Mule-deer Nibbled Ponderosa Tips

4/12/2012 Jim E sent this information along with photos, thanks Jim!  “Yesterday I happened to be walking along a game trail here in Glacier View Meadows and spotted a fairly newly wind-thrown ponderosa.  As I’d seen easily accessible branch tips nibbled on along Haystack Rd sometime ago, and didn’t know what did it, this seemed to clinch deer as the cause. The roots are extremely shallow as shown here. The trunk leading off to the left. Here’s the top of the tree showing easily reached – by deer – relatively palatable needles and branch tips.” Jim observed about a dozen piles of deer scat around the tree suggesting that deer are the culprits. He has sent an email to Mark from the Division of Wildlife to ask about mule deer forage habits.

“Finally, this closeup showing a couple plants of wild candytuft (Noccaea [formerly Thlaspi] montana) growing through the pile, which must have been laid before the spring-bloom season.  I’ve Olaus Murie’s 1958 classic, A Field Guide to Animal Tracks, that includes photos of droppings.  They show the winter feeding(or dry diet), and the soft type that results from green or succulent food in summer.  Maybe your folks can tell.”

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