Whitetail of Mule Deer? Do they cross?

Submitted by J F hickey on 8/29/99. ( jfhickeyny@aol.com. )

I have a customer and friend who has been argueing that white
tail deer cross in the wild with mule deer. I have never seen any reference to this in any publication . The question is more do they cross breed than is it possible in a lab. If they do, seems like it would make a great competition piece.

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Yes they can

This response submitted by BigD on 8/29/99. ( ads61@gointer.net )

Leonard Lee Rue, III's book "The Deer of North America" contains some good information about mule deer/whitetail interbreeding. Although not as common as mule deer/blacktail interbreeding it does happen.

Yes they do.

This response submitted by John C on 8/29/99. ( )

The western states are prime place. The whitetail buck is more aggresive when the rut is on and will breed the muley do. When traveling western areas keep a look out in all the place where people normally hang racks for display. These cross breeding is possibly, the thing that make some of the whitetail racks larger out west. When I lived in Kansas I harvested a muley with a whitetail type rack. Had it been further northwest it could have been mistaken for a black tail. Research will prove the do Fielf and stream had a ok article on it a few years ago. John C

Big ears

This response submitted by Joey on 8/29/99. ( )

I ordered a whitetail cape from up north one time, and it's ears where huge. Everything about it was whitetail except the ears. They had a black band all the way around the inner edge. I wondered if this was a whitetail / muledeer cross.


This response submitted by ono on 8/29/99. ( )

DEFINITLY ,i have seen a mule deer or was i thought to be a mule deer that was really a cross we all told him he was wrong and didnt know the difference since he hadnt been hunting long ,not until my uncle showed up to cnfirm that it did have a white tail after all and that he to was taken back at what he had see when they gutted it .

Easy dont get to carried away.

This response submitted by John C on 8/29/99. ( )

Deer are just like people. Remember they are not clones. So one might have bigger ears than others or have a differrent color face even. I have never seen any two deer that look a like. I have done a bunch of the too. John C


This response submitted by George Roof on 8/29/99. ( georoof@aol.com )

They certainly do. I've seen it in southeastern Montana. Warm weather keeps the big muley bucks in the high country, but does and yearling fawns have come down to the river banks in the flat lands. When they come in estrus, whitetail bucks are more than happy to service them.
As we speak, I have two fresh mounts from the Powder River area in my shop now. One is especially mutated. His G-2 that should have forked has shark teeth like projections on its back side. He also sports a classic second white throat patch in the traditional salt and pepper grey hair of the mule deer species.

Cross Country

This response submitted by Kim Owens on 8/30/99. ( creativecritters@msn.com )

We live in west texas and we mount at least 2 deer a year that are crosses. Some will carry the whitetail antlers with mule deer capes or visa versa. It is possible, if a game warden wants to be horsy, that you can be ticketed for tagging your trophy with the wrong tag. The only way to be sure about what you've got is the glands in the legs. I haven't ever heard of anyone not shooting a deer that they believe is a mule deer or a whitetail (depending on what you're hunting) because they checked out the glands!!

I really happens

This response submitted by Jeff on 8/31/99. ( )

A deer farmer down the road has several crosses. His buck is a mule deer and some of his does are whitetails and they hve hybred fawns every year although they are like a mule; horse- donkey cross and cannot reproduce

Reason for crossbreds.

This response submitted by John C on 11/23/99. ( )

I am told by several deer biologist from western states that crossbredding occures because the mule deer bucks don't fight as aggressivly as the whitetail. Muley bucks are then beat out for breeding purposes. This has lead to the expansion of the whitetail herd into areas that are traditional Mule deer range.

* Bios. from KS, CO, NB, WY and SD all gave me the same answers so I think I have to beleive them on this one. JC

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