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White-Tailed Deer Habitat

Ecology and Management on Rangelands

José Alfonso Ortega-Santos

Publication Year: 2013

The original, 2006 edition of Timothy Edward Fulbright and J. Alfonso Ortega-S.’s White-Tailed Deer Habitat: Ecology and Management on Rangelands was hailed as “a splendid reference for the classroom and those who make their living from wildlife and the land” and as “filling a niche that is not currently approached in the literature.”

In this second, full-color edition, revised and expanded to include the entire western United States and northern Mexico, Fulbright and Ortega-S. provide a carefully reasoned synthesis of ecological and range management principles that incorporates rangeland vegetation management and the impact of crops, livestock, predation, and population density within the context of the arid and semiarid habitats of this broad region. As landowners look to hunting as a source of income and to the other benefits of managing for wildlife, the clear presentation of the up-to-date research gathered in this book will aid their efforts. Essential points covered in this new edition include:

White-tailed deer habitat requirements
Nutritional needs of White-tailed deer
Carrying capacity
Habitat management

Focused across political borders and written with an understanding of environments where periodic drought punctuates long-term weather patterns, this revised and expanded edition of White-Tailed Deer Habitat: Ecology and Management on Rangelands will aid landowners, researchers, and naturalists in their efforts to integrate land management and use with sound ecological practices.

Published by: Texas A&M University Press

Series: Perspectives on South Texas Series, sponsored by Texas A&M University-Kingsville

Cover Page

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pp. 1-1

Title Page

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pp. 2-7


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pp. vii-9

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pp. ix-13

This is a book on range management for white-tailed deer. The fields of range and wildlife management are closely related but have maintained a considerable degree of separation since their beginnings in the early twentieth century. In the region this book is concerned with, habitat and rangeland are synonyms. We hope that range and..

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1. Habitat Requirements of White-Tailed Deer

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pp. 1-44

Management of white-tailed deer habitat should be based on sound scientific theories (Joyce 1993; Fulbright 1996).1 Wildlife managers use scientific theories to predict the anticipated outcome of management practices (Fulbright and Hewitt 2008). Management practices may not have the same results in all environments. Deer management practices that were developed and work...

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2. White-Tailed Deer Nutrition

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pp. 45-74

Nutrition is fundamental to deer management because it determines how many deer a given landscape can support and the productivity of the population. Deer populations are far less productive in nutritionally inadequate habitats than in habitats where nutritional needs are met. Poor nutrition results in reduced...

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3. Ecological Principles Underlying Habitat Management

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pp. 75-108

All management practices are based on theory. This is an important fact for wildlife managers to appreciate and understand. For example, managers often plant food plots based on the theory that diet quality of deer feeding in the plots will improve. The anticipated outcome of most management practices is a prediction based on theory. A management plan is a model based on...

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4. Estimating Carrying Capacity

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pp. 109-128

White-tailed deer population densities vary geographically. The Edwards Plateau region of Texas supports higher densities of white-tailed deer than any other rangeland area in the United States, with greater than 45 deer/km2 (see fig. 1.2; Quality Deer Management Association 2008). In contrast, much of the Great Plains region...

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5. The Cow: Livestock and White-Tailed Deer Habitat

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pp. 129-154

Most rangelands are grazed by domestic animals, although in recent years livestock have been removed on some private ranches in Texas. About 20 percent of respondents in a recent survey of landowners and hunting lessees in South Texas said livestock have not grazed their lease or ranch in the past three years (Bryant, Ortega-S., and Synatzske, n.d.). Contrasting viewpoints exist among...

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6. The Plow: Food Plots

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pp. 155-174

Planting food plots for white-tailed deer is a popular form of supplemental feeding (fig. 6.1; Koerth and Kroll 1994; Donalty, Henke, and Kerr 2003). In a recent survey of hunting lessees and landowners in South Texas, 56 percent of respondents said they plant some form of food plots (Bryant, Ortega- S., and Synatzske, n.d.), and 41 percent said they planted them in both summer...

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7. The Ax, and Fire: Brush Management for White-Tailed Deer

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pp. 175-226

White-tailed deer have a wide range of tolerance in their need for cover and food provided by woody plants. In other words, there is probably not some optimum amount of brush that deer need. Rather, there is a broad range of amounts and spatial arrangements of brush that provide suitable cover and food for deer. In addition, a broad range of combinations of brush and open...

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8. The Gun: Harvest and Management Planning

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pp. 227-242

Aldo Leopold (1933) asserted that game can be “restored” by hunting. Our primary emphasis in this chapter is use of hunting as a tool to maintain deer densities within carrying capacity of the habitat. Maintaining deer populations within carrying capacity allows the most preferred plant species in the habitat to reproduce...

Appendix 1. Common and Scientific Names of Selected

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pp. 243-248

Appendix 2. Metric–English System Unit Equivalents

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pp. 249-250

Appendix 3. Determining Adequate Sample Sizes

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pp. 251-252

Appendix 4. Planting Summary for Selected Forages

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pp. 253-262


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pp. 263-302


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pp. 303-330

E-ISBN-13: 9781603449724
E-ISBN-10: 1603449728
Print-ISBN-13: 9781603449519

Page Count: 328
Illustrations: 79 color photos. 37 line art. 2 maps. Index. Bib.
Publication Year: 2013

Edition: 2, Expanded and Updated
Series Title: Perspectives on South Texas Series, sponsored by Texas A&M University-Kingsville
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OCLC Number: 841229552
MUSE Marc Record: Download for White-Tailed Deer Habitat