Deer and other hooved mammals

A white tailed deer standing in a winter forest
White tailed deer standing in a winter forest.

NPS

Deer - (Cervidae):

Deer are the most common large animal seen here at Devils Tower. Out of the corner of your eye you may see a flash of white, you turn your head. and running away from you is a white tail deer bounding off into the Ponderosa pine forest, its flaglike tail raised high.

White-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus)

Quick facts

•Seen all over the park especially in the tall grass where they like to bed down.
•Adults 150–250 pounds; 3½ feet at the shoulder.
•Summer coat:
•red-brown; throat and inside ears with whitish patches; belly, inner thighs, and underside of tail white.
•winter coat:
•gray-brown; throat and inside ears with whitish patches; belly, inner thighs, and underside of tail white.
•Waves tail like a white flag when fleeing.
•Males grow antlers around May until August; shed them in early to late winter.
•Mating season (rut) peaks in November; fawns born usually in late May or June.
•Eats shrubs, forbs, grasses; conifers in spring.
•Predators include wolves, coyotes, cougars, and bears.
 
A mule deer lounging in the grass
A mule deer lounging in the grass

NPS

Mule deer (Odocoileus hemionus)

Quick Facts

•Seen all over the park especially in the tall grass where they like to bed down.
•Male (buck): 150–250 pounds; female (doe): 100–175 pounds; 3½ feet at the shoulder.
•Summer coat: reddish;
•Winter coat: gray-brown; white rump patch with black-tipped tail; brown patch on forehead; large ears.
•Males grow antlers from April or May until August or September; shed them in late winter and spring.
•Mating season (rut) in November and December; fawns born late May to early August.
•Lives in brushy areas, coniferous forests, grasslands.
•Bounding gait, when four feet leave the ground, enables it to move more quickly through shrubs and rock fields.
•Eats shrubs, forbs, grasses; conifers in spring.
•Predators include wolves, coyotes, cougars, and bears.

 
A comparison between mule deer and white-tailed deer
A comparison between mule deer(L) and white-tailed deer(R)

NPS

Mule Deer vs. White Tail Deer: How to tell the difference

The best way to determine whether you have a white tail deer or a mule deer is to look at their face and hind end.

Mule Deer

White-Tailed Deer

•The face of a mule deer will be mostly white
•The mule deer will have large ears that are at a 30 degree angle on their head
• On a mule deer, their hind end is white with a black tipped tail.
•The face is mostly brown with a white ring around its nose.
•Its ears that are more upright on their head and are rounder.
•It has a brown tail and rump until it is alarmed when it will flip up its tail and show the fluffy white underside.
 
A small group of pronghorn grazing through a field in winter
Antelope herd in Capulin Volcano National Monument

NPS/ Capulin Volcano National Monument

Other Deer Species

Pronghorn antelope
(Antilocapra americana)

Quick Facts:

•Can run 53 miles (86 km) an hour.
•Male (buck) weighs 100–125 pounds; female (doe) weighs 90–110 pounds; adult length is 45–55 inches and height is 35–40 inches at shoulder.
•Coats are reddish brown, but feature white stomachs and wide, white stripes on their throats.
•When startled they raise the hair on their rumps to display a white warning patch that can be seen for miles.
•Average life span: 7–10 years.
•Both sexes have distinctive “prong” horns.
•They eat grass, sagebrush, and other vegetation.
• In late May- June, females give birth to one or two young, which can outrun a human after just a few days.
•Pronghorn antelope are the fastest land animal in North America. You can see them dotting the hay fields in the hills surrounding the park in small herds. If you look closely they are looking at you. Pronghorn have excellent eyesight

Bison (Bison Bison)

Despite the historic numbers of Bison that were in the area in the past, we do not have naturally occurring free ranging bison in the park today. Any bison you see in the area, are members of local ranch herds.

Bighorn sheep (Ovis canadensis)

Bighorn sheep have historically been in or near Devils Tower National Monument. They are no longer seen in the park.

Last updated: August 5, 2018

Contact the Park

Mailing Address:

PO Box 10
Devils Tower, WY 82714

Phone:

(307) 467-5283 x635
Devils Tower National Monument Visitor Center Phone Number

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