Hybrid Deer

  1. Coke Smith 10 years ago

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

  2. Author
    mattinidaho 10 years ago

    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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