Abstract

Title:  Deer food habits in southwest Arkansas: preliminary findings.
Author(s): Adams, D. L. and D. M. Harris.
Year: 1984
Abstract: Investigations were initiated in the fall of 1982 to determine the effects of varying forestry management intensities on white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus) forage production and utilization. Preliminary findings of the fall and winter food habits of deer in southwest Arkansas are presented in this paper. In gross examinations of rumina from hunter-killed deer (fall 1982) and collected deer (March 1989), 29 plant species were identified (9 of which exceeded 1% by volume). Principle food items for both seasons, making up 91% of all forage, were oak mast (Ouercus spp., 65.2%) fungi (Basidiomycetes, 14.0%), and honeysuckle (Lonicera ianonica, 11.8%). Major components of the fall diet were acorns (87.2%), fungi (10.4%), and honeysuckle (1.1%); these accounted for 98.7% of all identified food items. Honeysuckle (43.6%), fungi (24.8%), yellow jessamine (Gelesemium sem~ervirens,9 .0%), grass (Poaceae, 8.3%), and blackberry (Rubus spp., 7.1%) made up 92.8% of winter food items. Due to the sex and age distribution of sample deer, differential food preferences were not analyzed. Findings from examination of additional rumina collected in September and November, 1983 are discussed. With these and future collections, a more complete understanding of the ssasonal food habits of this deer herd will be possible.

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