3 Main Differences Between Muley & Whitetail Deer Hunting

Jacey Martin

If you love hunting, then you know that deer can be a fun and adventurous hunt to enjoy. Whether you love hunting the brawny muley or the elusive whitetail, you can find joy in pursuing either animal for filling your freezer and getting out in nature. You want to know which animal is easier to hunt as well as which one tends to be meatier. Here are 3 main differences in these animals when hunting them that can help you choose which animal to pursue.


Whitetail deer are found mostly along creek and river bed areas, and stick mainly to heavily treed thickets or valleys near a water source. Mule deer are desert animals and are often found in the mountains, coming down into the open valley areas to feed later in the day or when winter hits. Both herd up in female-led groups with dominant males during mating season in the fall.

Ease of hunting

Most hunters know that mule deer are naturally curious beasts and will stop and turn, and sometimes even walk toward, strange sounds. Pickup trucks, whistles, and even a small animal call can make a mule deer stop long enough for a kill. Some people can even tag a muley right after getting out of their ATV or vehicle since the animal is curious enough to wander close to the vehicle. Whitetail deer, on the other hand, are elusive and shy, skittering away at the slightest provocation to make for a more challenging hunting experience.


Mule deer are heavyset and broad in the shoulders, while whitetails are slender and tall. If you are hunting for meat quantity, then the muley is more likely to make for a satisfying capture. A broad buck can be as large as 450 pounds or more. Their meat tends to be rougher, however, than the tender muscle meat of the whitetail, mainly due to the vegetation both species thrive on. Whitetails feed on grasses and leaves, where mule deer thrive on desert vegetation, mainly sagebrush, and dry grass. If you want a rich meat in your deer, then whitetail may be more satisfying for your needs.

Whichever type of deer you choose to hunt, you are sure to have a great adventure as long as you hunt prepared. Always make sure to check the whitetail deer hunting regulations in your state to help you determine what times of the year you can hunt for either deer.