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Where Do Mule Deer Live? (4 Places)

Mule deer are one of the most popular game animals in North America. They’re big, they’re beautiful, and they provide a great source of food and sport for hunters across the continent.

But where do mule deer live? The answer might surprise you. Mule deer are found in a wide variety of habitats, from deserts to mountains to forests.

In this article, we’ll explore the different places mule deer call home and what makes each one special. So whether you’re a hunter looking for your next trophy or just curious about these amazing creatures, read on to learn more about where mule deer live.

Where Do Mule Deer Live?

Mule Deer
Mule Deer at the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge in Oregon | image by USFWS via Flickr | CC BY 2.0

Mule deer are found in North America, specifically in the western region of the continent. The largest populations are in Wyoming and Colorado.

Mule deer have also been known to inhabit areas of Utah, Idaho, Montana, New Mexico, Arizona, Nevada and Oregon. While the majority of mule deer populations are in the United States, there are small populations that live in Canada and Mexico as well.

Rocky Mountains

Male Mule Deer at Arches National Park | image by NPS/Kait Thomas via Flickr

The Rocky Mountains are a large mountain range located in the western United States. The Rockies stretch from the Canadian province of British Columbia to the state of New Mexico in the US. The Rocky Mountains are home to many different species of animals, including the mule deer.

Mule deer are a type of deer that is closely related to the white-tailed deer. Mule deer get their name from their large ears, which resemble those of a mule (a type of donkey). These deer are found throughout North America, but they are most common in the western United States and Canada.

The Rocky Mountains provide a perfect habitat for mule deer. The mountains offer a variety of vegetation for the deer to eat, as well as plenty of places to hide from predators. Additionally, the high altitude and cold temperatures help to keep parasites and diseases at bay.

Mule deer are an important part of the Rocky Mountain ecosystem. They play a role in controlling plant populations by eating certain types of vegetation. Mule deer also provide food for predators such as coyotes, bobcats, and mountain lions.

Great Plains

male mule deer with antlers standing on hillside
Male Mule Deer at the National Bison Range, Montana | image by Astrophoto Andy via Flickr

The Great Plains is a large area of grassland that extends from the Rocky Mountains to the Mississippi River. It covers parts of Canada, the United States, and Mexico.

Mule deer are found in many areas of the Great Plains. They inhabit grasslands, woodlands, and brushlands. Mule deer prefer areas with good cover and plenty of food.

In the United States, mule deer are found in Colorado, Kansas, Montana, Nebraska, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Texas, and Wyoming. Mule deer are also found in the Canadian provinces of Alberta and Saskatchewan. In Mexico, mule deer are found in the states of Chihuahua and Sonora.

Pacific Coast

Mule Deer
Mule Deer in Washoe Valley, Nevada | image by Ken Lund via Flickr | CC BY-SA 2.0

Mule deer are found in the western United States, primarily in the states of California, Oregon, Washington, Nevada, and Arizona. They are also found in the Canadian province of British Columbia.

They get their name from their large ears, which are similar to those of a mule. Mule deer are slightly smaller than white-tailed deer, and they have a blacktail rather than a whitetail.

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Mule deer prefer habitats with plenty of cover, such as brushy areas or forests. They will also use open areas for feeding, but they tend to avoid being out in the open for too long since they are vulnerable to predators.

Mule deer are most active at dawn and dusk, although they may also be active during the day or night depending on their level of fear of predators. During the winter months, mule deer will move to lower elevations where there is less snow and more food available.

Deserts of the Southwest

Mule deer on the red desert
Several mule deer on the red desert | image by BLM Wyoming via Flickr | CC BY 2.0

Mule deer are found in a variety of different habitats throughout the western United States, but they are most commonly associated with the deserts of the southwestern United States.

Mule deer are well-adapted to desert life and can be found in a variety of different desert habitats, from the hot, dry deserts of southern Arizona to the cold, high-elevation deserts of northern Nevada. These deer are particularly common in the Mojave and Sonoran Deserts.

In the Mojave Desert, mule deer inhabit a variety of different habitats, including Joshua tree forests, pinyon-juniper woodlands, and sagebrush steppe. In the Sonoran Desert, they are often found in mesquite bosques and saguaro cactus forests.

Mule deer have a number of adaptations that allow them to thrive in desert environments. They are able to extract water from plants through a process called rumination, which allows them to get all the water they need from vegetation. They also have large ears that help them dissipate heat and keep cool in hot desert climates.


Mule deer are a type of deer that live in North America. They have many characteristics that make them unique, including their large size, their long ears, and their ability to jump high.

Mule deer are found in a variety of habitats, from forests to deserts. While they once were found throughout the United States, their numbers have declined in recent years due to hunting and habitat loss.