other government agencies. build a custom map for New Mexico GMU 21B South. At about three weeks of age, the fawns begin sampling solid foods, and shortly thereafter they begin to accompany the doe almost constantly. Topo Maps, Aerial Photos, and Topo/Aerial Hybrids. Fawns that are larger at birth, or born earlier, tend to be larger at weaning and therefore are more likely to survive. Between feedings, the food is regurgitated and rechewed as cud. All other rights reserved. is a Research Scientist (Wildlife) with the Department of Extension Animal Sciences and Natural Resources at NMSU. When a deer browses, a characteristic stub remains (Figure 5). Rocky Mountain mule deer are found from above the timberline to low-elevation short grasslands, and frequently in urban areas. Everything you need to plan your New Mexico hunting trips for 2020. 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). Heffelfinger, J. New Road Updates: MyTopo GMU maps now contain updated National Forest and public land roads sourced directly from the US Forest Service and On CRLRC, mule deer densities declined from 1.9 deer/mi2 in 2005 to 0.7 deer/mi2 in 2008, highlighting the variation possible in deer populations in response to drought and other factors. 2007. The breeding class is usually the prime-aged mature bucks, plus a few younger bucks who are exceptionally large-bodied or aggressive. Get the latest species and season information. Bender, L.C., J.C. Boren, H. Halbritter, and S. Cox. The dark brown scat of mule deer is usually found in clumps. Las Cruces: New Mexico State University Cooperative Extension Service. Land use policies developed by land management agencies are an important component of mule deer management. Common foods in northern New Mexico include aspen, chokecherry, oaks, bearberry, bitterbrush, mountain mahogany, and most other shrubs in the rose family (Rosaceae). This agency is responsible for the management of big game populations in New Mexico. The resulting track patterns of the two species obviously differ. Mule deer have extremely large ears, hence the name. Survival and cause-specific mortality of mule deer fawns in northcentral New Mexico. Malnutrition is the most common cause of death (excluding hunting) in studied mule deer populations in New Mexico. Because of their need for high-quality foods, deer are always on the move while feeding. Cooperative Extension programs, the Western Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies Mule Deer Working Group (www.muledeerworkinggroup.com), and State Wildlife Agencies all have publications and other information available on increasing the quality of deer habitat. When the mule deer runs, all four feet leave the ground at once, unlike the white-tailed deer, which pushes off with its hind feet. Many states also restrict movement of venison or other parts of deer, elk, and moose from areas or states where CWD is present; be sure to check with local Game Departments for regulations on transporting venison. Browsing by deer leaves jagged twig ends. Mule deer have a gestation period of about seven months. The does are receptive for about three days. 2007. Later, improved range management favoring grasses over shrubs, control of fires allowing shrublands to grow old or develop into closed forests, and greatly reduced logging all reduced preferred mule deer habitats. Despite this, hunters should avoid eating venison from infected animals (or other obviously sick animals) and should use simple precautions, such as wearing latex gloves when handling deer or elk from areas known to have CWD. Basics of trophy management [Guide L-111]. The jagged, shredded end of the twig results when the lower incisors pinch the twig against the toothless upper gums. After about age seven the number of fawns will decrease again. Game Management Unit 2A There is little actual fighting between bucks because dominance hierarchy has usually been established before peak rutting periods occur. Game Management Unit 21B Maps for GMU 21B BLM Maps: Deming Quad, Hatch Quad, Las Cruces Quad, San Mateo Mountains Quad, and Truth or Consequences Quad. © 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. In areas where deer are abundant, antlerless and either-sex hunts are used. Mule deer may also stot, or bounce stiff-leggedly on all four legs, when fleeing. Bucks remove the velvet from their antlers on small trees and shrubs. Thus, permanent watering spots should be retained and created where desired, especially in desert mule deer ranges. 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. Shop New Mexico Hunt Maps. 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. This is influenced by time of year, activity, and the kind of forage the deer is eating. Bender, L.C. Likewise, survival of fawns can range from >50% to none surviving, and the latter occurs during droughts when condition of adult females is very poor (Lomas and Bender, 2007). For permission to use publications for other purposes, contact pubs@nmsu.edu or the authors listed on the publication. The summer coat is fine and silky in texture and the winter coat is coarser and thicker. Landscape dynamics of aspen and conifer forests. Mule deer can live about 10–15 years. Contents of publications may be freely reproduced for educational purposes. 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. Bartos, T.J. Stohlgren, and L.G. Condition, survival, and cause-specific mortality of mule deer in northcentral New Mexico. Acknowledgement: Some of the information presented here was obtained from publications of the New Mexico Department of Game and Fish (www.wildlife.state.nm.us). 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). They lose their spots two to three months after they are born. This, combined with a faster metabolism than elk or cattle, is what drives their need for high-quality, easily digestible foods. Mule deer (Odocoileus hemionus, Figure 1) are one of the most important game animals in New Mexico and the West. In J.C. de Vos, Jr., M.R. Owners who want to improve mule deer habitat on private lands should keep in mind a wide range of considerations. Uncertainty still lingers over exactly how CWD is spread and even the causative agent, which is likely an abnormal protein called a prion. New Mexico State University is an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer and educator. However, the World Health Organization has concluded that there is no evidence that CWD can be transmitted to humans. College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences, New Mexico State University, Authors: Respectively, Senior Research Scientist (Wildlife) and Retired Extension Range Management Specialist, Department of Extension Animal Sciences and Natural Resources, New Mexico State University. Whether mule deer need free water is uncertain; they can probably meet their needs from succulent foods. Journal of Wildlife Management, 71, 884–894. Because of population declines, harvests of mule deer have also declined; deer harvests (mostly mule deer), estimated to be as high as 55,000 in 1960, declined to <10,000 in 2013. Interactions between predators and mule deer are complex and highly variable across distance and time; the key to understanding predation is differentiating between the act of predation and the effect of predation. Human-Wildlife Interactions, 6, 245—260. Conover, and N.E. 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. Hoenes, and C.L. Shepperd, D. Binkley, D.L. The deer pulls and actually tears the twig, leaving a jagged, uneven end rather than a smooth cut. Game Management Unit 24 Maps for GMU 24 BLM Maps: Deming Quad, Hatch Quad, Mogollon Mountains Quad, Silver City Quad, and Truth or Consequences Quad. They normally spend summer and winter in the same general area. So, what does the future hold for mule deer? Journal of Range Management, 50, 129–138. Original author: James E. Knight, Extension Wildlife Specialist. Only through coordinated efforts of these agencies and support for management programs from the general public can New Mexico be assured of a healthy mule deer population. 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 southern New Mexico, common foods include mountain mahogany, oaks, skunkbush, yucca, ceanothus, mesquite pods, globemallow, vervain, and silktassel. 2012. 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). The locations, date, and length of seasons are used to control hunter numbers and densities; this in turn controls harvest to some extent. When the female is no longer receptive, the buck will leave her to seek other does. For more information on all aspects of mule and white-tailed deer ecology and management, see Deer of the Southwest (Heffelfinger, 2006). Headrick (Eds. The fibrous material on which a deer has been feeding is often observable in the scat. His research and management programs emphasize ungulate and carnivore management, integrated wildlife and livestock habitat management, and wildlife enterprises in the Southwest and internationally. (Photo by Mara Weisenberger.). Fort Collins: U.S. Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station. Rodden. They take a bite and move on, spending little time in one spot, selecting the best foods that are available. Mule deer are extremely varied in their habitats. Condition, survival, and productivity of mule deer in semiarid grassland-woodland in east-central New Mexico. Mule deer are classed as concentrate selectors, meaning they eat lesser amounts of very high-quality foods; hence, they select for foods with high concentrations of readily digestible nutrients such as simple sugars. Mature desert mule deer average about 140 lb field-dressed, with the largest deer approaching 170 lb. White-tailed deer are more vulnerable to HD (especially epizootic hemorrhagic disease) than mule deer, and thus high mortality from HD is more common in white-tailed deer and pronghorn than mule deer. Much of the concern about CWD involves its similarity to bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE), or mad cow disease; consuming products from BSE-infected cattle has been linked to fatal new variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease in humans. We seek to improve the lives of New Mexicans, the nation, and the world through research, teaching, and extension. To find more resources for your business, home, or family, visit the College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences on the World Wide Web at aces.nmsu.edu. Factors influencing survival of desert mule deer in the greater San Andres Mountains, New Mexico. Unlike the white-tailed deer, the mule deer does not raise its tail in alarm, but holds it against the body as it flees. 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.