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groundhog's picture
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Whitetail Mule Deer Hybrid

Whitetail Mule Deer Hybrid, where I live there seems to be more of this going on. I think its due to the growing mule deer population here. I know the white tail here are more aggressive in the rut and will run off a mulie buck but every year coming in to the rut I see some herds mixed and there always seems to be at least one hybrid in there.

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Can you post a pic of what a

Can you post a pic of what a whitetail/muley hybrid looks like?

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Whitetail Mule Deer Hybrid

I've read some about that going on in some locations around the country. If I recall correctly, it was thought more because Whitetail were becoming more prevelent in what were habitually Mule deer habitats in past years. I think there was concern that the Whitetail might be going to push some Mule deer out of areas over time...?

A couple of years ago I was hunting an area known to have both species, with the Whitetail generally at the higher elevations, and Mule deer lower. The state issued tags for a specific species there, and you had better be sure. Anyway, I glassed a Whitetail myself that looked an awful lot like a Mulie in color and markings, but the antlers and tail obviously Whitetail, though the tail did look somewhat smaller in length as well. I haven't a clue if it was a hybrid or not, but it did throw me for a while.

I remember reading about a Grizzly and Polar Bear mix that kind of got a guy in trouble up in Canada a few years back as well.

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Hybrid

Here is one shot from around my area but he's not a good example, they usually have a slightly stunted growth and lack survival and breading abilities. You can kinda see his back end there is a bushy white tail back there between his legs. This deer was tagged as a white tail. I have some better pic's of another one I'll try and dig up.

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Hybrid

The antlers sure have Mulie in them to me...

Thanks.

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Interesting, but nice looking

Interesting, but nice looking buck

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   Pretty nice looking buck.

   Pretty nice looking buck. More pictures would be appreciated.

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I don't think that you will

I don't think that you will really be able to tell the difference between the two unless  you see a mule deer doe with a white tail looking fawn.  There are way too many variables.  I've seen mule deer antlers that you would swear were from a white tail in an area that is more miles than you would want to travel to find a white tail.  So what happened to his antlers? 

There is no doubt that where you find both spieces during the rut you are going to have hybreds from both types of buck deer. 

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I have seen a few pics of

I have seen a few pics of whitetail/muley hybrids, one had a muley body as far as tail and face markings but a whitetails rack with 1 main beam and tines branching off like a whitetail. I also see mixed breeding between mule deer and blacktails, they both mingle from the crest of the cascades down the eastern slopes.

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I'd love to see some kind of

I'd love to see some kind of DNA breakdown of deer like that. I've heard people talk about hybrids a lot. But its usually because of the make up of  the rack. A whitetail with forks and people say he must have mule deer in him. A mulie with tall brow tines and people say looks like he has whitetail in him.  I always figured they were cousins anyway so maybe some favor the other species. Who knows.

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One of the popular stories

One of the popular stories about the origin of the mule deer is that they are a sub spieces of a White Tail/Black Tail mix.