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Spatial Use of Warm-Season Food Plots by White-Tailed Deer

Jeffrey P. Bonner and Timothy E. Fulbright
Journal of Range Management
Vol. 52, No. 1 (Jan., 1999), pp. 45-50
DOI: 10.2307/4003491
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/4003491
Page Count: 6
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Spatial Use of Warm-Season Food Plots by White-Tailed Deer
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Abstract

White-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus Zimm.) appear to concentrate foraging activity along the perimeters of warm-season food plots. Because of this, we tested the hypothesis that (1) providing travel lanes (i.e., rows not planted) free of vegetation within food plots will increase deer use of the plots and result in an equal spatial distribution of forage use within the plots, and (2) skip-row planting will result in increased yield and survival of lablab (Dolichos lablab L.), an annual legume. During 1994 and 1995, lablab was established by planting (1) every row spaced 0.9 m apart (solid), (2) 2 rows and not planting 1 row (skip 1), and (3) 2 rows and not planting 2 rows (skip 2) in two 5-ha food plots. Planting scheme did not affect spatial patterns of food plot use by deer. Utilization was concentrated at food plot perimeters on 9 of 15 sampling dates. Food plot utilization by deer was greater in skip 2 treatments only during August 1995, possibly as a result of greater forage availability resulting from greater plant survival than solid rows. Deer foraging in food plots apparently shifted foraging activities to an area of greater forage availability as the resource supply was depleted. Skip-row planting had lower overall planting costs/ha than solid planting but maintained similar forage production per hectare. /// El venado cola blanca (Odocoileus virginianus Zimm.) parece ser que concentra su actividad forrajera a lo largo de perimetros de parcelas alimenticias durante las estaciones de alta temperatura ambiental. Por lo cual, nosotros analisámos esta hipótesis (1) proporcionar lineas de recorrido (i.e., filas no plantadas) libres de vegetación adentro de las parcelas a su causa se aumentar en el uso con una misma distribución espacial del uso del forrage, y (2) sembrar lineas alternas teniendo como resultado un incremento en la cosecha y sobrevivencia de lablab (Dolichos lablab L.), una leguminosa anual. Durante 1994 y 1995, lablab fué establecida abase de plantación (1) con un espacio entre lineas de 0.9m (sólido), (2) plantando 2 lineas y no plantando 1 linea (saltando 1), y (3) plantando 2 lineas y no plantando 2 lineas (saltando 2) en dos parcelas alimenticias de 5-ha. El esquema de plantación no afectó a los venados en sus patrones espaciales en el uso de las parcelas alimenticias. La utilización dentro de los perímetros de las parcelas de alimentación se concentró en 9 de las 15 fechas de muestreo. La utilización adentro de las parcelas alimenticias por los venados fue mayor en el tratamiento saltando 2 líneas solamente durante agosto de 1995, posiblemente esto es el resultado de la gran sobrevivencia de plantas en estas lineas solidas. La actividad de forrajeo de venados en las parcelas alimenticias aparentemente cambió aáreas de mayor disponibilidad de forraje cuando el recurso fu agotado. Las plantaciones de lineas alternadas tuvieron un menor costo de plantación/ha que las plantaciones sólidas pero ambas mantuvieron una producción similar de forraje/ha.

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