Oregon isn't the first place most hunters think of for mule deer hunting, but subscriber Brian Brown says he has found a place here with free-ranging, unpressured mulies that score 150 B & C and better and have 27- to 30-inch spreads. The place is called Prairie Ranch, and it's a working cattle ranch encompassing over 50,000 acres. The only fences are for livestock, and Brown says there are also populations of antelope, Rocky Mountain elk and wild horses. The family that owns the ranch closely manages the wildlife and keeps hunting pressure to about eight to 10 mule deer hunters and 12 elk hunters per season. Brown reports killing a bull elk here two years ago that scored 343 B & C, and this past season he took a mule deer on the first day of his hunt with a spread just shy of 28 inches. By the second day of the hunt, he says all of the deer hunters on the property had tagged out with bucks that had 29-inch-plus spreads. The largest buck taken on the ranch within the last five years grossed 206 points and netted 194 B & C. As for elk, the largest bull elk taken this season was a 7 x 7 that green-scored in the 350s. The ranch's record bull scored 368 B & C.
Brown says the property here is divided into sections, with thousands of acres of wheat fields broken up by hills and gullies covered in scrub pine and aspens. Natural springs, ponds and streams dot and riddle the entire ranch, providing plenty of water sources, even during drought. Hunting is conducted 1 x 1, or 2 x 1 if hunting partners prefer. The guide, who has pre-scouted for trophy bucks or bulls, drives hunters to a ridge to spot for game, then sets up a stalk on foot. Brown says he has seen up to 10 mule deer bucks at a time and was able to pick and choose which one to shoot.
Accommodations on the Prairie Ranch are in a log cabin, bunkhouse or mobile home on........(continued)