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Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Mule Deer

Riding on the tails of last night's 4H Family Fun Night, we had our second Wildlife project meeting.  I was pleasantly surprised to find 5 new participants eagerly waiting to learn more about the project when I arrived!  We had 19 4Hers and 9 adults there to learn about wildlife.  This is a great turn out!

We started the meeting reviewing about the ringed-necked pheasant and then I was politely reminded that we were suppose to bring five plant specimens with us to identify.  So even though I forgot, we had about 20 specimens to identify.  I was surprised at how much we remembered but grasses ALWAYS gets the better of us.  I hope by practicing we can get better at identification.

Henry did a great job of presenting information about the mule deer to the group (look for information below).  Then we had Justin demonstrated some techniques for identifying animals.  He showed us deer skulls (white-tailed deer and axis deer) and feral hog teeth.  He also showed the group the skin of a white tailed deer and a snapping turtle shell.  Then he demonstrated how to age deer by their teeth. 

Naomi with the bobcat skull
Mule Deer

Justin and Kevin with the deer skulls

Quick Facts

  • Range from 2-4 square miles but have been known to move as far as 26 square miles.
  • Mule deer usually live 9-11 years in the wild.
  • Season extends from mid-November through mid-February, peaking in December
  • Young male do not usually rut until 3-4 years
  • Gestation is approximately 7 months
  • Weaning in 60 to 75 days if adequate foliage is available
  • Require shrubs trees, and tall grasses for shelter and cover

  • Well-balanced livestock by implementing proper stocking rates and a grazing system to protect and promote forage species
  • Avoid indiscriminate brush control and have brush in strips or blocks also allowing brush in drainageways and steep slopes
  • Harvest of bucks should be no more than 10% of population with a buck to doe ratio 1:3
  • Small grain and legume plots planted for winter grazing
Plants associated with deer on our contest are:

American Beautyberry
Annual Sunflower
Arrowleaf Clover
Crimson Clover
Partridge Pea
Post Oak
Rye Grass
Sumac-little leaf
Western Ragweed

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