Warm Season Supplemental Forages for White-tailed Deer in the Pineywoods of East Texas

Supplemental forage plantings for white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus) have been aimed primarily at the winter stress period with little or no consideration to supplementing the summer diet. Consequently, there is little information concerning the efficacy of summer plantings. A total of 14 summer cultivated forages was evaluated using 4 criteria: 1) productivity, 2) availability during stress periods, 3) utilization and acceptance by deer, and 4) nutritional quality. Warm-season forages performing best were alyceclover, iron and clay cowpea, catjang cowpea, American jointvetch, and centennial soybean. Bottomland sites were more productive than upland sites. Combination plantings, particularly comprised of alyceclover and cowpea in the upland and alyceclover, cowpea, and jointvetch in the bottomland, are recommended over single variety plantings.

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