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Learn the difference between elk, white-tails, and mule deer.

Elk | Mule Deer | White-Tailed Deer

Mule Deer
Odocoileus hemionus Large, rotating, mule-like ears give these stocky, midsize deer their name.

This highly adaptable ungulate is found in every state west of the Mississippi, mostly in semi-arid woodlands and chaparral.

Mule deer establish distinct home ranges where forests border grasslands. These edge zones provide good foraging for green leaves, twigs, acorns, and berries.

Rather than run, mule deer escape by bounding on all four legs. This tactic, called stotting, helps them quickly switch directions and navigate rocky terrain.

Look for matted-down grass circles the size of a bathtub where mule deer rest during the heat of the day.

Antlers
Tines fork in a V-shape; a mature rack can spread to a 3-foot width
Rump
Small, white rump patch;
4- to 8-inch black-tipped tail
Coat
Stocky, gray-brown body is marked by dark forehead and white muzzle

Elk | Mule Deer | White-Tailed Deer

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