Mule Deer

Mule Deer (Odocoileus sp.)

  • Height: Around 3ft (at shoulder)
  • Weight: 150-400 pounds
  • Status: Prevalent in both ancient and modern times!
The mule deer is a medium sized deer with a distinctive white underside to its tail. It has a reddish brown coat that turns more dark brown in the winter for camouflage. The species of deer found at Ziegler reservoir is unidentified to-date but was likely a mule deer.
Deer are browsers and grazers, eating woody shoots, stems, leaves and grasses. They are known to feed on plants at the edges of forests. Their ability to consume a large variety of food has helped them survive as a species for millions of years.
Deer live in herds and have forms of communication using sounds, scent, and body language. White tail deer vocalize to search for their family members, assert dominance, or to attract other deer in the area. 
Distribution and Habitat
The mule deer mainly lives in woodlands and shrublands in the western mountains of North America and Canada, as well as down into Mexico. 

Fun Fact

  • The mule deer and the white tail deer are the two longest surviving deer species of North America.
    The black tailed mule deer has existed for over 2 million years! The white tail deer beats out the black tailed mule deer, having existed for 3.5 million years, but both speak volumes about their ability to adapt to a changing world. This length of time is unprecedented in the deer family. Most other similar species (moose, reindeer, etc..) have only been around for thousands of years.