Effects of Pine Regeneration on Vegetation, Deer Hunting, and Harvest

Regeneration of 10,000 ha of mixed forest to loblolly pine over 14 years resulted in extensive vegetative changes. One hundred forty-five herbaceous and 68 woody plant species were recorded from the study area. Forty-nine percent of herbaceous species encountered were forbs. Grasses were the most dominant plant group with 25.2% coverage at the initiation of the study. Mean percent coverage of all herbaceous plant groups increased through year 2, then gradually decreased. Plant coverage increased for all groups except woody vines following a controlled burn in year 11. Highest coverage of legumes (8.8%) occurred in year II following the controlled burn. Food availability (FA) was highest for white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus) during years 2 and 3 of the study. Hunter effort and harvest for deer generally increased except for dog deer hunting. Physical condition of deer declined during the study.

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