Both mule deer and whitetail does deliver one to four fawns (normally two) in late May or early June. Necessary cookies are absolutely essential for the website to function properly. CWD is fatal to every deer that contracts it, and unlike diseases like Epizootic Hemorrhagic Disease (EHD), the effects aren’t temporary. Evolution and History Antlers are among the most identifiable characteristics of species of the deer family, Cervidae, which comprises caribou, elk, moose, mule deer and white-tailed deer (Figure 1). When spooked, mule deer have historically gotten a bad rap from hunters for stopping on a vantage point to turn and see if they need to keep going. In fact, it was recently discovered mule deer migrate farther than any other land animal in the lower 48. Spots begin to fade by the end of the first month. The size and formation of deer antlers depend on a lot of different factors, such as age, nutrients, and genetics. Elsewhere, where wolves aren’t present, coyotes have moved in to places where they never existed before, filling a predatory void. In some places, whitetails and mule deer are found side-by-side, whether that’s in an irrigated alfalfa field in western Kansas or a remote canyon in eastern Washington. But opting out of some of these cookies may have an effect on your browsing experience. Despite this giant disparity in the age of each species, these two deer are closely linked to one another. It’s thought that their large ears are an evolutionary trait that allows them to more easily dissipate body heat in hot desert environments. Stotting is unique to mule deer, as no other deer species utilizes this stiff-legged, high bouncing gait. degree to which coyotes are impacting deer populations east of the Mississippi is unclear. Whitetails run fast, sometimes with a bounding leap to escape predators. Their antlers are almost always symmetrical. Large ears may also help mule deer detect predators better in the open environments where they live. The long-term impacts of CWD are still being assessed, but the disease is already impacting whitetail conservation and management strategies all over the country. Behavior In others places, predation, disease, and forest health are factors linked to lower deer numbers. Furthermore, whitetail deer have reddish-brown fur, while mule deer … They trust their noses, even if their eyes and ears haven’t set off a warning bell. Like many hunters, my early big game experience revolved around the whitetail deer that live on small farms and woodlots throughout the eastern United States. Some believe it is a warning to other deer. 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. Whatever the case, for deer hunters, a white flag bouncing away through the woods is never a good sign. in nearly all of the continental United States. Awesome info. However, there are two major differences between the mule deer vs whitetail. The degree to which coyotes are impacting deer populations east of the Mississippi is unclear, but what is clear is that they do hunt and kill some deer. You also have the option to opt-out of these cookies. As the youngest deer species in the world, it’s possible mule deer haven’t had time to evolve away from this trait. Whitetails are America’s favorite big game animal, and for good reason. These cookies do not store any personal information. The white-tailed deer is North America’s most popular big-game animal because whitetails thrive just about everywhere. For the most part, however, there’s some major differences in their populations, distribution, and habitat preferences. One of the most iconic images in hunting is a whitetail buck bounding away from a hunter with his bright white tail held high. I found a deer in Big Bend National Park and now I’m trying to determine which one I spotted. It’s unclear how or if it’s used for display purposes, but it sure makes them easier to spot on a distant hillside. With both species, antler points cannot be used to determine the age of the buck. The, Perhaps the biggest conservation concern for most whitetail hunters is. Colorado Outdoors, Colorado Parks and Wildlife’s magazine, features a wealth of information for hunters, anglers and outdoors enthusiasts. Except for caribou, only male deer … Whitetails evolved in thick marshes and forests where visibility was limited. When it does come time to run, whitetails and mule deer do it a lot differently. The distance between those two points may be well over one hundred miles. The typical. The condition of a fawn’s mother and its date of birth also play a large part in how a deer’s antlers appear. Whitetails are now found in nearly all of the continental United States. It’s not uncommon to see mule deer in colder climates with chunks of their ears missing due to frostbite. Riparian corridors and young forests adjacent to crop fields such as corn, wheat, and soybeans are some of the most productive whitetail habitat. Mule deer antlers have more of a fork look to them. In the Rockies, it’s a different story for mule deer. 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. A whitetail can easily live its entire life in a single square mile. This website uses cookies to improve your experience while you navigate through the website. They tend not to spook as easy as whitetails. They’re also common in several Canadian provinces, with a northern limit near the arctic circle in the Yukon Territory. These can be slightly odd looking, such as having unmatched points (say 4-points on one side and 6 on the other) or can be a totally freakish buck with 34 points going in every … Mule deer numbers have been on a steady decline throughout the West for a number of years. Many Alabamians consider hunting big mule deer vs whitetail deer, in the Rocky Mountains, as the hunts of their lifetimes. If you take a close look at each snowflake you will see that they’re all unique. I know I’ve been busted by muleys hundreds of yards away by making the slightest noise on calm days. The hybrid evolved as a new form, the mule deer, by adapting to climatically more extreme, open landscapes…”. These meetings are designed to be a chance for Colorado hunters and anglers to interact directly with Colorado Parks and Wildlife staff. Because food resources are plentiful and winters manageable, lowland whitetails don’t need to travel long distances to survive. The distance between those two points may be well over one hundred miles. We have more whitetails now, by far, than at the time of European contact. For the most part, however, there’s some major differences in their populations, distribution, and habitat preferences. Another distinguishing factor is their antlers. There’s a lot of theories behind why whitetails evolved this “flagging” display system. Whitetail deer, elk, and mule deer have a range that extends north, but not nearly so far north as caribou, which can be found deep into the Arctic Circle. Gestation for mule deer is seven months, versus six and a half for white-tailed deer. This is in large part because they don’t have to. 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. Over a period of hundreds, possibly thousands of years and generation after generation of hybridization, mule deer emerged as a new deer species. 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. While there is a lot of color variation between individual deer, the mule deer face is mostly white from the nose to the eyes, whereas the whitetail’s face is mostly brown with white rings around its eyes and nose. From a distance, they look pretty similar to one another. Later, when I moved west to Colorado, I became a die-hard lover of mule deer and the rugged, mountainous country where they live. Large ears may also help mule deer detect predators better in the open environments where they live. However, the majority of the time you see more white on the tail end of a mule deer, which has a very large patch of white, only partly covered by a rope-like, white tail with a black tip. Mule deer mate from mid- to late-November; white-tailed deer breed from late-November to early December. The country where mule deer live lends itself to finding them from a long distance with optics, and then planning a stealthy route that allows the hunter to sneak into shooting range. Mule deer range is more limited than whitetails, but they’re found from the deserts of Mexico in the south, all the way north into the remote mountains of British Columbia and the Yukon Territory. Your email address and receive notifications of new posts by email numbers significantly lower their... ” antlers, on the other hand, are sets of antlers to body size million whitetails and... Midwestern whitetail buck is smaller-bodied than the average midwestern whitetail buck is smaller-bodied than rest. Either side of the continental United states mule-like ” ears lower 48 website uses cookies improve. Fatal to every deer that contracts it, and hybridized to grazers, elk! 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