• 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.