The mule deer is the larger of the two Odocoileus species on average, with a height of 80–106 cm (31–42 in) at the shoulders and a nose-to-tail length ranging from 1.2 to 2.1 m (3.9 to 6.9 ft). , Mule deer can be divided into two main groups: the mule deer (sensu stricto) and the black-tailed deer. Browsing of other trees is seldom considered an economic problem. Species: hemionus. Member of this family occupy a wide range of habitats, from arctic tundras to tropical forests, and can be found over most of the world. Behavior Changes in hormone levels are indications of physiological adjustments to the changes in the habitat. The 243 acres of cropland on the property provides a steady annual income source and excellent food sources for the deer. Trophy mule deer hunts take place in a wide variety of locations from fields, creek bottoms, food plots, shelter belts, rough country, to open prairies of South Dakota. The male deer grow antlers during the summer and fall and shed them each spring. In fact, they seem to be able to live just about anywhere as long as they have food, shelter, and access to water. These mixes can typically be found at feed mills or pet supply stores. Bobcats, Canada lynx, wolverines, American black bears, and grizzly bears may prey upon adult deer, but most often only attack fawns or infirm specimens, or eat a deer after it has died naturally. Supplemental feeding efforts might be appropriate when carefully conducted under limited circumstances, but to be successful, the feeding must begin early in the severe winter (before poor range conditions and severe weather cause malnourishment or starvation) and must be continued until range conditions can support the herd. 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. This water well provides a very dependable water source year-round and is used by the mule deer on a daily basis. Family: Cervidae You will find an abundance of wildlife with over 40,000 acres of private land exclusively managed for these magnificent animals. From April through June, after about a 200-day gestation period, the doe delivers 1 to 4 young (normally 2). The high protein content aids top performance to support antler development in bucks and reproductive success in does. Mule deer (Odocoileus hemionus) are easy to identify due to their large mule-like ears. , Mule deer are variably gregarious, with a large proportion of solitary individuals (35 to 64%) and small groups (groups with ≤5 deer, 50 to 78%). Typical mule deer ambush locations are food patches, travel routes leading to food patches, and, in dry climates, water sources. Mule deer hunting during the late season, when the snow is on the ground is all about scouting and finding the food. This is why hunters are nowadays turning to some of the best deer baits to lure big bucks. Mule deer have also been introduced to Argentina and Kauai, Hawaii.. The tail is usually tipped in black with a white basal portion, and its under parts are white. If necessary, they can turn or completely reverse direction in the course of a single bound. We included plant species in our summary if 2 1 study reported their contribution to the diet as 2 â¦ All federal, state, and provincial land and wildlife management agencies recognize the fundamental need to maintain Mule Deer ranges and keep them habitable. The bucks' antlers, which start growth in spring and are shed around December each year, are high and branch forward, forking equally into 2 tines with a spread up to 4 feet. , Some authorities have recognized O. h. crooki as a senior synonym of O. h. eremicus, but the type specimen of the former is a hybrid between the mule deer and white-tailed deer, so the name O. h. crooki is invalid. The most noticeable differences between white-tailed and mule deer are ear size, tail color, and antler configuration. Vocalization The sides of mountains and ridges have a lot of food that mule deer like to eat. The deerâs scientific name reflects one of the animalâs most recognizable features â its large ears. The Mule Deer is slower and less colorful than the White-tailed Deer, but its pastel, gray-buff color provides a physical adaptation to the desert environment which disguises it from predators like the Cougar, the Coyote and the eagle who will swoop down on a fawn. Sagebrush is a critical food source for mule deer, especially during winter. Sweat glands and panting also provide evaporative cooling during hot periods. Mule deer differ from white-tailed deer in many respects, including their general behavior, food habits, population dynamics and habitat preferences. This stocky deer with sturdy legs is 4 to 6-1/2 feet in length and 3 to 3-1/2 feet high at the shoulder. Planting food plots is an effective, safe, and legal way to support local deer populations. Their diet is mostly hay and pelleted food, with fruits and veggies mixed in. They eat so carefully they can even consume the fruit of cactus. During early weeks of life, the fawn sees its mother only at mealtimes for feeding. Ears Mule Deer moves between various zones from the forest edges at higher elevations to the desert floor, depending on the season. In Spring and Summer it feeds on green leaves, herbs, weeds and grasses more than on browse species. The Cervidae Family includes deer and their allies, including moose, elk, and caribou. Tips For Spotting & Hunting Mule Deer. Good trees include pears, apples, crab apples, persimmons, aspen, chestnuts, white oaks and red oaks, ash, aspen, maple, popular, willow, white â¦ Does (female deer) are smaller and typically weigh from 43 to 90 kg (95 to 198 lb), with an average of around 68 kg (150 lb). But, due to political opposition to government acquisition of privately owned lands, plus a scarcity of funds for this purpose, only a small fraction of Mule Deer ranges has been acquired by the government. To counter the trend of agricultural development, rangeland conversion, mining, road and highway construction, and the development of housing tracts, many states and provinces have purchased critical areas, especially winter ranges, to maintain the various habitats of Mule Deer. For best results feed free choice in a covered trough or self-feeder. Each spring, a buck's antlers start to regrow almost immediately after the old antlers are shed. Males are larger than females. It is a browser and typically takes over 90% of its diet from shrubs and leaves and the balance from grasses. Colorado is widely regarded as the nationâs top mule deer destination. The average male deer weighs 200 pounds and the female deer weighs 150 pounds. They are social animals, so zookeepers keep them in herds. If you find a patch of mule deer food thatâs attracting deer, you can set up within rifle range of the location and then wait for the animals to appear. The studies gave these data for Rocky Mountain mule deer diets:  This may be the result of introgression, although hybrids between the mule deer and white-tailed deer are rare in the wild (apparently more common locally in West Texas), and the hybrid survival rate is low even in captivity. Genus: Odocoileus I usually start scouting at the end of June when all the hills are green. All have slender legs. Mule Deer breed in late November and early December. Food & Hunting Ensuring the conservation of mule deer, black-tailed deer and their habitat. More big bucks are killed here every year than in any other state. Feeding deer is illegal in some jurisdictions. Also, Hoof and Mouth Disease and other diseases can be transmitted from the Deer to the livestock and vice versa.. Learn more Geography Range Mule deer travel more than whitetails do, but the muleys still like something green to eat. Its leaves contain higher protein levels than other available shrubs and grasses. A buck will find a suitable doe and they will often play chase games at breakneck speeds before mating. , Humans sometimes engage in supplemental feeding efforts in severe winters in an attempt to avoid mule deer starvation. Life span in the wild is 10 years, but Mule Deer have lived up to 25 years in captivity . They browse shrubs, trees and occasional grasses and forbs and retreat to tree cover to bed down during the day. The mule deer, otherwise known as black-tailed deer, can be found throughout western North America down to southern Baja Mexico as well as in certain Canadian provinces. Males and females mix freely while traveling together in groups during winter months, often down to the desert floor. Wildlife agencies discourage such efforts, which cause harm to mule deer populations by spreading disease (such as tuberculosis and chronic wasting disease) when deer congregate for feed, disrupting migratory patterns, causing overpopulation of local mule deer populations, and cause habitat destruction overbrowsing of shrubs and forbs. Triiodothyronine (T3) hormone is directly involved with basal metabolic rate and thermoregulation. Because of the tremendous amount of information available concerning white-tailed deer management, many land managers have applied these During the winter and early spring, when there is little forage available, their diet is mostly leaves, stems and buds. Mule Deer is a target for various viral, bacterial, and parasitic diseases. , Unlike the white-tailed, the mule deer does not generally show marked size variation across its range, although environmental conditions can cause considerable weight fluctuations in any given population. Quiz time, what food source consists more than 60% of a whitetailâs diet right now? Spots begin to fade by the end of the first month..  Mule deer are intermediate feeders rather than pure browsers or grazers; they predominantly browse, but also eat forb vegetation, small amounts of grass, and where available, tree or shrub fruits such as beans, pods, nuts (including acorns), and berries. Throughout the entire western United States, including the four deserts of the American Southwest As the food sources dry up, mule deer are easier to find due to the lack of green vegetation holding them in specific areas. The North American Deserts During the summer, the coat on its upper body is yellow- or reddish-brown, while in winter more gray. Tail An extremely large buck can stand 42 inches at the shoulder, measure 7 feet long and weigh up to 330 pounds, with the average â¦  Fawns stay with their mothers during the summer and are weaned in the fall after about 60–75 days. Most mature bucks in good condition have lost theirs by the end of February; immature bucks generally lose them a little later. , In addition to movements related to available shelter and food, the breeding cycle is important in understanding deer behavior. Conservation This race is markedly smaller than other mule deer, with an average weight of 54.5 kg (120 lb) and 36 kg (79 lb) in males and females, respectively. Now weâre seeing hunters in Washington State and Oregon planting green fields for blacktailed deer.  The studies gave these data for Rocky Mountain mule deer diets:, The diets of mule deer are very similar to those of white-tailed deer in areas where they coexist. , Unlike the related white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus), which is found through most of North America east of the Rocky Mountains and in the valleys of the Rocky Mountains from Idaho and Wyoming northward, mule deer are only found on the western Great Plains, the Rocky Mountains, the southwest United States, and on the west coast of North America. Feed AntlerMax® Mule Deer 16 deer feed free-choice with adequate forage or quality hay. (It's Free. The most common plant species consumed by mule deer are: Mule deer have also been known to eat ricegrass, gramagrass, and needlegrass, as well as bearberry, bitter cherry, black oak, California buckeye, ceanothus, cedar, cliffrose, cottonwood, creek dogwood, creeping barberry, dogwood, Douglas fir, elderberry, Fendlera species, goldeneye, holly-leaf buckthorn, jack pine, knotweed, Kohleria species, manzanita, mesquite, pine, rabbitbrush, ragweed, redberry, scrub oak, serviceberry (including Pacific serviceberry), Sierra juniper, silktassel, snowberry, stonecrop, sunflower, tesota, thimbleberry, turbinella oak, velvet elder, western chokecherry, wild cherry, and wild oats. They are also active overnight. No matter where you are hunting, high country or western plainsâ¦it is all the same. They are particularly fond of blackberry and raspberry vines, grapes, mistletoe, mushrooms and ferns. We also have some hunters in the West planting green fields for mule deer. Mule deer females usually give birth to two fawns, although if it is their first time having a fawn, they often have just one. Consult the feed tag on this package for specific feeding directions. Mule Deer have no canine teeth and, like the cow, have a multi-part stomach, the first two chambers of which act as temporary storage bins. The down side to this is the deer are harder to find this time of year due to the palatable food being so abundant. Mule Deer are browsers and eat a great variety of vegetable matter, including fresh green leaves, twigs, lower branches of trees, and various grasses. Food stored here can be digested later when the deer chews its cud. In all but one genus of cervids, at least the males have antlers. Bears and smaller-sized carnivores are typically opportunistic feeders, and pose little threat to a strong, healthy mule deer. A mule deerâs diet is usually composed of weeds, leaves, and twigs. Its scientific name is Odocoileus hemionus. Cautions The average gross energy content of the consumed forage material is 4.5 kcal/g. They have a sense of smell that is 1000 times the accuracy of the human sense of smell. The mating season for Mule Deer reaches its peak in November and December, as antlered stags round up females and fight for their possession. Class: Mammalia Despite a serious overpopulation of deer on the North Kaibab in the 1920s, Mule deer numbers appeared to decline in the rest of the state.  Forages consumed in the summer are higher in digestible components (i.e. From late spring to early fall, they gain weight and build fat reserves by feeding heavily on broad-leafed plants and grasses. They will remain together for several days. Total body fat is a measure of the individual's energy reserves, while thyroid hormone concentrations are a metric to determine the deer's ability to use the fat reserves.  The survival rate of the fawns during labor is about 50%. Studies from Specimen Mountain in the park indicated shrubs comprised 73 percent of the animal's diet, with broad-leafed herbs an additional 26 percent. In a zoological setting, caring for these deer is quite similar to other deer species. Mule Deer have large ears that move constantly and independently, from whence they get their name, "Mule" or "Burro Deer." Comparisons , A buck's antlers fall off during the winter, then grow again in preparation for the next season's rut. Two subspecies of mule deer are grouped into the black-tailed deer. A dark V-shaped mark, extending from a point between the eyes upward and laterally is characteristic of all Mule Deer but is more conspicuous in males. It must nurse within the first hour and stand within the first 12 hours. The gestation period is about 190–200 days, with fawns born in the spring. Mule Deer have a very wide distribution out there. for short periods. Mule Deer are active primarily in mornings, evenings and moonlit nights. Mule deer (Odocoileus hemionus) are the most common large mammal in Idaho. This situation invites browsing of sufficient intensity to influence forest regeneration in many areas The reverse is true in Fall and Winter.  In the Sierra Nevada range, mule deer depend on the lichen Bryoria fremontii as a winter food source.. Mule Deer Distribution. This parasitic disease is usually indicative of such predisposing factors as high Mule Deer density and malnutrition. Rumination time also increases when deer consume high-fiber, low-starch diets, which allows for increased nutrient acquisition due to greater length of fermentation. BEHAVIOR - Mule deer behavior may also be negatively affected by winter-feeding efforts. The first group includes all subspecies, except O. h. columbianus and O. h. sitkensis, which are in the black-tailed deer group. Dominance is largely a function of size, with the largest males, which possess the largest antlers, performing most of the copulations Food of the Mule Deer is quite varied. , Mule deer are ruminants, meaning they employ a nutrient acquisition strategy of fermenting plant material before digesting it. Shedding typically takes place in mid-February, with variations occurring by locale. Deer consuming high-fiber, low-starch diets require less food than those consuming high-starch, low-fiber diets. They do not run as other deer, but have a peculiar and distinctive bounding leap (stotting) over distances up to 8 yards, with all 4 feet coming down together. Deer kill about 150-170 people each year, from car accidents, and because people underestimate how dangerous they really are. These studies confirm that mule deer feed primarily on woody plants including browse (leaves and twigs) and mast (fruit, beans and berries). Desert Geological Terms, Home | About | Contact Us | Feedback | Privacy | Site Outline | Advertising on DesertUSA | Aquis Towels | Hotels.  Reported mean group size measurements are three to five and typical group size (i.e. Mule deer have very good night vision and can detect the movement of predators as far away as 600 meters. Ambush locations for mule deer are near water sources, travel routes leading to food patches, and the food patches. But even with all these gear, taking down a deer is easier said than done. Mule deer like to feed in the early morning and late evening. Mule Deer in the arid southwest may migrate in response to rainfall patterns. They are particularly fond of blackberry and raspberry vines, grapes, mistletoe, mushrooms and ferns. Mule deer are the largest of the five types of deer (mule, whitetail, Columbia blacktail, Sitka blacktail, and Couses') in North America. Habitat Fawns usually stay with the doe for the first full year. If you find the food, you will find the mule deer. Deer are not especially vocal, although young fawns bleat on occasion. Groups are smallest during fawning season (June and July in Saskatchewan and Alberta) and largest in early gestation (winter; February and March in Saskatchewan and Alberta). When startled, a Mule Deer will move in a series of stiff-legged jumps with all four feet hitting the ground together. California mule deer usually â¦ Cold weather hunting is all about finding those food sources that are high energy foods. The mule deer (Odocoileus hemionus) is a deer species native to western North America. The Best Deer Feed for Winter.  Due to fluctuations in forage quality and availability, mule deer fat storage varies throughout the year, with the most fat stored in October, which is depleted throughout the winter to the lowest levels of fat storage in March. starving mule deer are fed alfalfa hay, corn, or other traditional livestock feeds.  Despite this, the mtDNA of the white-tailed deer and mule deer is similar, but differs from that of the black-tailed deer. The throat patch, rump patch, inside ears and inside legs are white with lower portions running cream to tan. , The size of mule deer groups follows a marked seasonal pattern. They seem to like the arid climate and to live where a variety of different plants are offered as a source of food. Diet and behavior. There is some competition between the Mute Deer and the livestock on the range, especially in Spring and early Summer. This type of food is easiest for deer to digest, which is what makes it ideal for supplemental feeding. The Mule Deer carries its thin, black-tipped tail drooped, unlike the uplifted, bushy white tail of its cousin. Purchase formulated deer food mixes. An exception to this is the Sitka deer subspecies (O. h. sitkensis). This is why we use deer feeder and other sophisticated gear when hunting big bucks. Their large ears are distinctive. 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