Home to the Greatest Mule Deer Country
By Ryan Hatch
Ask any hunter where the very best mule deer hunting in the world is ... and you will commonly hear the following answers – the Arizona Strip, the Kaibab Plateau, or the famous Paunsaugunt. Yes, most hunters consider these three units the holy grail of mule deer hunting. The town of Kanab is nestled right smack dab in the middle of these three areas, and has become a famous destination for many mule deer enthusiasts over the years. The vast amount of public lands in the region are another great draw to the region. The Kaibab and Arizona Strip districts contain less than three percent private property, while the Paunsaugunt contains about 15 percent. All tags are allocated by the state through a public draw. Hunters can access all application information for Utah on the web at www.wildlife.utah.gov. For Arizona hunting information, see www.azgfd.gov. During the summer months, mule deer are found in the higher elevations. Forty minutes north of Kanab, near the Highway 89 and Highway 14 junction, is a good starting place to find mule deer. Also going south on Highway 89A to the Kaibab National Forest will have you in great mule deer country in less than 30 minutes. Winter migrations will bring big populations of mule deer closer to Kanab. From October through March, enthusiasts will commonly find great concentrations of deer only 15 minutes northwest of Kanab near the Coral Pink Sand Dunes State Park, and east of Kanab only 15 minutes in the Johnson Canyon area. Mule deer are highly sought after for more than just hunting purposes. Year around opportunities are present for all ages of enthusiasts in the form of shed antler collecting and photography. Several local photographers showcase their talents and photos. Some of the best can be viewed online at www.muleyphotos.com. If you want a special treat while staying in Kanab, stop by the office of MuleyCrazy magazine. Located at 1434 South Highway 89A, MuleyCrazy is the only 100 percent mule deer hunting publication in the world. The pages of the magazine commonly feature some of the biggest bucks harvested locally and from afar. In addition to a world class mule deer collection on display, MuleyCrazy also offers a complete line of hunting optics, packs, apparel and other fun, hunting-related items.