Winter and spring habitat selection by mature, male white-tailed deer in southern Texas
Pollock, Matthew Todd
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Because of the economic value of white-tailed deer to the state of Texas and the potential of brush management strategies for altering deer habitat negatively, a study was developed to determine vegetative characteristics influencing site selection by mature^ male white-tailed deer, and to quantify habitat preferences for selected habitat variables during winter and spring in southern Texas. Fourteen mature, male white-tailed deer were radiocollared and monitored during winter (1 December - 28 February) and spring (1 March - 31 May) seasons of 1986-87 and 1987-88. Telemetry locations of individual animals were integrated with a computer-generated grid system (2.25-ha cells) of the study area to quantify relative usage of each grid cell. The most heavily used cell and an adjacent unused cell were identified for each animal on a seasonal basis. Contrasts of structural vegetative characteristics were made between the most heavily used cell and an adjacent unused cell. Of the vegetation contrasts, high woody species richness, dense horizontal screening cover, and canopy cover that exceeded 75% all appeared to have a positive influence on site selection by mature, male white-tailed deer in winter and spring.