Description: Mule deer are common in Idaho. They are usually dark gray-brown and they have a white patch on their rumps, along with a small, black-tipped tail. Mule deer are often confused for their close cousins, white tailed deer, but they are different in several ways. They carry their tails in a droopy position, while white tailed deer carry their white tails in an upright position. Mule deer also move differently than white tailed deer; when startled, they seem to jump, with all four feet hitting the ground together in what looks like a series of leaps. Mule deer also have very large ears and larger antlers than white tailed deer.
Mule deer doe (female)
Habitat: Mule deer can live in many different environments, and they are one of the most plentiful large mammals in North America. They are found from the Arctic Circle in the Yukon to northern Mexico! You can often see them grazing on BLM rangelands in winter, where they can reach edible grasses under the snow and nibble on sagebrush. They have large ears, which are constantly moving.
Food: Mule Deer summer forage is chiefly herbaceous plants, but also blackberry, huckleberry, salal, and thimbleberry; winter browse includes twigs of Douglas-fir, cedar, yew, aspen, willow, dogwood, serviceberry, chokecherry, juniper, bitterbrush and sagebrush. They also eat apples and crops where available.
Fun Facts: Mule deer are probably the most common large-game animal in Idaho, with a population of over 300,000.
Mule deer buck (male) foraging for food