Comparisons Browsing of other trees is seldom considered an economic problem. Use only as indicated. Diet and behavior. Geography – Range mule deer diets in the United States. Mule deer travel more than whitetails do, but the muleys still like something green to eat. 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. Unfortunately, range management professionals have seen a common problem across many of Utah's sagebrush rangelands — they are suffering from the ecological equivalents of old age and malnutrition. Tips For Spotting & Hunting Mule Deer. If you find a patch of mule deer food that’s attracting deer, you can set up within rifle range of the location and then wait for the animals to appear. Mule deer are known as browsers. The reverse is true in Fall and Winter. [5][35] 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. A mule deer’s diet is usually composed of weeds, leaves, and twigs. The mule deer's tail is black-tipped, whereas the white-tailed deer's is not. Mule deer like to feed in the early morning and late evening. Mule deer females usually give birth to two fawns, although if it is their first time having a fawn, they often have just one. The male deer grow antlers during the summer and fall and shed them each spring. Ambush locations for mule deer are near water sources, travel routes leading to food patches, and the food patches. The average gross energy content of the consumed forage material is 4.5 kcal/g. 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). All federal, state, and provincial land and wildlife management agencies recognize the fundamental need to maintain Mule Deer ranges and keep them habitable. If you find the food, you will find the mule deer. They may also consume partially rotted plants, as well as dry leaves, buds, fruit, flowers, sprouting grasses and herbs, the tips of some coniferous boughs, small twigs, and lichens that fall from trees. 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. The idea is to locate a patch of food that attracts mule deer and set up an ambush spot within rifle range. Bears and smaller-sized carnivores are typically opportunistic feeders, and pose little threat to a strong, healthy mule deer. They have a distinctly different gait from the leisurely, graceful leaps of the white-tail. Mule Deer are browsers and eat a great variety of vegetable matter, including fresh green leaves, twigs, lower branches of trees, and various grasses. 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. BEHAVIOR - Mule deer behavior may also be negatively affected by winter-feeding efforts. Species: hemionus. [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%). [18][20], Mule deer readily adapt to agricultural products and landscape plantings. The habitat varies largely due to the massive range of mule deer across western North … In a zoological setting, caring for these deer is quite similar to other deer species. The studies gave these data for Rocky Mountain mule deer diets: Mule deer lack front teeth; they just have a hard palate. The throat patch, rump patch, inside ears and inside legs are white with lower portions running cream to tan. Mule deer prefer open grasslands and perk-lands, or forest edge ecosystems. Each spring, a buck's antlers start to regrow almost immediately after the old antlers are shed. Mule Deer moves between various zones from the forest edges at higher elevations to the desert floor, depending on the season. Family: Cervidae Mule deer and black-tailed deer (collectively called mule deer, Odocoileus hemionus) are icons of the American West. Cold weather hunting is all about finding those food sources that are high energy foods. Two subspecies of mule deer are grouped into the black-tailed deer. An exception to this is the Sitka deer subspecies (O. h. sitkensis). Their diet is mostly hay and pelleted food, with fruits and veggies mixed in. 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. An extremely large buck can stand 42 inches at the shoulder, measure 7 feet long and weigh up to 330 pounds, with the average … White-tail deer are tan in color, with a larger tail. 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). The gestation period is about 190–200 days, with fawns born in the spring. Hemionus means half-mule. Mule deer (Odocoileus hemionus) are the most common large mammal in Idaho. Behavior proteins, starches, sugars, and hemicellulose) than those consumed in the winter. 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). Mule deer are even known to forage in the summer on California Buckeye leaves, although there is evidence of that plant's toxicity. From April through June, after about a 200-day gestation period, the doe delivers 1 to 4 young (normally 2). Feed to deer, elk and exotic deer as a supplement to native habitat or pasture. From late spring to early fall, they gain weight and build fat reserves by feeding heavily on broad-leafed plants and grasses. I usually start scouting at the end of June when all the hills are green. 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. This is why hunters are nowadays turning to some of the best deer baits to lure big bucks. 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. 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. For example, heavy amounts of gastrointestinal nematodes may cause death in Mule Deer. Deer are not especially vocal, although young fawns bleat on occasion. Triiodothyronine (T3) hormone is directly involved with basal metabolic rate and thermoregulation. Conservation 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. We included plant species in our summary if 2 1 study reported their contribution to the diet as 2 … These groups must have plenty of space to roam, and a variety of different plants to browse on. The 243 acres of cropland on the property provides a steady annual income source and excellent food sources for the deer. Purchase formulated deer food mixes. Deep snows ultimately limit useable range to a fraction of the total. [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. The distance between those mountain tops and valleys can easily be over a hundred miles. Fawns usually stay with the doe for the first full year. Fawns are born in late May or early June. In fact, they seem to be able to live just about anywhere as long as they have food, shelter, and access to water. [22][23] In the Sierra Nevada range, mule deer depend on the lichen Bryoria fremontii as a winter food source.[24]. Males are larger than females. As the food sources dry up, mule deer are easier to find due to the lack of green vegetation holding them in specific areas. It must nurse within the first hour and stand within the first 12 hours. Learn more They have white camouflage spots and are further protected by having little or no scent. 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. Rumination time also increases when deer consume high-fiber, low-starch diets, which allows for increased nutrient acquisition due to greater length of fermentation. Mule deer (Odocoileus hemionus) are easy to identify due to their large mule-like ears. [8], 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. 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. Class: Mammalia 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. They are particularly fond of blackberry and raspberry vines, grapes, mistletoe, mushrooms and ferns. The hunters who have planted BioLogic are reporting good success with feeding different types of deer. The high protein content aids top performance to support antler development in bucks and reproductive success in does. 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. We also have some hunters in the West planting green fields for mule deer. There are deer tracks all over the fields! Sweat glands and panting also provide evaporative cooling during hot periods. 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 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 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. [31] Forages consumed in the summer are higher in digestible components (i.e. Purina ® Antler Advantage ® Mule Deer 22 ARS deer feed is a nutrition-packed, 22%-protein, pelleted ration with the Purina ® Advanced Rumen Support System designed to support the nutrition of mule deer in their native habitat. The deer’s scientific name reflects one of the animal’s most recognizable features – its large ears. A buck will find a suitable doe and they will often play chase games at breakneck speeds before mating. Life span in the wild is 10 years, but Mule Deer have lived up to 25 years in captivity . Shedding typically takes place in mid-February, with variations occurring by locale. Throughout the entire western United States, including the four deserts of the American Southwest They are social animals, so zookeepers keep them in herds. The average male deer weighs 200 pounds and the female deer weighs 150 pounds. [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. In Spring and Summer it feeds on green leaves, herbs, weeds and grasses more than on browse species. Mule Deer Care. Mule Deer have a very wide distribution out there. Zoos have never kept some subspecies, while they more commonly keep others. 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. Mule Deer Distribution. This is why we use deer feeder and other sophisticated gear when hunting big bucks. Mule deer are the largest of the two deer species in Idaho. Generally, the California mule deer has a preference for hill terrain, especially an oak woodland habitat. More big bucks are killed here every year than in any other state. They browse shrubs, trees and occasional grasses and forbs and retreat to tree cover to bed down during the day. Dominance is largely a function of size, with the largest males, which possess the largest antlers, performing most of the copulations Mule Deer is a target for various viral, bacterial, and parasitic diseases. Also, Hoof and Mouth Disease and other diseases can be transmitted from the Deer to the livestock and vice versa.. Feeding deer is illegal in some jurisdictions. Vocalization In all but one genus of cervids, at least the males have antlers. This gait offers two advantages: it allows the deer to out-distance predators in rough terrain, and to see above the thick brush. Deer consuming high-fiber, low-starch diets require less food than those consuming high-starch, low-fiber diets. peninsulae. Genus: Odocoileus [1][5][6][7][8][9], 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. for short periods. Quiz time, what food source consists more than 60% of a whitetail’s diet right now? Mule deer are the largest of the five types of deer (mule, whitetail, Columbia blacktail, Sitka blacktail, and Couses') in North America. Now we’re seeing hunters in Washington State and Oregon planting green fields for blacktailed deer. Injured deer utter a startlingly loud "blatt" or bawl. (It's Free. 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. Planting food plots is an effective, safe, and legal way to support local deer populations. Males grow forked antlers that have 8 to 10 points and spread as much as 4 feet (1.2 m). Good trees include pears, apples, crab apples, persimmons, aspen, chestnuts, white oaks and red oaks, ash, aspen, maple, popular, willow, white … Although capable of running, mule deer are often seen stotting (also called pronking), with all four feet coming down together. Desert Geological Terms, Home  | About | Contact Us | Feedback | Privacy | Site Outline | Advertising on DesertUSA | Aquis Towels | Hotels. There is some competition between the Mute Deer and the livestock on the range, especially in Spring and early Summer. They are particularly fond of blackberry and raspberry vines, grapes, mistletoe, mushrooms and ferns. … But even with all these gear, taking down a deer is easier said than done. starving mule deer are fed alfalfa hay, corn, or other traditional livestock feeds. They eat so carefully they can even consume the fruit of cactus. Mule deer have very good night vision and can detect the movement of predators as far away as 600 meters. Changes in hormone levels are indications of physiological adjustments to the changes in the habitat. Sagebrush is a critical food source for mule deer, especially during winter. Cautions No matter where you are hunting, high country or western plains…it is all the same. [9] Despite this, the mtDNA of the white-tailed deer and mule deer is similar, but differs from that of the black-tailed deer. Mule deer have also been introduced to Argentina and Kauai, Hawaii.[5]. [14], In addition to movements related to available shelter and food, the breeding cycle is important in understanding deer behavior. Males and females mix freely while traveling together in groups during winter months, often down to the desert floor. All have slender legs. [27][28] Reported mean group size measurements are three to five and typical group size (i.e. Its scientific name is Odocoileus hemionus. They will remain together for several days. Mule Deer in the arid southwest may migrate in response to rainfall patterns. Ambush hunting for bowhunting mule deer is a little challenging as it requires you to be in close range. Mule deer are concentrate feeders; that is, they carefully select highly nutritious bits of forage. 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. Their large ears are distinctive. [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. You will find an abundance of wildlife with over 40,000 acres of private land exclusively managed for these magnificent animals. The Mule Deer carries its thin, black-tipped tail drooped, unlike the uplifted, bushy white tail of its cousin. Tail 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. They seem to like the arid climate and to live where a variety of different plants are offered as a source of food. If necessary, they can turn or completely reverse direction in the course of a single bound. While the Mule Deer occupies almost all types of habitat within its range, it seems to prefer arid, open areas and rocky hillsides. [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. [32] 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. The Cervidae Family includes deer and their allies, including moose, elk, and caribou. 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. Food stored here can be digested later when the deer chews its cud. In this fashion, they can reach a speed of 45 m.p.h. 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. During the summer, the coat on its upper body is yellow- or reddish-brown, while in winter more gray. The most noticeable differences between white-tailed and mule deer are ear size, tail color, and antler configuration. California mule deer usually … For best results feed free choice in a covered trough or self-feeder. The annual cycle of antler growth is regulated by changes in the length of the day. The mule deer (Odocoileus hemionus) is a deer species native to western North America. Feed AntlerMax® Mule Deer 16 deer feed free-choice with adequate forage or quality hay. We excluded references that contained statements of what desert mule deer eat based on gen- eral knowledge or casual observations. Feet They are brownish-gray in color, have a white rump patch and a small white tail with a black tip. The tail is usually tipped in black with a white basal portion, and its under parts are white. Because of the tremendous amount of information available concerning white-tailed deer management, many land managers have applied these The Mule Deer large ear is gray on the outside and white on the inside. They have a sense of smell that is 1000 times the accuracy of the human sense of smell. Douglas fir and Ponderosa pine are of major economic importance for commercial timber. [30] Because some of the subspecies of mule deer are migratory, they encounter variable habitats and forage quality throughout the year. 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. 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