Skip to content

WILDLIFE SPOTLIGHT: The Mule Deer

PictureMule Deer

Amongst the most commonly seen wildlife on the Irvine Ranch Natural Landmarks, the Mule Deer gets its  name from the large ‘mule-like’ ears that help them listen for danger. Generally living up to 11 years in the wild, they feed primarily on high quality grasses and shrubs, preferring to eat at dawn and dusk. They typically flee at the first sign of danger, relying on their speed, stealth, and agility to outrun predators such as Mountain Lions and Coyotes. However, if cornered they will defend themselves, so please be cautious and respect their space if you come across one in the wild. 

Full grown males, called bucks, grow a new set of antlers every year so they can spar with other bucks for the right to mate with females, called does.  Each doe can have up to three babies, called fawns, although most only give birth to one or two offspring at a time.

Mule Deer are not considered endangered, but they are still an important part of our local ecosystem and worthy of our protection.  Next time you’re out on the land, keep an eye out for these beautiful mammals!