Many landowners and hunters are aware of the value of native warm season grasses to upland game species such as pheasants, quail and rabbits, but few recognize their important role in deer management. This is especially true in areas where agriculture is abundant but cover is limiting. As such, Star Seed, the nation’s leading native warm season grass company, has created a specialized seed blend called Deer Cover. This unique blend of native warm season grasses, legumes and wildflowers was specifically designed by wildlife biologists and agronomists to meet the deer’s four greatest cover needs – bedding cover, escape cover, thermal cover and fawning cover.
Bedding Cover: The number of deer a property can hold is influenced by the quality and distribution of bedding cover. Many highly agricultural areas lack sufficient bedding cover and deer must travel great distances from feed to cover. This greatly increases their risk of being harvested on another property, being hit by an automobile, or being killed by some other means. Deer Cover provides the optimum bedding environment and can help maximize deer use of your property while minimizing deer losses.
Escape Cover: Most hunters involved in deer management attempt to protect young bucks so they can survive to an older age before harvest. This can be a real challenge on small prop-erties that are surrounded by heavy hunting pressure. Strategic use of Deer Cover provides bucks and does of all ages with high quality escape cover in which to seek refuge during the hunting season. This results in increased deer use of your property, especially during daylight hours when they are at greatest risk.
Thermal Cover: The greatest period of physical and nutritional stress for deer in northern areas is late winter. Deer of all ages, but especially fawns and rut-stressed bucks, are at greatest risk of death during prolonged periods of extreme cold. Numerous studies have shown that deer with access to thick, dense cover like that provided by Deer Cover, survive at higher rates and enter the following spring in better condition that those without quality thermal cover.
Fawning Cover: High quality fawning habitat is critical to the success of any deer management program. On properties with limited or poorly distributed fawning cover, a high percentage of does are forced to drop their fawns in poor quality areas such as fescue fields and hardwood forests with little understory vegetation. Research has shown that fawns born in poor quality areas are at much greater risk of death from predators such as coyotes and other factors such as haying operations.