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Question by shermanator. Uploaded on January 07, 2010
I think "black-tail" is a euphomism for mule deer.
I saw this on t.v and i'm glad someone asked it. Of the three main. Whitetail are the biggest. Blacktail are the smallest. Mule Deer are a mix of both and smack in the middle. Whitetail+Blacktail=MuleDeer
Correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't the Mule deer the largest of the species?
Blacktails are mostly thought of as a subspecies of mulies, or in a way, mule deer from west of the Rockies region. The first part isn't really true. Long story short - there were whitetails, then there were blacktails, then they mixed and now there are mule deer. Sounds crazy but it's true.
Right on Shane, black tail is NOT the same as mule deer, its a sub species. The act much like a Mulie, but are much smaller. I hunted them for a few years in very northern CA.
so were are they mostly found?
Close but no cigar! I was hunting mule deer on the west coast way back before the invasive species called whitetails were found on the east slope of the continental divide. Mule deer are much larger than whitetails. In the west we are just now seeing hybrids that are a cross between mule deer and whitetails. East of the Mississippi where whitetail is another word for deer, like Kleenex is another word for tissue, deer that are not whitetails are by default blacktails
More info than we need I am sure, AFTERI deleted
about 80% of what was there!
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Deer are the ruminant mammals forming the family Cervidae. They include for example Moose, Red Deer, Reindeer, Roe and Chital. Animals from related families within the order Artiodactyla (even-toed ungulates) are often also considered to be deer – these include muntjac and water deer. Male (and a few female) deer of all species (except the Chinese Water deer who only have short tusks instead) grow and shed new antlers each year – in this they differ from permanently horned animals such as antelope – these are in the same order as deer and may bear a superficial resemblance. The musk deer of Asia and Water Chevrotain (or Mouse Deer) of tropical African and Asian forests are not usually regarded as true deer and form their own families, Moschidae and Tragulidae, respectively
For most deer the male is called a buck and the female is a doe, according to the size of the species. For many medium-sized deer the male is a stag and the female a hind, while for many larger deer the same words are used as for cattle: bull and cow. Terms for young deer vary similarly, with that of most being called a fawn and that of the larger species calf; young of the smallest kinds may be a kid. A group of deer of any kind is a herd. Usage of all these terms may also vary according to dialect. The adjective of relation pertaining to deer is cervine; like the family name "Cervidae" this is from Latin cervus, "deer."
The word 'hart' is an old alternative word for "stag", especially in a (British) Medieval hunting context.
Deer are widely distributed, and hunted, with indigenous representatives in all continents except Antarctica and Australia, though Africa has only one native species, the Red Deer, confined to the Atlas Mountains in the northwest of the continent.
Deer live in a variety of biomes ranging from tundra to the tropical rainforest. While often associated with forests, many deer are ecotone species that live in transitional areas between forests and thickets (for cover) and prairie and savanna (open space). The majority of large deer species inhabit temperate mixed deciduous forest, mountain mixed coniferous forest, tropical seasonal/dry forest, and savanna habitats around the world. Clearing open areas within forests to some extent may actually benefit deer populations by exposing the understory and allowing the types of grasses, weeds, and herbs to grow that deer like to eat. Additionally, access to adjacent croplands may also benefit deer. However, adequate forest or brush cover must still be provided for populations to grow and thrive.
Small species of brocket deer and pudús of Central and South America, and muntjacs of Asia generally occupy dense forests and are less often seen in open spaces, with the possible exception of the Indian Muntjac. There are also several species of deer that are highly specialized, and live almost exclusively in mountains, grasslands, swamps, and "wet" savannas, or riparian corridors surrounded by deserts. Some deer have a circumpolar distribution in both North America and Eurasia. Examples include the caribou that live in Arctic tundra and taiga (boreal forests) and moose that inhabit taiga and adjacent areas. Huemul Deer (taruca and Chilean Huemul) of South America's Andes fill an ecological niche of the ibex or Wild Goat, with the fawns behaving more like goat kids.
The highest concentration of large deer species in temperate North America lies in the Canadian Rocky Mountain and Columbia Mountain Regions between Alberta and British Columbia where all five North American deer species (White-tailed deer, Mule deer, Caribou, Elk, and Moose) can be found. This region has several clusters of national parks including Mount Revelstoke National Park, Glacier National Park (Canada), Yoho National Park, and Kootenay National Park on the British Columbia side, and Banff National Park, Jasper National Park, and Glacier National Park (U.S.) on the Alberta and Montana sides. Mountain slope habitats vary from moist coniferous/mixed forested habitats to dry subalpine/pine forests with alpine meadows higher up. The foothills and river valleys between the mountain ranges provide a mosaic of cropland and deciduous parklands. The rare woodland caribou have the most restricted range living at higher altitudes in the subalpine meadows and alpine tundra areas of some of the mountain ranges. Elk and Mule Deer both migrate between the alpine meadows and lower coniferous forests and tend to be most common in this region. Elk also inhabit river valley bottomlands, which they share with White-tailed deer. The White-tailed deer have recently expanded their range within the foothills and river valley bottoms of the Canadian Rockies owing to conversion of land to cropland and the clearing of coniferous forests allowing more deciduous vegetation to grow up the mountain slopes. They also live in the aspen parklands north of Calgary and Edmonton, where they share habitat with the moose. The adjacent Great Plains grassland habitats are left to herds of Elk, American Bison, and pronghorn antelope.
Fallow buck in the Czech Republic
The Eurasian Continent (including the Indian Subcontinent) boasts the most species of deer in the world, with most species being found in Asia. Europe, in comparison, has lower diversity in plant and animal species. However, many national parks and protected reserves in Europe do have populations of Red Deer, Roe Deer, and Fallow Deer. These species have long been associated with the continent of Europe, but also inhabit Asia Minor, the Caucasus Mountains, and Northwestern Iran. "European" Fallow Deer historically lived over much of Europe during the Ice Ages, but afterwards became restricted primarily to the Anatolian Peninsula, in present-day Turkey. Present-day Fallow deer populations in Europe are a result of historic man-made introductions of this species first to the Mediterranean regions of Europe, then eventually to the rest of Europe. They were initially park animals that later escaped and reestablished themselves in the wild. Historically, Europe's deer species shared their deciduous forest habitat with other herbivores such as the extinct tarpan (forest horse), extinct aurochs (forest ox), and the endangered wisent (European bison). Good places to see deer in Europe include the Scottish Highlands, the Austrian Alps, and the wetlands between Austria, Hungary, and Czech Republic. Some fine National Parks include Doñana National Park in Spain, the Veluwe in the Netherlands, the Ardennes in Belgium, and Białowieża National Park of Poland. Spain, Eastern Europe, and the Caucasus Mountains still have virgin forest areas that are not only home to sizable deer populations but also for other animals that were once abundant such as the wisent, Eurasian Lynx, Spanish lynx, wolves, and Brown Bears.
The deer in the Grove of Magdalen College, Oxford.
Running tracks of a white-tail deer with clear dew claw marks
The highest concentration of large deer species in temperate Asia occurs in the mixed deciduous forests, mountain coniferous forests, and taiga bordering North Korea, Manchuria (Northeastern China), and the Ussuri Region (Russia). These are among some of the richest deciduous and coniferous forests in the world where one can find Siberian Roe Deer, Sika Deer, Elk, and Moose. Asian Caribou occupy the northern fringes of this region along the Sino-Russian border.
Australia has six introduced species of deer that have established sustainable wild populations from acclimatisation society releases in the 19th Century. These are Fallow Deer, Red Deer, Sambar Deer, Hog Deer, Rusa deer, and Chital. Red Deer introduced into New Zealand in 1851 from English and Scottish stock were domesticated in deer farms by the late 1960s and are common farm animals there now. Seven other species of deer were introduced into New Zealand but none are as widespread as Red Deer.
Deer weights generally range from 100 hundred to 400 pounds. They generally have lithe, compact bodies and long, powerful legs suited for rugged woodland terrain. Deer are also excellent jumpers and swimmers. Deer are ruminants, or cud-chewers, and have a four-chambered stomach. The teeth of deer are adapted to feeding on vegetation, and like other ruminants, they lack upper incisors, instead having a tough pad at the front of their upper jaw. Some deer, such as those on the island of Rùm, do consume meat when it is available. The Chinese water deer, Tufted deer and muntjac have enlarged upper canine teeth forming sharp tusks, while other species often lack upper canines altogether. The cheek teeth of deer have crescent ridges of enamel, which enable them to grind a wide variety of vegetation. The dental formula for deer is:
Nearly all deer have a facial gland in front of each eye. The gland contains a strongly scented pheromone, used to mark its home range. Bucks of a wide range of species open these glands wide when angry or excited. All deer have a liver without a gallbladder. Deer also have a tapetum lucidum which gives them sufficiently good night vision.
Nearly all cervids are so-called uniparental species: the fawns are cared for by the mother only. A doe generally has one or two fawns at a time (triplets, while not unknown, are uncommon). The gestation period is anywhere up to ten months for the European Roe Deer. Most fawns are born with their fur covered with white spots, though in many species they lose these spots by the end of their first winter. In the first twenty minutes of a fawn's life, the fawn begins to take its first steps. Its mother licks it clean until it is almost free of scent, so predators will not find it. Its mother leaves often, and the fawn does not like to be left behind. Sometimes its mother must gently push it down with her foot. The fawn stays hidden in the grass for one week until it is strong enough to walk with its mother. The fawn and its mother stay together for about one year. A male usually never sees his mother again, but females sometimes come back with their own fawns and form small herds.
Deer are selective feeders. They are usually browsers, and primarily feed on leaves. They have small, unspecialized stomachs by ruminant standards, and high nutrition requirements. Rather than attempt to digest vast quantities of low-grade, fibrous food as, for example, sheep and cattle do, deer select easily digestible shoots, young leaves, fresh grasses, soft twigs, fruit, fungi, and lichens. They can, however, digest cellulose if necessary.
With the exception of the Chinese Water Deer, which have tusks, all male deer have antlers. Sometimes a female will have a small stub. The only female deer with antlers are Reindeer (Caribou). Antlers grow as highly vascular spongy tissue covered in a skin called velvet. Before the beginning of a species' mating season, the antlers calcify under the velvet and become hard bone. The velvet is then rubbed off leaving dead bone which forms the hard antlers. After the mating season, the pedicle and the antler base are separated by a layer of softer tissue, and the antler falls off.
One way that many hunters are able to track main paths that the deer travel on is because of their "rubs". A rub is used to deposit scent from glands near the eye and forehead and physically mark territory.
During the mating season, bucks use their antlers to fight one another for the opportunity to attract mates in a given herd. The two bucks circle each other, bend back their legs, lower their heads, and charge.
Each species has its own characteristic antler structure – for example white-tailed deer antlers include a series of tines sprouting upward from a forward-curving main beam, while Fallow Deer and Moose antlers are palmate, with a broad central portion. Mule deer (and Black-tailed Deer), species within the same genus as the white-tailed deer, instead have bifurcated (or branched) antlers—that is, the main beam splits into two, each of which may split into two more. Young males of many deer, and the adults of some species, such as brocket deer and pudus, have antlers which are single spikes.
Most species of deer in the "True Deer" subfamily (Cervinae) have large, impressive antlers with several tines that are highly prized by game hunters and collectors. Four Members of the Odocoleinae subfamily whose antlers are also popular and sought after are the moose, caribou, White-tailed deer, and mule deer. The most impressive White-tailed deer antlers come from populations in Texas, the Northern Great Plains Region,and the Great Lakes/Midwest Agricultural Region. The most impressive mule deer antlers come from populations in the Rocky Mountains and the deserts of the Southwestern United States and Northern Mexico. The most impressive moose and caribou antlers come from populations living in Siberia, Canada, and Alaska. For Elk and Red Deer, a stag having 14 points is an "imperial", and a stag having 12 points is a "royal". Occasional individual red deer males may have no antlers: these are known as hummels, and they may grow significantly larger than normal males.
This section does not cite any references or sources.
Please help improve this article by adding citations to reliable sources. Unsourced material may be challenged and removed. (December 2009)
 Piebald Deer
A piebald deer is a deer with a brown and white spotting pattern which is not caused by parasites or diseases. They can appear to be almost entirely white. In addition to the non-standard coloration, other differences have been observed: bowing or Roman nose, overly arched spine (scoliosis), long tails, short legs, and underbites.
 White Deer
Seneca County, New York State maintains the largest herd of white deer. White pigmented White-tailed Deer began populating the deer population in the area now known as the Conservation Area of the former Seneca Army Depot. The U.S. Army gave the white deer protection while managing the normal colored deer through hunting. The white deer coloration is the result of a recessive gene
It is thought that the new world group originates from the forests of North America and Siberia, the old world deer in Asia.
# Elk (Cervus canadensis) (North American and Asian Elk; second largest deer in world; not to be confused with Moose, known as Elk in Europe)
Practically speaking, here are some of the comparisons:
The term blacktail refers to a sub-specie of the mule deer. Across most of the U.S., the terms "mule deer" and "blacktail deer" are used to describe the same animal although there are sub-species of blacktail deer indiginous to certain locales like California and Columbia.
Locations: Mule/blacktail-Western U.S. from the Missouri river in S. Dak. West to California and the Pacific northwest. Whitetail, most of the U.S. and the only deer in the eastern half of the U.S.
Size: Mule deer tend to be larger than whitetail in most locations.
Distinguishing characteristics: Whitetail: All antlers branch from the same beam. Antlers tend to wide versus high. They bound high and raise their large white undercoated tail when alarmed. Tail is longer with brown on the top and white underneath. Ears similar to a horse. Runs with long bounding stride.
Blacktail/Mule: Large and long ears like a mule. Main beam of antlers forks into additional main beams. Antlers tend to be high versus wide. Short tail with black on the visible top portion. Runs with high bouncey stride (sometimes looks like it is running on a pogo stick). Will usually stop to look back at whatever startled it from 100-200 yards away.
Cover: Whitetails like dense cover and tend to stay in that as much as possible. Muleys/blacktails like open country and will run to cover if necessary but prefer to use their speed to outdistance preditors. Whitetails tend to like swamp bottoms and low brush for cover. Muley/blacktails tend to like altitude and places they can see preditors from afar.
So sorry... somehow double posted.
Blacktails are NOT a subspecies of mulies, although this was the common notion for a long time, and still mostly is. They have figured out otherwise now.
Sourdough, read mine again. I'm talking way before white men were around. Whitetails were the first of the small deer species in NA. Mule deer are the newbies and blacktails are in the middle.
Moishe, the Wikipedia info on this particular topic is dated and/or just crap.
This isn't just me talking. You probably shouldn't argue with Valerius Geist and his buddies on NA game animals. Pretty smart guys and gals. They know their stuff, more than any of us.
Shane is right, Whitetail + Blacktail gave us Mule deer. DNA testing. Whitetails were the only deer in NA and after their range expanded, the blacktails evolved from them. Thousands of years later they met again, then creating the Mule Deer.
You guys are close but Blacktail are not evolved from whitetails they are separate. However Muledeer are a hybrid of blacktails and whitetails. That's what the DNA testing proved in the mid 90's. Generally whitetails are smaller than blacktails and muledeer are larger than blacktails. Blacktails and Muledeer are again starting to interbreed and produce very large hybrids that are commonly called benchlegs.
By the way my picture is of a blacktail that weighed 218lbs gutted and skinned. Which is as large as most Mule deer sad part is its a once in a lifetime buck and nothing else will compare as far as future blacktails for me.
Mule deer on average are the biggest. Mules are not the product of Blacktail and Whitetail. That does not make any sense for a bigger deer to come form two smaller deer. There are also variations in sizes in deer species. So a Whitetail or Blacktail could end up being bigger than a mule. And before you mark my comment down, look it up.
EAG: Never heard of ligers or tigons I guess.
WHITETAIL, MULIES & BLACKTAIL
Whitetail are the oldest living species of deer at 3.5 million years old. The blacktail deer ( Odocoileus hemionus ) split off from the whitetail at some time in the past, thought to be a million years ago or more. The blacktail and the whitetail are different species.
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. So the blacktail and mule deer are the same species, but the mulie is a subspecies of the blacktail, and they are both close cousins to the whitetail.
Of course nothing is ever simple, and there is a complicated three way relationship, found by mitochondrial DNA evidence, that the making of the mule deer involved some crossing back of the whitetail to the blacktail deer.
The two species do not normally interbreed in a natural setting, but will if kept confined together. The hybrids do well in captivity, but in the wild they rarely survive because they do not know how to follow the successful survival strategies of either parent, and so are vulnerable to predators.
Blacktails range from Alaska and British Columbia in the north with the sitka deer and Colombian blacktail deer, down through the California mule deer, the inyo deer in the Sierras, the Rocky Mountain mule deer, to the burro (bura) deer of the southwestern deserts and Mexico. The ranges of the subspecies of blacktail overlap latitudes, but the blacktail deer exist no farther east than the Rocky Mountains. There are some other named subspecies of blacktail, but there is debate as to their validity.
An essential divide between the whitetail and blacktail species is their different choices of terrain and their different escape strategies. The mule deer lives in rough but open country and uses a special kind of pogo stick jumping as its main escape from predators. It is called "stotting". A single, springing jump can cover more than twenty-five feet! The mule deer will tend to pogo itself uphill when it escapes. This is a very different strategy from the whitetail who sprints, running downhill, using gravity to increase its speed, and thus often running to water. The whitetail hides, jumps only over obstacles, and prefers the cover of its well known home range in the woods, and prefers the terrain to be even so it will not slow down its sprint to safety.
When a mule deer stotts it is choosing a slower escape than if it galloped away. The jumping works better though for a few reasons: One is that the high jumping mulie can go uphill and it does not cost him much more energy than jumping on level ground. For the earth bound predator though, climbing uphill increases its energy output enormously. Another advantage is that the mule deer's territory is usually rough and uneven and it can match its jumps to the uneven terrain, sailing over obstacles that slow down the predator who has to climb over, under or around, and sailing over gaps that the predator cannot cross at all. A final advantage is the unpredictable direction of the jumps. Some people say that it seems like the deer itself doesn't know which direction it will bounce off to next, and this leaves the predator swirling in confusion, either unable to anticipate where to attack, or wasting huge amounts of energy on attacks into thin air.
Why don't you ever hear about mule deer in the South? There is a disease barrier between the climates that have killing frosts that eliminate certain parasites and disease carrying insects, and the year round milder climate of the South that does not. To put it simply, you do not see mule deer in the South, or for that matter moose, because we cannot keep them alive and healthy due to disease.
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