"ears of a mature mule deer are 22-24 inches wide"
lots of good info here for sure, but be careful about assuming 22-24 inch ear width. True, they are 24" flat out and in a straight line, tip to tip (a measurement you might take on a deceased animal), but that is not a natural angle for a live animal. Ears up at a 30 degree angle, typical of their inquisitive forward look, they are 18 to 18.5 inches on a 5-8 year old. 3-3.5 inches of antler outside their ears will most often net you a 25-26 buck, not a 29-30.... huge difference. Not to say that a 25 inch mulie wouldn't delight most of us, especially given good mass and length, but if you're putting a bunch of pieces together and expecting 200+ on the deer that you just dropped because you decided he's close to 30, you might be disappointed. just a precaution