Old Home Sites; Important Sources Of Winter Forage For Deer

During the summer of 1976 and winter of 1976-77, understory production was measured in 3 old home sites and in 12 other timber strata in the Upper Coastal Plain of South Carolina. These strata differed in stand composition, condition and age. Summer production in old home sites ranged from 496-922 kg per ha,. and winter production from 128-433 kg per ha. Relatively open canopies probably contributed to high yields. Winter yields from known deer food species were substantially greater in old home sites, range 40.1-303.4 kg per ha (X=207). Japanese honeysuckle (Lonceriajaponica) was abundant in each old home site and was the dominant understory species in the 2 sites with highest production. Potential yields of deer forages, particularly honeysuckle, were diminished by species competition from woody vines, trees, and honeysuckle growing beyond the feeding height of deer.

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