Blacktail deer are nearly impossible to distinguish from white tailed deer without other non-track signs. Whitetail deer run fast and utilize bounding leaps to escape predators. Specifically, total mule deer harvest reached the most recent low in 2003, with a harvest of only 5,254 (all weapon types). If there is any doubt, consider the number of abnormal points. Mule deer vs. Sitka black-tailed deer Sitka black-tailed deer are a subspecies of mule deer found in some parts of Alaska. A common tactic for bowhunting whitetails is to hang treestands in travel corridors and feeding areas. But even if you live in Maine, and the closest wild mule deer lives in South Dakota, you’ll be a better outdoors-person if know what they look like and which habitats they prefer. That tail is what gives the White-tailed deer its name. Mule deer also have much darker foreheads than whitetails, too. Some posts may contain affiliate links. That doesn't mean you can't find them out in a clear-cut and see them a long ways away. Another mule-deer identifier is the species’ white rear end and dark, rope-like tail. Whitetails also have a higher birth rate, their does can often breed their first fall at 6 months of age. Adult males, or bucks, weigh 68 to 113 kg, but bucks in peak physical condition may weigh up to 180 kg. What is the comparison of black tails and mule deer? Black tails also tend to be a little darker than mule deer overall, regardless of the season. If mule deer have one weakness, they tend to stop and look back. While the black tail is a subspecies of mule deer, there is a noticeable difference between the two. Adults only raise their tail when signaling other deer of danger. According to Dr. Valerius Geist, the first black-tailed deer came into existence around 2 million years ago. They’re an elusive deer species, and characterized by dark antlers and a black tail. The most numerous and widespread deer species is the highly adaptable white-tailed deer, which lives across much of North America, from urban environments to remote wilderness areas. Mule deer are able to detect danger at long range, and when danger is detected they may hide, move away stealthily, or flee. What’s the difference between black-tailed, white-tailed and mule deer? Look for sites where several deer trails intersect. However, the flavor of the venison is mostly a feature of what the animals have been eating. Across most of the U.S., the terms "mule deer" and "blacktail deer" are used to describe the same animal although there are sub-species of blacktail deer … Being larger than black tails, the open country allows them to move freely. The Lewis and Clark Expedition of 1804 to 1806 re… In 2012, 7,144 mule deer were harvested, indicating a 36% increase – A whitetail deer’s tail has a bright white underside, but the rest of the rump is brown. Scientific Classification Kingdom Animalia Phylum Chordata Class Mammalia Order Artiodactyla Family Cervidae Subfamily Capreolinae Genus Odocoileus Species O. hemionus Scientific Name Odocoileus hemionus columbianus Quick Information Also known as Blacktail deer… That’s because blacktails typically live in densely forested areas, which provide few opportunities for spot-and-stalk bowhunting. Practically speaking, here are some of the comparisons: The term blacktail refers to a sub-specie of the mule deer. Mule Deer. Mule deer are found nearly anywhere from the Rocky Mountains westward to the Cascade Mountains and from Southern California, Arizona and New Mexico all the way up into Canada and Alaska. These can be excellent places to set up a treestand and patiently wait. Black tail deer and mule deer are both primarily found in the Western United States and Canada, on the west side of the continental divide. In comparison, the top of a black tail’s tail, as the name implies, is almost entirely dark or black. Black tails also aren’t usually as broad through the chest and front quarters as mule deer. Mule deer are Western icons. A group of mule deer bucks feeding along a mountainside can inspire hunters to hike high and far, bow in hand. In most cases it will be quite obvious. If you hunt on the east side, chances are that if you are fortunate enough to bring home a venison, it will probably be a mule deer. I even give you some information about what to look out for when you’re buying tactical equipment. Blacktail Deer are an elusive deer species, and characterized by dark antlers and a black tail. On the other hand, the blacktail I have hunted are in dense forests and you can be within twenty yards and not begin to see them. In comparison, black tails have a much smaller range, being found primarily west of the Cascade summit. Black tails also tend to be a little darker than mule dee… Size Mule deer tend to be larger in size. They seldom get heavier than 200 pounds, often less than this, and are generally a half a foot shorter and a foot less in length, even for large specimens. The Mule Deer in our area don't reach that size. Members of the deer family (which includes caribou, deer, elk, and moose) have antlers. In a comparison of black tails and mule deer, it is easy to see that there is a difference, even though the black tail is a sub-species of mule deer. Mule deer, however, don’t just live at high elevations. Naturally, this is a general flavor comparison since black tails might eat sagebrush on occasion and mule deer enjoy succulent plants, too. THE BLACKTAILS . Dennis Holmes here. California's deer herds are a valuable resource to both hunters and non-hunters alike. Total mule deer populations in the lower 48 are difficult to estimate accurately due to overlap with blacktail deer populations in coastal states and some confusion over what constitutes a mule deer or a coastal blacktail deer where they share habitat. If you have a license/tag specifying a mule deer, you don’t want to accidentally shoot a whitetail or blacktail. Hunting Blacktail vs. Mule Deer Part 1: Scouting June 24, 2018 admin Disclaimer. Bowhunters use several tactics to pursue mule deer, but the most common is spot and stalk. If both have been feeding in alfalfa fields, the venison is likely to taste the same, regardless of species. Mule deer are gregarious; they form groups of as many as 24, but over 60 percent of … The Top 5 Rated Optics Reviewed. Mule deer scat Deer scat will be oblong in shaped (possibly with a nipple on the end) and typically less than 1/2 inch long for does and larger than 3/4 inch for bucks. Females, or does, weigh 50 to 75 kg. Many people maintain that black tail meat tastes better than mule deer meat. Features: Columbian black-tailed deer are smaller and darker than mule deer. They are also often nearly four feet tall at the shoulder and almost seven feet from the tip of the nose to the tip of the tail. Photo Credit: John Hafner. You can find an archery store near you here. They also inhabit deserts, prairies and agricultural areas. White-tailed deer are reddish-brown to blue-gray or tan. Learning to identify animals and the plants that sustain them is like learning the ABCs of the outdoors. Black-tailed deer have a native range that extends across the Pacific Northwest. to the Columbia blacktail. Impacts of juniper encroachment and expansion of cheatgrass range further degrade the condition The black-tailed deer obviously gets its name from its black tail. To complete this research, I brought together Drs. The first thing you need to do when you’re scoring a mule or blacktail deer is determine whether it should be scored as a typical or non-typical once you have identified the five normal points. Stotting/pronking is a stiff-legged hop with all four feet leaving the ground at the same time. californicus).Deer Management. All the blacktail I've killed have been at very close range. He was one of the authors of the articles referenced above. The mule deer/blacktail species ranges from a small island-hopping Sitka blacktail to a large Rocky Mountain mule deer. The mule deer (Odocoileus hemionus) is a deer indigenous to western North America; it is named for its ears, which are large like those of the mule.Two subspecies of mule deer are grouped into the black-tailed deer.. The blacktail’s two subspecies are the Columbian and Sitka. Mule Deer are relatively large animals – 90 to 95 cm high at the shoulder. If you want to harvest your own tasty venison, start by visiting an archery shop to learn everything you need to know about bowhunting. The mule deer’s most telling feature is its large ears, which gave them their name. Another tactic is to set up a treestand or ground blind near a watering hole or food source. Hunting blacktails is much like hunting white-tailed deer. Antlers are solid bone and are shed annually. As the name suggests, black-tailed deer have a wide, triangular tail with a dark brown or black top and a white underside. The black-tailed deer is currently considered a subspecies of the mule deer and can interbreed with the mule deer (Odocoileus hemionus hemionus) where their range overlaps. Mule deer declined through about 2000 and since then have probably increased. Black tails, living on the side of the mountains that usually gets the most rain and has the mildest temperatures, tend to eat plants that are more succulent. Since mule deer are much more likely to feed on sagebrush and rabbit-brush, the meat can be a little bitter or strong. Black-tailed deer are referred to as the “Ghost of the Pacific” for their ability to move unheard and unseen through the thick rainforests of the Pacific Coast. The deer rest by lying on their chests and bellies with legs tucked under. North and south, the range is much the same, but east to west, it isn’t. Mule deer trot or gallop when alarmed but also a “stot” or “pronk” to escape. Is the general behavior of the backtail deer very different than that of the whitetail. The underside of the tail of both species is creamy colored to white, so there isn’t much of a comparison there. There are currently 10 different recognized subspecies of Mule Deer, including Rocky Mountain Mule Deer, whose bucks occasionally exceed 400 pounds. Some of this info could be extremely helpful some of it may not be applicable at all. A whitetail’s tail has a bright white underside, but the rest of the rump is brown. Male Mule Deer Female Mule Deer Antlers vs. The underside of the tail of both species is creamy colored to white, so there isn’t much of a comparison there. However, the top of a mule deer’s tail is the same color as the sides and back of the pelt, down to a small, dark or black tip on the tail. Its cousin, the mule deer, resembles the whitetail, and in some regions the two species share the same habitat. Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment. Pretty much, if the tail is up, and you see white on the underside you are looking at a White-tailed deer. Bowhunting requires an array of outdoors skills, one of which is animal identification. Mule deer populations reached the most recent peak in the early 1980s. However, the top of a mule deer’s tail is the same color as the sides and back of the pelt, down to a small, dark or black tip on the tail. The antlers on the male mainly consist of a main beam with tines growing from it. The blacktail deer then split off a subspecies, the mule deer (Odocoileus hemionus hemionus), which is the youngest living deer species, arising 10,000 years ago. Mule deer get their name from their ears. It’s believed there’s around three and half million of the two species combined. Black tail deer are masters of the dense forests and rain forests found from the Cascades and Sierras to the coast. Their smaller size allows them to move through thick underbrush that a mule deer might not be able to negotiate easily. These long ears, which resemble a mule’s ears, help muleys dissipate heat and detect far-off dangers. The white-tailed deer is North America’s most popular big-game animal because whitetails thrive just about everywhere. Then there’s the black-tailed deer, which is closely related to the mule deer and inhabits the Pacific Northwest. Two forms of black-tailed deer or blacktail deer that occupy coastal woodlands in the Pacific Northwest of North America are subspecies of the mule deer (Odocoileus hemionus).They have sometimes been treated as a species, but virtually all recent authorities maintain they are subspecies. Under the Boone and Crockett system, even though mule deer typically grow larger antlers sets, mule deer and blacktail deer are scored the same way. More effective monitoring of livestock use and enforcement of existing standards would likely result in improvements to many habitats. Both black tails and mule deer have pelts that vary from brown to golden brown in the summer and grayish in the winter. Telling the difference between deer species is especially important if you live or hunt in areas that hold whitetails and muleys, or blacktails and muleys. Both black tails and mule deer have pelts that vary from brown to golden brown in the summer and grayish in the winter. Mule deer mate from mid- to late-November; white-tailed deer breed from late-November to early December. Class: Mammalia Family: Cervidae Order: Artiodactyla Genus: Odocoileus There are two subspecies of mule deer in California: Columbian black-tailed deer (Odocoileus hemionus columbianus), and California mule deer (O.h. In most conditions, the tails bright-white underside is covered. No matter which species you bowhunt, you’ll enjoy the experience. Blacktail behavior vs. whitetail behavior? All of that said, a comparison can be made in regard to the flavor of black tail and mule deer. If there are several to numerous abnormal points, use the non-typical score chart. We probably have the most diversity of deer in the United States here in California – six different species. A mule deer has much more white on their face than a whitetail. The reason for this is the terrain they normally inhabit. Due to hunting regulations, Sitka black-tailed deer should not be confused with mule deer and can be identified most readily by their small stature and black tail. In comparison, the top of a black tail’s tail, as the name implies, is almost entirely dark or black. Identification of Priority Areas ... the life history of mule deer. Adults only raise their tail when signaling other deer of danger. Keep reading to find out. I do not know the extent of all the studies he has been involved in, but would expect to see more results like … Classic blacktail country includes the thick forests along the Northwest coast. We take the idea of bowhunting and make it accessible and [real, amazing, peaceful, inspiring, exhilarating]. The mule deer’s most telling feature is its large ears, which gave them their name. In Valerius Geist's informative book Mule Deer Country he explains that by testing the mitochondrial DNA (the mothers DNA ) of the three species (blacktail, whitetail and mule deer), researchers have now determined that it was the mating of Whitetail does, and Blacktail buck's, that gave rise to the Mule deer and not the opposite as was once suspected. Mule deer, on the other hand, are animals that are perfectly at home in open pine forests, sagebrush flats and dry desert country. They also inhabit deserts, prairies and agricultural areas. White-Tailed Deer. Hunters use binoculars and spotting scopes to locate distant deer. Horns. They share many similarities but are much smaller than a mule deer and their ears are smaller too. Antlers grow from the … Mule deer does take longer to mature. America’s deer populations are thriving, and you’ll find one or more of these deer in your home state. This adaptable species can survive in the desert, extreme cold, and densely populated suburban areas. All 48 contiguous states, Mexico and Canada have white-tailed deer, but some hold far more than others. Habitat: Blacktails are a subspecies of mule deer found in western Oregon from the Coast Range east to the Cascade Mountains. So the blacktail and mule deer are the same species, but the mulie is a subspecies of the blacktail, and they are both close cousins to the whitetail. Though given an interesting name, the black-tailed deer is considered as the least studied deer species of North America. It seems like there is a lot more information on the market about whitetail deer behavior due to the larger range but I wonder if any of it is really applicable to blacktails? White-tailed deer have a dark colored rump, until they raise their tail up in alarm. Black-tailed deer are a member of the mule deer family and found across the Pacific Northwest of North America. In most conditions, the tails bright-white underside is covered. Photo Credit: John Hafner. Emily Latch and O. E.Rhodes, Jr., two wildlife geneticists recognized for their previous work in this area. I do not hunt the lowlands. Photo Credit: wideopenspaces.com. Mule deer, however, don’t just live at high elevations. I bring you the best buying guides to help you to choose which tactical gear is the best for you as well as offering you a professional and fast service. Mule deer have reddish coloring in the summer and are blue-gray in the winter. It’s important to study their daily patterns and place treestands in well-used travel corridors. Then they sneak into bow range for a shot. Mule deer does weigh in between 100 and 220 pounds, whereas white-tailed does come in anywhere from 90-200 lbs. The mule deer’s most telling feature is its large ears, which gave them their name. If there are no or only a couple of short abnormal points, the rack should first be scored as a typical. Mule deer Does: 110-165 lbs Bucks: 150-250 lbs Their ears. Tagearplanet.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com. He has work on testing between mule deer and coues deer in Arizona, the Blacktail vs. mule deer topic and others. The most obvious difference, though, is that if you hunt on the west side of the Cascades and Sierras, you are more likely to encounter black tails. Deer biologists agree that Black-tailed Deer are also subspecies of Mule Deer, so for Blacktails the third name is columbianus. We have California mule deer, Rocky Mountain mule deer, feral mule deer, southern mule deer, Columbian black-tailed deer and a cross between a black-tailed and a mule deer. There is an obvious physical distinction between mule deer vs. whitetail deer, but how do you properly scout and hunt each species? The underside of their big tail is white. Selecting the Best Skinning Knife For Hunting, Stay Comfortable with the Best Turkey Vest, What’s the Best M4 Scope? This relatively close relationship between whitetail and mule deer and their genetic differences from blacktails has spawned a new theory that the mule deer itself is actually a hybrid form; the result of a mixing of genes from coastal blacktail bucks mating with whitetails does when the glaciers of the last Ice Age receded, bringing the two species together. Much more likely to taste the same, regardless of species thriving, and see. Not counting elk or moose, which gave them their name, producing a “ flag when! Same, regardless of species from mid- to late-November ; white-tailed deer have pelts that vary brown. The range is much the same, but bucks in peak physical may! Tail with a dark brown or black peak in the United States here in California – six different.! 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