The mule deer (Odocoileus hemionus) is a deer whose habitat is in the western half of North America. It gets its name from its large mule-like ears. The black-tailed deer is considered by some a distinct species though it is classified as a subspecies of the Mule Deer. The most noticeable differences between whitetails and mule deer are the color of their tails and configuration of their antlers.
The mule deer is the largest of the Odocoileus genus, standing, on the average, 40–42 inches (100–110 cm) at the shoulders and stretching 80 inches (200 cm) or so nose to tail. An adult buck will weigh from 150–300 pounds (68–140 kg) on the hoof, with does averaging 125–175 pounds (57–79 kg). The occasional trophy-sized mule deer buck may weigh in around 500 pounds (230 kg). The Mule Deer does not show marked size variation across its range as does the White-tailed Deer.
|Logger's Point||Timbergold Trails|
|Mule Deer Urine Spray||Deer "Bleat" Call||Deer "Grunt" Call|
Mule Deer can be found throughout the entire map of Logger's Point as well as in all of the lower regions of Timbergold Trails. Your starting location does not matter that much, because as the game progresses, no matter where they originate, due to their almost constant roaming you can find Mule Deer pretty much everywhere. They appear to spend more time in the woods near the water than they do on the hilltops, but this is certainly supported by the fact that there are more woods, and that the beaches present a natural border as which the deer will either turn around, or walk along. Always a good starting point is the Border Lodge. Start there in the early morning and walk anywhere into the island. There is a high presence of Mule Deer, but you will also encounter some feral hogs as well as the occasional coyote or pheasant.
The Mule Deer is a herd animal and you will find few singles. Singles or small groups could have spawned as such, or they could be from a group that was parted by spooking or getting stuck in certain territory or vegetation. The bucks travel alone or in groups with up to five males. The does always start as herds, consisting mostly of five or six does. A group of five bucks is known as "The Five Brothers" by the game community. In Timbergold Trails you can also find mixed groups.
There is camouflage clothing available that provides various advantages specifically against all deer species.
Sense Reduction Values (1 = some; 6 = excellent)
|Boone & Crockett||5 / 6||2 / 6||1 / 6|
|Doc Monsignor||3 / 6||2 / 6||3 / 6|
|Army Outfit||5 / 6||2 / 6||1 / 6|
|Trapper Outfit||3 / 6||4 / 6||1 / 6|
|Outback Outfit||1 / 6||1 / 6||1 / 6|
You will quickly see a big difference when using any of these outfits with the deer species when you have approached them with a regular outfit before. When in prone, the animals will almost step on you before they notice the danger and run. These clothes have the same effect on any map, environment and vegetation, as opposed to certain camouflage clothes which only unfold their advantages when in certain areas such as forests, but provide zero camouflage otherwise.
Scent Eliminator and Wind Indicator
This species has a sense of smell and will detect players around them. Especially when upwind, you will see close-by animals stick their nose into the wind, then run away. The Scent Eliminator works against all animals with a sense of smell. Apply it when you want to get close to the animal of your choice. Also, make sure to pay attention to the wind direction by observing objects tossed around or by using Wind Indicator. Use it and follow the smoke with your eyes to see in which direction it is blown. As a general rule of thumb, the wind will blow towards the North-East on all maps. If you are not sure about the wind conditions, apply the Scent Eliminator just in case. It doesn't hurt to use it once too often if you want to be on the safe side and not regularly spook animals by your smell.
Weight does correlate somewhat with the score. Follow tracks from heavy bucks. If you find tracks from a group of bucks, always follow those as well. Most of the times at least one decent buck will be in there. Be careful near the shores of Logger's Point. Herds can turn around when they hit the waterfront, and either continue in an unpredictable direction, or come right back at you. There are many trees and the according shadows cast near the entire waterfront. The Mule Deer can be easily overseen in there with their brownish color. Make sure to glass more often near the shores.
Use the Deer Bleat or the Deer Grunt to lure the Muleys. Both callers have the same luring effect, and the effect is the same for both males and females. You may use Mule Deer Urine Spray which lasts a lot longer than the caller, and lets you safely move into a hiding place or stand.
When you spot the Mule Deer bucks, look for one with large antlers with long points. Soon you will be able to field judge the antlers and tell a small score from a big one. Make sure to always see all bucks in a herd before picking one to be taken out. You might get tempted shooting at the first one that looks good, but especially in groups of four or five bucks often times there is one really nice rack in it. If you see two good racks and cannot decide you can either develop a strategy to get them both, i.e. with multiple shots from a fast reloading rifle or shotgun, or select which you believe is the bigger score by looking at the Huntermate score estimation. A good Spotting Skill supports this a lot, so keep building this up by spotting all bucks and does near you.
Dealing with groups (herds, packs, flocks)
If you fancy shooting any gender, roam around and look for their tracks or listen for their calls. If you are after the big male, leave signs of females behind and keep going until you find the according presence of males. When you encounter a group, check the map and look for a good ambushing location. Call from a 30-50m (100-165 ft.) of your hiding spot or use scent spray if available, then move there and wait. If the group has a big male, it can be the first animal to react to the lure just as much as the last. It is therefore important to always be patient and try to spot all animals in the group before taking a shot. Spotting all animals also has the positive side effect of increasing your spotting skill for this species.
Shooting the animal
The shot must be well prepared. Search a good place where you can stay undetected. Avoid hasty shots. A good spotting skill will support you picking the right animal if there are severals. Wait until the animal of your choice has come close enough for a good shot, or until you can safely hit a vital from the side. It is not always possible to set up an ambush, or to move away on time. Stay alert for other animals (e.g. from a group) that might have come very close to your lure, and make sure to go for a shot before one of these could spook and flush everything around them.
An experienced hunter can take out multiple Mule Deer with a silent bow such as the Parker Python. This works especially well with does and also somewhat with the bucks as long as there are a few meters to the next. The kill will have to be immediate though, or the hurt animal will run and flush the rest of the group.
If the animal flees
If you spook the animal of your desire, follow the tracks crouching. Use your optics and try to spot it, and also look for tracks or vocal signs. Do not go too fast. The animal can stop fleeing abruptly and return to roaming, and the roaming can be in any direction including coming right back at you. If you end up bumping into the animal it will flee again. Take your time. If the animal is worth it, a few more minutes will pay off.
Spooked Mule Deer do not run very far with the exception of high scoring bucks. Both males and females will alternatively stop, walk and trot for while. They will be alert while nervous, but you can still approach them just enough for a good shot. The Logger's Point reserve has an extra challenge ready for you when tracking them near the seashore. The recurring trotting of recently spooked Mule Deer along with their absence of calling while nervous can result in bumping into them while the tracks would suggest they should be much further away. Again the advice is given here to better glass once too often.
After a buck has calmed down and is ready to be lured again, remember that others might also be in the area. Calling them back to you requires extra attention and surveillance of the environment. Ideally do not stay in the spot where you called from but rather move away into a location with enough cover (i.e. near trees where you are better protected with Sneaky 3D Summer Camo) but still have a good line of sight for the shot.
Quick Start Locations
Start at the following lodge(s) for quickly finding this species.
|Border Lodge||Logger's Point||West|
|Field Lodge||Logger's Point||North|
Organs and Bones
1 = Skull
Mule Deer Missions
Private contractor, "King" Lurcan Gong, wants your help with culling the exploding Mule Deer population in the EHR.
|First Mule Deer||any permitted||n/a|
|A Longer Range||any permitted||Rangefinder or Rangefinder Binoculars (optional)|
|More Points||any permitted||n/a|
|Big Haul||any permitted||n/a|
|Extreme Range||any permitted||Rangefinder or Rangefinder Binoculars (optional)|
|Even Closer||any permitted||Rangefinder or Rangefinder Binoculars (optional)|
|Points o' Plenty||any permitted||n/a|
|270 Degree Angle||.270||Rangefinder or Rangefinder Binoculars (optional)|
|Easy Does It||any .44||Rangefinder or Rangefinder Binoculars (optional)|
|5 From Above||n/a||n/a|
|Award winning video provided by community member BillytheCrayon|
Mule deer with Non-Typical Antlers can occur but are rare to find.
See full list here.