The effects of Fall Grazing or Burning Bluebunch Wheatgrass Range on Forage Selection by Deer and Cattle in Spring

Willms, W.; Bailey, A.W.; McLEAN, A.; Tucker, R.

Canadian Journal of Animal Science 60(1): 113-122

1980


ISSN/ISBN: 0008-3984
DOI: 10.4141/cjas80-015
Accession: 068493139

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Abstract
Studies were made in the big sagebrush-bluebunch wheatgrass and Douglas fir-bluebunch wheatgrass communities to examine the effects of fall burning and fall cattle grazing on springtime utilization of bluebunch wheatgrass by both deer and cattle. Deer and cattle displayed greatest preference for forage from the burned treatment and least preference for forage from the control. Grazing pressure by deer was not sufficient to cause the preference rankings among treatments to change. On the other hand, cattle readily switched preferences as availability among treatments changed. Utilization of other species appeared related to the utilization of bluebunch wheatgrass. Dead stubble of bluebunch wheatgrass influenced the height of grazing in spring. Deer were more affected by stubble than were cattle although deer were able to select closer to the height of short stubble and further below the height of long stubble. Dead stubble of small plants was a less effective barrier than that of large plants. This effect was particularly pronounced with cattle.