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Author Topic: Which is bigger- whitetail or mule deer?  (Read 11152 times)

Offline bobcat

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    • robert68
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:
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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 80–106 cm (31–42 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 55–150 kg (121–330 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!

 

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