Date of Award

Spring 5-3-1957

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Department

School of Renewable Natural Resources

First Advisor

Bateman, Bryant A.

Second Advisor

Brown, Clair A.

Third Advisor

Glasgow, Leslie L.

Abstract

Where deer have overpopulated their range, a thorough knowledge of range conditions and deer food habits is necessary to establish proper management. This study was made on an overpopulated deer range in Northeastern Louisiana. It provides information on certain phases of deer food habits not heretofore investigated in the region. The study procedure followed a modification of the Aldous Deer Browse Survey Method, whereby a percentage sample survey was made of the density of woody and herbaceous browse species and their utilization by deer. Vines made up 55 per cent, trees and shrubs 31 per cent, and forbs 14 per cent of the forest diet. Deer fed principally upon greenbrier, palaetto, ironweed, trumpet- vine, rattanvlne, waterwillow, deciduous holly, wild chervil, and Frenchaulberry. Ridge sites provided the largest quantity and variety of deer browse. Utilization of merchantable tree reproduction by deer was Halted. Scrub trees were more important food to deer than were the merchantable species. The deer range was in a deteriorated condition. Natural foods were too sparse to support the present deer population. Growth of browse plants was obviously inhibited by the combined effects of the dense crown cover and palmetto growth. In low areas, seasonal flooding, combined with a dense crown cover, inhibited understory plant growth. Aside from deer, a dense crown cover was apparently the greatest browse inhibitor.

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