whitetail requires patience and paying attention to details. Both different skill sets, both enjoyable and fulfilling.

After hunting both whitetail and mule deer and killing my share of good ones, all I can say is it would be a sad day if I had to choose between them. I like them both for what they are!

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Author:Waddell, Michael
Publication:Petersen's Hunting
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Oct 1, 2013
Words:391
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