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Tuesday, January 30 • 6:00pm - 9:00pm
Poster Display. The Application of Prescribed Burns and Food Plots with White-tailed Deer in Northern Wisconsin

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AUTHORS: Cori Semler, University of Wisconsin - Stevens Point, Wildlife Ecology and Wildland Fire Science

ABSTRACT: The dietary needs of white-tailed deer vary not only among the region of the country, but the season of the year. These nutrients, such as crude protein, factor into growth, development and maintenance of white-tailed deer. Prescribed fire can enhance nutrient cycles, and increase plant diversity and productivity. Food plots are used as a high-quality food source, pattern mature males, and keep white-tailed deer on properties for harvest goals. I hypothesized that there would be no difference in the number of deer and sex-ratio captured between the prescribed burns, food plots, and unburned areas along with the variation of the months.This was a study in the summers of 2016 and 2017 in Fence, WI. Two prescribed burns of equal size were conducted and compared to two food plots. The first food plot contained a mixture of perennial clovers, and food plot two contains a mixture of annual forbs. A camera was placed on each site with observations being made in June, July, and August. The cameras were out for three sets of 30 trap hours, with 360 observations each set, totaling 1080 observations a site. For each hour a white-tailed deer was photographed, it was recorded. For multiple pictures captured within an hour, the observation was recorded as the maximum number of white-tailed deer in one picture during that hour. The sex of the deer was also recorded as percentage of all that were captured. Three vegetation samples were collected from the food plots, burned areas, and unburned across all three months. The vegetation samples were used to determine crude protein levels. Three statistical Z tests were run to compare the two systems separately and combined. Four one-way ANOVAs were used to compare the observations taken in each month, sexes, and the crude protein percentage for the separate systems.

Tuesday January 30, 2018 6:00pm - 9:00pm CST
Ballroom C & Foyer