Mule Deer

BigDog

New Member
Joined
Nov 30, 2005
Messages
1,586
Reaction score
0
Points
0
Age
68
Location
Oakland, Ca
The Mule Deer (Odocoileus hemionus) is a deer whose habitat is in the western half of North America. The Mule Deer is part of the Cervidae Famliy which also includes moose, elk and caribou. Members of this family occupy a wide range of habitats and can be found over most of the world. The Mule Deer gets its name from its large mule-like ears that move constantly and independently. Its closest relative is the White-tailed Deer. The two species often share natural habitats, and can be mistaken for one another. The most noticeable differences between the two is the color of their tails, and their antlers. The Mule Deer's tail is black tipped and droops. Mule Deer antlers "fork" as they grow rather than growing and expanding forward. Each year a buck's antlers start to grow in spring and are shed after mating season from mid-November to mid-April depending on their location. Mule bucks also tend to grow slightly larger than their white-tailed counterparts, and have somewhat more prominent ears.

Instead of running, Mule Deer move with a bounding leap (stotting) over distances up to 8 yards, with all four feet coming down together. In this fashion, they can reach a speed of 45 mph for short periods.

This stocky deer with sturdy legs is 4 to 6 1/2 feet in length and 3 to 4 feet high at the shoulder. During the summer, the coat on its upper body is reddish-brown, while in winter the hide is more gray. The throat patch, rump patch, inside ears and inside legs are white with lower portions running cream to tan. 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.


Seasonal Behaviors
In addition to movements related to available shelter and food, the breeding cycle is important in understanding deer behavior. 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. Does may mate with more than one buck and go back into estrus within a month if they do not mate. The gestation period is approximately 190-200 days, with fawns born in the spring, staying with their mothers during the summer and being weaned in the fall after approximately 60-75 days. A buck's antlers fall off during the winter, to grow again in preparation for the next season's rut.

Foraging
In summer, it chiefly forages on not only herbaceous plants, but also various berries (including blackberry, huckleberry, salal, and thimbleberry). In winter, it forages on conifers (especially twigs of Douglas fir), cedar, Taxus yews, aspen, willow, dogwood, serviceberry, juniper, and sage. Year-round, it eats acorns and apples. In northern California, one of the deers main forages is the Antelope Bitterbrush.

Mule deer prefer "edge" habitats and tend to move up or down with their preferred foods. Mule deer rarely travel far from water or forage, and tend to bed down within easy walking distance of both. Young mule deer and does tend to forage together in family groups while bucks tend to travel alone or with other bucks. Most actively foraging around dawn and dusk, they tend to bed down in protected areas mid-day, but will also forage at night in more open agricultural areas or when pressured by hunters. Repeated beds will often be scratched level, about the size of a washtub. Temporary beds will seem little more than flattened grass.

Life span in the wild is around 10 years, but Mule Deer have lived up to 25 years in captivity.
 

ilovesprig

Moderator
Joined
Dec 12, 2005
Messages
21,244
Reaction score
989
Points
0
Age
74
Location
Escondido
Just got this picture from an old deer hunting buddy of mine. His dad (Bob Shultz) recently passed away. In the house was this monster muley shot in Utah (Old Copper Mine area). I think he said it was in 1947.
 
It's never been scored, but it's 36" wide, 6x7...........Just thought I'd give it's deserved recognition here on the forum.
 
.
 

Attachments

  • teddy's buck.jpg
    teddy's buck.jpg
    176.5 KB · Views: 58
  • ted's buck ll.jpg
    ted's buck ll.jpg
    168.5 KB · Views: 49

JNDEER

Well-Known Member
Joined
Dec 24, 2009
Messages
3,849
Reaction score
282
Points
83
Location
Where I Am
Wow that is a great buck!   Even the kickers are matching points!!  :smiley_10sign:
 

wakmasterr

New Member
Joined
Jan 3, 2010
Messages
508
Reaction score
0
Points
0
Location
Los Angeles
Nice buck.... get coyote1 to look at the photo and he can give you a fairly close rough score just from the photos.  You can get a Boone & Crockett guy to measure it still.
 

ilovesprig

Moderator
Joined
Dec 12, 2005
Messages
21,244
Reaction score
989
Points
0
Age
74
Location
Escondido
I thought buck was a 6x7. It's actually 7x8.................Should score pretty good.
 

coyote 1

New Member
Joined
Dec 7, 2009
Messages
619
Reaction score
2
Points
0
Age
62
Location
Lancaster, Ca
I am used to looking at the miniature deer that Ca offers so here is my guesstimate. Gross= around 232 and net= around 226". I think Roy has seen a lot more bucks of this caliber. We need to get his opinion also. Am I in the ball park or blowing chunks, Roy?
 

wakmasterr

New Member
Joined
Jan 3, 2010
Messages
508
Reaction score
0
Points
0
Location
Los Angeles
I would have to agree with Jerry.  That buck has great size and length but is not overly abundant in mass.  i love the kickers and the overall quality of him though and would probably NOT pass him up if given the shot!!!!
 

lorenewing

New Member
Joined
Sep 18, 2014
Messages
2
Reaction score
0
Points
0
That's great buck awesome ,Thanks for shearin this information I also follow the blogs ########### it also provide good tips for hunting.
 

outdoorplay

Founder
Joined
Nov 19, 2005
Messages
15,963
Reaction score
359
Points
83
Age
52
Location
SoCal
so this guy first post is to post a link to another forum on the East coast....... Some people have no class, and don't get me wrong I love the east coast, fish there a lot and most that I have met had more ethic's then that

I removed it for you. have a nice day
 
Top