John's Journal...


More Secrets for Trophy Mountain Mule Deer

Click to enlargeEditor’s Note: Last week I hunted with Chad Schearer of Central Montana Outfitters, a guide for 14 years to mule deer, antelope, elk, bear and fish. He also has an unusual talent of knowing how to get out-of-shape, overweight, middle-aged-plus hunters within range to take shots at the game they're hunting. This week Schearer, who has had his own outfitting business for 10 years, tells us the secrets of how to take those trophy mountain mule deer that so many hunters want to bag. Schearer serves on the pro staffs for CVA Muzzle Loaders, Mossy Oak Camouflage, Knight & Hale Game Calls, Trophy Rock Minerals, Buck Knives, Montana Decoys and Fred Bear Archery.

5) Be in good physical condition. Although we do a lot of glassing from vehicles when we're hunting, once we discover a good buck, we go after him on foot. Often you'll have to cover ground quickly and be in pretty good condition to get to the place where you can take a shot at the buck, especially during the rut. When the bucks are chasing the does, you may have to hurry some to get into position to cut off a buck and get a shot at the doe. Once you get to the spot to take the shot, you have to be able to get your breathing under control to take an accurate shot. Therefore Click to enlargephysical conditioning is very important. One of the best ways to get in shape for mountain mule deer hunting is to climb stadium steps at a football field, an exercise that will get the right muscles in shape and ready to be used if you have to go after a big mountain mule deer.

6) Have good equipment. One of the most-critical pieces of equipment you can have for a mountain mule deer hunt is good boots. Often mule deer are in country that has a lot of cactus. Therefore, rubber boots don't work really well in this country. You need boots with a good quality sole, and I like heavy leather boots. You'll need anywhere from 400 to 600 grains of Thinsulate insulation in the boots. I also suggest that you take a heavier boot with more insulation to be prepared for snow. You not only need good warm clothing, but you need extremely quiet clothing. If you're closing the distance on a big mule deer and you're hunting with a muzzle loader, you need to be within 200 yards or less of the mule deer before you take the shot. If you have clothing that makes noise, those big ears on the mule deer will definitely be able to hear you. So, be really conscious of having extremely-quiet clothing when you're hunting mule deer.

Click to enlargeI wear the new Mossy Oak Camouflage Brush pattern when I'm hunting mule deer, because I believe it is an incredible western pattern that blends in well with the brush we have out here. The boots I prefer are the Redhead Pro Mountain Guide Boots with 12-inch uppers, and I've found them to be, by far, the best hunting boots I've ever worn. I also recommend Beagle Wear Wool Clothing for hunting out here.In Montana, you have to wear 400-square inches of blaze orange. In other states, you may not have to wear as much orange as you do out here in Montana. You want to make sure you have clothes that will keep you warm and also dry.

I've been wearing various parts of Redhead Cold Weather Gear lately because this clothing features a layered system, and it has four jackets in one, which allows me to layer according to the type weather that I happen to be in when I'm hunting. I can wear a jacket that takes care of me if it's raining or snowing, and if the weather really gets cool, I can wear just the best part of the jacket and be comfortable. One element of the clothing that many people overlook is a good pair of socks. Even if you have a quality pair of boots, you really need a good pair of socks to get the maximum usage from the boots. You want socks that will wick the moisture away from your feet. Keeping your feet dry inside your boots can really make a difference in how comfortable you are when you're hunting. So, if you're going out West on a hunt, make sure you spend some time and some money getting good socks.

Click to enlargeFor underwear, I like Under Armour, a relatively-new underwear I've found that provides some definite advantages to those who hunt in the West. If you're walking and hunting a lot, this underwear keeps your muscles compressed, wicks moisture away from you, instead of holding this moisture on the skin, and does a much-better job of keeping you warm than most other underwear does. What socks are to boots, underwear is to your warm clothing. Having quality underwear is one area that hunters often overlook. Yet, I feel that good underwear is as critical, if not more critical, to being a comfortable and successful hunter as having the right kind of outer clothing is. I've found that this Under Armour also helps block wind, which is another reason hunters get cold in the mountains, and it also seems to stop odor, an important feature when you have to get in close to mule deer, especially when you're hunting with black-powder rifles, and for that matter, any other type rifle.

To learn more about hunting trophy mule deer, you can contact Chad Schearer at P.O. Box 6655, Great Falls, MT 59406; (406) 727-4478 (home); (406) 799-7984 (cell); email him;



Day 1 - Be Where the Deer Are
Day 2 - Why Optics Play a Major Role in Taking Monster-Sized Mule Deer
Day 3 - More Secrets for Trophy Mountain Mule Deer
Day 4 - Secrets No. 7 & 8 for Trophy Mule Deer
Day 5 - Secrets No. 9 & 10 for Bagging Trophy Mule Deer


Entry 275, Day 3