Ministry of Forests

Cariboo Region Research Section


Preferences of Mule Deer for Douglas-Fir Foliage From Differnet Sized Trees

Abstract: We investigated the relative preference of wild Rocky Mountain mule deer (Odocoileus hemionus hemionus) for the foliage of Douglas-fir (Pseudotsuga menziesii) trees of different sizes on 2 winter ranges in the central interior of British Columbia. Trees were felled in 4 classes ranging from 3 to 48 cm dbh on 2 sites on each winter range. The foliage from trees 40-48 cm dbh was browsed more rapidly and completely than that of trees <30 cm dbh. Trees <6 cm dbh were virtually unbrowsed. Relative preference was correlated with diameter (r = 0.84).

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