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Mr. Smarty Plants - Food for deer and turkey in Oklahoma

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Thursday - September 10, 2009

From: Stillwater, OK
Region: Southwest
Topic: Deer Resistant
Title: Food for deer and turkey in Oklahoma
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

We recently moved to NE Oklahoma from Texas and have 7 acres, a lot of wild turkeys and wild deer. About 2-3 acres are open, with sun and partial to lots of shade as the rest is heavily wooded. What can I plant in the open areas that deer and turkey like?

ANSWER:

It is a pleasure to tell someone about plants that deer like, instead of trying to find plants that deer won't eat!  Oklahoma Cooperative Extension Service publication, Ecology and Management of Deer in Oklahoma, shows a list of "Some Preferred Native Foods" and Texas Parks and Wildlife has a publication, White-tailed Deer Managment in the Texas Hill Country, that also has a list in Appendix B of favorite deer browse.  Here are a few of the suggestions from these lists:

Nyssa sylvatica (blackgum)

Quercus shumardii (Shumard's oak) and other oaks for their acorns.

Celtis laevigata var. reticulata (netleaf hackberry)

Diospyros virginiana (common persimmon)

Cornus drummondii (roughleaf dogwood)

Cornus florida (flowering dogwood)

Rhus aromatica (fragrant sumac) and Rhus lanceolata (prairie sumac), as well as other sumacs.

Prosopis glandulosa (honey mesquite)

As it turns out, wild turkey like much the same food as deer along with the addition of grasses, especiallly in the Panicum sp. and Paspalum sp.  Here are are a few species of these particular grasses that occur in Oklahoma:

Panicum capillare (witchgrass)

Panicum hallii (Hall's panicgrass)

Panicum virgatum (switchgrass)

Paspalum floridanum (Florida paspalum)

You can read more about creating and maintaining habitat for turkeys in the publication from the Texas Department of Parks and Wildlife, Post Oak Savannah and Blackland Prairie Wildlife Management—Wild Turkey.


Nyssa sylvatica

Quercus shumardii

Celtis laevigata var. reticulata

Diospyros virginiana

Cornus drummondii

Cornus florida

Rhus aromatica

Rhus lanceolata

Prosopis glandulosa

Panicum capillare

Panicum hallii

Panicum virgatum

Paspalum floridanum

 

 

 

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