Know Your Deer Plants: Blackgum

Blackgums occur in a variety of soil types from boggy to sandy and can be found from southern Ontario, Canada to Minnesota, south to Texas and Florida and in all eastern states from Maine southward. This tree is also known as sour-gum or pepperidge and was called tupelo by Native Americans. The elliptic leaves are …

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Know Your Deer Plants: Horsemint

There are many plants that deer will rarely consume, if at all, and will only do so when there are few other options available. These plants are typically referred to as “low preference” forages; however, when it comes to your plant identification skills, they should take a high priority. Why would I choose to profile …

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Mature Bucks: Who Needs ‘Em?

For decades in the late 1900s states such as Alabama, Michigan, Pennsylvania and others managed deer herds in such a manner that the majority of bucks harvested were 1½ years old and very few bucks ever reached maturity. In Pennsylvania, less than 1 percent of bucks reached maturity prior to implementation of antler restrictions in …

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Know Your Deer Plants: Beggar’s Lice

If someone were to ask you to name the most palatable, high-quality, warm-season forage you could plant in your food plot to satisfy the elevated summer protein demands for white-tailed deer, how would you answer? Most of us would immediately shout, “Soybeans!” Well, meet one of Mother Nature’s substitutes. Desmodiums, better known as a large …

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Five Ways to Track Predator Abundance

When you are trying to increase fawn survival through trapping and hunting predators, you need to know whether your efforts are effective. Counting actual predator density is not feasible, but there are several ways to gauge the relative abundance of predators.  Relative abundance means determining that you have more or fewer predators than you did …

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