Mass: 43 to 150 kg
Length: to 6 ft. (1.8 m)
Biomes: tropical deciduous forest,temperate forest & rainforest,temperate grassland,chaparral,mountains,desert.
Status: no special status.
Range: Odocoileus hemionus occurs over most of North America west of the 100th
meridian from 23 degrees to 60 degrees N. The eastern edge of the usual range extends from southwestern Saskatchewan through central North and South Dakota, Nebraska, Kansas, and western Texas. Major gaps in geographic distribution are in southern Nevada, southeastern California, southwestern Arizona, and the Great Salt Lake desert region. Apart from these gaps, O. hemionus occurs in all of the biomes of western North America north of central Mexico, except the Arctic tundra (Anderson 1984).
Mule deer are characterized by a gray winter coat or brown summer coat; a white colored throat, chin, and rump; and bucks have antlers which fork and then fork again. Mule deer are commonly mistaken for white-tailed deer.
Mule deer are herbivorous and feed on mountain mahogany, chokecherry, grasses, sagebrush, serviceberry, bitterbrush, and forbs (forest herbs). Heavy snows force the mule deer to consume sage and juniper, as well. Though food is abundant in the warmer seasons, winter starvation is a common cause of death for the mule deer. Overwinter mortality of fawns up to 75 percent is considered normal.
Tracks are 2 - 3 in. (5 - 8 cm.) long. Dew claws are evident in snow, mud or soft soil, and when running.