NMSU and the U.S. Department of Agriculture cooperating.

A viewpoint: Rangeland health and mule deer habitat. During their first few days, they remain hidden and alone except when feeding (Figure 4). Normally, a doe has one fawn the first time she gives birth.

Las Cruces: New Mexico State University Cooperative Extension Service.

These supply the protein and minerals needed for the growth of antlers, which are the fastest-growing tissues in the animal kingdom. In late August or September, the velvet dries up and is rubbed off on small trees and shrubs as the antlers harden or mineralize. Fawns get up on their feet only hours after birth, but they are rather unsteady and very susceptible to predation. Fawns are usually born in June and July, later in southern New Mexico and later if does are in poor condition. So, what does the future hold for mule deer?

Land use policies developed by land management agencies are an important component of mule deer management. State hunt unit or game management unit boundary is overlaid on the BLM base.

Lou Bender

Logan, UT: Jack H. Berryman Institute. Human-Wildlife Interactions, 6, 245—260. Las Cruces: New Mexico State University Cooperative Extension Service.

Mule deer are extremely varied in their habitats.

The breeding class is usually the prime-aged mature bucks, plus a few younger bucks who are exceptionally large-bodied or aggressive. Guidelines for management of habitat for mule deer: Piñon-juniper, Chihuahuan desert, arid grasslands, and associated arid habitat types [Circular 662].

A characteristic feature of the mule deer is the large white rump patch that surrounds the base of the tail. Condition, survival, and productivity of mule deer in semiarid grassland-woodland in east-central New Mexico.

There are two subspecies of mule deer in New Mexico, the Rocky Mountain mule deer (O. hemionus hemionus) and the desert mule deer (O. hemionus eremicus). Rodden.

This agency is responsible for the management of big game populations in New Mexico. The size of the mule deer population in New Mexico is unknown, and densities of mule deer can vary greatly among areas and over time. Bender, L.C., J.C. Boren, H. Halbritter, and S. Cox. Game Management Unit 2A In W.D. Bender, L.C., L.A. Lomas, and J. Browning.

Unlike the white-tailed deer, the mule deer does not raise its tail in alarm, but holds it against the body as it flees. Learn more about our mission and programs. If they are not bred during this time, their cycles will continue, and 28 days later they will again be receptive. New Mexico GMU 21B North, Hunting Unit Map, New Mexico GMU 21B South, Hunting Unit Map.

The scarred and broken branches and bark are easily observed about 18 inches above the ground.

Predators kill deer in New Mexico each year. Owners who want to improve mule deer habitat on private lands should keep in mind a wide range of considerations. Revised by Louis C. Bender and Chris Allison Because of their need for high-quality foods, deer are always on the move while feeding.

Shop New Mexico Hunt Maps.

Rocky Mountain mule deer are found from above the timberline to low-elevation short grasslands, and frequently in urban areas.

Antler size and number of points depend mostly on the deer's age, physical condition, and their genetic background (Bender, 2011).

Lomas, L.A., and L.C. This encourages harvest by hunters where numbers need to be reduced and maintains a younger, more productive age structure in the doe population.

Figure 5. 2003.

Human-Wildlife Interactions, 5, 276—286. Ideal range of mule deer provides both food and cover, with shrublands and woodlands providing the best habitat because they provide both food and cover. Opinions are like a**holes everyones got one but not everyone cares so keep them to yourselves! Habitat changes resulting from extensive logging, initial overgrazing of grasslands, and large wildfires greatly favored mule deer by creating large areas of shrublands and early successional (saplings) forests. Availability of water can influence deer use of a particular area. New Road Updates: MyTopo GMU maps now contain updated National Forest and public land roads sourced directly from the US Forest Service and

In areas where deer are abundant, antlerless and either-sex hunts are used.

Landscape dynamics of aspen and conifer forests.

Original author: James E. Knight, Extension Wildlife Specialist.

When predation is additive to other mortality factors, then predation can limit deer populations. The jagged, shredded end of the twig results when the lower incisors pinch the twig against the toothless upper gums. The chief animals that prey upon deer are mountain lions, black bears, Mexican wolves, coyotes, bobcats, and feral dogs.

5–14). These are, as noted previously, mainly browse and forbs. Mule deer have extremely large ears, hence the name. Piñon and juniper may be used during dry seasons and winter months despite plant toxins, the effects of which can be minimized by mixing these with other plant species.

However, the World Health Organization has concluded that there is no evidence that CWD can be transmitted to humans.

), Mule deer conservation: Issues and management challenges (pp. During outbreaks, some deer die quickly with no apparent signs of disease, others may die within a week, some recover but are debilitated, and still other deer show no sign of disease during outbreaks, and survivors may develop immunity to that particular virus serotype (but not necessarily other HD virus serotypes). Although HD can be enzootic (always present in low frequency), in mule deer it is most commonly seen in infrequent epizootics (outbreaks), which can result in a large number of deaths when deer and vector conditions are conducive to outbreaks.


These changes have driven deer populations down because they have greatly reduced both the amount and quality of mule deer habitat. CWD, a transmissible spongiform encephalopathy, is very rare in New Mexico and is limited to portions of the San Andres, Organ, and Sacramento Mountains.


For example, densities of mule deer ranged from an estimated <1.2 deer/mi2 on private land in Colfax County to <1.9 deer/mi2 on New Mexico State University's Corona Range and Livestock Research Center (CRLRC), while a recent minimum count found 3.7 deer/mi2 in higher-density areas of the San Andres Mountains (Bender et al., 2011, 2012; L. Bender, unpublished data). In general, mule deer have been declining in numbers in New Mexico since populations peaked around the 1960s, similar to declines seen throughout the West (Heffelfinger and Messmer, 2003). The fibrous material on which a deer has been feeding is often observable in the scat.


Journal of Wildlife Management, 71, 1118—1124.

Messmer. Mule deer bucks have antlers that are forked (Figure 2) instead of being like a white-tailed deer's, whose points rise from the main beam (Figure 3).

During winter, deer that use higher elevations usually migrate to lower elevations where food is more easily obtainable and deep snow does not limit their movements. Deer of the Southwest.

When new impoundments are built, several smaller holes are more desirable than one large one. Mule deer responded to these new habitats, especially the huge increase in shrublands, with population increases that peaked generally sometime during the 1940s to 1970s. 2011.

He earned his Ph.D. from Michigan State University. Condition, survival, and cause-specific mortality of mule deer in northcentral New Mexico. The reddish-brown fawns are spotted and depend on their protective coloration for safety. Uncertainty still lingers over exactly how CWD is spread and even the causative agent, which is likely an abnormal protein called a prion. (Photo by Terry Spivey, USDA Forest Service, Bugwood.org.).

Between feedings, the food is regurgitated and rechewed as cud.

Heffelfinger, J.R., and T.A. After about age seven the number of fawns will decrease again. Their daily intake varies from 0 to 1 1/2 quarts per 100 pounds of body weight.

On CRLRC, mule deer densities declined from 1.9 deer/mi 2 in 2005 to 0.7 deer/mi 2 in 2008, highlighting the variation possible in deer populations in response to drought and other factors. The smaller or less-aggressive bucks recognize their superiors and usually give in to their dominance. These maps include public land ownership boundaries, topography, roads, and key terrain features. Common foods in northern New Mexico include aspen, chokecherry, oaks, bearberry, bitterbrush, mountain mahogany, and most other shrubs in the rose family (Rosaceae). Introduction. New Mexico GMU 21B North, Hunting Unit Map: Map Size: 36" x 48" Price: $34.95: If you're looking for a more detailed map or aerial photo of a portion of this GMU you can also build a custom map for New Mexico GMU 21B North. Thus, the welfare of mule deer in New Mexico is influenced by other uses of forests and rangelands. Probably the most publicized diseases of mule deer are the epizootic hemorrhagic disease-bluetongue complex (collectively called hemorrhagic disease [HD]) and chronic wasting disease (CWD). During breeding periods, mature bucks cover a large area in search of receptive females (does). Food passes through their digestive system much more rapidly than in elk or cattle, however, and this short retention time limits just how much plant material mule deer can digest.

The does are receptive for about three days. Hunting is the main source of mortality for adult bucks, and control of hunting seasons is used to manage mule deer populations in New Mexico.

is a Research Scientist (Wildlife) with the Department of Extension Animal Sciences and Natural Resources at NMSU. 2001.

Figure 4.

Factors influencing survival of desert mule deer in the greater San Andres Mountains, New Mexico. The summer coat is fine and silky in texture and the winter coat is coarser and thicker.

Outbreaks occur during late summer or early autumn, usually in close proximity to wet areas. © 2017 New Mexico State University - Board of Regents, College of Agricultural, Consumer, and Environmental Sciences, College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences (ACES), Pocket Guide to the Native Bees of New Mexico, Pocket Guide to the Beneficial Insects of New Mexico.

Ultimately, however, habitat is the key to mule deer populations. Mule deer may also stot, or bounce stiff-leggedly on all four legs, when fleeing. Bartos, T.J. Stohlgren, and L.G. build a custom map for New Mexico GMU 21B South. The dropping of antlers occurs when the length of daylight decreases, triggering glandular reactions that control the production of testosterone, insulin-like growth factor-1, and other hormones. Winter diets may be supplemented with firs, pines, and other evergreens, though in limited quantities because many of these conifers contain secondary plant compounds that are toxic to deer, inhibiting function of their digestive systems. In southern New Mexico, common foods include mountain mahogany, oaks, skunkbush, yucca, ceanothus, mesquite pods, globemallow, vervain, and silktassel. The track is from 2 3/4 to 3 1/4 inches long, and the walking stride is 22 to 24 inches long. Bender, L.C., B.D. 2011. The average lifespan of bucks is shorter than does, especially in areas of heavy hunting pressure. Diversity is the key to managing mule deer; the healthiest deer herds are those on ranges that supply the greatest variety and abundance of woody browse and forbs of high nutritional quality throughout the year. Whether predation is mostly additive or mostly compensatory varies with the specific local conditions of the predator and prey communities, and their surroundings.

They prefer higher-quality foods like forbs (commonly called weeds) and browse (leaves, buds, and new shoots of shrubs and trees), but they also utilize grasses when young and actively growing as well as succulents. College Station: Texas A&M University Press.

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