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Canada's Species   Mammals

Mule Deer

Odocoileus hemionus

Mule Deer. Photo:Peter Mirejovsky
Mule Deer. Photo:Peter Mirejovsky

The mule deer is the most characteristic deer of western Canada, where its population usurps that of the white-tailed deer. It is larger, more thick-set, and its ears are longer. The mule deer can also be distinguished by its brown tail with a black tip. Groups of mule deer are lead by an experienced doe in the winter, and are more loosely organized in the summer, when they ascend to mountain meadows. These deer are known for their bounding gait, and for their excellent swimming ability. Does often swim to an island to give birth and cache their fawns away from predators, and some mule deer have been known to cross between coastal islands up to 25 kilometres apart.

Map of Mule Deer in Canada
Distribution of Mule Deer in Canada

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