SMALLER SET IS 226-6" BC GROSS AND BIGGER SET IS 249-5" BC GROSS~ BOTH WITH 18-0" ESTIMATED INSIDE SPREADS~ SMALLER SET H1'S ARE 5-5" AND 5-3"~ LONGEST TINE IS 11-3"~ MAIN BEAMS ARE 21-5" AND 22-0"~ SET WEIGHS 6.5 LBS~ COUPLE OF TINY TINY SURFACE CHEWS ON RIGHT ANTLER… A mule deer’s home range is vastly larger than the average whitetail. For mule deer, it’s the straw that could break the camel’s back, but it’s not a problem whitetail are likely to face. Despite this giant disparity in the age of each species, these two deer are closely linked to one another. It’s generally accepted that mule deer originated from hybridization between whitetail deer and coastal blacktail deer that began near the end of the last ice age. 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. Whitetails are now found in nearly all of the continental United States. Mule deer offer their own set of challenges though, and they can be every bit as hard to hunt as the spookiest whitetail. This phenomena is known as Bergmann’s principle, which doesn’t seem to have nearly as much influence on mule deer body size. (I just had a white tailed buck in my driveway and the back of his ears were brown). The blacktail deer then split off a subspecies, the mule deer (Odocoileus hemionus hemionus), which is the youngest living deer species, arising 10,000 years ago. Thank you. Each spring, a buck's antlers start to regrow almost immediately after the old antlers are shed. Like a lot of big game animals, mule deer and whitetails are crepuscular, meaning they most actively feed and travel near dawn and dusk. Both have a white patch on their throats. 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. Travis Smola Journalist, Wide Open Spaces. The hybrid evolved as a new form, the mule deer, by adapting to climatically more extreme, open landscapes…”. One thing I’ve noticed that seems to get overlooked, is that white-tail deer also have white bellies. While it’s hard to determine size and weight in the field, in Colorado, mule deer tend to be a bit bigger and weigh in a little heavier than white-tailed deer. Antler Shape. In the upper midwest, wolf populations are growing enough that it is believed they are having a significant impact on certain deer herds. Mule trot or gallop more slowly when alarmed, and then stot to escape. In its scientific classification, Odocoileus hemionus, the species name is Latin for “half-mule.” The white-tailed deer is Odocoileus virginianus — the later part of that title referring to when the species was once known as the “Virginia deer.” If mule deer get their common name from up front, whitetails get theirs from the other end. As the ice age ended and the glaciers receded northwards, mule deer took advantage of new available habitat, habitat for which they were specially adapted. Basic Antler Terminology Whitetails also have a higher birth rate, their does can often breed their first fall at 6 months of age. Mule deer behave much differently than whitetails. There’s even recent examples of mule deer showing up in Alaska. 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. Colorado has the largest population of mule deer with over 400,000 animals. It’s not uncommon to see mule deer in colder climates with chunks of their ears missing due to frostbite. These days, I manage to hunt both species just about every year, often in places where both whitetails and mule deer co-exist. Muley ears are larger and tend to be set at about a 30-degree angle on the head, versus those of whitetails, which are rounded and stand more erect. meaning they most actively feed and travel near dawn and dusk. The mule deer’s antlers, on the other hand, fork out repeatedly. This website uses cookies to improve your experience. Physically, however, there’s some pretty distinguishing features that separate whitetails from mule deer. mature whitetail buck in Illinois will weigh in at around 200 pounds, Colorado mule deer bucks commonly weigh over 250 pounds. Mule deer and whitetail both have highly advanced sensory capabilities when it comes to predator and hunter avoidance. For one, the mule deer’s tail has a black-tip, while the whitetail does not. Whitetails evolved in thick marshes and forests where visibility was limited. The same as with mule deer, you cannot use the number of antler points to ascertain a buck’s age. Both mule deer and whitetail does deliver one to four fawns (normally two) in late May or early June. Agriculture and forest thinning have been a boon to whitetails. The mule deer are brown underneath. Cant wait to use my new Vortex. They have a main beam split that goes in two directions and as they grow they continue to fork. As the country’s human population has grown, so too has the whitetail population. Evolution and History I know I’ve been busted by muleys hundreds of yards away by making the slightest noise on calm days. These days, mule deer are my true love when it comes to big game hunting. Plainly put, the man is one of the leading whitetail habitat experts in the country. Whitetails evolved in thick marshes and forests where visibility was limited. This category only includes cookies that ensures basic functionalities and security features of the website. From a distance, they look pretty similar to one another. A Whitetail’s antlers do not fork; they have one main beam rather where other tines grow off … Dr. Valerius Geist, one of the world’s foremost experts on deer ecology, says this in his book, “This happened most likely during the ecological turmoil of megafaunal extictions 11,000 to 9,000 years ago. 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. The mule deer gets its name from its overly large ears. Mule deer are the underdog. Spots begin to fade by the end of the first month. Riparian corridors and young forests adjacent to crop fields such as corn, wheat, and soybeans are some of the most productive whitetail habitat. Hence, this is the main difference between whitetail and mule deer. The mule deer's tail is black-tipped, whereas the white-tailed deer's is not. Deer drives that push whitetails out of thick brush to waiting hunters are still popular throughout whitetail country. Large ears, white rump, black-tipped tail and forked antlers identify a mule deer. In some areas, mountain lions and black bears are having a significant impact on fawn survival. I found a deer in Big Bend National Park and now I’m trying to determine which one I spotted. There’s a lot of theories behind why whitetails evolved this “flagging” display system. 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. Members of the deer family (which includes caribou, deer, elk, and moose) have antlers. We have more whitetails now, by far, than at the time of European contact. Whitetails run fast, sometimes with a bounding leap to escape predators. In the Rockies, it’s a different story for mule deer. The reasons why whitetail deer are different from other species might be: Presence of antlers on males(few exceptions in … Good tip on the white underneath. Video taken on November 19, 2010. Unlike whitetails that have thrived because of increased human alteration of the landscape, mule deer do best where humans have had the least amount of impact on their habitat. Deer grow these antlers and then shed them annually, which requires a ton of energy. Colorado white-tailed bucks stand about three feet tall, weighing in around 130-220 pounds, but in rare cases, bucks in excess of 350-400 pounds have been recorded in the northernmost reaches of their range, specifically, Minnesota and Ontario. This phenomena is known as. In the U.S. alone, there’s about 30 million whitetails, with Texas topping the list at 3.6 million. Age, nutrition and other environmental factors play big roles in a specific deer’s height and weight. Mule deer does take longer to mature. Mule deer breeding activity is highest in the second half of November. Whitetail deer are the world’s “oldest” deer species; they’ve been around in basically the same form for nearly 4 million years. Southward, whitetails extend into Mexico and the tropical jungles of Central and South America. Mule deer evolved in much more open country than whitetails, and natural selection dictated that mule deer bucks with large antlers could attract more females from further away. Most mature mule deer bucks have two forks and four points plus a brow tine on each side, but antler configuration can differ widely among individual animals of both species. Whitetails don't do that… Deer have dichromatic (two-color) vision with blue and yellow primaries. • Females of many deer species do not have antlers, but most of the caribous have antlers in both sexes. , which seems to be popping up in new areas on a daily basis. Some believe it is a warning to other deer. in nearly all of the continental United States. Whitetail and Mule Deer Lock Antlers in Cross-Species Brawl. 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. Finally, mule deer and whitetails have slightly different color patterns as adults. Whether the tail is up or down, you can always see plenty of white on the rump of a mule deer. But if you get closer, you sense a predictable pattern. • Deer include small to large sized animals, while caribou is always medium to large. Behavior Mule deer lack the large, brightly colored tail found on whitetails. Over a period of hundreds, possibly thousands of years and generation after generation of hybridization, mule deer emerged as a new deer species. Antlers are solid bone and are shed annually. Once a deer herd is infected with CWD, the disease is there to stay. Mule deer tend to have more grayish-brown fur, where whitetail fur is usually more reddish-brown. Meanwhile, the overall range of mule deer is smaller and their numbers significantly lower. Because no whitetail, mule deer or blacktail can grow its biggest antlers until at least 4.5 years old. The size and formation of deer antlers depend on a lot of different factors, such as age, nutrients, and genetics. Where mountains, foothills, plains, and deserts remain largely untouched, you’ll find the healthiest numbers of mule deer. In some areas, mountain lions and black bears are having a significant impact on fawn survival. Personally, I believe mule deer rely on their eyesight more than whitetails and that they see a bit better at long range. Elsewhere, where wolves aren’t present, coyotes have moved in to places where they never existed before, filling a predatory void. 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