Backcountry November Mule Deer

Five miles into a roadless area, a spike camp serves as the base for a mid-November mule deer hunt.

Nov 11 2015 - Nov 15 2015

Ryan McSparran

First posted Nov 16 2015 Last updated Nov 20 2015

Several friends and I continued our annual tradition of packing several miles into a roadless area on a mid-November mule deer hunt. This small spike camp served as our home base for the week.

Below-freezing temperatures were great for the hunting. But it made for laborious camp chores, like filtering several liters of water at a time from a small creek with freezing fingers and toes.

Two of my friends killed bucks on opening day. We celebrated that night with fresh tenderloin, seasoned and roasted over the fire. It was so tender, you could have cut it with a butter knife.

On the second day, I was able to notch my mule deer tag. After spotting a buck moving through thick brush on the opposite side of a canyon, he stopped in an opening just long enough to give me a shot.

My 2015 Colorado mule deer.

Loaded up and ready to haul my buck two miles back to our spike camp.

That night, it was more tenderloin medallions and a little Breckenridge whiskey to celebrate.

The next day, we packed the 4.5 miles back to the trailhead with three deer in tow. After seeing plenty of deer, plus elk, bobcats, coyotes, eagles, turkeys and even a lion, it was another memorable backcountry adventure.