Forages Eaten By Deer In The Southeast

An analysis was made of 956 rumen samples collected from whitetailed deer in the Appalachian Mountain, Piedmont, and Coastal Plain provinces in the Southeast during the four seasons. The study indicated that deer select the same type of diet seasonally although foraging in ecologically different areas. Hardened woody twigs had the lowest frequency of occurrence and lowest volume of all food categories. Green leaves of woody plants ranked highest in frequency of occurrence and volume. Mushrooms ranked third in frequency of occurrence and fifth in total volume. The annual contribution of forbs, grasses and sedges, fungi (mushrooms), and dry leaves totaled 35.9 percent by volume, equalling the amount provided by green leaves of woody plants.

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50045