Seasonal Food-Habits of White-Tailed Deer (Odoeoileus Virginianus) in a Treated Eastern North Carolina Pocosin

A study of food-habits of white-tailed deer on approximately 26,000 acres of industrial timberlands in eastern North Carolina was made in a managed pond pine pocosin. A rumen analysis was completed for each of 128 deer collected during the period October 1971 through July 1973. These samples were partitioned into groups: spring, summer, fall, and winter. Although most of the food utilized was leafy browse, definite seasonal trends were established. Fruit of shining sumac and pokeweed was utilized heavily in the fall. A shift to greenbrier and ericaceous plants in the winter was observed. Important spring food items included succulent stems and leafy material of red maple and blackberry. Red maple was also heavily utilized in the summer along with such species as pokeweed, grape, green briers, and swamp cyrilla. The importance of species associated with forest openings is documented.

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