Seasonal use of conservation reserve program lands by white-tailed deer in east-central South Dakota

Wildlife Society Bulletin
By:  and 



The Conservation Reserve Program (CRP_, a provision of the 1985 Food Security Act, subsidizes landowners to take highly erodible lands out of cultivation and seed them to perennial cover for 10years. In eastern South Dakota, 0.5 million ha were enrolled in the CRP from 1985 to 1990 (Agric. Stabilization and Conserv. Serv., Brookings, S.D., unpubl. Data), which represents the largest change in conservation land-use practices in the region since the 1956 Soil Bank Program (Goetz 1987).

Although the CRP is anticipated to produce substantial benefits for some wildlife species, particularly ground-nesting birds, its significance to white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus) in the northern Great Plains agricultural region is poorly understood. Higgins et al. (1987) speculated that proliferation of CRP grasslands may provide a missing habitat component in intensively managed farmland, thereby enhancing several species of wildlife, including white-tailed deer. Deer managers in the region have expressed concerns that improved cover associated with DRP plantings on private land could attract deer and reduce hunter success rates or lead to increased depredation of adjacent croplands or stored winter forages (L. Rice, S.D. Dep. Game, Fish, and Parks, Rapid City, pers. comm., 1989). Our objectives were to describe variation in deer use of CRP lands by season, diel period, and deer activity class as a means of assessing seasonal importance of CRP fields to white-tailed deer in agricultural Midwest.

Study Area

Additional publication details

Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title Seasonal use of conservation reserve program lands by white-tailed deer in east-central South Dakota
Series title Wildlife Society Bulletin
Volume 21
Issue 3
Year Published 1993
Language English
Publisher Wiley
Contributing office(s) Forest and Rangeland Ecosystem Science Center
Description 6 p.
First page 250
Last page 255
Country United States
State South Dakota