Are there mule deer in south carolina
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The mule deer Odocoileus hemionus is a deer indigenous to western North America ; it is named for its ears, which are large like those of the mule. Two subspecies of mule deer are grouped into the black-tailed deer. Unlike the related white-tailed deer Odocoileus virginianus , which is found throughout most of North America east of the Rocky Mountains and in the valleys of the Rocky Mountains from Idaho and Wyoming northward, mule deer are only found on the western Great Plains , in the Rocky Mountains, in the southwest United States , and on the west coast of North America.
Mule deer have also been introduced to Argentina and Kauai, Hawaii. Mule deer can be divided into two main groups: the mule deer sensu stricto and the black-tailed deer. The first group includes all subspecies, except O. Some authorities have recognized O. The 10 valid subspecies, based on the third edition of Mammal Species of the World , are: . The most noticeable differences between white-tailed and mule deer are ear size, tail color, and antler configuration.
In many cases, body size is also a key difference. The mule deer’s tail is black-tipped, whereas the white-tailed deer’s is not. Mule deer antlers are bifurcated; they «fork» as they grow, rather than branching from a single main beam, as is the case with white-taileds. Each spring, a buck’s antlers start to regrow almost immediately after the old antlers are shed.
Shedding typically takes place in mid-February, with variations occurring by locale. Although capable of running, mule deer are often seen stotting also called pronking , with all four feet coming down together. The mule deer is the larger of the three Odocoileus species on average, with a height of 80— cm 31—42 in at the shoulders and a nose-to-tail length ranging from 1.
Of this, the tail may comprise Adult bucks normally weigh 55— kg — lb , averaging around 92 kg lb , although trophy specimens may weigh up to kg lb. Does female deer are smaller and typically weigh from 43 to 90 kg 95 to lb , with an average of around 68 kg lb. Unlike the white-tailed, the mule deer does not generally show marked size variation across its range, although environmental conditions can cause considerable weight fluctuations in any given population.
An exception to this is the Sitka deer subspecies O. This race is markedly smaller than other mule deer, with an average weight of In addition to movements related to available shelter and food, the breeding cycle is important in understanding deer behavior. The » rut » or mating season usually begins in the fall as does go into estrus for a period of a few days and males become more aggressive, competing for mates.
Does may mate with more than one buck and go back into estrus within a month if they did not become pregnant. The gestation period is about — days, with fawns born in the spring. Mule deer females usually give birth to two fawns, although if it is their first time having a fawn, they often have just one.
A buck’s antlers fall off during the winter, then grow again in preparation for the next season’s rut. The annual cycle of antler growth is regulated by changes in the length of the day.
The size of mule deer groups follows a marked seasonal pattern. Groups are smallest during fawning season June and July in Saskatchewan and Alberta and largest in early gestation winter; February and March in Saskatchewan and Alberta.
Besides humans, the three leading predators of mule deer are coyotes , wolves , and cougars. Bobcats , Canada lynx , wolverines , American black bears , and grizzly bears may prey upon adult deer, but most often only attack fawns or infirm specimens, or eat a deer after it has died naturally.
Bears and smaller-sized carnivores are typically opportunistic feeders , and pose little threat to a strong, healthy mule deer. In 99 studies of mule deer diets, some species of plants were eaten by mule deer, and their diets vary greatly depending on the season, geographic region, year, and elevation.
The diets of mule deer are very similar to those of white-tailed deer in areas where they coexist. Mule deer readily adapt to agricultural products and landscape plantings. Mule deer have also been known to eat ricegrass , gramagrass , and needlegrass , as well as bearberry , bitter cherry , black oak , California buckeye , ceanothus , cedar , cliffrose , cottonwood , creek dogwood , creeping barberry , dogwood , Douglas fir , elderberry , Fendlera species, goldeneye , holly-leaf buckthorn , jack pine , knotweed , Kohleria species, manzanita , mesquite , pine , rabbitbrush , ragweed , redberry , scrub oak , serviceberry including Pacific serviceberry , Sierra juniper , silktassel , snowberry , stonecrop , sunflower , tesota , thimbleberry , turbinella oak , velvet elder , western chokecherry , wild cherry , and wild oats.
Humans sometimes engage in supplemental feeding efforts in severe winters in an attempt to avoid mule deer starvation. Wildlife agencies discourage such efforts, which cause harm to mule deer populations by spreading disease such as tuberculosis and chronic wasting disease when deer congregate for feed, disrupting migratory patterns, causing overpopulation of local mule deer populations, and cause habitat destruction overbrowsing of shrubs and forbs.
Supplemental feeding efforts might be appropriate when carefully conducted under limited circumstances, but to be successful, the feeding must begin early in the severe winter before poor range conditions and severe weather cause malnourishment or starvation and must be continued until range conditions can support the herd. Mule deer foraging on a late winter morning at Okanagan Mountain Provincial Park. Male Rocky Mountain mule deer O.
Male O. Female Columbian black-tailed deer O. Mule deer are ruminants , meaning they employ a nutrient acquisition strategy of fermenting plant material before digesting it. Deer consuming high-fiber, low-starch diets require less food than those consuming high-starch, low-fiber diets. Rumination time also increases when deer consume high-fiber, low-starch diets, which allows for increased nutrient acquisition due to greater length of fermentation.
The average gross energy content of the consumed forage material is 4. Due to fluctuations in forage quality and availability, mule deer fat storage varies throughout the year, with the most fat stored in October, which is depleted throughout the winter to the lowest levels of fat storage in March.
Changes in hormone levels are indications of physiological adjustments to the changes in the habitat. Total body fat is a measure of the individual’s energy reserves, while thyroid hormone concentrations are a metric to determine the deer’s ability to use the fat reserves. Triiodothyronine T3 hormone is directly involved with basal metabolic rate and thermoregulation. Mule deer migrate from low elevation winter ranges to high elevations summer ranges.
Mule deer migrate in fall to avoid harsh winter conditions like deep snow that covers up food resources, and in spring follow the emergence of new growth northwards. This contradicts the idea that animals will go to the areas with the best available resources, which makes migratory paths crucial for survival. There are many risks that mule deer face during migration including climate change and human disturbance.
Climate change impacts on seasonal growth patterns constitute a risk for migrating mule deer by invalidating historic or learned migration paths. Human activities such as natural resource extraction, highways, fencing, and urban development all have an impact on mule deer populations and migrations through habitat degradation and fragmentation. It has also been found that fencing can alter deer behavior, acting as a barrier, and potentially changing mule deer migration patterns.
As a result of this, researchers have seen a decline in mule deer populations. This is especially prominent in Colorado where the population has grown by over 2. Protecting migrations corridors is essential to maintain healthy mule deer populations. One thing everyone can do is help slow the increase in climate change by using greener energy sources and reducing the amount of waste in our households. Not only will populations benefit from these efforts but so will many other wildlife species.
One way to help protect deer from getting hit on roadways is to install high fence wildlife fencing with escape routes. Approaches to mitigating the impact of drilling and mining operations include regulating the time of year when active drilling and heavy traffic to sites are taking place, and using well-informed planning to protect critical deer habitat and using barriers to mitigate the activity, noise, light at the extraction sites.
The increase in urbanization has impacted mule deer migrations and there is evidence to show it also disrupts gene flow among mule deer populations. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Deer indigenous to western North America. Conservation status. Rafinesque , . Sitka black-tailed deer O.
Columbian black-tailed deer O. California mule deer O. Rocky Mountain mule deer O. Retrieved 12 November Integrated Taxonomic Information System. Retrieved 23 March Mammalian Species : 1—9. JSTOR Johns Hopkins University Press. ISBN OCLC Walker’s Mammals of the World. JHU Press. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. March Coues Whitetail. Archived from the original on 9 February Retrieved 8 January Stackpole Books.
Proceedings of the Biological Society of Washington. Archived PDF from the original on 15 September Mother Earth News. Ogden Publications. Archived from the original on 15 March Retrieved 4 January Animal Diversity Web.
Does South Carolina have mule deer? – Are There Mule Deer In South Carolina
Mule deer are primarily found in the badlands alongside the Little Missouri River. Their population is recovering due to prohibiting antlerless harvest for a few years and milder . In South Carolina, Mule Deer hunting is no mere hobby; it’s a way of life. South Carolina’s unique landscape ensures a challenging setting to chase the elusive Mule Deer. South . Sep 20, · Rhode Island only has white-tail deer. South Carolina: , South Carolina’s deer are all white-tails. South Dakota: , South Dakota has more than 80, mule .
– Are there mule deer in south carolina
JHU Press. The purpose of the Antler Records Program is two-fold.