• Alfalfa hay crop loss due to mule deer depredation

      Austin, D. D.; Urness, P. J.; Duersch, D. (Society for Range Management, 1998-01-01)
      To define alfalfa crop loss from depredating mule deer, the spotlight count and paired plot techniques were applied in 12 fields located throughout Utah. Protected and grazed plots were used to determine alfalfa loss. A significant relationship between deer-nights of grazing and alfalfa loss was determined. Based on our studies, we recommend using 2.4 kg/deer-night for mule deer depredation of alfalfa using the spotlight count assessment technique. Nutritional quality of alfalfa was not different between grazed and protected plots.
    • Effects of Cattle Grazing on Mule Deer Diet and Area Selection

      Austin, D. D.; Urness, P. J. (Society for Range Management, 1986-01-01)
      Split enclosures, half grazed and half ungrazed by cattle in summer, were compared for mule deer habitat use in late summer using tame deer. Diet composition, dietary nutrition, and area selected for grazing by mule deer were used as criteria to assess the grazing effects of cattle. Generally few dietary or nutritional differences were determined. Nonetheless, deer preferred to forage on areas ungrazed by livestock at low deer use levels, but this preference rapidly decreased as deer use increased.
    • Impacts of mule deer and horse grazing on transplanted shrubs for revegetation

      Austin, D. D.; Urness, P. J.; Durham, S. L. (Society for Range Management, 1994-01-01)
      Revegetation success on foothill ranges in northern Utah using big sagebrush (Artemisia tridentata Nutt. spp. wyomingensis Beetle and Young) and rubber rabbitbrush brush (Chrysothamnus nauseosus Britt. spp. albicaulis H. and C.) was determined as influenced by winter mule deer browsing and spring horse grazing. Treatment areas of 0.1 ha with 3 replications included a protected control, use by deer only, use by horses only, use by deer and horses, and use by deer with horse grazing delayed for 3 years after seedling transplant. Results from the first 6 growing seasons following transplanting of seedlings showed grazing by horses only tripled the available, per-plant browse production of big sagebrush compared to protected plots, whereas browsing by deer only resulted in a 40% decrease in browse production. Seedling survival of big sagebrush differed between treatments during the first 3 growing seasons but was not affected by grazing after the third growing season. Rubber rabbitbrush was not affected by treatments.
    • Nutritional Value of Crested Wheatgrass for Wintering Mule Deer

      Urness, P. J.; Austin, D. D.; Fierro, L. C. (Society for Range Management, 1983-03-01)
      The nutritional value of crested wheatgrass in the fall to spring diet of mule deer was determined from in vivo and in vitro digestibilities, a field grazing trial, and crude protein analyses. Its dietary significance was evaluated by comparing the known diet with and without the grass component. Findings indicated fall regrowth and spring growth of crested wheatgrass favorably affected the nutritional plane of mule deer on winter range dominated by big sagebrush having intermingled seedings of this exotic grass.
    • Preferences of mule deer for 16 grasses found on Intermountain winter ranges

      Austin, D. D.; Stevens, R.; Jorgensen, K. R.; Urness, P. J. (Society for Range Management, 1994-07-01)
      In rangeland revegetation, selection of forages palatable to the primary grazer is crucial Five tame mule deer were used in the spring and fall to determine forage preferences for 16 grasses commonly found on seeded foothill rangelands. Trials were conducted within a planted enclosure. Cheatgrass (Bromus tectorum L.) was the most preferred species in spring, and also preferred in fall. Other preferred species included 'Paiute' orchardgrass (Dactylis glomerata L.), 'Luna' pubescent wheatgrass (Agropyron trichophorum link.), and fairway wheatgrass (Agropyron cristatum [L.] Gaertn). The least preferred grasses were three species of wildrye, 'Vinall' and 'Boisoisky' Russian wildrye (Psathyrostachys juncea Fisch.) and 'Magnar' basin wildrye (Elymus cinereus Scrib. and Merr.). Results showed a wide range of preferences for grasses.
    • Response of Curlleaf Mountain Mahogany to Pruning Treatments in Northern Utah

      Austin, D. D.; Urness, P. J. (Society for Range Management, 1980-07-01)
      Production of curlleaf mountain mahogany (Cercocarpus ledifolius) within browsing height of big game on winter ranges was increased 500-900% when 90-99% of the canopy was pruned from mature trees. However, since adventitious sprouting did not occur, numerous live twigs must be present in the browsing zone before treatment for any practical benefit to accrue. Pruning at less than 90% canopy removal and girdling showed positive but smaller vegetative responses, while 100% canopy removal and application of pruning paint to wound surfaces in an attempt to eliminate sap flow had no effect on forage production available to big game.
    • Spring Livestock Grazing Affects Crested Wheatgrass Regrowth and Winter Use by Mule Deer

      Austin, D. D.; Urness, P. J.; Fierro, L. C. (Society for Range Management, 1983-09-01)
      Areas grazed and ungrazed by cattle in spring were compared for regrowth of crested wheatgrass on a big sagebrush-grass range. Overwinter utilization of crested wheatgrass by tame mule deer and their grazing area preferences were assessed under 3 snow cover conditions-snow free, partial, and complete. Results showed regrowth production was usually higher on areas previously ungrazed by livestock. Overwinter utilization of created wheatgrass by deer was determined to be greater on ungrazed areas in both percentage of available grass used and weight per unit area consumed. Thus, interference from cured growth limiting green grass availability was more than compensated by increased production. The percentage of grass in the diet was generally higher on areas ungrazed by cattle, and deer preferred these areas under snow free and partial snow cover conditions; no preference was exhibited during complete snow cover. Recommendations for livestock grazing of seeded, foothill ranges where deer use is critical are discussed.
    • Values of Four Communities for Mule Deer on Ranges with Limited Summer Habitat

      Austin, D. D.; Urness, P. J. (Society for Range Management, 1985-03-01)
      Four plant communities were evaluated from May through September for mule deer dietary and nutritional values. The communities were dominated by Utah serviceberry, Gambel oak, big sagebrush, and mixed browse. In early summer deer diets contained many browse and forb species and were high in crude protein, but as summer progressed fewer species were selected and dietary crude protein declined, especially in the big sagebrush and serviceberry communities. Thus late summer was determined the critical period for forage quality. Range conditions were reflected by body size and condition of deer in fall.
    • Vegetal Change in the Absence of Livestock Grazing, Mountain Brush Zone, Utah

      Austin, D. D.; Urness, P. J.; Riggs, R. A. (Society for Range Management, 1986-11-01)
      Canopy cover of vegetation dominated by Gambel oak was determined in 1983 in adjacent canyons characterized by different grazing histories. Results were compared with data collected in 1935, and the methods replicated those used in the earlier study. Vegetal changes since 1935 in Red Butte Canyon where livestock grazing had been excluded since 1905 were small compared with those of Emigration Canyon where heavy grazing continued into the 1930's, but was gradually phased out and discontinued in 1957. Large differences in vegetal cover between the 2 canyons reported in 1935 were mostly eliminated by 1983.