Mule Deer

Odocoileus hemionus

Photo: Nancy Turner

Appearance

Mule deer have large, mule-like ears, a white rump and a white tail with a black tip. They can grow to over one metre tall at the shoulder and can weigh 30 to 210 kilograms

Range & Habitat

They are found in almost every ecoprovince in B.C., but are particularly common in the Lower Mainland. They are also found across much of North America and Mexico. Mule deer live from the alpine to wet forests and are often found in areas cleared by forest fires or logging. In B.C., this animal is found in the Georgia Depression, Coast and Mountains, Central Interior, Southern Interior Mountains, Southern Interior and Northern Boreal Mountains ecoprovinces.

Diet & Behaviour

They eat grass, foliage, twigs, and shrubs. In the winter they retreat to the forest, where they browse on understory vegetation, particularly lichens. The males grow a set of antlers each year; these are used for fighting, getting food from trees and defence.

Lifecycle & Threats

Fawns are normally born as twins. The mother will hide them as she browses nearby. Deer populations are being threatened by logging. Deer need forests for winter range because the trees keep snow off the ground leaving plenty of food for the animals. Logging road systems also provide easy access to deer by wolves, cougars and humans.

Status

COSEWIC: Not at Risk
CDC: Yellow

More Information

www.bcadventure.com

Photo: Hobson