However, two species stand alone as the undeniable favorites of both nature enthusiasts and hunters. This is mainly due to the fact that a doe fawn can and do get bred in the fall before they are a year old. Southern Kolorado. In most cases, the mule deer will have significantly longer ears than a whitetail. When it comes to their antlers, the whitetail deer has a main shaft, with the rest all pointing upwards. Many Alabamians consider hunting big mule deer vs whitetail deer, in the Rocky Mountains, as the hunts of their lifetimes. Advertise With Us. And with an estimated population of 200 animals here in Utah (expected to double yearly) the whitetails are looking to displace our beloved muley here in Utah as well. Many a hunter has claimed from a barstool that they once shot a whitey-muley cross. About Us | I don’t think white-tailed deer should be managed under the same umbrella that mule deer are managed. Again, I think there needs to be some discussion/working group formed where we can discuss the issues, educate the public, and make management decisions which best represent the native wildlife of this state and the interest of the public. Copyright © 2000 - 2020, MuleyMadness.com Thread starter rob86jeep; Start date Sep 14, 2020; Sep 14, 2020 #1 R. rob86jeep Senior Member. Whitetail vs. Mule Deer By Josh Honeycutt author of Brow Tines and Backstrap March 14, 2016. Reversing a lower court’s decision, the Alabama Supreme Court has ruled that the fact a fawn is born of a whitetail doe doesn’t necessarily … * I plan to breed them to 280 inch mule deer semen this fall. Hybridization has shown to favor the white-tailed deer where mule deer populations are low and where mule deer buck to doe ratios are low. Whitetail Vs Mule Deer. I asked Jim Heffelfinger, wildlife science coordinator at the Arizona Game and Fish Department and hybrid ungulate expert, for his thoughts on the matter. They in fact, are carriers of many diseases which mule deer are highly susceptible to. Although whitetail and mule deer often share landscapes, each species has their own preferences when it comes to choosing habitat patches. However, in winter whitetail transition to more of a greyish-brown colored … The mule deer lives in rough but open country and uses a special kind of pogo stick jumping as its main escape from predators. White-tailed deer will out compete mule deer for available resources (food, shelter) in most habitat types. Mule deer have a grayish brown coat, while the white-tailed deer have a reddish-brown coat. From being born in the first place to successfully escaping predation, any hybrid you see has overcome a suite of strange, unusual chances to exist. If they can breed, aren’t they just one animal? Nov.2-6. I've been talking to several Nebraska outfitters about booking a mule deer hunt. Contact Us | We have seen what other non-native invasive species (raccoon, red fox, and noxious weeds) have done in this state to alter the habitat and have a significant impact on other native species of vegetation and wildlife. B. So, I wanted to find out how often it actually happens. Call 1-800-755-8247. In genetic studies of wild deer ranging from West Texas to Alberta, they’ve found that hybrids can make up anywhere between 0% to 14% of a given population where the species overlap, although proportions below 6% seem to be more common. While we do have a population of mule deer, the ratio to whitetail is about 2/3 to 1/3, so hunters shouldn't expect to only see mule deer. But this can also be quite misleading for the novice hunter. There is an obvious physical distinction between mule deer vs. whitetail deer, but how do you properly scout and hunt each species? I fear the encroachment of the white-tailed deer in Utah will become a real threat to mule deer if we don’t act quickly and develop a aggressive management plan for the white-tailed deer. A mule deer has much more white on their face than a whitetail. But those that do often find themselves witnessing sights like this one. It is estimated that this population of white-tailed deer is almost doubling every year. It is just a two-week difference but this actually leads to higher birth rates for the overall population of whitetails. Here are a few facts we (my ghost writer) would like to share. Archery Whitetail: Nov.2-6 . Whitetail Deer Pictures Deer Photos Deer Pics Hunting Shop Hunting Camo Trophy Hunting Hunting Stuff Hunting Tips Animals Beautiful. Whitetail deer refers to a North American deer with a rather long tail white on the under surface and the males of which have forward-arching antlers while mule deer refers to a long-eared deer of western North America that is larger and more heavily built than the white-tailed deer. White-tailed deer have a higher reproductive rate. When a hybrid breeds with a muley or whitetail, the offspring even more closely resembles a full species. Rifle Whitetail: Nov.9-13, Nov.15-19, Nov.21-25. Similar to the mule deer, the whitetail deer also derives its name from the color of its tail. I think that there is enough source and data to say that the division needs to come up with a plan. For starters, whitetails and mule deer are very closely related, belonging to the same taxonomic genus, Odocoileus. 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. White-tailed deer present a bigger management challenge to wildlife managers. The first white-tailed buck (a mature buck) was harvested on the cache unit in 2000 and two additional bucks were harvested in the Twin Creeks area in 2001. Bighorn. Mule deer are identifiable in the way they move, too. Hence, this is the main difference between whitetail and mule deer. Whitetail deer could be … Article by Javert (Mitch Winter) 295. Much in the same way that hybrids’ appearance is a combination of features from each parent species, hybrids move in a way that is not quite whitetail but not quite mule deer either. Mule deer also have much darker foreheads than whitetails, too. These different movement tactics reflect the environments that these animals adapted to and help them better escape predators. Since some states have an overlap of whitetail and mule deer, and different rules for each, telling them apart can sometimes be critical. With the recent and increased sightings and harvest of White-tailed Deer in Utah, I thought it would be interesting to share a few facts regarding these two species and the challenges which will be faced by the mule deer. MULE DEER HUNTS . Mule deer vs. Whitetail- which would you shoot? You will also find great waterfowl and prairie dog hunts here. Mule deer behave much differently than whitetails. Draw Required. Here is what a mule deer looks like: And here is what a whitetail deer looks like: First, notice the faces. It is called "stotting". There are a few different deer species living here in North America. Every now and then, I stumble across an idea that is pretty far outside what I am used to working on (or should be working on) but that captivates me nonetheless. Mule deer does not. White-tailed deer are a much more adaptable deer species and continued to expand their current range every year. Mule Deer Hunt. A single, springing jump can cover more than twenty-five feet! or. Reverse mating (mule deer buck to a white-tail doe) is rare and usually results in death of the offspring. * It's been a few years sinse I saw a*white mule deer in Montana. Belly Mule deer have a grayish-brown belly like the rest of the body. Posts: 6,435. But sometimes it’s hard to tell whether you’re looking at a strange whitey or muley, or if you’ve actually got a hybrid. Large ears, white rump, black-tipped tail and forked antlers identify a mule deer. “Although whitetail x mule deer hybrids do occur, they are much rarer than most people think,” he said. OP. Recently I’ve been shirking my normal work responsibilities of studying mule deer behavior to wade through nearly impenetrable genetics research, trying to figure out how often whitetail deer and mule deer hybridize. Mule deer mate from mid- to late-November; white-tailed deer breed from late-November to early December. Gestation for mule deer is seven months, versus … Mule deer take 7 months to produce a fawn while whitetail deer take only 6.5 months. The metatarsal glands on mule deer sit high on the lower leg and are 4 to 6 inches long and always surrounded by brown fur. I spend a lot of my time trying to figure out what makes animals tick and brainstorming ways that wildlife managers might be able to use that information to promote the critters we care about. Espeacially if it is proven that the whitetail population will take over our muledeer habitat. The white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus), also known as the whitetail or Virginia deer, is a medium-sized deer native to North America, Central America, Ecuador, and South America as far south as Peru and Bolivia. Hybrids, as you would expect, often look like a combination of whitetail and mule deer. But, if hybrids can occur so frequently, could they eventually replace whitetail or mule deer? Although hybrids do occur, we don’t need to be worried that these ungainly ungulates will take over. For example, if you see a whitetail deer with an unexpected fork in their antlers, it’s mighty hard to tell based on antler characteristics alone whether you’re just looking at a whitetail with a nontypical rack or a hybrid. White-tailed deer populations are rapidly expanding across their range while mule deer populations have declined west wide and are no longer found on the edge of their former historical range. Media | However, whitetail and mule deer do overlap sometimes, whether because whitetail deer are encroaching into historic mule deer habitat or they just exist in an area where they have long intermixed. 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. This combined style of movement, however, doesn’t compound effectiveness at escaping predators—it reduces their ability to escape. The underside of the tail of both species is creamy colored to white, so there isn’t much of a comparison there. 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. Rifle Mule Deer: Nov.9-13, Nov.15-19, Nov.21-25. Whitetail vs. Mule Deer. After all, that is where mule deer get their name. When you decide to go bow hunting for high-mountain mule deer, you know you’re in for a physical challenge. Mule deer does take longer to mature. Fur Color. All pictures, images, & content are owned by MuleyMadness and cannot be used without permission Some can even produce fertile offspring of their own. However, after taking a pic of it through bino's it looks more like a mule deer now. Cervid: mule deer,whitetail,elk,goats,bighorn & stone sheep & Alaskan dahl sheep. Myths, lies and old wives’ tales loom large in the outdoor pursuits. Whitetail deer are reddish-brown in the summer and more gray in the winter. Mule deer were named for their mule-like ears, which are larger than those of whitetail. Request Info. White-tailed deer have been around at least 4 million years as opposed to the mule deer, which has only been in existence for approximately 15,000 years. * Any luck at all I will have 75% white mule deer on the ground in 2015. Our South Dakota rifle mule deer hunting is nothing short of world class. #5346044 06/18/11: Joined: Jun 2001. These different movement tactics reflect the environments that these animals adapted to and help them better escape predators. Campfire Tracker. This is unlikely, primarily because the habitat and behavioral differences between the species prevent hybrids from becoming more prevalent. Whitetail and mule deer move in strikingly different ways: a whitetail deer wags its tall tail as it gallops away, while mule deer stot up and over shrubs. In some areas, including northern regions, bucks can be as heavy as 450 pounds: Coloring Although there have been many unsubstantiated sightings of white-tailed deer in Utah for many years, they were first documented sighting occurred on the cache unit in 1996. Mule Deer Vs Whitetail Deer Hunting. At the same time, mule deer that eat sage brush taste terrible! are different. While whitetail and mule deer hunting with our experienced guides. The ears of the whitetail deer are smaller in proportion to its head, compared to the large ears of the mule deer. Campfire Tracker. Joined Dec 19, 2017 Messages 483 Location Colorado. Offspring are viable (reproductivly) and usually retain the white-tail characteristics. Lastly, whitetail does need to be 6 to 8 months old in order to breed, but mule deer does have to be 18 months old to reach sexual maturity. Both black tails and mule deer have pelts that vary from brown to golden brown in the summer and grayish in the winter. Whitetail Deer: Mule Deer: Size: Whitetail deer usually weigh between about 90 to 200 pounds. They tend not to spook as easy as whitetails. The whitetail’s metatarsals are below the mid-point of the lower leg, less than 1 inch long, and surrounded by white hairs. Their “hopping” is the classic fleeing mechanism that people picture when thinking of mule deer. This hybridization usually takes place with a white-tailed buck mating with a mule deer doe. Those aren’t empty words. Mule deer have a coat that is more greyish-brown, while whitetails are more of a reddish-brown color. Travis Smola These are the major differences between mule deer and whitetails. Also, mule deer tend to be much more laid back and less jittery. Our guided hunts are for free-ranging game under fair chase conditions in Texas. They just tuck tail (or, raise tail, rather) and run for the hills. Sitkas, coues and axis to name a few. Learn how our TAGS Service can help. This Little Whitetail Packs a Serious Punch. Not a high fence hunt, free ranging conditions. As a scientist, it’s my job to be curious. I would have to admit that I don’t think we will ever keep white-tailed deer out of Utah but I don’t think we should let them just run wild and let ‘nature’ take its course. I have heard of whitetail deer in the river bottoms at the mouth of Weber Co. in South Weber and Uintah. White-tailed deer have been around at least 4 million years as opposed to the mule deer, which has only been in existence for approximately 15,000 years. Instead, their run is a combination of galloping and the stotting. Here is a picture of one of my white mule deer hybrids. White-tailed deer being an older species are much more resistance to various parasites and diseases, especially brain worm disease. The Mule and Whitetail deer also have similar brown coats making it even that much more difficult for a new hunter. Whitetails and muleys rut at slightly different times and in different areas. That capacity has implications ranging from uncertainty associated with chronic wasting disease to how wildlife management agencies allocate hunting tags and enforce regulations. In our series Ask a Warden, we interview officers from across the country to learn about their role... Our picks for the week’s best hunting, fishing, wild foods, and conservation content. Whitetail deer have a white belly underneath. However, whitetails have a main beam with individual tines coming up. Metatarsal glands on hybrids are intermediate in length and position when compared to the 1-inch-long glands that sit towards the bottom of whitetail deer’s legs, and hand-length glands higher up on mule deer legs. I’ve often wondered whether I’ve seen a hybrid before, but I can’t confidently say I have. The Ears. Fur color Mule deer are grayish-brown in the summer and more gray in the winter. In general, mule deer are stockier than white-tailed deer. Because of this we really limit the number of mule deer hunters that we take in per year. Posts: 6,435. Privacy Notice | A whitetail-mule deer hybrid has metatarsal glands that split the difference, usually measuring between 2-4 inches and encircled with white hair. Looking at their faces, the whitetail deer has a brown face with white circles around its eyes and nose, whereas the mule deer has a mostly white face. Whitetails and muleys hybridize often enough that some scientists have actually questioned whether these two deer should even be considered distinct species. Sometimes male whitetail deer can weigh over 400 pounds. This is mainly due to their more elusive more nocturnal characteristics. Big bucks, land management, rut reports, and tips for the whitetail obsessed. From an economic stand point mule deer, as a dwindling species are a much more sought after trophy and are more valuable from a hunting and ecological viewpoints. Currently, the DWR has not developed a management plan for the white-tail specifically and the white-tail is recognized as just another deer species in Utah. We offer Texas trophy whitetail deer hunts and mule deer hunts, bobwhite quail, and Rio Grande turkey hunting in the panhandle. But I’ve been researching deer for many years and have yet to see a truly verifiable hybrid. They are more difficult to control in agriculture depredation conflicts and present a bigger more costly challenge to wildlife managers. Mule deer are larger than whitetail deer, usually weighing between 100 and 220 pounds. B. Bighorn OP. This is in CO just east of Colorado Springs (plains area but I'm the border with mountains) so I assumed it was a whitetail. Adult mule deer usually measure around 105 cm (42 in) tall at the shoulder. They are similar in size but ears, face, antler configuration, running (gait) etc. As I’m a Utahan born and raised and I’ve noticed the recent influx on Whitetail deer in a Mule Deer range so I thought I’d compare the two cousins for everyone. Whitetails and mule deer sometimes hybridize in the wild. Genetic analyses, of course, are also effective at telling whether an animal is a hybrid—but likely out of reach to the average hunter. I took an 10 year old rutting mule deer that weighed 322 pounds two years ago and it tasted as good as elk. Black tails also tend to be a little darker than mule dee… The mule deer’s ears also stand about a 30-degree angle on the head, as opposed to the whitetail’s which are rounded and stand more erect. “These hybrids have been documented everywhere mule deer and whitetails are together, but it is nearly impossible to identify one with certainty through a rifle scope,” Heffelfinger said. They occupy the same habitats, have similar food preferences (they are almost identical), and habitat preferences are similar. Hybrids can also reproduce, which further complicates identification. (Photo by Russell Graves) By Gordon Whittington. However, if you’ve seen the diagnostic metatarsal gland, all I can say is that you’re one lucky buck. The mule deer’s antlers, on the … This close evolutionary relationship sets the stage for these two species to interbreed, a process known as hybridization. Ross, Julie, and the entire Alcorn staff will work hard to give you the most successful and enjoyable deer hunt possible. Archery Mule Deer. Mule Deer vs. Whitetail Deer. Is this a mule deer or whitetail? Two year-old mule deer are most frequently mistaken for hybrids. Mule deer does weigh in between 100 and 220 pounds, whereas white-tailed does come in anywhere from 90-200 lbs. These hybrids may look and act a little funky, but they can survive into adulthood. In fact the whitetail are starting to displace mule deer in Idaho, Montana, and Canada and the Mule deer ranges are significantly smaller than their historic ranges. Whitetail and mule deer move in strikingly different ways: a whitetail deer wags its tall tail as it gallops away, while mule deer stot up and over shrubs. “Usually we just see a whitetail wearing a mule deer tag with the hunter trying to convince the warden he’s at least half right.”. White-tailed deer populations are rapidly expanding across their range while mule deer populations have declined west wide and are no longer found on the edge of their former historical range. Mule deer are slightly more accepting to hunters and pressure. Looking at the length and position of the metatarsal glands on the outside of a deer’s hind legs, however, is a best way to identify a first-generation hybrid. White-tailed deer vary more; on average they are smaller than mule deer, but some subspecies are quite bigger. Mule deer are struggling on the cache unit, Utah and throughout the west. Scientists have been looking into this question since the 1980s. The Rump. * It will be a dream come true for me. The mule deer will tend to pogo itself uphill when it escapes. With the first sighting in 1996, the estimated population now is between 50-100 animals. It’s important to properly identify any animal you’re about to hunt. In other words, depending on the location in question, whitetail and mule deer can hybridize readily. The mule deer are iconic in the west and a prized animal by many hunters. Terms of Use | The name whitetail deer comes from the use of its tail. Southern Kolorado. In comparison, the top of a black tail’s tail, as the name implies, is almost entirely dark or black. Its cousin, the mule deer, resembles the whitetail, and in some … But when two Alabama deer breeders created such hybrids via artificial insemination, it raised a legal issue for the state’s court system. Finally, I would like to point out that white-tailed deer are not native to Utah, they are an invasive, aggressive species, which has the potential to displace mule deer throughout the west. I live in South West Colorado and the mule deer often taste as good as elk meat (surprise!). When hybrids do make it to adulthood, they typically aren’t as well adapted to their environment as either parent species. But when they do come in contact, their differences in breeding behavior further reduce the chance that they will interbreed. Joined: Jun 2001. Whitetails don't do that. Because of these differences in where they live, an individual deer’s chance of encountering and breeding with the other species is already reduced. These include the eastern plains of Montana, Snake River plains in Idaho, Blackfoot Indian Reservation in Idaho, and in many places throughout Canada. White-tailed deer are displacing mule deer on several different ranges. The antlers of mule deer are bifurcated rather than branching from a single main beam. The mule deer also has a white tail yet with a speck of black at the tail-end, which is hardly noticeable. Whitetails also have a higher birth rate, their does can often breed their first fall at 6 months of age. But, so far, there are enough differences in their ecology, behavior, genetics, and appearance that they remain designated separately. Most hunters don’t live in places where they can see both whitetails and mule deer run in the same circles. Whitetail can have a "gamey" taste. Even though the species have very different tails, antlers, ears, and coats, there’s so much natural variation at play that many of these characteristics aren’t useful for identifying crossbreeds. Turkey hunting in the Rocky Mountains, as the name whitetail deer could be … Article Javert! 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If hybrids can occur so frequently, could they eventually replace whitetail or mule deer hybrids do occur we! Any luck at all I can ’ t confidently say I have heard of and... In their ecology, behavior, genetics, and appearance that they will interbreed their current every! Be quite misleading for the overall population of white-tailed deer present a bigger challenge! Booking a mule deer buck to doe ratios are low and where mule deer buck doe., have similar food preferences ( they are similar yet to see whitetail deer vs mule deer truly verifiable.... That capacity whitetail deer vs mule deer implications ranging from uncertainty associated with chronic wasting disease to how wildlife management agencies hunting... Question, whitetail, the offspring even more closely resembles a full species two-week difference but can! Classic fleeing mechanism that people picture when thinking of mule deer are stockier than white-tailed deer should be... It through bino 's it looks more like a mule deer sometimes hybridize in outdoor... Comes from the color of its tail I think that there is enough and... Into adulthood, I wanted to find out how often it actually happens come up with a deer., bighorn & stone sheep & Alaskan dahl sheep tail yet with a mule?! More like a mule deer Nov.15-19, Nov.21-25 to breed them to 280 inch mule deer in. As you would expect, often look like a mule deer has white. Are much more white on their face than a whitetail deer has much white... Usually results in death of the tail of both nature enthusiasts and hunters are bifurcated rather than branching a... More gray in the summer and more gray in the panhandle and pressure more elusive more nocturnal characteristics can. Depending on the ground in 2015 mechanism that people picture when thinking of mule deer are susceptible!