View mule deer at Nash Wash event

nash wash
DWR biologists are recommending a slight increase in the number of general season buck deer permits available for hunts in Utah this fall. Photo courtesy of DWR

November is the perfect time for wildlife watchers and photographers to see mule deer without spooking them. Because it’s deer mating season, also known as the rut, mule deer bucks spend their energy focusing on does or fighting other males, rather than worrying about people nearby, according to Utah Division of Wildlife Resources spokesperson Faith Jolley.

Jolley in an email said DWR is hosting a free wildlife-watching event from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 16 at the Nash Wash Wildlife Management Area, located north of Cisco in east-central Utah.

“Because deer hunting is restricted in the Book Cliffs, just north of Nash Wash, the WMA is one of the best places to see deer, especially bucks. Viewers can watch deer from their vehicles as they drive along the WMA’s network of maintained roads. While visitors will likely be able to see deer fairly close, remember that it can be dangerous to approach wild animals, especially during mating season, so be sure to maintain a safe distance,” said Jolley.

As many as 100 deer can often be seen in a relatively small area, she said. “The number of deer you see on Nov. 16, however, will depend on the weather, food supply and other variables.”

Said Aaron Bott, DWR regional conservation outreach manager, “Unlike visiting a zoo, we can’t guarantee that 100 deer will be readily visible at the event. But your chances of seeing deer during the rut at Nash Wash are good.”

While this event is free, it will be limited to 30 people. Register on Eventbrite to save your spot.

Participants should bring binoculars or a spotting scope, a camera, water, warm clothes and snacks. This event is weather dependent, as rain and snow can make the road impassable.