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View Full Version : White tail behavior vs. Mulie


Colorado Redneck
December 20, 2011, 09:57 PM
I grew up around mulies, and know that some areas are prone to seasonal habitation by that species. I know so little about white tails it would all fit on the head of a pin. A really small pin!

So do white tails tend to stay put in a given range year round? Given adequate feed and water and no predation? I am just wondering about generalities. Each area and bunch of animals can be different.

jimbob86
December 20, 2011, 10:11 PM
It's been my experience that once the rut is over, and winter sets in, the deer seem to bunch up, and I may not see any for quite a while ..... but when I do, they are in big groups. Both Whitetail and Mulie...... IDK why this is, it just seems that way to me. Turkeys do the same, congregating in giant flocks in winter, and then when breeding season hits in the spring, they scatter out again.

I did see something odd this fall with turkeys, though- Ran into a flock of 30+ birds and ALL of them were Toms or Jakes. Not a hen in the bunch. There were other mixed flocks within a couple of miles of this one, but these kept to themselves, returning to the same roost, day after day, even after being kicked off it on succesive days......

Colorado Redneck
December 20, 2011, 10:22 PM
The reason I am asking is, I hunted a bunch of whitetail this fall in the late season. They outsmarted my old butt, and later a mulie got kind of slow and he now resides in the freezer. Anyway, next year it would be nice to get a chance on that group of whitetail, as there was a really nice buck in with the does. So, in order to draw up in the best season, I am wondering if the whitetails might be residents of that area year round. If I lived really close it would be fun to mosey up there and scope out the area every now and then, but it is a fair little drive and have a day job.

It seemed maybe the first rifle season would be a good chance to get that buck, but if the whitetails moved around seasonally, then the hunt might be pointless. Seems like the mulies move into that area after the first season, so a guy might get skunked.

Thanks again for your thoughts!

jimbob86
December 20, 2011, 10:36 PM
IDK when your seasons run ...... but if you want to find that buck right before and during the rut (usually the first full moon of November where I hunt in SC/SW Nebraska), know where those doe are living. He'll be around, "looking for love" ....... And he'll be dumber'n a brick, too, with one thing on his mind, and it won't be you, or his own personal safety, either......

IME, whitetail doe where I hunt don't go very far, so long as there is food, water, and cover ...... when chased out of one woodlot or creek bottom, they will be right back in it in a day or two...... I have seen Mulies run for miles, and they don't seem to care where thay are at, so long as they can see a good distance when they bed down....... I don't see near as many Mulies as I did when I was younger ...... I have seen a few "hybrid deer"..... dark grey coated whitetails with bit of a black tip on their tails and antler tines that fork on the ends....

warbirdlover
December 20, 2011, 11:53 PM
Whitetail bucks (in Wisconsin) have their summer "routines" and are fairly predictable. Then during the rut they go bonkers and there are no rules or guidelines as to where they'll be or at what time. If you can find does during the rut you should get a chance at a buck. After the rut, the bucks don't move much during the day and that's usually when rifle season takes place. They'll bed in corn fields and if none are around marshes. I've been chasing whitetail for almost 50 years and they usually always get the best of me. If you try and go in the rough stuff after them they'll run circles around you. That's why most of us in Wisconsin sit on stand. The odds are just better.

I hunted Wyoming years ago for whitetail and they tended to be more like mulies. No deep woods so they go in the groups with the doe and followed river beds. Alot easier hunting IMHO.

Art Eatman
December 21, 2011, 12:14 AM
White tail are more curious than mulies, and wander around more. Mulies are sorta on the lazy side, and stay bedded down longer. White tail bucks are more aggressive about mating than mulies.

The bucks of both species--in hilly or mountainous country--tend to bed down just below the downwind crest of a ridge, and near some sort of low cross-over or saddle of the ridge. When spooked, they go uphill and upwind. If they can't do that at first, they'll eventually circle back into the wind.

In general, white tail seem to get imprinted with an area, pretty much remaining within a section or so of land. My only mulie experience is in desert country, where lengthy travel to and from water is common. Three or four miles for a once or twice a week drink is a common pattern.

Saltydog235
December 21, 2011, 07:24 AM
I don't know a thing about a mule deer but a White-tail is a confounding, unpredictable but predictable contradiction of animal behavior. Around my location the hunting season is long and they get educated very quickly. You may hunt a buck, learn his patterns, pay attention to the wind, scents, etc and only catch him on camera while a 12yo on the next property, playing video games in a stand, being loud and smelling like a whore house kills him the first time he sits.

They're agressive during the rut but gather up again after it. Does stay in groups year round.

sc928porsche
December 21, 2011, 08:00 AM
Mulies tend to travel in loose herds, moving from one area to the next. If you spot a nice one, odds are you won't see him again next week. They do migrate from low lands in the summer to the higher elevations to escape the heat, and then return when winter gets too cold. This is a generalization and there are exceptions to the rule. Whitetails tend to stay in one area and can be seen year after year.

I have hunted both and prefer the Mulie. I suspect the reason is because I do love the high elevation and rugged terrain of the Rockies and Sierras compared to the area here in Alabama. To each his own.

Brian Pfleuger
December 21, 2011, 08:10 AM
Whitetail doe generally live their entire lives in a relatively small area. Bucks will sometimes travel many miles.

There is no simple answer because any number of variables can be a factor.

For instance, the fewer doe there are (per buck) the farther a buck might travel during the rut.

Being in housing developments or villages is different than being in the mountains.

Generally speaking though, the bucks travel a lot more than the doe and the best way to find the bucks is to find the doe during the rut.

The worst, most unpredictable variable is hunting pressure. Pressure makes the deer alter their behaviour, leave areas entirely and become almost exclusively nocturnal.

I pretty much feel like deer season is over after opening day of gun season. :(

Art Eatman
December 21, 2011, 08:25 AM
Most hunters get out on weekends. So, I prefer to go out on Thursday and again on Friday morning. The deer have had three days of peace and quiet to settle down some. :)

Rifleman1776
December 21, 2011, 08:54 AM
Whitetails do tend to stay within a 'range'. But they are wary and quick. I believe quail hunting is good training for whitetail in my part of the country. Now you see them, now you don't.
My only experience with mulies was when I hiked in the mountains of Washington state. They were lazier and slower than my cows. About had to kick them to get them to stand up then they just meandered off very slowly. Nice racks, but do not appear to be much of a challenge to hunt.

old roper
December 21, 2011, 09:35 AM
Couple years ago Colorado made a Whitetail season only and you need tags to hunt them before you could take either.

Everything east of I-25 is what they call the Plains area. This year the first Plains tag for whitetails Only was Oct 22-Nov 1 and the Late Plains tag for whitetails Only was Dec 1-14. Either sex tag is an A tag doe tag is B tag.

For Mule deer separate tag is need for the Plains hunt season runs the same time as Whitetail Only dates but for the Oct 22-Nov 1 both buck/doe tag is an A tag for the Dec 1-14 buck tag is A tag and Doe is B tag.

There is 4 (59,69.84,581) unit east of I-25 that are in the Whitetail Only tag and that runs Nov15-Dec31. Either sex/Doe tag is a B tag.


All deer tag are Draw and you can not have 2 A(buck) tags. they have some C tags for some of Plains Whitetail Only units that was started this year you need 10 point it's called a Hybrid Drawing and they only get 20% of the tags with 5 points.

Most all the land east of I-25 is private lot of the good draw units for deer you need points to get a tag and their what called landowner tags. If you don't draw your first choice you get a point so those good units out east may take 15yrs to get a tag. I think their is 52 game unit and only 19 draw code for the Plains whitetail only tags.

The other units in the plains tags runs the same date you can take either whitetail/Mulle

Colorado Redneck
December 21, 2011, 08:24 PM
The foothills area in Northern Colorado are where these things are living. There are some farms and small rural subdivisions, but also lots of hilly pasture lands. A few years back I shot a nice little two point white tail right on that same area. Stumbled onto him about 30 minutes before sunrise. Just luck.

The mulies seem to get pushed into this valley by hunting pressure on adjoing lands. The later seasons seem to have more deer hanging around. But I suspect the white tails are there most of the time.

I agree with the opinions that white tails are toughr to hunt. Hope that 5 point is still there next fall, and hope to get a shot at him.

These units do not specify mulie or white tail. Essentially, any deer is a deer. Some areas are specific, as pointed out by Old Roper.

Enjoy all of the comments!

warbirdlover
December 21, 2011, 11:44 PM
Couple years ago Colorado made a Whitetail season only and you need tags to hunt them before you could take either.

Everything east of I-25 is what they call the Plains area. This year the first Plains tag for whitetails Only was Oct 22-Nov 1 and the Late Plains tag for whitetails Only was Dec 1-14. Either sex tag is an A tag doe tag is B tag.

For Mule deer separate tag is need for the Plains hunt season runs the same time as Whitetail Only dates but for the Oct 22-Nov 1 both buck/doe tag is an A tag for the Dec 1-14 buck tag is A tag and Doe is B tag.

There is 4 (59,69.84,581) unit east of I-25 that are in the Whitetail Only tag and that runs Nov15-Dec31. Either sex/Doe tag is a B tag.


All deer tag are Draw and you can not have 2 A(buck) tags. they have some C tags for some of Plains Whitetail Only units that was started this year you need 10 point it's called a Hybrid Drawing and they only get 20% of the tags with 5 points.

Most all the land east of I-25 is private lot of the good draw units for deer you need points to get a tag and their what called landowner tags. If you don't draw your first choice you get a point so those good units out east may take 15yrs to get a tag. I think their is 52 game unit and only 19 draw code for the Plains whitetail only tags.

The other units in the plains tags runs the same date you can take either whitetail/Mulle

My God! You actually understand those rules? :confused::confused::confused:

gonzoo75
December 22, 2011, 03:20 PM
Warbirdlover it does not sound any diffrent then ours. With our herd control units, cwd, Buck only, and buck only with limited doe tags. Whitetail hunting during rifle season in wisconsin. Is a challenge. Im pretty sure the deer have a calender and now when to go hide. But i have to say this season I seen more deer this year after opening day. By getting up and moving carefully and slowly into areas. I thought they would be hiding. I did kick up a couple forks and a few spikes. The big bucks have thier hiding spots. Defenitely do wait for dark to move.

scoutman
December 22, 2011, 03:33 PM
Colorado,

If you are really serious about hunting the Whitetail, get this book:

"Producing and Harvesting Trophy Whitetail" by Dr. James C. Kroll