Mule deer (Odocoileus hemionus) are easy to identify due to their large mule-like ears. They are brownish-gray in color, have a white rump patch and a small white tail with a black tip. The male deer grow antlers during the summer and fall and shed them each spring.


Mule Deer are the largest member of the Odocoileus genus. They gained their name from their large, mule like ears which they can move independently, allowing them to survey their surroundings for sounds of potential danger. Mule deer stand 40 to 42 inches tall at the shoulders and weigh an average of 200 pounds. Males, or bucks, have antlers and a larger body than the females, known as does.


Mule deer bucks.Dave Fitz.FWS.512x289

Mule deer can reach speeds of up to 45 miles per hour while running, and are capable of changing directions in a single bound. Mule deer have a unique leaping gait, in which all four of their legs touch the ground at the same time while running. They are uniquely adapted to desert and arid environments, as they can use their hooves to dig holes into the ground when searching for seep water.


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