Hybrid Deer

Cat Urbigkit at the Querencia blog has some good photos of whitetail/mule deer hybrids.<This link is now broken but here are some other pictures from the same blog — Jon>

I’ve seen varying reports on how often this occurs,  as whitetails expand more and more into mule deer range.

2 Comments
  1. Coke Smith 5 years ago

    Nice pics. Being no cervid expert myself….Are the tails the main way to distinguish the hybrids?

  2. Profile photo of mattinidaho Author
    mattinidaho 5 years ago

    Coke,
    Having spent an awful lot of time watching deer, I would say the tail is a strong indicator. The doe in that photo looks like a mule deer with a whitetail tail. The buck looks like a whitetail with mule deer antlers.

    I have never actually seen a hybrid live. Whitetails are encroaching more into mule deer range, although I’ve read different accounts on how much they actually compete. Some biologists claim they do compete, and also that whitetail bucks regularly out-compete mule deer bucks.

    On the other hand, it seems that the whitetails are not really invading, but rather just taking advantage of habitat changes…less mature forests, more clearcuts, less sagebrush, more urban environments. Many of these habitats are less suitable for mule deer, whereas whitetails are highly adaptable.

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