• Forage Ratings for Deer and Cattle on the Welder Wildlife Refuge

      Drawe, D. L.; Box, T. W. (Society for Range Management, 1968-07-01)
      Forage preferences of white-tailed deer and cattle on the Welder Wildlife Refuge in South Texas were determined by relating availability, percent utilization, and percent frequency of use of each plant species utilized by deer or cattle. Overall forage ratings showed that though both animals were grazers, deer preferred forbs and cattle preferred grasses. Selection of forage by both deer and cattle varied with the seasonal availability and palatability of the forage. Seasonal forage ratings showed that few species of the many utilized made up 50% of the forage ratings for deer and cattle. On clay soils, deer utilized all browse species present, while cattle utilized little browse. Four perennial grasses made up most of the preferences of cattle. During the winter, grass and grass seed heads were highly utilized by deer. Forbs were the most important deer forage class on sandy soils. Grasses made up about 25% of the total preference rating of deer in fall and winter on the sand. Cattle utilized forbs more in spring and summer, but utilized grasses more in the fall and winter.