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Author Topic: Which is bigger- whitetail or mule deer?  (Read 2793 times)

Offline bobcat

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Which is bigger- whitetail or mule deer?
« on: November 22, 2013, 11:29:50 AM »
Not talking about antler size here, but body size and weight. Also not talking of the blacktail/mule deer cross deer that we have here in the Cascades.

So let's say deer from states like Idaho, Montana, and Wyoming.

I did some searching online but can't find any definitive answers. Most sources seem to say whitetails and mule deer are the same size. I always thought mule deer were slightly bigger. But maybe not. Also I'm wondering about both male and female, not just bucks.

Any biologists on here?

Offline huntnphool

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Re: Which is bigger- whitetail or mule deer?
« Reply #1 on: November 22, 2013, 11:32:55 AM »
I've shot both in each of those states and the mule deer have been larger in each state. :twocents:
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Offline vandeman17

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Re: Which is bigger- whitetail or mule deer?
« Reply #2 on: November 22, 2013, 11:35:02 AM »
My experience, though limited is that mule deer tend to be a little bigger body wise the whitetails. I have hunted and killed deer in WA, ID and MT and have found this to be true. It just seems to me that mule deer are more stalky and tend to carry a little more weight then the leaner whitetails. I know there are exceptions because I have seem some FAT whitetails but in general, I think mulies are bigger.  :twocents:
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Offline Mr Mykiss

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Re: Which is bigger- whitetail or mule deer?
« Reply #3 on: November 22, 2013, 11:38:38 AM »
in general, I think mulies are bigger.  :twocents:
:yeah:

Offline KFhunter

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Re: Which is bigger- whitetail or mule deer?
« Reply #4 on: November 22, 2013, 11:40:33 AM »
no question - mule deer are larger body mass overall


WT taste better though  :tup:


What's confusing is WT vary in body size by state and even subspecies, mule deer tend to always be about the same. 
In TX the WT are pretty small, up here they're about middle size and Alberta they're huge - and in NE states too they're big.

You should see the little dinkers in Florida  :chuckle:

Offline bobcat

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Re: Which is bigger- whitetail or mule deer?
« Reply #5 on: November 22, 2013, 11:41:20 AM »
I'd like to see some actual studies that have been done, or data that's been compiled of the actual live or hanging weight of both species. Anyone know of any such thing?

Offline Kazekurt

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Re: Which is bigger- whitetail or mule deer?
« Reply #6 on: November 22, 2013, 11:45:07 AM »
In general, mule deer are bigger but I've heard of 400 lbs whitetail being taken so there are exceptions.

Offline KFhunter

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Re: Which is bigger- whitetail or mule deer?
« Reply #7 on: November 22, 2013, 11:46:22 AM »
I'd like to see some actual studies that have been done, or data that's been compiled of the actual live or hanging weight of both species. Anyone know of any such thing?

Hard to do, which group of WT are you going to compare?

A Florida WT - no contest they're tiny.
TX?  Also small WT

Alberta?  Some of them bruisers would give any mule deer a run for hanging weight!


If you just want to talk about WA - then the averages would fall to the mule deer.  I've hung up a lot of each the mules always run bigger.



Offline bobcat

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Re: Which is bigger- whitetail or mule deer?
« Reply #8 on: November 22, 2013, 11:47:59 AM »
I'd like to see some actual studies that have been done, or data that's been compiled of the actual live or hanging weight of both species. Anyone know of any such thing?

Hard to do, which group of WT are you going to compare?

A Florida WT - no contest they're tiny.
TX?  Also small WT

Alberta?  Some of them bruisers would give any mule deer a run for hanging weight!


That's why I specified- Idaho, Montana, and Wyoming.

Offline KFhunter

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Re: Which is bigger- whitetail or mule deer?
« Reply #9 on: November 22, 2013, 11:49:19 AM »
oh you did  :tung:

My non-expert opinion says mule deer - actually I considered this a no brainer

Offline Kazekurt

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Re: Which is bigger- whitetail or mule deer?
« Reply #10 on: November 22, 2013, 11:49:35 AM »
The mule deer is the larger of the two Odocoileus species on average, with a height of 80106 cm (3142 in) at the shoulders and a nose-to-tail length ranging from 1.2 to 2.1 m (3.9 to 6.9 ft). Of this, the tail may comprise 11.6 to 23 cm (4.6 to 9.1 in). Adult bucks (male deer) normally weigh 55150 kg (121330 lb), averaging around 92 kg (203 lb), although trophy specimens may weigh up to 210 kg (460 lb). Does (female deer) are rather smaller and typically weigh from 43 to 90 kg (95 to 200 lb), with an average of around 68 kg (150 lb).[8][9][10][11] Unlike the whitetail, the mule deer does not generally show marked size variation across its range, although environmental conditions can cause considerable weight fluctuations in any given population. An exception to this is the subspecies, the Sitka black-tailed deer (O. h. sitkensis). This race is markedly smaller than other mule deer, with an average weight of 54.5 kg (120 lb) and 36 kg (79 lb) in males and females, respectively.[12]

Offline csaaphill

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Re: Which is bigger- whitetail or mule deer?
« Reply #11 on: November 22, 2013, 11:49:58 AM »
Mule deer are bigger usually
even does weigh more than whitetail does.
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Offline bobcat

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Re: Which is bigger- whitetail or mule deer?
« Reply #12 on: November 22, 2013, 11:50:23 AM »
Eastern Washington could be included in that as well, so long as it's not in an area that has the blacktail influence.

Offline Kazekurt

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Re: Which is bigger- whitetail or mule deer?
« Reply #13 on: November 22, 2013, 11:53:15 AM »
Size and weight
The white-tailed deer is highly variable in size, generally following Bergmann's rule that the average size is larger further away from the Equator. North American male deer (also known as a buck or stag) usually weighs 60 to 130 kg (130 to 290 lb) but, in rare cases, bucks in excess of 159 kg (351 lb) have been recorded. Mature bucks over 400 pounds are recorded in the northernmost reaches of their native range, specifically, Minnesota and Ontario. In 1926, Carl J. Lenander, Jr. took a white-tailed buck near Tofte, MN, that weighed 183 kg (403 lb) after it was field-dressed (internal organs removed) and was estimated at 232 kg (511 lb) when alive.[5] The female (doe) in North America usually weighs from 40 to 90 kg (88 to 200 lb). White-tailed deer from the tropics and the Florida Keys are markedly smaller-bodied than temperate populations, averaging 35 to 50 kg (77 to 110 lb), with an occasional adult female as small as 25.5 kg (56 lb).[6] White-tailed deer from the Andes are larger than other tropical deer of this species and have thick, slightly woolly-looking fur. Length ranges from 95 to 220 cm (37 to 87 in), including a tail of 10 to 36.5 cm (3.9 to 14.4 in), and the shoulder height is 53 to 120 cm (21 to 47 in).[7][8] Including all races, the average summer weight of adult males is 68 kg (150 lb) and is 45.3 kg (100 lb) in adult females.[9]

Offline Kazekurt

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Re: Which is bigger- whitetail or mule deer?
« Reply #14 on: November 22, 2013, 11:56:05 AM »
Hopefully that info helps.  Looks like mule deer are definitely bigger an average but its crazy to think 500+ lbs whitetail have existed!

Offline boneaddict

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Re: Which is bigger- whitetail or mule deer?
« Reply #15 on: November 22, 2013, 03:16:09 PM »
Muledeer if comparing animals in relativly the same area. IMO.   Only exceptions that I can think of would be Saskatchewan or some of the northern Canadian states.   I am unfamiliar with the muleys there, but I bet they run larger as well in physical stature. 

Offline janttihunter

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Re: Which is bigger- whitetail or mule deer?
« Reply #16 on: November 22, 2013, 03:21:36 PM »
In Maine there have been a few 350-400 lb dressed Whitetail Bucks, and some 200 lb+ does, and its not uncommon to see a bunch of 250-300lb every year. But it does seem Muleys average size is prob bigger nation wide.
« Last Edit: November 22, 2013, 03:31:34 PM by janttihunter »

Offline RadSav

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Re: Which is bigger- whitetail or mule deer?
« Reply #17 on: November 22, 2013, 03:33:48 PM »
I will have to do some digging to see if I can find the study.  Can't remember if the information was footnoted in a past B&C record book or in a Tom Brakefield book.  I'll try to dig through my material this weekend.  As I remember the study found that while Ohio, Minnesota and some Canadian provinces produce some monster bucks each year the muledeer species as a whole is considerably larger than the whitetail species as a whole. Further...as feed will certainly allow each deer species to add and carry weight accordingly the larger bone structure and muscle structure of the muledeer would surely allow for a much larger body size if all feed and nutrients were equally shared.
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Offline oneshot12

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Re: Which is bigger- whitetail or mule deer?
« Reply #18 on: November 22, 2013, 03:35:57 PM »
 :twocents:  got to say its the muleys that are the bigger of the  two deer   .have seen and shot a few 200 lb plus  wt  on the east coast   but  by far the mules are much larger .

Offline snowpack

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Re: Which is bigger- whitetail or mule deer?
« Reply #19 on: November 22, 2013, 03:46:17 PM »
Not a lot of 'small' muleys that I can think of; but with being outnumbered by a bunch and much larger territory, I think Whitetails have areas where they average larger than mule deer.

Offline wildweeds

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Re: Which is bigger- whitetail or mule deer?
« Reply #20 on: November 22, 2013, 04:03:17 PM »
Biggest bodied deer I've seen on the hoof have been corn fed whitetail pigs in Iowa and South Dakota,The buck in Iowa had wrinkles on his sides and farted with every jump and was actually kind of a slow mover as compared to the rest of the deer in that herd we spooked off of a terrace eyebrow while birdhunting.

Offline stevemiller

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Re: Which is bigger- whitetail or mule deer?
« Reply #21 on: November 22, 2013, 04:09:42 PM »
Not a lot of 'small' muleys that I can think of; but with being outnumbered by a bunch and much larger territory, I think Whitetails have areas where they average larger than mule deer.
This is what I was gonna say.I realize Mich. was not in your list of states but Michigan white tails are huge,and abundant.  :twocents:

Offline bobcat

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Re: Which is bigger- whitetail or mule deer?
« Reply #22 on: November 22, 2013, 04:18:42 PM »
Basically what I'm trying to get at with my question is which species, where they occur in the same areas, would weigh more, on average.

So if you were to kill a mature animal in the same GMU, would the mule deer be bigger than the whitetail, and by how much.

Offline snowpack

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Re: Which is bigger- whitetail or mule deer?
« Reply #23 on: November 22, 2013, 04:30:33 PM »
Basically what I'm trying to get at with my question is which species, where they occur in the same areas, would weigh more, on average.

So if you were to kill a mature animal in the same GMU, would the mule deer be bigger than the whitetail, and by how much.
I think mule deer, maybe 30 % or more.  I can think of a few areas they share along the rockies and it seemed a big whitetail buck would be around 220-230 lb and a big mule from the same basic area would push 300 lb.

Offline Curly

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Re: Which is bigger- whitetail or mule deer?
« Reply #24 on: November 22, 2013, 05:28:31 PM »
http://www.monstermuleys.com/cgi-bin/stories/site99.pl?page=art-toddblackwhitetail
Quote
* White-tailed deer will out compete mule deer for available resources (food, shelter, etc.) in most habitat types. They occupy the same habitats and have similar food preferences (they are almost identical). They are similar in size, however, their ears, face, antler configuration, running (gait), etc. are different.


Quote
As Im a Utahan born and raised and Ive noticed the recent influx on Whitetail deer in a Mule Deer range so I thought Id compare the two cousins for everyone.

Whitetail deer could be described as having a reddish-brown coat in the spring that becomes more of a grayish-brown during the fall and winter. They got their name for the white underside of its tail. They stand about three feet tall with the buck weighing in around 130-220 lbs. and the doe coming in anywhere from 90-200 lbs. The mule deer is generally a grayish brown year round. The mule deer gets its name from the size of its mule-like ears. Mule deer have a white rump patch around tail, which is thinner than the broad tail of the whitetail, and has a black tip. The mule deer stand three to three and a half feet tall at the shoulder, with bucks weighing 125-250 lbs. and does weighing in between 100 and 150 pounds.

http://therealoutdoors.wordpress.com/2008/11/02/whitetail-vs-mule-deer/


http://windmill12.com/2012/07/18/the-difference-between-mule-and-whitetail-deer/
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Body size: mules weigh in a little heavier, but obviously theres a lot of overlap, and age/nutrition play a big role in determining a specific deers size.


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