"A small crowd of mule deer"
Mule deer
Creative Commons Attribution Share AlikeMule deer - Credit: Oborseth

The mule deer (Odocoileus hemionus) gets its name from its large mule-like ears. The mule deer's tail is black-tipped. Mule deer antlers "fork" as they grow rather than branching from a single main beam (as with white-tails). Each year a buck's antlers start to grow in spring and are shed after mating season from mid-January to mid-April. Instead of running, mule deer move with a bounding leap (stot), with all four feet coming down together.

During the winter, most mule deer move down from the mountains, where the snow is deeper, into the valleys, where food is easier to reach.