TR White took this 175-class mule deer in Nevada.
By Mike Bodenchuk, Editor-at-LargeEditor's note: In Part 1 of "The State of Deer," Editor-at-Large Mike Bodenchuk looks at mulies and blacktails across western North America. Look for a snapshot on the current state of trophy whitetails in a future issue.
Although there are more bighorn sheep, mountain goats and elk today than 50 years ago, there are far fewer mule deer. Today, there are between 3.5 and four million mulies across 17 western states, three Canadian provinces and one territory. Blacktail deer are probably in better shape. Blacktails have always been restricted in range, but some of the habitat changes that threaten mule deer (i.e., logging) actually benefit blacktails. In some states, blacktail range overlaps mule deer range, and the state may manage the two species similarly. In others, blacktails are managed separately.
Here's a state-by-state (and province-by-province) look at mule and blacktail deer....