Mule Deer


Mule Deer (Odocoileus hemionus), or Venado Bura in Spanish, are browsers, meaning they search for plant material like weeds, twigs, and leaves to eat year-round. In the fall, Mule Deer browse for as many acorns as they can find. The acorns provide them with important nutrients and fat that will sustain them through the winter.

Mule Deer are easily recognizable by their black-tipped tails, long ears, and twice-forked antlers on mature males. Young or juvenile Mule Deer can sometimes be confused with the white-tailed deer as both may have a dark stripe down the back. Twinning, or giving birth to “twins”, is common among Mule Deer.

Did you know? Male Mule Deer, called “bucks,” shed and regrow their antlers and velvet every year. Female Mule Deer, called “does,” do not have antlers.

Learn more about the Mule Deer at the University of Michigan Museum of Zoology.

PHOTO CREDIT: Bradford D. Hollingsworth