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Mule deer are widely distributed big game animals in Alberta and biologists estimate their population at around 133,000.
They are found from the far southern reaches to the boreal forests of the north-central part of the province and tremendous trophy potential exists in all areas.
Alberta's mule deer have some of the largest body weights found anywhere, averaging nearly 250 pounds and can exceed 300 and, they have antlers to match.
Most noted for their incredible mass and dark coloration, a large percentage of the antlers also sport non-typical points.
The Boone & Crockett club's official world record Non-Typical mule deer was taken near Chip Lake, Alberta in 1926. Several bucks scoring in excess of 240 Boone and Crockett points have been taken in the past few years.
The provincial record for typical mule deer was set in 1996 and now stands at 206 points. Many of the best typicals Alberta has produced have been in recent years. Be sure to look at the tables further down the page.
Photograph reprinted with permission of the Boone And Crockett Club
The mule deer's propensity for open areas lends them perfectly to spot-and-stalk hunting and in the prairie, parkland, foothills and mountain zones, this is the preferred method.
Mule deer are not as flighty as whitetails and even archers have an excellent opportunity to sneak within bow range of a bedded muley. The key here is good optics and patience.
In the more heavily treed areas of the foothills and boreal forests, mule deer are often hunted from tree stands, similar to the way whitetails are hunted. Hunters are positioned along favored travel routes or near feeding areas where they wait in ambush. Often these hunts can be combined with whitetails as well, as there is considerable overlap in ranges of the two species.
Mule deer season begins in late August for archers and in mid September in some zones for rifle hunters and runs right through until the end of November.
Archery hunting is available in all zones prior to the beginning of the rifle season and there are three-archery-only zones.
The rut takes place in early to mid-November and typically continues until the end of the season.
Hunters should opt for camouflage clothing with shades of brown in it. Snow camo is often a good choice for late-season hunts but there are years, especially in the prairie zones, where there can be no snow at all, even in late November.