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Nebraska outfitter offers high hunter success for muleys and whitetails

This deer hunt has consistently produced a 90 percent or better success rate for rifle hunters after good representative mule deer and whitetail bucks. Bowhunters and muzzleloader hunters typically see lots of bucks and get a lot of shooting with about 50 percent filling their tags.

We have known the outfitter ever since he got started, and most of the customers we referred to him have rebooked. He's from Kansas, where he began offering trophy whitetail hunts but soon expanded to neighboring Nebraska to offer mule deer and whitetail hunts where hunters would be guaranteed a tag.

His Nebraska hunts take place on private leases totaling 75,000 acres in Nebraska. Deer are attracted to 18 crop pivots on the property. The nine-day season opens in mid-November. You can hunt the first five or last five days of the season. Muzzleloader season is in December; archers can hunt before the rifle season.

Most hunters on this trip have seen a lot of bucks, sometimes 60 or more a day, and most hunters saw 30 or more bucks during their hunts. Over the years hunters have taken whitetails averaging in the 130s with a few bucks in the 150s and muleys averaging in the 150s with the odd exeptional animal in the 180-190 range. Though this hunt in 2008 produced a 186 muley for a bowhunter and a 191 muley for a gun hunter, the outfitter said this is not the place to go if you're looking for an exceptional trophy, but nice, mature bucks are quite common.

Hunters are accommodated in a ranch house. The outfitter uses one house for the first group of hunters and another house for the second group.

Whitetail hunters typically hunt from tripod stands along the riverbottoms, where alfalfa and corn fields draw bucks into the open. The outfitter pays a farmer to leave corn standing for game.

Mule deer hunters usually spot game from vantage points and stalk closer.

"I think the muzzleloader hunt actually is your best bet to get a big buck," the outfitter said, "especially now that the state has decided to allow power scopes on the muzzleloaders. It's usually cold and windy, but that's also why the deer are more active, and we see some good bucks then. It seemed like a lot of guys had a really hard time with open sights, so putting a variable scope on these accurate modern muzzleloaders should really help. The bucks aren't as scattered then; they're back in their bachelor herds. We saw 17 bucks in one herd this past December."

Snowflakes didn't allow for a focused picture of Bill Ramsey's buck.

Hunt MD3412

Hunt Cost
5 days, rifle

$Call

5 days, muzzleloader

$Call

5 days, bow

$Call

Hunter success Size
Most years hunter success hunter success is 100 percent or very close Muleys average about 155 B&C and range up to 170 B&C with an occasional monster. Most whitetails score in the 130s, 140s and 150s.
Lodging and meals Area
Ranch house accommodations, cook-prepared meals
Almost 75,000 private acres on and near the North Platte River near the town of Sutherland.
Travel Season
Fly to Denver, rent a car for the drive to the ranch Nov. 13-21, 2004. Should be similar in 2005.
Licenses Notes
No problem getting licenses. Usually order them on-line beginning in June. Click here for the latest prices. Was $190 in 2005.