What is a Blacktail Cross??

Can someone please help me out on this subject. I have seen this explained by so many people in many different ways. Yes, I know that I5 in California is the cut off for the true Blacktail and the so called crosses. What I am looking for is real hard DNA proof in a published journal of sicence that the Blacktail and Mule deer are two different spicies. From what I have found, no one has done a study to prove that the deer in the Sierra Nevada foothills are a cross. If you can please provide a link, I would love to read about it.
 

Jerry

Active Member
Feb 21, 2011
248
0
71
Joseph Or
No empirical data, but just the info you all ready have. In Oregon, The dividing line is the Cascade mtns. Where you can find what I have always heard called a "Benchleg", which is supposed to be a cross between the coast blacktail and the mulie. I'd be real curious to know also if there is truly a distinct difference and if they really do cross??
 

sticknbiggens

Member
Mar 10, 2011
54
0
Wyoming
For many years the Blacktail Deer has been considered a subspecies of the Mule deer, however recent DNA testing has proven this not to be the case. In Valerius Geist's book Mule Deer Country he explains that by testing the mitochondrial DNA (the mothers DNA ) of the three species (blacktail, whitetail and mule deer), researchers have now determined that it was the mating of Whitetail does and Blacktail buck's that gave rise to the Mule deer and not the opposite as was once suspected.

It is now believed that millions of years ago the Whitetail deer expanded its range down the east coast of the United States, across Mexico, and then back up the West coast, where it eventually evolved into the Blacktail Deer. This may help to explain the strong resemblance in appearance and psychological characteristics between the two. Thousands of years later as the recently evolved Blacktail's range spread eastward and the Whitehall's range again expanded westward, the two deer again met. At this point the Blacktail bucks, displaced the Whitetail bucks, and bred the Whitetail does. Researches now believe that it is this hybridization that produced what is now know as the Muledeer.

I think I found some info on the DFG site a few years ago too. I had a place I horn hunted east of Roseville. That was always a question I had too. I have some monster sheds I've found and never took the time to score them because of this. Hope you find the info your looking for.
 
Thanks guys, I hope someone will do some DNA testing on the Sierra Nevada foothill deer someday. This would help put to rest the argument people have had about these deer being crossed with mulies. It looks to me if the mtDNA in these deer shows Whitetail then we would have a cross.
 

BOHNTR

Very Active Member
Feb 28, 2011
606
220
Lakeside, AZ
Sierra Nevada foothill deer are mule deer and generally not Columbian Blacktail. DFG has completed several studies over the years on the various subspecies they classify in the state. That particular area is classified as CA mule deer. Here's a link to a book on the study and deer throughout the Golden State....hope it helps:

http://docs.google.com/viewer?a=v&q=cache:6DB9_7Oo1t8J:www.dfg.ca.gov/wildlife/hunting/deer/docs/deerguide.pdf+species+of+deer+in+CA&hl=en&gl=us&pid=bl&srcid=ADGEESiU-iogX4Dwvc1VrRONaYafLv4Sn27ZIYt186rFJLoTNVH8JRA0NVkYbLA-3tdYDEiazir_Vfhs6ePPc33mXVAQwPbDPm3WOziE9_GyxhbBi9bShs7VHc4Fvjv7rVQiczVsXDam&sig=AHIEtbQPtCa5FyjbhM3Si0GAqhJWIavHzQ
 
Sierra Nevada foothill deer are mule deer and generally not Columbian Blacktail. DFG has completed several studies over the years on the various subspecies they classify in the state. That particular area is classified as CA mule deer. Here's a link to a book on the study and deer throughout the Golden State....hope it helps:

http://docs.google.com/viewer?a=v&q=cache:6DB9_7Oo1t8J:www.dfg.ca.gov/wildlife/hunting/deer/docs/deerguide.pdf+species+of+deer+in+CA&hl=en&gl=us&pid=bl&srcid=ADGEESiU-iogX4Dwvc1VrRONaYafLv4Sn27ZIYt186rFJLoTNVH8JRA0NVkYbLA-3tdYDEiazir_Vfhs6ePPc33mXVAQwPbDPm3WOziE9_GyxhbBi9bShs7VHc4Fvjv7rVQiczVsXDam&sig=AHIEtbQPtCa5FyjbhM3Si0GAqhJWIavHzQ
It looks to me the map and the description show the area I hunt in Amador County to be Columbian Blacktail Deer.
 

BOHNTR

Very Active Member
Feb 28, 2011
606
220
Lakeside, AZ
It looks to me the map and the description show the area I hunt in Amador County to be Columbian Blacktail Deer.
If you're hunting East of Sacramento in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada range, you're most likely hunting CA Mule Deer. There are a few documented cases west of there of some hybrids, but they're usually not that far East. That's one of the reasons the B&C / P&Y boundaries in that particular geographical area is West of I-5 for Columbian Blacktail. They simply wanted to make sure the animals measured are pure Columbian Blacktail.
 

brudno

Member
Feb 21, 2011
50
0
Wisconsin
For many years the Blacktail Deer has been considered a subspecies of the Mule deer, however recent DNA testing has proven this not to be the case. In Valerius Geist's book Mule Deer Country he explains that by testing the mitochondrial DNA (the mothers DNA ) of the three species (blacktail, whitetail and mule deer), researchers have now determined that it was the mating of Whitetail does and Blacktail buck's that gave rise to the Mule deer and not the opposite as was once suspected.

It is now believed that millions of years ago the Whitetail deer expanded its range down the east coast of the United States, across Mexico, and then back up the West coast, where it eventually evolved into the Blacktail Deer. This may help to explain the strong resemblance in appearance and psychological characteristics between the two. Thousands of years later as the recently evolved Blacktail's range spread eastward and the Whitehall's range again expanded westward, the two deer again met. At this point the Blacktail bucks, displaced the Whitetail bucks, and bred the Whitetail does. Researches now believe that it is this hybridization that produced what is now know as the Muledeer.

I think I found some info on the DFG site a few years ago too. I had a place I horn hunted east of Roseville. That was always a question I had too. I have some monster sheds I've found and never took the time to score them because of this. Hope you find the info your looking for.
Blacktail bucks displaced Whitetail Bucks? I guess thats just a hard theory to grasp, considering the problems Mule deer bucks are having being out breed by whitetail bucks, not disagreeing with what you said or anything just seems odd to me.
 
If you're hunting East of Sacramento in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada range, you're most likely hunting CA Mule Deer. There are a few documented cases west of there of some hybrids, but they're usually not that far East. That's one of the reasons the B&C / P&Y boundaries in that particular geographical area is West of I-5 for Columbian Blacktail. They simply wanted to make sure the animals measured are pure Columbian Blacktail.
I understand that B&C / P&Y have boundaries and they need too. I'm just more of a hard science guy and don't want to say these deer at the 500 to 1500 foot elevation are hybrids without a DNA test. I-5 can't stop genetics....
 

BEETLEGUY

Member
Mar 1, 2011
52
0
California
Thanks for the link!

Sierra Nevada foothill deer are mule deer and generally not Columbian Blacktail. DFG has completed several studies over the years on the various subspecies they classify in the state. That particular area is classified as CA mule deer. Here's a link to a book on the study and deer throughout the Golden State....hope it helps:

http://docs.google.com/viewer?a=v&q=cache:6DB9_7Oo1t8J:www.dfg.ca.gov/wildlife/hunting/deer/docs/deerguide.pdf+species+of+deer+in+CA&hl=en&gl=us&pid=bl&srcid=ADGEESiU-iogX4Dwvc1VrRONaYafLv4Sn27ZIYt186rFJLoTNVH8JRA0NVkYbLA-3tdYDEiazir_Vfhs6ePPc33mXVAQwPbDPm3WOziE9_GyxhbBi9bShs7VHc4Fvjv7rVQiczVsXDam&sig=AHIEtbQPtCa5FyjbhM3Si0GAqhJWIavHzQ