Deer University podcasts are all about deer biology and management. Drs. Bronson Strickland and Steve Demarais are both deer hunters, deer biologists, professors of wildlife management, and co-directors of the Mississippi State University Deer Lab. Steve and Bronson are so crazy about deer biology and management that they made it their career!
Our goal is to explain how you can use deer research to improve your hunting and management experiences. Don’t take for granted what your buddy says or what you read in a hunting magazine – we’ll train you to think like a deer biologist. As national leaders in deer research, we’ll keep you up to date on the latest and best information, and deliver episodes that cover every deer management topic you can imagine, and then add some that will surprise you.
If you are interested in deer hunting and management, this is your podcast! Every shot you take this fall is either a step forward or backward in your management program, so use our knowledge to make every shot count!
Hosts of Deer University:
Dr. Bronson Strickland, Professor of Wildlife Management, Mississippi State University Extension Service
Dr. Steve Demarais, Professor of Wildlife Management, Mississippi State University Forest and Wildlife Research Center
John Gruchy is a Private Lands Biologist for the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, & Parks and has been assisting landowners with habitat management for deer and other wildlife for over a decade. During that time, John has compiled a list of habitat management mistakes he sees over and over again. Join us as we review these mistakes with John and discuss how you can avoid these pitfalls.
Dr. Mick Hellickson joins Deer University again to compare deer management in South Texas and the Midwest. Mick was born and raised in Iowa and grew up hunting in that agricultural environment, but then moved to South Texas for graduate school and now works there managing deer herds. Mick will review the most important limitations he faces managing deer in these very different environments.
We get asked all the time “what’s the best food plot forage to plant for deer?” Well, as hunters and managers, we were interested in that question too. Bronson, Steve, and Marcus discuss a food plot forage selection project conducted by former graduate student, Jacob Dykes. Cereal grains, clovers, and brassicas all have different growth rates and maturation dates, making their quality and nutrient profile change over the hunting season. What’s more, the availability of certain nutrients in the naturally occurring plants affect which food plot forages deer may favor, or avoid, and this depends on the time of year, and from place to place. So, what may be the most selected forage on your property, may be different a on property a few miles away. Just like there's no magic bullet, there's no magic food plot forage either.
And, check out this short video about the research.
Most hunters and managers are aware of the benefits of prescribed fire on deer habitat. Fire can be used to set back plant succession (reduce the woody vegetation) and stimulate the growth of forbs (increase the herbaceous vegetation). In the Southeastern US, deer nutrition is often limited during the summer when bucks are growing antlers and does are producing fawns and lactating. Often limitations in summer nutrition is addressed with warm-season food plots, but what about addressing this need with prescribed fire? Today we visit with former MSU Deer Lab graduate student, Rainer Nichols, and discuss his project where he compared plant quality and biomass response to dormant-season and growing season prescribed fire. Rainer examined the impacts of prescribed fire timing and mechanical stump sprouting have on summer nutritional carrying capacity for deer. Diversifying the timing of prescribed fire between the dormant and growing seasons led to increased summer nutrient availability at the landscape level, and mechanically creating stump sprouts from woody plants led to increased available nutrition on a localized level. Combining these two management actions to target summer nutritional limitations can better help deer meet nutritional demands and reach their full potential.
Some hunters think Chronic Wasting Disease is no big deal, some hunters even think CWD is good for a state wildlife agency because the disease will bring with it an abundance of federal funding. Our interview with Jason Sumners of the Missouri Department of Conservation, and Cory Gray of the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission will fully explain the issues this disease brings to wildlife management agencies.