Mule deer typically inhabit big country in the western United States and require a different set of gear than whitetails or pronghorn. Gear guides can be messy and muddled, We will try our best to keep this gear list as streamlined as possible.

Mule Deer Optics

As stated above, Mule deer love the wide-open spaces and you may be looking a long way off to find deer. Most mule deer hunting is done via spot and stalk. Spotting being one of the crucial parts of that type of hunting, you’ll definitely want to bring your optics along. Buy the best pair of binoculars that you can afford. I know that sounds strange but most hunters spend way more time looking through their binos than any other optic. Below we will list optics that will make your mule deer hunt a lot more successful.

  • Binoculars (A must-have!)
  • Spotting Scope (Not necessary but very helpful.
  • Rangefinder (Once again, not necessary but a good rangefinder can really help you be more successful.)
  • Tripod (Tripods can make glassing an easier task.)

The Ehuntr crew has had great success using Vortex Optics, their VIP warranty is hard to beat. Add in quality glass and strong materials and you have a list of great products to choose from with Vortex. However, there are several brands out there that make quality optics.

Some of the country mule deer will inhabit. Having quality optics is incredibly important.

What to carry in your pack

What to carry in your pack can vary wildly depending on the type of hunt you are doing. If you doing a back-country type hunt you will be carrying a lot more gear than average especially when you first backpack into base camp. For this gear list, we will focus on what you might need on the hunt during each day. We will break it into 3 subcategories Survival, Game Processing, and Hunting Gear. First things first though you’ll need a pack
  • A Pack


  • Quality Flashlight (makes it a lot easier to hike and work in the dark.)
  • Extra Batteries (Dead Flashlights are no fun.)
  • Small First Aid Kit
  • A full water bottle or some type of water purification system.
  • Fire Starter (Flint & Steel, Lighter, Waterproof Matches, etc.)
  • Leatherman or Multitool
  • Paracord
  • Toilet Paper or biodegradable wet wipes
  • Rain Gear or Waterproof Poncho
  • Moleskin (Blisters and hot spots can get infected and cause serious issues while in the backcountry.)
  • Extra socks and Boot laces (Walking in soaking wet socks is never fun.)
  • Wayfinding Items (GPS, Mapping App, Map, Compass, etc.) These items can become crucial in finding your way back and will also allow you to know where you stand. In much of the west, you will be hunting public land that may border several private parcels.
  • Wallet and vehicle keys (Stow them away in a safe pocket of your pack with nothing else in the pocket. Don’t want to drop your keys miles from the truck.)

Game Processing

  • Game Bags
  • Rubber Gloves
  • Skinning and Processing Knives
  • Portable Game Saw
  • Rope or Paracord (dual purpose for survival and game processing.)

The Ehuntr staff has used a number of different knives over the years. Many of them will get the job done. However, Outdoor Edge Knives and Tools have taken our game processing to another level. With their blade swap design, you’ll never have to sharpen another blade. Once a blade eventually dulls you can simply change it out for a fresh blade with a push of a button. The blade life is outstanding and they come razor-sharp out of the package. Each of their knives also features a blade lock that will prevent the blade from closing on your fingers by accident. If you’re looking to get yourself a quality knife, check out Outdoor Edge here and tell them Ehuntr sent you.

Outdoor Edge Knives
The Razor-Lite EDC is one of my personal favorites. Photo Credit: Outdoor Edge

Hunting Gear

  • Proper Permits and Licenses (might be a bit of a no-brainer but it sure would suck to get a ticket because you left your permit in the truck.)
  • Wind Indicator
  • Extra Ammo if your rifle hunting
  • Extra quick loads or other muzzleloader items if you are muzzleloader hunting.
  • A set of Allen wrenches if you are bow hunting.
Mule Deer bucks can really pack on the weight as November nears. Having the right weapon for the job is crucial.


There is a wide array of weapons that can successfully take a mule deer buck. For archery, obviously, any quality bow and broadhead set up can take a mule deer buck. As with all weapons, practice as much as humanly possible. Muzzleloaders from .45-.54 caliber should be plenty for a mule deer buck. As for rifles, there are seemingly hundreds of cartridges that can get the job done. Ive personally been present to deer being taken with guns as light as a .243 or 6mm or with guns as heavy as a 338 win mag. Most mule deer hunting is done in big country and on average the shots are further than what can be had in the eastern woodlands. Any flat shooting cartridge from the .25-06 and up should be just fine.


Many hunters don’t expect to hunt out of their trucks. However, nearly everyone needs one to get them to their hunting areas. Below we will discuss the crucial items that hunters should keep in their trucks.
  • Jack
  • Tire Iron
  • Cooler for harvested deer meat
  • Cooler for food items while on your travels
  • At least a basic tool kit
  • A flashlight that stays in the truck
  • Tow strap or chain
  • Shovel
  • Tire Chains
  • A 2×4 (A simple piece of lumber can get you out of a sticky situation.)
Ehuntr staff member Seth King with a mule deer buck from 2019


The clothing you need may vary wildly depending on the time of year you are hunting. This article would be twice as long as it currently is if I included clothing for every season. However, there are few clothing items that carry over to all the seasons, I will list those below.
  • Quality Boots (much like the binoculars above, buy the best pair of boots you can afford. Good boots allow you to stay dry and hunt longer. If you’ve got the space, you may even want to take two pairs.)
  • Good Socks (having good socks can make a world of difference. I usually carry way too many, but a fresh pair of socks can really up your morale.)
  • Gloves (no matter the season, unexpected weather can sneak up on you especially in the mountains. A pair of gloves, even lightweight ones, can be a “lifesaver”).
  • Belt (hitching up your pants all the time sucks).
  • Jacket (much like gloves, a jacket for when the weather turns can be a gamechanger.)
  • A clean pair of street clothes

This gear list is a good jumping-off point but it may not cover something you deem valuable, the best thing you can do is type up or write down your personal gear list before you head out to the field and make sure you have everything you’ll need.

What are your thoughts on our gear list? What items would you add to our list? Let us know in the comments!

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