Stotting is unique to mule deer, as no other deer species utilizes this stiff-legged, high bouncing gait. Do Whitetail Deer Lose Their Antlers Every Year? Still hunting works very well for mule deer, but whitetail hunters east of the Mississippi rarely have the opportunity for a spot and stalk hunt. Pudú 9. Like a lot of big game animals, mule deer and whitetails are crepuscular, meaning they most actively feed and travel near dawn and dusk. Buck, or male, white-tailed deer and mule deer have antlers. The distance between those two points may be well over one hundred miles. They’re also common in several Canadian provinces, with a northern limit near the arctic circle in the Yukon Territory. Because food resources are plentiful and winters manageable, lowland whitetails don’t need to travel long distances to survive. Although capable of running, mule deer are often seen stotting (also called pronking), with all four feet coming down together. The largest concentration of mule deer populations tend to fall along either side of the Continental Divide, with smaller numbers extending into the central plains. Travis Smola These are the major differences between mule deer and whitetails. Should You Separate Male Goats From Pregnant Goats? As far as smell goes, both species of deer rely on their exceptional sense of smell to avoid being eaten or shot at. In the U.S. alone, there’s about 30 million whitetails, with Texas topping the list at 3.6 million. There’s a lot of theories behind why whitetails evolved this “flagging” display system. A mule deer’s home range is vastly larger than the average whitetail. Megaloceros giganteus/Irish Elk 16. Mule deer does weigh in between 100 and 220 pounds, whereas white-tailed does come in anywhere from 90-200 lbs. They bound high and raise their large white undercoated tail when alarmed. Tag Archives: axis vs. white tail deer. Hunting The peak of the whitetail rut tends to fall during the first week or two of November. A buck whitetail mule deer hybrid. Dr. Valerius Geist, one of the world’s foremost experts on deer ecology, says this in his book, “This happened most likely during the ecological turmoil of megafaunal extictions 11,000 to 9,000 years ago. Whitetail populations are generally doing well throughout the country, but there’s evidence that populations aren’t as high as they were a couple decades ago. Whitetail deer are the world’s “oldest” deer species; they’ve been around in basically the same form for nearly 4 million years. A hunter who has only hunted one species or the other might have trouble distinguishing whitetails from mule deer in areas where both are present. Evolution and History Deer drives that push whitetails out of thick brush to waiting hunters are still popular throughout whitetail country. Greater Kudu 21. Antlers tend to wide versus high. Roe Deer 13. In comparison, the top of a black tail’s tail, as the name implies, is almost entirely dark or black. Pronghorn 10. They are also much more nomadic than whitetails, and the mule deer rut often coincides with their winter migration. Dr. Valerius Geist, one of the world’s foremost experts on deer ecology, says this in his book Deer of the World: “This happened most likely during the ecological turmoil of megafaunal extictions 11,000 to 9,000 years ago. There’s even recent examples of mule deer showing up in Alaska. Generally speaking, the average midwestern whitetail buck is smaller-bodied than the average Rocky Mountain mule deer buck of the same age. It’s likely that several factors, many of which mule deer could withstand on an individual basis, are adding up to a much larger problem. Roe Deer 13. White-tailed deer does, or females, can breed at 6 months of age. I live in South West Colorado and the mule deer often taste as good as elk meat (surprise!). It is from the hindquarter. 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. Southward, whitetails extend into Mexico and the tropical jungles of Central and South America. If hunting it is absolutely essential that one can distinguish between the Whitetail and Mule deer to ensure a mistake is not made and the wrong species is taken without the proper tag. As the country’s human population has grown, so too has the whitetail population. When it does come time to run, whitetails and mule deer do it a lot differently. Whitetails are much more aggressive than mule deer. Here in Colorado, mule deer have some of the most productive alpine summer range found anywhere in the country, but in the valleys where the deer need to ride out the winter, there’s less and less space for them. Both species will eat hundreds of different types of plants. 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. They use this hop to escape predators. This phenomena is known as Bergmann’s principle, which doesn’t seem to have nearly as much influence on mule deer body size. Mule deer may also have a slight advantage when it comes to hearing with those big ears. We have more whitetails now, by far, than at the time of European contact. In general, whitetails can be considered a little more paranoid than mule deer when it comes to hunting pressure, but they’ve got a few million more years of evolutionary experience avoiding predators and thousands of years more experience evading human hunters. For mule deer, it’s the straw that could break the camel’s back, but it’s not a problem whitetail are likely to face. Whitetails are now found in nearly all of the continental United States. Earlier I mentioned that Colorado has over 400,000 mule deer; the state supported well over 500,000 just over a decade ago. Mule deer bucks' antlers fork from the beam and then fork again. Mule deer antlers are also generally larger than a whitetail’s, which is more than likely related to the fact that antlers are primarily a sexual display ornament like a male salmon’s toothy kyped jaw or a male lion’s mane. They are generalists capable of surviving in a variety of habitats from swamps to forests, and plains to mountains. White-tailed deer and mule deer have slightly different reproduction and mating cycles. In fact, it was recently discovered mule deer migrate farther than any other land animal in the lower 48. Red Deer 12. The elks are taller in size than a typical deer. To put it simply, whitetails are just about everywhere and there’s a lot of them. Size: Mule deer tend to be larger than whitetail in most locations. Gerenuk 23. In some areas, mountain lions and black bears are having a significant impact on fawn survival. This phenomena is known as Bergmann’s principle, which doesn’t seem to have nearly as much influence on mule deer body size. Saiga antelope 26. White-tailed bucks' antlers consist of a main beam with tines growing out from that beam. ... My sample size is small though. Mule deer does not. meaning they most actively feed and travel near dawn and dusk. One of the most iconic images in hunting is a whitetail buck bounding away from a hunter with his bright white tail held high. Later, when I moved west to Colorado, I became a die-hard lover of mule deer and the rugged, mountainous country where they live. Both species are reddish-brown in the summer time. Pinyon pine and juniper encroachment is also degrading prime sagebrush mule deer habitat across the West, which is then compounded by competition for shrinking resources with elk and whitetails. Conservation and Management Challenges The hybrid evolved as a new form, the mule deer, by adapting to climatically more extreme, open landscapes…”. It must work well against coyotes and mountain lions, but it has been the demise of many a mule deer that thought they were out of reach from a human threat. Gerenuk 23. Because food resources are plentiful and winters manageable, lowland whitetails don’t need to travel long distances to survive. They can weigh between 80 and 400 pounds, depending on sex, age and geographic location. Blackbuck 20. Mule deer numbers have been on a steady decline throughout the West for a number of years. Although it was warm for December, I couldn’t help but shiver as the whitetail’s rack grew... With whitetail seasons wrapping up across much of the country, one of the  questions I get most... Our picks for the week’s best hunting, fishing, wild foods, and conservation content. Marsh Deer 19. largest concentration of mule deer populations tend to fall along either side of the Continental Divide. This makes sense when you consider mule deer live in steep, open country. While whitetail bucks are constantly on the move at this time, they don’t cover nearly as much ground as mule deer bucks during the rut. Greater Kudu 21. Whitetails live in thicker, flatter country so fleeing a short ways into the brush is fast and easy. 6. In the summer, both species are a reddish brown, but when they grow their winter coats, whitetails tend to run a tannish color while mule deer are more grey. in nearly all of the continental United States. Mule deer and whitetails are both primarily browsers as opposed to grazers, like elk. PART OF WILD SKY MEDIA | FAMILY & PARENTING, Northern State University: White-Tailed Deer and Mule Deer, Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks: 2012/2013 Hunting Regulations: Deer, Elk, Antelope: Antelope, Deer, Elk, Bear, and Wolf Identification Guides, Ferris State University: Mule Deer - Odocoileus hemionus, University of Michigan Museum of Zoology Animal Diversity Web; Odocoileus virginianus, White-Tailed Deer; Tanya Dewey, Idaho Museum of Natural History: Odocoileus hemionus - Mule Deer, Comparison of Mule Deer & White-Tailed Deer. Red Deer 12. Whitetail populations are generally doing well throughout the country, but there’s evidence that populations aren’t as high as they were a couple decades ago. Blue Wildebeest/Gnu 25. Big antlers and long-range attraction was unnecessary. Large ears may also help mule deer detect predators better in the open environments where they live. Shika 17. Whitetails also have a higher birth rate, their does can often breed their first fall at … We can all see that the main difference is that Axis deer have the ability to gain nutrients from grass where a whitetail is unable to perform the same tasks. That’s not to say you can’t find whitetails high up in remote mountains or mule deer raiding a suburban cornfield, but mule deer are typically a creature of higher elevations. Mule deer lack the large, brightly colored tail found on whitetails. Finally, and perhaps most importantly, unchecked development in mountain valleys throughout the west is carving up mule deer winter range at an alarming rate. Whitetail Deer 8. 0 10 52.6 K. Previous post Curing Winter Deer Hunting Blues With An Over-The-Counter Hunt. For the most part, however, there’s some major differences in their populations, distribution, and habitat preferences. Pinyon pine and juniper encroachment is also degrading prime sagebrush mule deer habitat across the West, which is then compounded by competition for shrinking resources with elk and whitetails. They expanded their range from their original habitat in what is now the southeastern United States, across the southern portion of the country below the ice sheet towards California. Black tails also tend to be a little darker than mule dee… Physically, however, there’s some pretty distinguishing features that separate whitetails from mule deer. Fallow Deer 7. The distance between those two points may be well over one hundred miles. Whitetails can get by just about anywhere. , which seems to be popping up in new areas on a daily basis. On rare occasions, you can successfully pull off a still hunt in these places, but it’s difficult to say the least. These bucks show characteristics which are larger than their southern cousins predator and avoidance... 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