WT/Mule Deer cross

tucker44

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Harvested this buck this weekend in Kansas during the rifle season. Looks like a WT/Mule deer cross to me with a muley face and a whitetail main beam. What do you guys think?
 

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tucker44

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Thanks guys. It just wasn't looking like a normal forky mule deer to me, so I thought it may be a cross. Most unique buck I have harvested to date! :)
 

Bambistew

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Antler configuration is not a great indicator of a cross. Lots of mule deer do not have forked G2s. I believe the location of the scent glands on the hocks, and the ear size/color are the best way to determine a cross breed.

Nice buck, either way!
 

RobG

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Antler configuration is not a great indicator of a cross. Lots of mule deer do not have forked G2s. I believe the location of the scent glands on the hocks, and the ear size/color are the best way to determine a cross breed.

Nice buck, either way!
Actually size IIRC, but yes. I looked into this this fall for my wife's deer. I forget the details, but the metatarsal glands (on the outside of the back legs) are dramatically longer on a pure mule deer and are the best way to check. Google the subject up.
 

MT_elk

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I agree. It looks all mule deer to me. I did harvest a buck one year that I am sure was a cross. Had a whitetail frame and body, except that he had a mule deer tail. The herd he was with was a mix of whitetail and mule deer does (during the rut).
 

brymoore

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What do you guys think about this buck being a hybrid? One side of the rack is like a whitey, smaller rack style, rack color is different than typical mulies and his coat coloring was a brown/gray mixture versus the gray of a mule deer.

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JLS

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Where the Wild Things Are
What do you guys think about this buck being a hybrid? One side of the rack is like a whitey, smaller rack style, rack color is different than typical mulies and his coat coloring was a brown/gray mixture versus the gray of a mule deer.

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IMG_005012.JPG

That one looks like a mule deer also.
 

TRS_Montana

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Helena
This is from a paper written by the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department in 1985, "Mule Deer Management in Texas", that I stole from another forum. Just because the antlers look a bit like a whitetail doesn't mean anything other than you have a cool looking buck.

"Antler characteristics, tail coloration and ear length are not reliable in recognizing hybrids. Hybrids can be identified by the length of the metatarsal gland that is located on the outside of the rear leg between the hock and the hoof. It typically will measure about 3/4 inch long in whitetails and about 4 inches long in mule deer. The metatarsal gland of hybrids is intermediate in length, measuring about 2 inches long. It has been theorized that occurrences of hybridization are initiated by white-tailed bucks, but interbreeding also can occur between mule deer bucks and white-tailed does. Hybrids appear to have at least a limited degree of fertility..."
 

JMG

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Not sure if you can see, but I shot this 5 X 7 "Mule deer" in the Missouri River Breaks. The antlers have characteristics of a Whitetail, in that there is one "main beam" with points coming off from it, with one of the points forked. The body looked every bit that of a Mule deer.

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I shot the antelope on the last day of antelope season, it had shed the "sheath" on one of its horns (left side). The picture was taken of the two in camp.
 

Gr8bawana

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Very nice buck. But a mule deer all the way. Just the one tine on the deer's right side did not branch, doesn't make it a hybrid.
 

Hunting Wife

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These all look like muleys to me. But a family member did kill a buck that we are fairly certain was a hybrid once years ago. Physical characteristics were somewhat intermediate - body looked like mule deer, but facial coloration and markings didn't look like the other mule deer he was with and seemed more whitetail-ish. No one looked at metatarsal glands, and he was just a big two point so it was hard to say anything about antler configuration. The main factor though that makes it seem like a hybrid was that there was a clear endocrine issue. The testicles were malformed, he was still in velvet in November, and the antlers were so soft that he broke all his points off when he cartwheeled in the plowed field after the shot. Endocrine dysfunction is a classic hallmark of hybrids - most of them are infertile.
 
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