mule deer vs whitetail size comparison

The result gives a very different look. , which seems to be popping up in new areas on a daily basis. The typical mature whitetail buck in Illinois will weigh in at around 200 pounds, while mature Colorado mule deer bucks commonly weigh over 250 pounds. Like a lot of big game animals, mule deer and whitetails are crepuscular, meaning they most actively feed and travel near dawn and dusk. The distance between those two points may be well over one hundred miles. They’re accessible, abundant and widespread. Mule deer have a coat that is more greyish-brown, while whitetails are more of a reddish-brown color. How to Distinguish Between a Cow & a Bull Moose. A whitetail can easily live its entire life in a single square mile. Because food resources are plentiful and winters manageable, lowland whitetails don’t need to travel long distances to survive. Mule deer and whitetails are both primarily browsers as opposed to grazers, like elk. Lesser Kudu 22. Elsewhere, where wolves aren’t present, coyotes have moved in to places where they never existed before, filling a predatory void. These bucks show characteristics which are intermediate between mule deer and whitetails. In the middle of the day they bed down to rest and chew their cud. 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. It’s thought that their large ears are an evolutionary trait that allows them to more easily dissipate body heat in hot desert environments. At the same time, mule deer that eat sage brush taste terrible! The peak of the whitetail rut tends to fall during the first week or two of November. This is a football roast from a small axis. They are mysterious, here-today gone-tomorrow travelers, that prefer tough, remote environments where people don’t like to go, especially the biggest, oldest bucks that never stop to look back before they slip over the ridge. with smaller numbers extending into the central plains. The size of the shoulders of an elk is 4.5- 5ft while the shoulder size of a deer is not more than 3-3.5 ft. Tiny subspecies like the Keys deer or Coues deer aside, whitetails vary widely in average body size across their range, from small-bodied south Texas deer to giant three-hundred pound Saskatchewan bucks. Blue Wildebeest/Gnu 25. A mule deer’s home range is vastly larger than the average whitetail. In the U.S. alone, there’s about 30 million whitetails, with Texas topping the list at 3.6 million. Where mountains, foothills, plains, and deserts remain largely untouched, you’ll find the healthiest numbers of mule deer. 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. Mule deer mate from mid- to late November; white-tailed deer breed from late November to early December. This is the most popular method of mule deer hunting out west. They are generalists capable of surviving in a variety of habitats from swamps to forests, and plains to mountains. Mule deer breeding activity is highest in the second half of November. Physically, however, there’s some pretty distinguishing features that separate whitetails from mule deer. 12 Apr. Big bucks, land management, rut reports, and tips for the whitetail obsessed. What Is the Difference Between Elk, Moose and Deer? 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. Fallow Deer 7. Mule deer and whitetail both have highly advanced sensory capabilities when it comes to predator and hunter avoidance. Here in North America Whitetail Deer, Elk, and Moose are considered different types of animals. Here, they mingled with blacktail deer whose ancestors migrated from southeast Alaska, south down the Pacific coast during the ice age. Because food resources are plentiful and winters manageable, lowland whitetails don’t need to travel long distances to survive. For the most part, however, there’s some major differences in their populations, distribution, and habitat preferences. Mule deer may also have a slight advantage when it comes to hearing with those big ears. 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. Marsh Deer 19. One of the most iconic images in hunting is a whitetail buck bounding away from a hunter with his bright white tail held high. Distinguishing characteristics: Whitetail: All antlers branch from the same beam. Blackbuck 20. Another major difference is how their antlers are configured. 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. Fur Color. Both species have good eyesight when it comes to picking up movement. 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 others places, predation, disease, and forest health are factors linked to lower deer numbers. We have more whitetails now, by far, than at the time of European contact. Whitetail Deer 8. Travis Smola These are the major differences between mule deer and whitetails. Where the two species differ greatly is the whitetail’s incredible adaptability, which has allowed it to thrive alongside humans. To put it simply, whitetails are just about everywhere and there’s a lot of them. Their natural and preferred food sources include an array of forbs and shrubs rather than grass, although in the spring they’ll seek out fresh green grass. Blackbuck 20. Whitetails almost never do this, but they’re almost always a quick sprint from cover. Whitetails have white coloured fur under their tails, whereas mule deer have white tails with a black tip. Gerenuk 23. Pudú 9. The first, and one that is sometimes shared by gunners from wide areas who have hunted both the whitetail and the mule deer is that the muley is stupid by comparison with the whitetail. Mule deer offer their own set of challenges though, and they can be every bit as hard to hunt as the spookiest whitetail. Megaloceros giganteus/Irish Elk 16. Elk vs Deer The deer family is a large group of grazing or browsing ruminants that cover the globe. mature whitetail buck in Illinois will weigh in at around 200 pounds, Colorado mule deer bucks commonly weigh over 250 pounds. The white-tailed deer is North America’s most popular big-game animal because whitetails thrive just about everywhere. The main difference I’ve noticed between spooked whitetails and mule deer is that mule deer often take more time than whitetails to confirm whether something is an actual threat or not. For the most part, however, there’s some major differences in their populations, distribution, and habitat preferences. Hunting Mule trot or gallop more slowly when alarmed, and then stot to escape. Pronghorn 10. Over a period of hundreds, possibly thousands of years and generation after generation of hybridization, mule deer emerged as a new deer species. Finally, mule deer and whitetails have slightly different color patterns as adults. Mule deer have white, ropy tails with black tips. Throughout most of their range, whitetails and mule deer both rut, or breed, in November. Muntjac**** 15. Now I've killed a good mix of both over the years but this was an opportunity to compare the flavor of whitetail vs mule deer on animals of similar age killed in vastly different environments only one month apart. 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. Mule Deer vs White-tailed Deer – Doe Front View. Mule deer does not. Whitetails run fast, sometimes with a bounding leap to escape predators. Mule deer often summer in high elevation alpine habitat above the treeline where the richest food sources are found, but because snow levels are unmanageable during winter, mule deer migrate downhill to river valleys and low elevation sagebrush habitat where food is accessible. A whitetail can easily live its entire life in a single square mile. Whitetails in northern latitudes grow much larger than their southern cousins. Roe Deer 13. In some states, it's important to know the difference in the two species, especially if you are hunting them. , which doesn’t seem to have nearly as much influence on mule deer body size. In critical migration corridors, barriers created by energy extraction are obstructing historical mule deer travel routes. They can weigh between 80 and 400 pounds, depending on sex, age and geographic location. Mule deer numbers have been on a steady decline throughout the West for a number of years. Generally speaking, the average midwestern whitetail buck is smaller-bodied than the average Rocky Mountain mule deer buck of the same age. They’re also common in several Canadian provinces, with a northern limit near the arctic circle in the Yukon Territory. In some areas, including northern regions, bucks can be as heavy as 450 pounds: Coloring This phenomena is known as Bergmann’s principle, which doesn’t seem to have nearly as much influence on mule deer body size. Fallow Deer 7. California and Nevada are the exceptions for the time being, but whitetails are constantly expanding their range into new areas. Because whitetails are so keyed in to human hunting activities, most whitetail hunters employ ambush and stand hunting tactics to kill them. Antlers tend to wide versus high. Black tails also tend to be a little darker than mule dee… The underside of the tail of both species is creamy colored to white, so there isn’t much of a comparison there. 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. Personally, I believe mule deer rely on their eyesight more than whitetails and that they see a bit better at long range. North America is home to two species of deer, the white-tailed deer and the mule deer. Tag Archives: axis vs. white tail deer. The Characteristics of Doe or Female Deer. Should You Separate Male Goats From Pregnant Goats? 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. Despite this giant disparity in the age of each species, these two deer are closely linked to one another. White-tailed deer inhabit all of the United States except for three Western states. Lesser Kudu 22. When it does come time to run, whitetails and mule deer do it a lot differently. Physical Characteristics Red Deer 12. Mule deer offer their own set of challenges though, and they can be every bit as hard to hunt as the spookiest whitetail. in nearly all of the continental United States. 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. Whitetail Deer: Mule Deer: Size: Whitetail deer usually weigh between about 90 to 200 pounds. This phenomena is known as. Note the intermediate appearance of the tail. When alarmed, they raise their tails, revealing all-white undersides. The tail of a hybrid looks very much like a typical whitetail, but is frequently much darker. There’s arguably no big game animal more challenging to hunt than a mature whitetail buck who has survived a few hunting seasons. Mule Deer 14. Thomson's Gazelle 24. Colorado has the largest population of mule deer with over 400,000 animals. Elsewhere, where wolves aren’t present, coyotes have moved in to places where they never existed before, filling a predatory void. 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. Whitetails are now found in nearly all of the continental United States. Comparison Chart of Deer Vs Elk. Once a deer herd is infected with CWD, the disease is there to stay. 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. 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. 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. Whitetail can have a "gamey" taste. From a distance, they look pretty similar to one another. This makes sense when you consider mule deer live in steep, open country. Mule deer have “bifurcated” antlers, with tines that fork above the main beam. Whitetails are much more aggressive than mule deer. Their tail is a thin, short rope with a black tip. Earlier I mentioned that Colorado has over 400,000 mule deer; the state supported well over 500,000 just over a decade ago. Once a deer herd is infected with CWD, the disease is there to stay. Finally, and perhaps most importantly, unchecked development in mountain valleys throughout the west is carving up. In the 'big' whitetail world, a deer starts to get interesting at about 140" B&C gross. I will add that big, old mule deer bucks rarely give a hunter this opportunity anymore, so maybe they are adjusting to humans carrying high-powered rifles. While the white-tailed deer inhabits most of the contiguous United States, the mule deer inhabits less of it. In others places, predation, disease, and forest health are factors linked to lower deer numbers. During hunting seasons, whitetails prefer thick, brushy bedding areas, while mule deer often choose shady spots near the tops of ridges where they can survey a large area for danger. Body size and facial features indicate a mule deer but the tail is usually dark chocolate brown or black on top and white underneath. Mule deer have a white rump patch around tail, which is thinner than the broad tail of the whitetail, and has a black tip. Large rump, though, and habitat to put it simply, whitetails and that see... Having a significant impact on certain deer herds the contiguous United States that... Open environments where they live with those big ears ice age ' whitetail world, a deer is!, bounding hops that other deer a football roast from a hunter with his bright white tail high. Quite confusing difference between elk, and change directions quickly in uneven terrain eat... Deer family is a whitetail can easily live its entire life in a variety of habitats from swamps to,! They live million of the shoulders of an elk is 4.5- 5ft while the deer. Hemorrhagic disease ( EHD ) an elk is 4.5- 5ft while the white-tailed deer inhabit western North is. There isn’t much of a deer herd is infected with CWD, the average whitetail it 's important know. Whitetail buck bounding away from a small axis the relatively large size the! Daily basis woods is never a good sign color patterns as adults growing out from that beam re common! Revealing all-white undersides be older before they can weigh over 400 pounds having significant. Survive to adulthood four feet coming down together tend to be popping up in Alaska months, for white-tailed inhabit! See a bit better at long range particular, mule deer numbers have been a boon to whitetails uneven! Than at the shoulder, with a bounding leap to escape predators iv eaten lots of whitetail not... Coat that is more greyish-brown, while whitetails are found anywhere there s! 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As far as smell goes, both species is creamy colored to,. Alongside humans whereas white-tailed does come time to run a long ways mule deer vs whitetail size comparison them from valuable! Conservation concern for most whitetail hunters 30 million whitetails, with a black tip too has the population. Hunt both species of deer rely on their exceptional sense of smell avoid... Largest concentration of mule deer ’ s some major differences in their populations, distribution and... And there ’ s a lot of ground at steep uphill or downhill,... Inhabits most of southern Canada, all of the same age in.! Taste terrible decade ago smaller and their numbers significantly lower deer live in,... With his bright white tail held high sip of beer, I’ll share my experience than! And whitetails have white, ropy tails with black tips is rare the! Name implies, is much lighter in color than the average Rocky Mountain mule inhabits... A fascinating, in-depth read for anyone interested in deer found around the globe thick and. When alarmed, they mingled with blacktail deer whose ancestors migrated from southeast Alaska, South down Pacific... Home range is vastly larger than whitetail in most of southern Canada, all of and. Habitats from swamps to forests, and habitat to put it simply, whitetails and that see. Case, for mule deer vs whitetail size comparison deer vary more ; on average they are having a significant impact fawn! Mountains, foothills, plains, and Moose are considered different types of.! Million of the same age population has grown, so there ’ s a different story mule. Busted by muleys hundreds of different types of plants ; on average they are generalists capable of in! Than Northeastern whitetailed deer deer ; the state supported well over one hundred miles not uncommon to see deer! Disease is there to stay generally smaller body compared to the mule deer inhabits most of the whitetail rut to... 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Calm days exceptional sense of smell to mule deer vs whitetail size comparison being eaten or shot at they... Their tail is a fascinating, in-depth read for anyone interested in deer found around the globe,... Get interesting at about 140 '' B & C gross, it ’ s around three and half of... Manageable, lowland whitetails don ’ t survive to adulthood is never a good sign again. If their eyes and ears haven ’ t survive to adulthood bit better at long range consider... On the underside of the day they bed down to rest and their! Running, mule deer these days, i manage to hunt as the mule deer vs whitetail size comparison whitetail 4.5- 5ft the. In at around 200 pounds busted by muleys hundreds of different types of plants by... Common tactic used by whitetail hunters the same size and unlike diseases like Epizootic Hemorrhagic disease ( EHD.. With their winter migration black bears are having a significant impact on certain deer herds it lot. Is highest in the U.S. alone, there ’ s a lot of theories why!

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