Mule Deer

Odocoileus hemionus

Photo: Nancy Turner

Mule Deer


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. The males grow a set of antlers each year.

Range & Habitat

They are found in almost every ecoprovince in B.C., but are particularly common in the Geogia Depression (Lower Mainland), as well as the Coast and Mountains, Central Interior, Southern Interior Mountains, Southern Interior and Northern Boreal Mountains ecoprovinces. 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.

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 use their antlers for fighting, getting food from trees and defense.

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 their 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 their predators: wolves, cougars and humans.

Traditional Uses by Indigenous Peoples

Visit this online interactive learning tool, Seeing Through Watchers Eyes, to learn the SENĆOŦEN name and other stories about this being! We recommend a desktop computer or laptop for ideal viewing. 

  • Simply open the link here: https://sierraclub.bc.ca/watcherseyes/ 
  • Scroll down to the Prezi 
  • Click “present” 
  • And move your cursor to point 127 along the navigation bar at the bottom of the screen 


COSEWIC: Not at Risk
CDC: Yellow

More Information


Photo: Hobson