Feed to deer, elk and exotic deer as a supplement to native habitat or pasture. The habitat varies largely due to the massive range of mule deer across western North â¦ Zoos have never kept some subspecies, while they more commonly keep others. Hemionus means half-mule. Ambush locations for mule deer are near water sources, travel routes leading to food patches, and the food patches. Also, Hoof and Mouth Disease and other diseases can be transmitted from the Deer to the livestock and vice versa.. Generally, the California mule deer has a preference for hill terrain, especially an oak woodland habitat. Comparisons The mule deer's tail is black-tipped, whereas the white-tailed deer's is not. 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. crowding) is about seven. The male deer grow antlers during the summer and fall and shed them each spring. No matter where you are hunting, high country or western plainsâ¦it is all the same. 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). The first group includes all subspecies, except O. h. columbianus and O. h. sitkensis, which are in the black-tailed deer group. In all but one genus of cervids, at least the males have antlers. , Mule deer can be divided into two main groups: the mule deer (sensu stricto) and the black-tailed deer. (It's Free. , A buck's antlers fall off during the winter, then grow again in preparation for the next season's rut. They have white camouflage spots and are further protected by having little or no scent. Fawns usually stay with the doe for the first full year. 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. 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. mule deer diets in the United States. These studies confirm that mule deer feed primarily on woody plants including browse (leaves and twigs) and mast (fruit, beans and berries). Quiz time, what food source consists more than 60% of a whitetailâs diet right now? Injured deer utter a startlingly loud "blatt" or bawl. Learn more Males and females mix freely while traveling together in groups during winter months, often down to the desert floor. The Best Deer Feed for Winter.  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. During the summer, the coat on its upper body is yellow- or reddish-brown, while in winter more gray. Mule Deer breed in late November and early December. Most are brown or gray in color, with white spots characterizing the young, and in a few species, the adults. When startled, a Mule Deer will move in a series of stiff-legged jumps with all four feet hitting the ground together. BEHAVIOR - Mule deer behavior may also be negatively affected by winter-feeding efforts. 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. Mule Deer in the arid southwest may migrate in response to rainfall patterns. There are 2 major subspecies: the Mule Deer, with tail white above, tipped with black; and the Black-tailed Deer, with tail black or brown above. 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. California mule deer usually â¦ They eat so carefully they can even consume the fruit of cactus. Two subspecies of mule deer are grouped into the black-tailed deer.  Many claims of observations of wild hybrids are not legitimate, as identification based on external features is complicated. Mule deer like to feed in the early morning and late evening. Rumination time also increases when deer consume high-fiber, low-starch diets, which allows for increased nutrient acquisition due to greater length of fermentation. This is why hunters are nowadays turning to some of the best deer baits to lure big bucks. All federal, state, and provincial land and wildlife management agencies recognize the fundamental need to maintain Mule Deer ranges and keep them habitable. Family: Cervidae Douglas fir and Ponderosa pine are of major economic importance for commercial timber. Colorado is widely regarded as the nationâs top mule deer destination.  Additionally, the validity of O. h. inyoensis has been questioned, and the two insular O. h. cerrosensis and O. h. sheldoni may be synonyms of O. h. eremicus or O. h. Mule Deer moves between various zones from the forest edges at higher elevations to the desert floor, depending on the season. for short periods.  Because some of the subspecies of mule deer are migratory, they encounter variable habitats and forage quality throughout the year. This parasitic disease is usually indicative of such predisposing factors as high Mule Deer density and malnutrition.  Despite this, the mtDNA of the white-tailed deer and mule deer is similar, but differs from that of the black-tailed deer. The high protein content aids top performance to support antler development in bucks and reproductive success in does. 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. Changes in hormone levels are indications of physiological adjustments to the changes in the habitat. Mule deer are concentrate feeders; that is, they carefully select highly nutritious bits of forage. The hunters who have planted BioLogic are reporting good success with feeding different types of deer. Feed AntlerMax® Mule Deer 16 deer feed free-choice with adequate forage or quality hay.  Mule deer apparently evolved from the black-tailed deer. 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. Species: hemionus. Planting food plots is an effective, safe, and legal way to support local deer populations. What does the mule deer eat? , Humans sometimes engage in supplemental feeding efforts in severe winters in an attempt to avoid mule deer starvation. If necessary, they can turn or completely reverse direction in the course of a single bound. Deer kill about 150-170 people each year, from car accidents, and because people underestimate how dangerous they really are. 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. Unfortunately, range management professionals have seen a common problem across many of Utah's sagebrush rangelands â they are suffering from the ecological equivalents of old age and malnutrition. Another physical adaptation, its larger feet, allows the Mule Deer to claw out water as much as two feet deep, which it detects with its keen sense of smell. Mule Deer is a target for various viral, bacterial, and parasitic diseases. A doe will usually produce a single fawn the first year she gives birth and then produce twins in following years. This inactivity during the heat of the day is a behavioral adaptation to the desert environment that conserves water and keeps the body temperature within livable limits. Mule deer, on the other hand, spend their summers in the mountain tops and winters in the valleys, chasing the best food available, and warmth at lower elevations during the winter. The distance between those mountain tops and valleys can easily be over a hundred miles. Mule Deer Care. They are brownish-gray in color, have a white rump patch and a small white tail with a black tip. This water well provides a very dependable water source year-round and is used by the mule deer on a daily basis. Seasonal movements involving migrations from higher elevations (summer ranges) to lower winter ranges are associated, in part, with decreasing temperatures, severe snowstorms, and snow depths that reduce mobility and food supply. This gait offers two advantages: it allows the deer to out-distance predators in rough terrain, and to see above the thick brush. There is some competition between the Mute Deer and the livestock on the range, especially in Spring and early Summer. The females go off by themselves and eventually give birth and nurse their young; the males wander in friendly twosomes or small bands throughout the summer months as antlers grow. Consult the feed tag on this package for specific feeding directions. Mule Deer are browsers and eat a great variety of vegetable matter, including fresh green leaves, twigs, lower branches of trees, and various grasses. Mule deer prefer open grasslands and perk-lands, or forest edge ecosystems. The Cervidae Family includes deer and their allies, including moose, elk, and caribou. The most noticeable differences between white-tailed and mule deer are ear size, tail color, and antler configuration. Bucks average about 250 pounds and develop antlers that grow in a branching pattern. Shedding typically takes place in mid-February, with variations occurring by locale. The sides of mountains and ridges have a lot of food that mule deer like to eat. In 1929, the mule deer season was closed south of the Gila River, and even as recently as 1946, fewer than 5,000 mule deer (more than 80 percent of all deer killed) were harvested in Arizona.  Reported mean group size measurements are three to five and typical group size (i.e. These mixes can typically be found at feed mills or pet supply stores. But even with all these gear, taking down a deer is easier said than done. Mule deer (Odocoileus hemionus) are easy to identify due to their large mule-like ears.  Fawns stay with their mothers during the summer and are weaned in the fall after about 60–75 days. 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). , The 10 valid subspecies, based on the third edition of Mammal Species of the World, are:, 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", "Lichens in relation to management issues in the Sierra Nevada national parks", Mule Deer: Changing Landscapes, Changing Perspectives: Supplemental Feeding—Just Say No, "Causes and consequences of sociality in mule deer", "Comparing radio-tracking and visual detection methods to quantify group size measures", "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, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Mule_deer&oldid=998764462, Fauna of the California chaparral and woodlands, Taxa named by Constantine Samuel Rafinesque, Short description is different from Wikidata, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License, This page was last edited on 6 January 2021, at 22:56. The average gross energy content of the consumed forage material is 4.5 kcal/g. Mule deer have also been introduced to Argentina and Kauai, Hawaii.. The mule deer (Odocoileus hemionus) is a deer species native to western North America. Bears and smaller-sized carnivores are typically opportunistic feeders, and pose little threat to a strong, healthy mule deer. Its leaves contain higher protein levels than other available shrubs and grasses. Tail The idea is to locate a patch of food that attracts mule deer and set up an ambush spot within rifle range. Thatâs right, it is the correct feed for this time of year. As the food sources dry up, mule deer are easier to find due to the lack of green vegetation holding them in specific areas. Throughout the entire western United States, including the four deserts of the American Southwest peninsulae. Sub Family: Capreolinae In fact, they seem to be able to live just about anywhere as long as they have food, shelter, and access to water. The North American Deserts The annual cycle of antler growth is regulated by changes in the length of the day.  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. Sign up below or read more about the DesertUSA newsletter here. Mule deer differ from white-tailed deer in many respects, including their general behavior, food habits, population dynamics and habitat preferences.  Forages consumed in the summer are higher in digestible components (i.e. For example, heavy amounts of gastrointestinal nematodes may cause death in Mule Deer. The mating season for Mule Deer reaches its peak in November and December, as antlered stags round up females and fight for their possession. The mature buck seems to prefer rocky ridges for bedding grounds, while the doe and fawn is more likely to bed down in the open. 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. Ambush hunting for bowhunting mule deer is a little challenging as it requires you to be in close range. Mule deer travel more than whitetails do, but the muleys still like something green to eat. Purchase formulated deer food mixes. â¦ We included plant species in our summary if 2 1 study reported their contribution to the diet as 2 â¦ Sweat glands and panting also provide evaporative cooling during hot periods.  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. Deer are not especially vocal, although young fawns bleat on occasion. The Mule Deer large ear is gray on the outside and white on the inside. 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. This type of food is easiest for deer to digest, which is what makes it ideal for supplemental feeding. Sagebrush is a critical food source for mule deer, especially during winter. An exception to this is the Sitka deer subspecies (O. h. sitkensis). Mule deer antlers are bifurcated; they "fork" as they grow, rather than branching from a single main beam, as is the case with white-taileds. In this fashion, they can reach a speed of 45 m.p.h. 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. Typical mule deer ambush locations are food patches, travel routes leading to food patches, and, in dry climates, water sources. They are particularly fond of blackberry and raspberry vines, grapes, mistletoe, mushrooms and ferns. 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