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    Author(s): Hewlette S. Crawford
    Date: 1982
    Source: Journal of Wildlife Management. 46(4): 974-982.
    Publication Series: Scientific Journal (JRNL)
    Station: Northern Research Station
    PDF: Download Publication  (1.0 MB)


    Seasonal food selection and digestibility by tame white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus) were studied in the white pine (Pinus strobus)–Canada hemlock (Tsuga canadensis) and lowland conifer types, areas representative of important deer habitat in the northeastern United States. Deer selected highly digestible late spring, summer, and autumn diets. Winter and early spring food were less digestible. Forbs and newly grown leaves of hardwood plants were the most commonly selected late spring and summer foods; mushrooms and hardwood leaves were selected during autumn. Winter foods consisted largely of green and dry leaves of conifers and hardwoods gleaned from the snow surface. Early growth of grasses and sedges and dried red maple (Acer rubrum) leaves were selected as soon as the snow left the ground in early spring. Lignaceous woody twigs, fems, and trailing-arbutus (Epigaea repens) also were consumed during this period, reducing the overall digestibility of the diet.

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    Crawford, Hewlette S. 1982. Seasonal food selection and digestibility by tame white-tailed deer in central Maine. Journal of Wildlife Management. 46(4): 974-982.

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