Sitka Mountain Gear
DNA sampling: Blacktails and Mule Deer
Mule Deer
Contributors to this thread:
Zackman 20-Jun-16
Zackman 20-Jun-16
Zackman 20-Jun-16
Zackman 20-Jun-16
Medicinemann 20-Jun-16
Nick Muche 21-Jun-16
trkyslr 21-Jun-16
Zackman 21-Jun-16
Zackman 21-Jun-16
joehunter8301 21-Jun-16
trkyslr 21-Jun-16
Zackman 21-Jun-16
trkyslr 21-Jun-16
Zackman 21-Jun-16
trkyslr 21-Jun-16
Brotsky 21-Jun-16
BOHNTR 21-Jun-16
Zackman 21-Jun-16
Zackman 21-Jun-16
kota-man 21-Jun-16
Charlie Rehor 21-Jun-16
Zackman 21-Jun-16
Drnaln 21-Jun-16
njbuck 21-Jun-16
trkyslr 21-Jun-16
Brotsky 21-Jun-16
Ron Niziolek 21-Jun-16
Zbone 21-Jun-16
BOWUNTR 21-Jun-16
trkyslr 21-Jun-16
'Ike' (Phone) 22-Jun-16
IdyllwildArcher 22-Jun-16
EmbryOklahoma 22-Jun-16
trkyslr 22-Jun-16
'Ike' (Phone) 22-Jun-16
trkyslr 22-Jun-16
IdyllwildArcher 22-Jun-16
'Ike' (Phone) 22-Jun-16
StickFlicker 22-Jun-16
IdyllwildArcher 22-Jun-16
trkyslr 22-Jun-16
willliamtell 22-Jun-16
Zackman 22-Jun-16
Zackman 22-Jun-16
Zackman 22-Jun-16
Charlie Rehor 22-Jun-16
trkyslr 24-Jun-16
Tilzbow 24-Jun-16
BOHNTR 24-Jun-16
trkyslr 24-Jun-16
trkyslr 24-Jun-16
BOHNTR 25-Jun-16
trkyslr 25-Jun-16
muskeg 25-Jun-16
BOHNTR 25-Jun-16
'Ike' (Phone) 25-Jun-16
trkyslr 25-Jun-16
BOHNTR 25-Jun-16
trkyslr 25-Jun-16
joehunter8301 26-Jun-16
Zbone 26-Jun-16
'Ike' (Phone) 26-Jun-16
IdyllwildArcher 26-Jun-16
'Ike' (Phone) 26-Jun-16
Zbone 26-Jun-16
Jim/WA 06-Jul-16
DL 07-Jul-16
IdyllwildArcher 07-Jul-16
trkyslr 07-Jul-16
Fuzzy 07-Jul-16
From: Zackman
20-Jun-16
For decades, the topic of defining blacktails from mule deer has been passionately discussed. Physical appearances and geographic locations have been front and center for the opposing sides, while things such as behavior and traits have added to the flavor of the discussion. As with so many aspects of our life, science has progressed to the point that it helps to show us unseen aspects of a debate. The science is now available to help us understand the relationship between blacktails and mule deer.

I have always found this fascinating. The only thing I find more fascinating than the scientific aspect of this topic, is the irrational back-and-forth between opposing sides. Much of what has been argued for the past several decades has been conjecture, or theory, or opinion—rather than science. As in most instances where discussions are based on emotion, rather that fact, they rarely result in any positive outcome. The beauty of the current technology is that it offers unequivocal results, which are absolute.

I personally never base any opinions on things unless they are backed by scientific facts. With a journalism background, an obligation to impartially collect data for Pope & Young and a true fascination with the scientific aspect of this topic, I will try my best to show a lack of bias and strictly report facts. I am not a scientist, just a bowhunter who is passionate about record-keeping organizations and the science behind it, trying to make the intricate information easy to understand for everyone. All of this information was gathered from an article written by many of the researchers involved in the DNA project. The article appeared in both Boone & Crockett and Pope & Young newsletters. I hope this helps:

From: Zackman
20-Jun-16
In 1996, a massive deer genetics project began that was supported by several conservations organizations and universities. Nearly 3,000 deer tissue samples were collected from all over North America. For the aspect of describing the hybridization between blacktails and mule deer, the main area of focus was throughout central Oregon and Washington, where 410 samples with accurate locations were collected.

The goal of the study was to describe the extent of hybridization between blacktails and mule deer, evaluate the current boundaries between the two species and develop a genetic test to diagnose deer that are not purebred.

Blacktails and mule deer have very different mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA). Without getting too in-depth, mtDNA is different than the DNA that is responsible for visible traits (i.e. tail color, body and antler size, metatarsal gland length). MtDNA is passed only from the mother’s side of the family.

According to the article, the genetic differences in the two species stem from early ancestors of mule deer/blacktail isolated along the Washington and Oregon coasts by Ice Age glaciers. The period of isolation was long enough to create a difference in physical and genetic traits between the groups of deer, but they were still able to reproduce. In certain areas, such as the Cascade Mountains of Washington and Oregon, the two subspecies have remained in contact. The result is an area of intense hybridization. As hunters, we have known about these areas for decades and terms have even been conceived to describe deer in these areas of overlap. In the Cascades, the “cross-breeds” have long been called benchleg bucks.

These areas have been an important focus for record-keeping organizations because it is vital for the records program to not taint the records for the smaller specie (blacktail) with the genetics of the larger specie (mule deer). Because of this importance, the data collection of the samples throughout the area in question was necessary and is explained below.

Samples were analyzed with microsatellite markers and each sample was assigned a “q-value.” The scale was between 0 and 1, with 0 referring to a pure mule deer and 1 being a pure blacktail. Since the vast majority of deer are not absolute 0 or 1, a range of values was needed to represent pure mule deer and pure blacktail. Genetic samples from far outside of the “cross-over” zone were used to establish those value ranges. Q-values of 0-0.12 were created as a pure mule deer zone, while q-values between 0.9-1 were established to show pure blacktail deer.

The q-values between the two pure zones are used to define areas of hybrids. First-generation hybrids (F1), were assigned to any q-values between 0.34 and 0.67. Any animal residing between the unassigned q-value zones above (F2) are results of hybrids breeding or a hybrid breeding back to a pure bred. Since cross-breeding between hybrids is very complicated, assigning an exact genetic lineage is improbable, however, with the q-value system, it can be discerned with confidence the difference between pure parent types and those animals that are not pure.

Interestingly, the study showed that hybridization along the contact zone was “bidirectional and symmetrical,” meaning that hybrid offspring had both mule deer and blacktail fathers. And that they occurred in equal proportion. Even though mule deer bucks are larger than their blacktail cousins, bucks from each group mated at an equal pace with does of the opposite species.

At the conclusion of the study, it was proven that the long-established line of B&C and P&Y does a good job of defining the geographic division of mule deer and blacktails. Also, movement data from radio-collared deer were consistent with the current boundary.

Both B&C and P&Y have instituted guidelines to keep the records programs accurate. Since it would be impossible to go back and test all current entries, the guidelines have been instituted to use in the evaluation of any questionable bucks due to characteristics or geographic locations moving forward. In fact, it has been used for several years, with excellent success, thus far. Each year, many bucks are being tested to prove genetics and to ensure proper placement into the records program.

This summary is just that—a summary of a very thorough and complex genetic study. I hope the facts of the study above are a good introduction into the science behind genetic testing for everyone. Due to the long history of hybridization of mule deer and blacktails across certain geographic areas, it is difficult to perfectly map out the exact lineage of a specific animal. However, it is possible to genetically prove if an animal if pure or not in terms of these two species.

From: Zackman
20-Jun-16
As a personal note, I would hope this encourages more hunters to push for genetic testing of bucks in question. The boundary is merely a line and not 100-percent effective. However, with DNA sampling and a large collection of data, proper classification is possible. I have taken samples of bucks and sent to B&C/P&Y for genetic testing for bowhunters, and greatly appreciate those hunter’s attempts to further the conservation cause. The more information available, the better and more accurate the classification will be.

If anyone has a buck they would like to have tested, please feel free to contact me. I hope individuals on all sides of this debate can use this information properly and as a scientific backing. I hope it wasn’t too dull.

From: Zackman
20-Jun-16

Zackman's embedded Photo
Zackman's embedded Photo
This is Joe’s California buck from outside the blacktail boundary in 2013. It was officially scored for P&Y at 150 6/8”. I extracted DNA for a test that was conducted by a lab in Wisconsin at the behest of B&C. The results were that the buck given a q-value of 0.64, meaning it could be an F1 or F2/backcross hybrid. The entry was accepted into P&Y as a mule deer.

Since this time, I have collected and submitted a sample from a great California buck outside the blacktail boundary for Chris as well. The results are not yet in.

I have also had requests from several other bowhunters with interest in sampling their bucks, which I hope to accomplish this year.

From: Medicinemann
20-Jun-16
Will fur from a 7 year old mount suffice for a DNA sample?

From: Nick Muche
21-Jun-16
Jake,

From my conversations with Zack, no fur is required as the sample is from the pedicle.

From: trkyslr
21-Jun-16
Excellent write up and explanation Zack! So in simpler terms joes buck (.64) is an off spring of a blacktail which bred with a hybrid? Of course making it a hybrid for DNA purposes? Also I beleive you told me before (.80?) but for the record books what q-values will the books except as blacktail for a buck killed east of the boundary? Interesting stuff.

From: Zackman
21-Jun-16
Correct, Nick. In fact all hide is specifically avoided because not all mounts use the original hides. A drill is used to extract bone from the pedicle, not hide or antler.

From: Zackman
21-Jun-16
Chris,

For Joe's buck, it is not as simple. The 0.64 number does not represent the buck as 64-percent blacktail. That is not the way the q-value scale works. However, it is not perfectly clear whether the buck is a first-, second-, or 20th-generation hybrid. The q-value shows it could be any number of combinations. It is possible, the buck is the offspring of a blacktail and a mule deer. It is also possible--and more likely--it is an offspring of two hybrids of varying levels of hybridization.

For the record-keeping organizations (B&C and P&Y), it takes a q-value of 0.90 to be considered pure blacktail.

I wish I had a more clear-cut answer for you, but I do not. That is part of the reason I find this so fascinating!

21-Jun-16
So basically in simple man terms it's like a white chick breeding with a black dude then that baby breeding with a Chinese person then the other baby breeding with an Australian. Myb throw in some Mexican in the mix. We see those all over the place in this state. Makes sense. Man all sorts of genes running thru that pool. Too much for me to figure out. I jus know how to killm. Good nuff for me. But Zack thanks for taking the time to do that buddy.

From: trkyslr
21-Jun-16
Zack, ok that makes it clearer for me. Sorry I've been in the sun killing carp all day ;-) sorry but I'm gonna keep you up just a little longer.....

In the pope and young magazine you gave me a couple years back they also had an article re this same subject explained the same. The test they did showed to me a surprising number in Oregon and Washington (California was not in that test I don't beleive or at least not included in the article and map included if my memory is correct) deer which tested as hybrids west of the boundary towards the coast. The article mentioned if any buck west of the boundary is questionable it would be required to be DNA tested to be entered into the books. So if if this is correct and my memory is true, what meets the "questionable" classification? Size? Potential buck in top of the books, state or WW?

Thanks buddy I can't save all my questions for November on Kodiak as we gotta kill bucks, fish, and bs about other stuff. Lol

From: Zackman
21-Jun-16
Joe,

Just as America is the great melting-pot, you must hunt in the melting-pot of California--where deer see no prejudice and believe in equal love for all.

From: trkyslr
21-Jun-16
Lmao you guys are killin me!

From: Zackman
21-Jun-16
Chris,

Questionable would cover a multitude of things. Thus far for B&C, any bucks that have been invited to the two-year convention for panel measuring have been tested. These were the largest bucks taken during the past scoring period. Also, anyone with bucks that have been taken outside the blacktail boundary who wish to challenge classification, are having DNA samples taken.

Conversely, bucks that are taken within the blacktail boundary, but have questionable characteristics, or are of a certain size (invited to the panel scoring), can be subjected to DNA testing. In fact, a large buck taken within the boundary was found to be hybrid and removed from the B&C blacktail record program.

From: trkyslr
21-Jun-16
Nice! Also did the very famous super slammer's (C.A.'s) buck from east of the boundary get entered as it DNA test came back blacktail? Or is that still in the entry process ?

From: Brotsky
21-Jun-16
This is incredibly interesting to me Zack. Every once in awhile here we will get what appears to me a hybrid between a whitetail and mule deer. I've often wondered if there was a test to determine their genetic make-up to determine if that is the case or not. Have you ever done any testing in that scenario or has it been strictly mule deer/Blacktail?

From: BOHNTR
21-Jun-16
Chris:

Yes, his buck was accepted as a Blacktail......it was taken just outside the B zone (western edge of C zone???). To date, it's the only buck tested that has been reversed to make it eligible for Columbian Blacktail.

From: Zackman
21-Jun-16
Justin,

For the record, I do not do any of the testing. That is done by much smarter people than myself. As an official measurer, I merely collect the samples to be tested.

Jim Heffelfinger has been involved in DNA testing for various deer species across North American for about 20 years. He has work on testing between mule deer and coues deer in Arizona, the Blacktail vs. mule deer topic and others. He was one of the authors of the articles referenced above. I do not know the extent of all the studies he has been involved in, but would expect to see more results like the ones above in the future.

From: Zackman
21-Jun-16
Thanks Roy for answering Chris' question. There was an article in one of the most recent P&Y newsletters that addresses this specific example.

From: kota-man
21-Jun-16
Good stuff Zack. Very interesting read...

21-Jun-16
Very impressed with the boundry's B&C establish decades ago as they are turning out to be very accurate.

trkyslr: I remember that map as well with all the dots on it superimposed over the established boundrys. Maybe someone can find it?

Saw a similar thread asking about Shiras Moose shot in Canada so I wonder if the same test can be done for Moose?

From: Zackman
21-Jun-16
Charlie/Chris:

I have the map, but since it was generated by B&C and I don't have the permission to post it, I left it out. If someone could find it on the Internet though, I'm assuming it could be reposted without any issue...

There are DNA studies going on for Shiras moose right now. However, when I asked P&Y several months ago about taking samples for testing, I was told they are not currently accepting challenges for Shiras vs. Canadian moose DNA samples. However, I completely expect that they will in the near future.

From: Drnaln
21-Jun-16
I sent a sample in from a buck taken in Oregon. P & Y lost the 1rst sample we sent them so another test hole was drilled & sample was sent directly to B & C. Waiting for the results.

From: njbuck
21-Jun-16
Very interesting stuff for sure.

From: trkyslr
21-Jun-16
Charlie, I'll keep looking for that mag and pic. I have it somewhere just couldn't locate it last night.

From: Brotsky
21-Jun-16
Thanks Zack, very interesting stuff indeed. I'll have to google Jim Heffelfinger to see if I can find some of the other studies he's done. I enjoy reading about things like this. The critters we hunt certainly are adaptable!

From: Ron Niziolek
21-Jun-16
I measured and collected DNA from a couple more California deer from 2015. Still waiting on the results.

From: Zbone
21-Jun-16
Interesting subject and thread, thanks for sharing Zach...

From: BOWUNTR
21-Jun-16
trkyslr, The article you're referring to is the Winter 2013 edition of the P&Y Ethic magazine. Jim Heffelfinger gave a seminar on the DNA study at a P&Y convention and he showed the entire pin map of the study, including California. I wish it was printed in that article. It showed virtually no pure blacktails east of the San Joaquin valley. The pin map starts to get convoluted with hybrids at the north end of the valley on into Or and Wa. Interesting subject... Ed F

From: trkyslr
21-Jun-16
#blacktailhybridlivesmatter ;-)

22-Jun-16
Very cool Zack, thanks for the heads up...Forgot to ask tonight, is it only the one lab doing the testing and what are you seeing for turn around times?

22-Jun-16
Zack,

very well-written piece.

Personally, as a guy who spends a lot of time hunting hybrids, this is really interesting stuff.

22-Jun-16
Pretty interesting stuff. California, the melting pot for people and deer.

From: trkyslr
22-Jun-16

trkyslr's embedded Photo
trkyslr's embedded Photo
I located the P&Y magazine and here's the map. I attempted to count each spot representing DNA samples from a deer but it was difficult in some spots with over lapping dots so my numbers might be a small hair off. Some of these numbers will definitely surprise some I think, especially the number of "hybrids" west of the Pope and Young & BC line. So I counted approximately 224 spots/samples marked on the map. The percentages following each number are from the total number of deer sampled both west and east of the line I counted. Again, my count could be off a little but not much based upon the map and overlapping dots. I'm currently reading through the article to see if it gives the exact numbers , if it does I'll update this if I'm way off.

16 were blacktails east of the PY/BC line (7%). 52 blacktails west of the PY/BC line (23%). 42 hybrids west of the PY/BC line (19%). The hybrids west of the line accounted for nearly 40% of all the deer west of the line with many as far west near the coast. Interesting... 68 hybrids east of the line (30%). 1 mule deer west of the line (.004%). 45 mule deer east of the line with a group tested way far east (20%).

Wish the map and test would have gone down into Northern California as the mountain range the boundary line is on which runs down from Washington through Oregon then splits into the Sierra Nevadas. Be interesting to see if the numbers would stay consistent and where in the northern or central part of the California state there might be a dramatic change in the results. Maybe in the next few years an updated map will be produced with the new DNA test results that have been discovered since this article.

With such a large number of "hybrids"both west and east of the line, is the line accurate and or maybe should there be another deer catagory for them to fill the void? Doesn't seem right in my opinion that 40% +- of those hybrids west of the line that are possible majority blacktail with hybrid bred into them are a "mule deer" in the books when they're DNA proves they're not a mule deer that there a "hybrid". A Simple way to resolve this could be test all entries and have a new species, but maybe too much work and money to entertain. Maybe not. Not trying to stir the pot just some food for thought based upon facts of this test and article.

22-Jun-16

'Ike' (Phone)'s Link
OR and WA, break them down by the Cascades and I5 border....Maybe do something like that!

WesternSierraBlacktail ;-)

From: trkyslr
22-Jun-16
sure that name could work...

22-Jun-16
CA's state bowhunting club already breaks them down into BT, MD, Hybrid, and burro. I like our system and would support DNA testing, but I don't think that everyone's going to like DNA testing all their entries.

That said, it'd be nice if the clubs could add an entry and have it as an option if people wanted to get their deer tested and otherwise just use arbitrary lines. I could shoot the biggest deer on my mountain range that's lived in the past 20 years and it wouldn't make P&Y top 10 because the deer are hybrids so they don't qualify as BTs and their genetics will never allow them to get as big as a CO deer.

That map really makes me wonder about the top 10 BT entries for both clubs. What if 7 of them are hybrids and 1 is a MD? Is that the system we want?

22-Jun-16
Could be a game changer for sure Ike....

From: StickFlicker
22-Jun-16
So who is paying for all of this testing and what does it actually cost to test a deer?

About two years ago, I was contacted by a hunter that took a buck that may have scored high enough to be a world record in P&Y. However, it clearly looked to be a hybrid, with the facial features of one species but the tail of another. The hunter was concerned about the expense of testing it before he would try to enter it, but P&Y was not willing to commit to paying for the testing, and it was never entered.

To be fair, and can see why they would not want to make such a decision until the animal was actually entered, but in this case it may have prevented the entry. That brings me back to the question about how expensive the testing is, and has B&C been willing to pay for this testing?

22-Jun-16
It's got to cost something and I don't think it's right for the clubs to pay for it.

That's going to keep people from doing the testing, which is why I think it should be an option, with the other option just using the arbitrary lines. For top 10 animals though, I'm not sure.

Seem to me though, that if one is willing to go through the expense and hassle of DNA testing, that there should be a category for Hybrids if that's what it tests out as since you're proving that the deer is in no-man's-land as far as the record books go.

From: trkyslr
22-Jun-16
stickflicker, the hunter has to pay for his own test of his deer. It was $100.00 that I had to pay.

Ike, I agree that top 10 with all this new dna results news sorta speak and dna test results that anything with potential top 10 or state or world record should be required to submit a dna test. and that a hybrid category should be a species/category option.

From: willliamtell
22-Jun-16
You mean if someone managed to collect "samples" from a big 'ol muley buck and inseminate some coastal does, he could create monster "blacktails" that were fertile? Huh, aside from the legal, ethical, and probably health considerations, looks like one way quickly raise the local coastal monster rack quotient. Not to mention getting twice the meat on many/most critters. Not that I would advocate such a thing of course.

From: Zackman
22-Jun-16
George,

The turn around time has been slow. Admittedly very slow. It has taken more than a year to get results so far. Part of the reason is there is a certain number of samples that must be collected in order to submit the samples to a lab for testing. The testings are done at several universities around the country. I hope as more entries are being tested, the minimums are met more quickly for the labs to test batches at a faster pace.

From: Zackman
22-Jun-16
Marvin,

As Chris said, the hunter is responsible for the price of the testing. It is currently $100. Again, as more tests are being conducted--and as testing becomes easier--I hope that price will go down. As you know, entering animals into record-keeping organizations is completely voluntary and at no point should it ever be the responsibility of a conservation/record-keeping organization (not to mention a 501 c3) to be responsible for any payments like this.

From: Zackman
22-Jun-16
Williamtell,

Not sure what that string of words you put together means. None of this topic has anything to do with raising deer. I hope nobody is ever crazy enough to try anything that ridiculous. Luckily, we haven't had to deal with any high-fence/breeding issues when it comes to Blacktails. It would be a very sad day if it ever happens

22-Jun-16
Is the Columbian Blacktail named after the Columbia River in Oregon?

From: trkyslr
24-Jun-16
So being approximately 40% of the deer west of the boundary in the official Pope and Young/BC blacktail zone tested "hybrid" on the map in Oregon and Washington what is your guys opinions about this? Like to hear from the blacktail gurus, pope and young guys, and even guys who don't know these species on this? Does it suprise you? It surprised me. Did you all know this? So what's your thoughts on calling all deer west of the boundary a true blacktail now just because it was killed west of the boundary line? Is the line a full proof species boundary? Close?... yes to kinda but not perfect IMO. Maybe thoughts on the current books entry process? As Ike said this could be a game changer for the books entries. Should there be any changes to it? Should all potential top 10 or record book bucks or all bucks be required to DNA test?

And your thoughts that bucks killed just east of the line in the cascade range have a high percentage (40%) they're the same species of deer you or others have killed west of the books boundary line in Washington and Oregon? Should they be called and classified differently because of the line? DNA is DNA and doesn't lie of who or what a deer, animal, or person is. And it seems like a legit way to identify a deer vs a boundary line. A person really can't debate DNA even with physical characteristics appearing to be one or the other right? Hopefully the test become cheaper to conduct. And I'm in that if someone wants to enter a buck it must be tested and a new species category be added for the hybrids. Prob won't happen even during my lifetime but id be for it.

Imagine if the deer species (blacktails, hybrids, mule deer) range by DNA counts/percentages from the coast east to the western face of the Sierra Nevadas in Nor Cal was the same or similar as oregon and Washington by the above map.... Just saying ;-) disregard this last part, but would like to hear thoughts on the above questions if you have time. Thanks.

#northamerican30 lol ;-)

From: Tilzbow
24-Jun-16
Interesting topic. I live in Reno and close to CA, was camping a few weeks ago, about 10 miles inside the CA border, and was surprised to see Blacktails rather than mule deer. Now I'm thinking they could be hybrids...

That said are some really so hung up on checking boxes of species "officially" shot they'll pay for DNA testing?

From: BOHNTR
24-Jun-16
Not sure of all the percentages (west of the B&C line) yet without looking at actual data (and not a limited pin map). But one thing is evident, deer east of the B&C line appear to be mule deer and hybrids only in CA.

From: trkyslr
24-Jun-16
tilzbow, some are some aren't... And for diff reasons. I did have one of mine tested to help out with the study and current findings on the nor cal bucks as truth needed to be discovered. IMO for a blacktail or blacktail hybrid to be entered as a mule deer it's not accurate and not right. And with this now DNA testing and results being allowed in for entering a species I'm more open to the idea if it promotes truth of a species real identity vs a line. Also living in the gray area a person gets more invested sometime then maybe he should :-)'.

From: trkyslr
24-Jun-16
Roy, what about chucks? Did I hear wrong?

From: BOHNTR
25-Jun-16
In my earlier post that is the deer I was referring to. It is the only deer so far that tested as a Columbian Blacktail.......it was taken just outside the B zone. I can see some deer testing either way, as it is close to the boundary line and obvious crossover will occur. However, I believe the chart shows, as well as the conversation Ed and I had with the DNA specialist at the P&Y convention, that deer tested further east of the boundary (in CA) were definitely not Columnian Blacktail......but mule deer and hybrids. As such, they are listed as mule deer.

I do believe, with this technology, it MAY afford both Clubs the opportunity to implement some scientific safeguards on questionable trophies. Time will tell as more specific data is retrieved. As always, and I agree with, if a hybrid of two species is discovered, it should be recorded in the larger species category. I do not believe B&C will create a "new" species for hybrids.

From: trkyslr
25-Jun-16
Roy, that's good Info and I understand it but with questions. You said BC wouldn't entertain it,,, so would PY ? Why wouldn't they entertain the idea of a new species and the DNA test being a part of records submission? Too much work? Too much money? Some scientific reason well beyond my thoughts? To much bs debate involved? Or the way of not making changes as it worked back then so need to change it now mentality , which I hope is not the reason. As things evolve including the effort and money to run these DNA test I would hope that if a clearer more accurate way presented itself it would be considered.

From: muskeg
25-Jun-16
Is there nay testing being done for Columbia vrs Sitka Blacktail ?

From: BOHNTR
25-Jun-16
Because it's not a new species.....it's a hybrid. I HIGHLY doubt P&Y would create a new species as well without B&C doing so. It wasn't that long ago that Tule Elk (it's own species and NOT a hybrid) became a separate species and was no longer listed in the Roosevelt category. Again, that was for a separate species and not a hybrid. As such, I believe it is highly improbable that a new "hybrid" deer would be created when their reflective scores are too closely matched to that of a mule deer and much greater than that of a Blacktail.

25-Jun-16
As you said Chris, never in our lifetime, if any...There are 30+ sub-species of Whitetail that I read about somewhere...I'm sure Whitetail guys would like a few more added, as I know of a couple Columbia types have been taken! ;-)

As for those and deer like the Hybrid, it's been left up to the state level organizations to recognize them in their books...Or so I believe!

Johhnie, I haven't heard of any, but with the testing mentioned, any things possible...

From: trkyslr
25-Jun-16
Roy, ok I got your east of the boundary nor cal info... #hybridlivesmatter ;-)

I did contact a Pope & Young official who said that last year Boone and Crockett started DNA testing all panel judged blacktail submissions, which in fact resulted in a buck from west of the boundary as a hybrid and not entered. He said Pope & Young is gonna follow the same exact practice. Panel judging each year is for the top bucks killed that year which could make top 10 and even below. I'm glad to see the organizations are seeing that based upon test results and submissions there is hybrids in the blacktail zones and that a boundary highway can't keep species separated. This is a great step forward in my opinion to keep the records true to a species vs an invisible boundary line.

Ike , makes sense and I'll agree with that comparison.

Good thing we don't have to submit a DNA test to post a buck in the bowsite blacktail meatpole or a few more hybrids probably be called out based upon their DNA ;-)

From: BOHNTR
25-Jun-16
#hybridlivesmatter.....Ha, I like the hashtag, my friend. Made me laugh!

Remember buddy, I have a BUNCH of those hybrid type bucks from the Golden State as well. Loan me a couple hundred bucks and I'll send off the samples. :) Heck, no need.....they're just nice CA bucks in my mind.

From: trkyslr
25-Jun-16
That they are Roy!

26-Jun-16
Everytime I see the word hybrid I think of a Prius or a Ford Focus. Please guys. I see a furry creature with antlers on his head. That's it. U are makin this way too complicated an sophisticated. They all are the same animal. A deer. I'm certainly not smart enough to test his DNA but I'm smart enough to figure out how to killm. That's all I care about :-)

From: Zbone
26-Jun-16
IdyllwildArcher - "CA's state bowhunting club already breaks them down into BT, MD, Hybrid, and burro."

Okay, what's a "burro"?

26-Jun-16

'Ike' (Phone)'s embedded Photo
'Ike' (Phone)'s embedded Photo
A CA Burro...Lol

26-Jun-16
I wish I could kill those burros. I talked with a Chinese guy said donkey tastes really good and is a delicacy in China. Nonetheless, there's way too many of them and they need to be managed.

Zbone,

burro deer are the Sonora desert deer that stretch across the deserts of AZ, CA, and Mexico. They're wide racked, small bodied, and sparse as hell, often having numbers of <1 deer per square mile in CA. I'm going after one this year.

26-Jun-16

'Ike' (Phone)'s embedded Photo
'Ike' (Phone)'s embedded Photo
I named him 'Bob'....From my Lope hunt in NorCal!

From: Zbone
26-Jun-16
That's funny about the jackass burro...8^) Those things actually running wild somewhere out there in Cali?

IdyllwildArcher - "burro deer are the Sonora desert deer".... Hmmm, have heard of desert muleys, but first time for me ever hearing the term burro deer, thanks for sharing...

Dahhh, dummy me, knock, knock, hello - mule deer = mule/burro...8^)))

From: Jim/WA
06-Jul-16
I find it hard to believe there is hybridization occurring on the Olympic peninsula as the P&Y map indicates. I wonder where that data came from? I doubt there's a Mule Deer within 100 miles, probably closer to 150. Columbian Whitetail-Blacktail hybrids maybe...

From: DL
07-Jul-16
How close are whitetails and blacktails DNA? I read some time back that there was one species in North America until the Ice Age. Separated deer herds.

07-Jul-16
There have been several ice ages and one or more caused the separation of white tail and blacktail. Some time later, a hybridization between blacktail and whitetail created mule deer. A subsequent ice age caused what we see now and it's thought that mule deer out-competed blacktail and that's why they have the larger range.

At least, that's the way I remember reading it. Current DNA studies support blacktail coming before white tail and all 3 deer species descending from a common ancestor.

From: trkyslr
07-Jul-16
Jim, the information came from DNA results from deer in that area according to the article. If true can't debate scientific results if the process of obtaining and conducting the DNA test was pure. Unfortunately the article doesn't give exact locations of where the tested deer came from but locations are illustrated by the map per the article.

From: Fuzzy
07-Jul-16
great post! Thanks!

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