Thursday, April 5, 2007


Sonora Mexico Mule Deer Hunts:

The mule deer (Odocoileus hemionus) is a deer whose habitat is in the western half of North America. It gets its name from its large mule-like ears. Its closest relative is the black-tailed deer. The two species often share natural habitats, and can be mistaken for one another.

The most noticeable differences between the two are the color of their tails and their antlers. The mule deer's tail is black tipped. Mule deer antlers "fork" as they grow rather than growing and expanding forward. Each year a buck's antlers start to grow in spring and are shed after mating season from mid-January to mid-April.

Mule bucks also tend to grow somewhat larger than their white-tailed counterparts, particularly in cold climates, and have somewhat more prominent ears.

Instead of running, mule deer move with a bounding leap (stotting) with all four feet coming down together.

Adult male mule deer are called bucks, adult females are called does, and young of both sexes are called fawns.

The mule deer gets its name from the size of its mule-like ears. It is the smallest member of the deer family in Sonora (the other two members being the elk and the moose). The Rocky Mountain mule deer (O.h.hemionus) is the largest of the mule deer, and the only subspecies found in Sonora.

Mexican Rocky Mountain mule deer stand three to three and a half feet tall at the shoulder, with bucks (males) usually weighing 125 to 250 pounds, though some may weigh as much as 400 pounds. Does (females) usually weigh between 100 and 150 pounds. During the winter, mule deer have a heavy, dark grey coat of long guard hairs covering a dense underfur.

This is shed in the spring for a lighter reddish-tan coat. Fawns are born with a light brown coat covered with numerous white spots. By the time the fawns are approximately three months old, the spots will have disappeared.

The mule deer has a white rump patch and a narrow black-tipped tail. It holds its tail down when it runs, unlike its cousin the white-tailed deer, which raises its bushy white tail like a flag.

Antlers, found only on bucks, begin growing in late winter and will reach full growth by late summer. Developing antlers are covered with a skin-like “velvet” which supplies blood and nutrients to the developing bone.

The velvet is shed by early fall and the antlers harden. The antlers have a main beam which splits or forks into two branches with each branch or tine (point) being approximately the same length.

Typical four point antlers have secondary forks that arise from these branches. While antler points cannot be used to determine the age of a deer, with proper nutrition, older deer generally have larger antlers with more points than do younger deer. Antlers are shed yearly, usually by late December.

The state of Sonora, Mexico is one of the best areas in North America for a quality Trophy Mule Deer. There are several ranches and have been leasing private exclusive ranches for the past number of years which has kept our success rate very high and the quality of animals as good as it was 10 or more years ago. The food and water sources are first class because the land owners want to maintain high quality and success rates for many years to come.

For that reason we are limited to only taking a few bucks from each ranch. There are also many ranches now that have some extraordinary size. 28"-38" and larger bucks are common, your chances of taking a record book buck are higher in Sonora than any western hunt and many hunters can assure that already.

Our normal avg. on most of our ranches is 185 B & C score with bucks every season that will score over 200. Last season we took 17 bucks over 30", with the largest 38". Many of the bucks exceeded B&C minimum scores. Your chances are 50-50 that you will take a 30" buck or larger.

Sonora has been the hunting paradise for mule deer for the last 50 years and at this moment, the activity has became real professional and very well organize with people involve who really know what they are doing to offer hunters an interesting adventure.