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Mule Deer Hunting Gear Choices for 2019

Light gear that's heavy with features but built for the long haul.

Mule Deer Hunting Gear Choices for 2019

The Christensen Arms Traverse has a Monte Carlo carbon fiber composite stock and a carbon fiber-wrapped barrel. (Christensen Arms photo)

Here’s a look at great new rifles, ammo, scopes and more for mule deer hunting in 2019

Read more gear roundups: new deer hunting rifles for 2019, best new bows and crossbows, ammo and accessories, and great new optics.

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NOSLER M48 Mountain Carbon

Nosler would not compromise structural integrity for extreme lightweight. But they did provide a sub-MOA offering with a 24-inch barrel. This rifle weighs in at 6 pounds and is available in seven calibers from 6mm Creedmoor up to 33 Nosler. The 24-inch barrel is a carbon fiber-wrapped cut-rifled tube while the stock is a carbon. Action and bottom metal are finished in Cerakote tungsten gray and the trigger is a Timney with a two-position safety. $3,140

KIMBER Mountain Ascent

What Kimber achieved in this rifle is amazing — a rifle that weighs less than 5 pounds with a Mauser-style claw extractor. The safety is a three-position Model 70-style wing safety. The stock is reinforced carbon fiber in OptiFade Subalpine. The 22-inch barrel is satin-finished stainless steel. Caliber choices start at .280 Ackley and go up to .300 Win. Mag. $2,040


Rather than go ultra-lightweight with this rifle, Christensen opted to build shooting comfort into the Traverse. The rifle weighs in at 7.3 pounds (short action) with a Monte Carlo carbon fiber composite stock and a carbon fiber-wrapped barrel. Choose from 19 caliber options all the way up to .300 PRC. $2,395


Winchester’s latest XPR weighs 6 pounds, 12 ounces with barrel lengths from 22 to 26 inches and 13 caliber options, including the 350 Legend. Barrel and action have a Perma-Cote finish, while the stock is True Timber Strata. $600

Rifle-mounted Optics

BURRIS Veracity 2-10X42 RFP

LEUPOLD VX-5HD 2-10x42mm CDS-ZL2

High-definition lenses, a large magnification range and a compact envelope in a 30mm tube make this a good choice for the backcountry hunter. The 2-10x magnification range is ideal for a hunter who will hunt a variety of environments. The reticle is the FireDot (illuminated) duplex. $1,235

SIG SAUER Sierra3BDX 6.5-20x52

It looks like a traditional riflescope with a 30mm tube, but it is built for the BDX Ballistic Data Xchange. Using Bluetooth technology and the Kilo BDX rangefinder, the scope provides the hunter with an illuminated auto-holdover dot. Reticle illumination powers up when the scope senses motion. Lens coatings include broadband and anti-reflection treatments. $960

TRIJICON AccuPower 4.5-30x56mm

Some situations call for high magnification and big glass for optimum light transmission. That’s where this AccuPower model comes in, with a huge magnification range all the way up to 30x. With a 56mm objective and a 34mm tube, this scope promises the best in light transmission at low light. The reticle includes an intuitive first-focal aiming point and subtensions that remain constant.$2,675

BUSHNELL Nitro 4-16x44

Simple but precise, the Deploy MOA reticle provides a fine crosshair with long hashmarks at every MOA to provide windage and elevation holds. With a wide magnification range, the hunter should leave the scope set at 4X and then dial up if needed. Bushnell built the EXO barrier protection into this scope, their best lens protection technology. $480


Designed as an entry-level scope, this GPO offering should be thought of as a premium-level unit. Yes, it has a 1-inch tube, 3-9x adjustability and a simple reticle, but keep looking. Lens coatings offer maximum light transmission and fiber optic technology combined with an electronic module provides a red aiming point. $650


BURRIS Veracity 2-10x42mm

We call it rear focal plane or second focal plane, but what it means is the reticle is always the same size. The Veracity now is offered in both first and second planes. The 2-10x42mm is a great choice for a mule deer hunter that might use the same rifle on a close-up deer stand one week and for long range work the next. The E1 FFP reticle allows trajectory compensation out to 600 yards and multiple wind hold-offs. $719



NOSLER Trophy Grade Long Range

The Trophy Grade Long Range utilizes a high ballistic coefficient and a bonded core — the AccuBond Long Range. For 2019, Nosler expanded its Long Range offerings to include 6.5 Creedmoor (129 and 142 grains) and 6.5 Grendel (129 grains). This adds to a span of offerings that starts at 6.5-.284 Norma and goes to 33 Nosler. $64 and up


It’s billed as the world’s first true all-range hunting bullet. It’s a polymer-tipped, high-ballistic-coefficient, bonded-lead-core projectile. For 2019, the Edge TLR comes in .280 Ackley Improved and 6.5 Creedmoor to add to a line that already includes .270 Win and 7mm Rem Mag, .300 Win Mag, .30-06 Springfield and .308 Win. $48

WINCHESTER Deer Season XP 350 Legend

They’re calling it the fastest straight-walled hunting cartridge, with more energy (1,800 foot-pounds) than the .30-30 Winchester and greater penetration than the .243 Winchester. The new cartridge is currently available in variations of the Winchester XPR bolt-action. With a .357 diameter bullet (150-180 grains) it is a good choice out to about 250 yards. $25 per 20 rounds.




It’s a meat hauler with a pack bag that allows a hunter to haul meat with or without the pack bag. The pack attaches to frame with compression straps, which can be easily removed. Molded foam suspension and Lycra shoulder straps make it comfortable. To carry water, a hydration pocket and port are included. In rainy weather, pull out the rain cover. $250


Waterproof and large enough to carry a deboned deer on the blaze orange meat shelf, this pack comes with integral rifle boot, hydration pocket, integrated spotting scope pocket and pistol holster. $279


At 6,013 cubic inches (expands from 4,400 cubic inches), this pack will carry a lot of gear. A rain cover folds out to keep contents dry. A foldout boot allows carrying a bow. The suspension is fully adjustable for strapping to the torso. A detachable daypack allows for the larger unit to be left at base camp. $399


onX Hunt App

MYTOPO Printed, Digital and Online

Topographic maps, aerial photos and satellite images. Public lands and hunting unit maps. Private land boundary maps. For custom-made printed maps in a hurry, Mytopo delivers. Simply log on, choose a map or search by GPS coordinates. Price varies based on maps chosen.

HUNTERRA Custom and Mobile Maps

Custom maps are as close as a keyboard. Pin up an aerial photo at the house with stand locations marked. Then fold a field topo map into a backpack. Another option is the Mobile Map which allows 3D imaging, dropping pins, measure distance and record GPS tracks. $75-$260

onX Hunt App

Public land data on your GPS or on a smart phone. The Hunt App allows anyone with a smart phone to navigate between parcels of public land, identify boundaries, download maps and sync data across devices. Used with a map, scouting and Google Earth, the Hunt App from onX is a great tool for the hunter. $30 annually/per state

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