Factors Influencing Productivity of Two Mule Deer Herds in Utah

Jordan C. Pederson, K. T. Harper
1978 Journal of range management  
Highlight: Doe-fawn counts show that the mule deer herd on the LaSal Mountains of southeastern Utah produced over 38% more fawns per doe than the Henry Mountain herd over a 9-year period. Carcass weights of animals from the LaSal herd were generally greater for all age classes. Observed reproductive differences appear to be unrelated to the incidence of diseases, parasites, or predation. Furthermore, winter ranges are nearly equal in forage quantity and quality on the two ranges. Summer range
more » ... ges. Summer range vegetation on the LaSal Mountains, however, produced more forage of better quality than did similar community types on the Henry Mountains. LaSal summer ranges produced 2,149 kg/ha fresh weight of available forage while similar ranges on the Henrys produced only 1,314 kg/ha. Forbs account for 52% of the forage on LaSal summer ranges but only 12% of the forage on ranges of comparable elevation on the Henrys. The data suggest that the characteristics of the forage found on the summer range, especially the quantity and quality of forbs, exert important influences on productivity of these herds.
doi:10.2307/3897654 fatcat:2meyluc7ozcjlfaql5hhzxijiy