Relationships Between Fires and Winter Habitat of Deer in Idaho

Photo by Bob Mutch
Photo by Jeff Keay

Keay, J. A. and J. M. Peek. 1980. Relationships between fires and winter habitat of deer in Idaho. Journal of Wildlife Management 44(2):372-380.

ABSTRACT: White-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus) preferred unburned Douglas-fir (Pseudotsuga menziesii)/ninebark (Physocarpus malvaceus) habitat types in winter, except during February, when the unburned bluebunch wheatgrass (Agropyron spicatum)/bluegrass (Poa sandbergii) habitat type was preferred. Mule deer (O. hemionus) preferred burned Douglas-fir/ninebark and ponderosa pine (Pinus ponderosa)/bluebunch wheatgrass habitat types. White-tailed deer preferred sites that had the shortest average distance to cover, whereas mule deer selected sites that had significantly less cover. Relatively unpalatable species, including ninebark, were eaten more frequently on burned sites than on unburned sites.