Who wins in a fight between a whitetail and a mule deer?
The two most popular big game animals in North America are arguably the white-tailed deer and the mule deer. The animals are similar in body size, but differ greatly in terms of typical antler characteristics, coloration and range.
Taken where the animals' ranges overlap in Montana, it's a rare showdown of two North American icons that is rarely seen by deer hunting enthusiasts. The encounter is short, but aggressive, and fascinating to watch unfold. Place your bets on which animal comes out on top in this battle!
In this matchup of odocoileus virginianus vs odocoileus hemionus, the whitetail deer came out on top of this battle. He didn't just win, he ran that other buck off angrily. If you're not familiar with either species, the whitetail is the more reddish-brown animal with the white underside visible under his tail and the white patch on his throat. The mule deer is the one with the large ears that got his butt kicked. The rut makes all subspecies of deer aggressive, whitetails, muleys Coues and blacktail deer included.
Whitetail and mule deer populations overlap in many parts of Canada and the United States. While the two species of deer usually keep their distance from one another, they can sometimes be found feeding on the same food sources and hanging out in the same bedding areas. I've personally witnessed both species in farmer fields in Wyoming, although it seemed like the mule deer preferred the sagebrush. Rocky Mountain States like Idaho, Colorado, Montana and Wyoming are the areas you're probably most likely to see a cross species battle like this.
We're not sure what prompted this fight. Perhaps it was simply a territorial thing. Maybe there was a hot whitetail or mule deer doe nearby that wasn't visible in the video. There have been wild hybrids between the two species before. Although it is worth noting these hybrids are rare. Either way, this was a fascinating fight to watch. These hunters witnessed a rare treat to see a fight like this firsthand!