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Journal Article

Spring Food Habits of White-Tailed Deer in the South Texas Plains

James H. Everitt and D. Lynn Drawe
Journal of Range Management
Vol. 27, No. 1 (Jan., 1974), pp. 15-20
DOI: 10.2307/3896430
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/3896430
Page Count: 6

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Topics: Deer, Forbs, Cactus, Ranches, Rumen, Diet, Feeding habits, Species, Taxa, Food
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Spring Food Habits of White-Tailed Deer in the South Texas Plains
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Abstract

During the spring seasons of 1970 and 1971, rumen analyses were used to determine food preferences of white-tailed deer on the H. B. Zachry Randado Ranch in South Texas. A total of 83 plant taxa were found to be eaten by this deer herd. Forbs comprised an average of 37.1% by volume of the diet, browse 33.1%, and cacti 17.5%, while grass comprised only 2.5% volume of the diet. Pricklypear cactus was heavily consumed and comprised an average of 15.4% of the total diet. Forbs were most heavily utilized in early spring. Perennial species were more prevalent than annuals in the diet. Important differences occurred in the diet between years, between early and late spring, and between the three major range sites on the study area.

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