Mule Deer Vs Whitetail: Differences And Similarities

Mule deer and whitetail deer may seem alike apparently. However, hunters know how unique the species are in their own ways. The most exciting aspect regarding the differences between the two is their colors. Even most of the hunters may not know, but these deer tend to change colors according to the change in weather.

For instance, the color of the bodies of these species is somewhat brown, or you can say more inclined towards red color. However, when the temperature gets cold, both have different colors. Mule deer turn into gray colors whereas whitetail deer turn tan. This change of colors is also known as ‘ winter coats.’ Winter coats are the outer hairy skin meant to protect them from the harsh cold weather.

Mule Deer Vs Whitetail Deer

Discover the Differences Between Mule Deer and Whitetail

Since we are comparing the two, let’s get into the details and see the clear Main differences and similarities between the two species. So, given below is the list:

1. Size and Shape of Antlers

Antlers make a deer unique and attractive while adding value to the grace deer. Mule deer possess huge antlers as compared to whitetail deer. We believe that the comparatively smaller size of the whitetail’s antlers is probably that it grows and lives in forest areas. An area where an animal grows affects a lot, i.e., how it looks, behaves, and everything else. Moreover, the shape of the antlers also varies a lot in both species.

2. Size and Shape of Ear

Now if we talk about the ears, the size and shape of the ears of both species are quite different. Mule deer have big ears compared to the size of a whitetail’s ears.

Mule deer have a big advantage over whitetail deer only because of their large-sized ears. Possessing big ears helps them to identify predators in an instant. Moreover, their ears also help them maintain their body temperature when the weather’s too hot.

3. Color and Shape of Tails

There are differences in the tails of mule deer and whitetail deer. Whitetail deer have big fluffy tails that are vibrant in color too. On the other hand, mule deer do not possess big tails. Rather, they have fine and slender tails.

However, one commonality factor between these species’ tails is that both deer possess tails with black ends. Moreover, the shape of the tails also varies in both species. For instance, mule deer have very thin tails, whereas whitetail deer have comparatively broader and flat tails.

4. Meat

The meat of mule deer is much more fleshy and tender than whitetail deer. However, everyone has their own preference and taste. Plus, there is no major difference between the meat of these two species.

Most people find them almost the same. Even if we talk about our experiences, we do not find any major difference. Moreover, the taste of the meat also depends upon the animal’s size and what the animal eats.

Frequently Asked Questions

The size and weight of an animal depend a lot on the environment in which it grows. The eating patterns also determine an animal’s size. Other than that, climatic conditions also affect the overall appearance of an animal. The same is the case with mule deer and whitetail deer. Both are inhabitants of different types of areas and climates.

Due to such reasons, mule deer are larger and are quite bulky too. In other words, we can say that mule deer are vigorous and demanding as compared to whitetail deer. Mule deer have huge and substantial antlers, big ears, and more weight than whitetail deer. However, the difference in weight is not much.

There is not a big difference between the weight of the two species. The difference is a minimum of ten to twenty pounds and not more than that. If we talk about mule deer, its weight ranges between a hundred pounds to two hundred pounds and sometimes even more than that.

On the other hand, the weight of a whitetail deer is from ninety pounds to two hundred pounds. So, this is an approximate difference between their weights. However, the weight also depends upon the height of the deer and on its age as well.

The major difference between a mule deer and a blacktail deer is in the shape and size of their antlers, tails, and ears. The antlers of a mule deer are quite strong and massive as compared to the blacktail deer. The blacktail deer are quite similar to the whitetail deer in every aspect. However, exceptions are always there.

Other than that, mule deer have big ears that are really helpful for them to protect themselves from the hundred or the predators. Plus, mule deer have sharp reflexes, too, due to which they can quickly figure out the danger. Other than that, the color and shape of the tails also vary. However, the tip of the tail is black in both cases.


Finally, the mule deer have slim and short tails. Meanwhile, whitetail deer have fluffy and hairy tails. The weight of both species also differs. For instance, if we solely talk about male mule deer, its height can sometimes be as tall as six feet or even more. The height also contributes to the weight of an animal. Other than that, there is not much difference between the meat of these two species.

Only a few people can differentiate between the taste and that with keen observation. Otherwise, the difference in taste could be more apparent. Moreover, if we talk about hunting, it is equally fun to hunt the two. However, they are challenging to target because of their reflexes. These were some fun facts regarding the two species of deer that you may find interesting.

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