The Mule deer rut is one of the greatest times all year for most giant buck enthusiasts, but is hunting the rut all it’s cracked up to be?Most mule deer hunters long for that one special hunt, late in the year, when giant, lovesick bucks seem to materialize out of nowhere. And why wouldn’t we all want a hunt like that at some point during our lives? Many of us consider ourselves trophy hunters, and as such, we want to put at least one big ol’ dirty buck on the ground before we die, and what better time of the year to do that than during the rut. I’ve personally seen the rut in such force that even a blind man with his eyes closed could find a giant deer and get within the easy rifle range. And so, we dream, but are these hunts really all they’re portrayed to be?I have been hunting for over 23 years, and I have been guiding/outfitting for nearly 15. During this time, I have hunted nearly everywhere Mule deer are found, including south of the border in Old Mexico. I have killed Mule deer during the early summer archery seasons, the fall muzzleloader and rifle seasons, and late into the rut with both a rifle and a bow. In addition, I have been fortunate enough to tag along and help out on some very special hunts (statewide/governor tag type hunts) that have had very liberal season dates.Basically, I have hunted Mule deer during all stages of the antler growth and during all stages of Mule deer behavior patterns. Now, I’d love to say that because of this I have been a part of 100% success rates on harvests, but that simply isn’t true. In fact, some of the late season rut hunts that we all dream of have proven to be somewhat difficult hunts with twists and pitfalls all their own.