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  Arizona Deer Hunting

State DNR Office   - Hunting Regs -  Federal Information

White-tailed Deer  
White-tailed Deer   Habitat
Arizona's Coues Deer

from Arizona Game & Fish

Arizona's Coues deer is a subspecies of the white-tailed deer. Coues deer are most common in Arizona's southeastern mountains, but range up to the edge of the Mogollon Rim and into the White Mountains. They are most abundant in areas of predictable summer precipitation. They prefer woodlands of chaparral, oak, and pine, with interspersed clearings.

Life History
In contrast to a mule deer's equally branching antlers, those of the whitetail consist of a number of tines arising from a main beam which curves forward. Mature bucks generally have three to four tines per side.

Coat color is grayish-brown salt-and-pepper with white underparts; the face is marked with white 'halos' around the eyes and a white band across the muzzle. The most distinguishing characteristic of the whitetail is its long, broad tail. The tail is all white on the underside, gray to reddish-black on top, and is often carried high as an alarm signal.

The Coues deer is much smaller than most of its eastern cousins. Bucks stand just over 30 inches at the shoulder and rarely weigh over 100 pounds. Does average 65 pounds.

A doe's first pregnancy usually results in a single fawn; thereafter she may bear twins. Fawn drop coincides with the new growth following the summer rains. Usually, a whitetail fawn will stay with its mother longer than a mule deer will.

Hunt History
The Coues white-tailed deer is perhaps Arizona?s finest game animal. Wary, and expert at using cover, whitetails rarely offer the hunter a standing shot once jumped. Perhaps for this reason, the species has become increasingly important in the harvest. Although the statewide take has varied from 1,500 to more than 7,000 whitetails a year, depending on the vagaries of drought and fawn survival, the recent trend has been for this species to constitute an ever greater proportion of the statewide harvest. For example, whitetails comprised less than 15 percent of Arizona?s deer harvest in 1961 but nearly 40 percent in 1998.

When seen at a distance, two distinguishing characteristics between the species are evident in their tails and gait. The Coues has a flagging white tail and a more natural run. Mule deer on the other hand 'run' using a stiff legged, bounding gait. When at a closer range, other differences include facial markings, ear size, and antler configuration. In addition to physical features, habitat preferences vary. In Arizona's southern mountain ranges whitetails are generally found at higher elevations than are mule deer.


Breeding Period: January
Young Appear: August
Average Number of Young: 2
Distribution: 4K-10K ft in central and southeastern Arizona
Habitat: Oak-grasslands, chaparral, and pine forests
Food Preference: Weeds, shrubs, mast, grass, mistletoe, and cacti fruits in season
Range: 4 sq. miles
Live Weight: M-125lbs.; F-80lbs.
Predators: Mountain Lion, Bobcat, Eagle, and Coyote


Arizona deer hunting information and state regulations. Outfitters, deer hunting, deer hunting supplies, deer hunts, deer hunting stats, deerhunting, deer, and more.