Vegetative Composition Surrounding Daytime Bedsites Of White·tailed Deer Fawns In Southwestern Oklahoma

Midsummer daytime bedsites of white-tailed deer (Odocileus virginianus texanus) fawns in southwestern Oklahoma were analyzed to determine the species composition of the surrounding vegetation. Vegetative composition varied between bedsites and range sites, but fawns did not bed in areas dominated by short vegetation. Fawns used 5 different range sites for daytime bedsites. Bedsites located on the 2 savannah range sites had higher percentages of woody vegetation than did bedsites located in the 3 open range sites. Grasses and grass-likes were the most abundant plant forms around all bedsites. Forbs were not a major component of the vegetation at any bedsite. Bedsites located in the boulder ridge, hilly stony, and hard land range sites were in good to excellent range condition, whereas bedsites located in hilly stony savannah and boulder ridge savannah range sites varied from poor to excellent in range condition class. Range condition class appears to be a valid index to the suitability of range sites (especially the open prairie types) for use by deer as fawn-rearing areas in the Wichita Mountains, Oklahoma.

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ID
36428