The buck pictured below was, I’m told, shot on the Jicarilla Reservation in New Mexico. Long noted for its excellent elk hunting, the Jicarilla obviously hosts some monstrous mule deer as well. I’ve kind of given mule deer–one of my favorite big game species–short shrift in this space this fall, so I was glad to see this photo land in my email this week.
The photo did get me to thinking about hunting tribal lands. I’ve done very little of it–two jaunts for turkey and one for deer (whitetail and/or mulies)–but enjoyed my experience. My hunts occurred in South Dakota and, while the amount and quality of game wasn’t outstanding, the experience was perfectly fine.
I have, however, heard from hunters who’ve seen both sides of the reservation hunting spectrum. I have a friend with deep enough pockets to hunt the Jicarilla (for elk) about every other year, and he raves about it. But I’ve talked to others who’ve not been happy with their tribal hunting experience. Have any of you hunted tribal lands for deer, elk, or other species? If so, were you satisfied with the hunt…And if not, why not? Anxious to hear your thoughts!