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. [5] The two main groups have been treated as separate species, but they hybridize, and virtually all recent authorities treat the mule deer and black-tailed deer as conspecific. During summer, these deer are a tannish-brown color and in winter they are brownish-gray.

An exception to this is the Sitka deer subspecies (O. h. sitkensis). The deer’s diet includes beans, acorns, nuts, shrubs, trees, berries, pods, big sagebrush, true mountain mahogany, bluebunch wheatgrass, and Kentucky bluegrass. — Photo by ronniechua. The deer also feeds on Gambel oak, skunkbush sumac, quaking aspen, lichen, fringed sagebrush, thistle, prickly lettuce, western yarrow, holly-leaf buckthorn, creek dogwood, black oak, cedar, scrub oak, snowberry, wild cherry, pine, dandelion, and American vetch. 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. These antlers mostly regrow in spring. The female produces 2 fawns after a long gestation period of 200 days.

The "rut" or mating season usually begins in the fall as does go into estrus for a period of a few days and males become more aggressive, competing for mates. Mule deer are not choosy about where they sleep and will make temporary "beds," of flattened grass or leaves. In many cases, body size is also a key difference. If it is an area they use often, then they will use their hooves to scratch a level depression into the earth. Today the most serious threat to wild Mule deer is the prevalence of Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD). [15][17], The size of mule deer groups follows a marked seasonal pattern. The most noticeable differences between white-tailed and mule deer are ear size, tail color, and antler configuration. First Looks at Sigma 24-70mm f/2.8 DG … Gear Used. Mule deer are one of the most iconic and beloved wildlife in the American West. An adorable baby Mule Deer (Fawn) looking for food in the Canadian wilderness during Autumn. The weaning process begins when the fawns are around 5 weeks old and it is usually completed by the time they are 16 weeks old. Does may mate with more than one buck and go back into estrus within a month if they did not become pregnant. [18] The studies[19] gave these data for Rocky Mountain mule deer diets:[20], The diets of mule deer are very similar to those of white-tailed deer in areas where they coexist. Wild horned roe deer (Capreolus capreolus) walking in oak forest at feeding spot, Female Red deer in the natural environment. The fawns have a spotted coat.

[34], The 10 valid subspecies, based on the third edition of Mammal Species of the World, are:[5], Game animals and shooting in North America, "Tails with a Dark Side: The truth about whitetail–mule deer hybrids", "North American Deer: Mule, Whitetail and Coastal Blacktail Deer", "Mule Deer Odocoileus hemionus (Rafinesque)", "Sitka Black-tailed Deer Hunting Information", "DWR Biologists Use Helicopter Rides, Ultrasound, To Check on Deer Pregnancies", "Infectious Disease and Grouping Patterns in Mule Deer", "Mule Deer (Odocoileus hemionus) Fact Sheet", Mule Deer: Changing Landscapes, Changing Perspectives: Supplemental Feeding—Just Say No, "Causes and consequences of sociality in mule deer", "Herbivore Body Condition Response in Altered Environments: Mule Deer and Habitat Management", "Status of the name Odocoileus hemionus crooki (Mammalia: Cervidae)", Proceedings of the Biological Society of Washington, Encyclopedia of Life page on the mule deer,, Fauna of the California chaparral and woodlands, Taxa named by Constantine Samuel Rafinesque, Short description is different from Wikidata, All articles with specifically marked weasel-worded phrases, Articles with specifically marked weasel-worded phrases from November 2017, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License, Doe (left) and buck (right) in Elk Creek, Oregon, This page was last edited on 24 October 2020, at 01:08. Until they are strong enough to keep up with their mothers, deer fawns … 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.
Newborn fawns are licked clean by the doe to minimize scent and have a spotted coat to help camouflage them.

Canon EOS-1Ds Mark II Canon EF 500mm f/4L IS USM Lens . Adult bucks normally weigh 55–150 kg (121–331 lb), averaging around 92 kg (203 lb), although trophy specimens may weigh up to 210 kg (460 lb). Their sense of smell is 1,000 times sharper than the human’s sense of smell. Of this, the tail may comprise 11.6 to 23 cm (4.6 to 9.1 in). Vertical orientation. Bucks (males) weigh as much as 121 – 331 pounds whereas does (females) average 95 – 198 pounds in weight.

They begin to accompany their mothers within a few weeks. This site receives, Another Stock Refresh, 5 Refurbished Canon RF Lenses (RF 50 F1.2 L), Many EF Lenses, EOS Cameras Now In Stock at Canon USA, Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS II USM Lens Firmware Update Version 1.0.7 Released, Canon EF 400mm f/4 DO IS II USM Lens Firmware Update Version 1.0.9 Released, Sony Stacks Rebates — Save Up to an Additional $200.00 Per Lens With Purchase of Two or More, Save Big: Flashpoint XPLOR 600 PRO TTL R2 Monolight with Zoom Li-ion Speedlite Featured in Adorama's Deal of the Day — Save $368.95, Exclusive Savings for Kelby One Training! [26], 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%). Further threats include: great numbers in predator populations (e.g. They will move to higher elevations during the hottest parts of the summer and move to lower elevations during the winter months. Mule deer are browsers, eating a wide variety of vegetable matter, such as fresh green leaves, lower branches of trees, twigs and various grasses.

Changes in hormone levels are indications of physiological adjustments to the changes in the habitat. These deer range from 3.0-3.5 feet tall at the shoulder, 4.5-7.0 feet long and have a tail that is 5.0-8.0 inches long.

Mule deer females usually give birth to two fawns, although if it is their first time having a baby they often only have... Mule deer have no upper teeth, only a hard palate. The average gross energy content of the consumed forage material is 4.5 kcal/g. The image is available for download in high resolution quality up to 5616x3744. Mule deer have very good night vision and can detect the movement of predators as far away as 600 meters. Road construction, urban expansion, catastrophic wildfire and the spread of invasive plant species also have led to habitat loss. Mule deer eat a variety of vegetation. It was lightly raining when this shot was taken - which yielded a soft light. [26] Supplemental feeding efforts are 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.

They also have adapted to eating a wide variety of vegetation types in order to meet all of their nutritional needs. | View 1,000 Mule deer and baby illustration, images and graphics from +50,000 possibilities. In captivity however they can live much longer. [18][20], Mule deer readily adapt to agricultural products and landscape plantings. Gestation for mule deer is seven months, versus six and a half for white-tailed deer. Mule deer apparently evolved from the black-tailed deer. Mule deer are found in Rocky Mountain, coastal islands of Alaska, southern Baja Mexico, Zacatecas (Mexico), Great Plains, British Colombia, southern Yukon Territory and Missouri River. The annual cycle of antler growth is regulated by changes in the length of the day. It takes them a week to exercise their legs and walk at the same pace as their mother. [21][18] 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. Mule deer are polygynous, with courtship and mating occurring within the group.

Mule deer are a social species and typically stay in groups of multi-generational families of related females with their offspring.

[11], In 99 studies of mule deer diets, some 788 species of plants were eaten by mule deer, and their diets vary greatly depending on the season, geographic region, year, and elevation.
Mule deer are found throughout the entire western United States. A baby Mule Deer stands in a grassy clearing.

Males grow forked antlers that have 8 to 10 points and spread as much as 4 feet (1.2 m).

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