- Bucks average weight is about 100 kilograms (220 pounds).
- Average weight for does is about 70 kilograms (155 pounds).
- Mule deer get their name from their large, mule-like ears.
- Both male and female mule deer have seasonal colour variations. The coat is greyish-brown in winter and reddish-brown in
- The thin, brown tail has a black tip and is surrounded by a white rump patch.
- The antlers of bucks are a distinguishing trait. The beam of each antler divides into two equal tines, and in older bucks
these may divide again.
- Mule deer exhibit a distinct, stiff-legged, bouncing gait when running.
- Mule deer are found throughout the province, but are most plentiful in southern and western Alberta. They are more common
in mountainous areas than white-tailed deer.
- Preferred habitat includes:
- Edges of coniferous forests
- Hilly areas
- Mixed-wood forests
- Mule deer browse aspen, willow and other shrubs.
- In Alberta, the rut usually occurs in November.
- One or two spotted fawns are born to each doe the following spring.
Mule deer are classified as Secure in the General Status of Alberta Wild Species report. See:
See details in the Alberta Guide to Hunting Regulations. To view the guide online or to order a printed copy, visit
the My Wild Alberta website at:
- Mule deer and white-tailed deer are similar in seasonal colouring and overall appearance, and both species possess excellent
senses of sight, smell and hearing.
- Antlers, tails and overall size help distinguish mule and white-tailed deer species from one another:
- Antlers of white-tailed bucks have unbranched tines extending from single beams, whereas the beams of mule deer antlers
divide into two equal tines.
- White-tailed deer have a broader tail than mule deer, and lack the white rump patch.
- White-tailed deer are slightly smaller than mule deer.
- Unlike the wary white-tail, mule deer are often inquisitive. When alarmed and running, they often stop for a last look before
bounding out of sight.
Updated: Jan 8, 2014