Can anybody identify the ground cover in this photo?

Plain ol' Steve

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View attachment 83844

I hunted an area on opening weekend of this low success rate zone, above 10k elevation. Only one animal was seen by me and another by my hunting partner. Both were bucks and getting out of Dodge. Very little deer sign was found, but the country was beautiful and we saw nobody for three days, so we will probably go back next season.

We found this one area that had the ground cover shown that was loaded with big buck turds and bear turds as well. The ground cover was no more than an inch and a half high and its tough to say because we just had a sleet storm come through, but I think the soil was moist (regardles of storm) as though it had a higher water table. It was under a broken coniferous forest canopy so it had both sun and shade. Some parts were greener and other parts very red.

Anybody have an idea of what the plant is? I'm not sure if the animals are drawn to the plant or if the plants are drawn to the same thing as the animals like a mineral seep or other soil condition. No surface water was present.

Thanks.
 

Marty

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Wild guess... a vinca or myrtle. Most likely a surviving forest ground cover and not a grazing food source.
 

Plain ol' Steve

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Thanks for the feedback.

I tried looking up vinca and myrtle images and they don't seem to fit, but that may be becasue they are domestic varieties. I also recognize that the image i posted is a poor substitute for the first hand experience of seeing it.

I have a feeling that the animals are using the plant or the area for something other than forage. Kinda like dogs eat grass for an upset stomach or to supplement what they aren't getting in their forage food. I will see if I can send to feild biologist for a suggestion.

If I find an aswer that I am confident in I will share.

Thanks.
 

tylercreek2

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hard to tell from the pic ,,, vinca major was a commonly used ground cover in the old days ,,,,, myrtus will be more shrub like generally ,,,, was in an area of old cabins or home sites? if not doubt if was vinca major because it had to be planted and at the elevation you listed it cant grow ,,,,, maybe a variety of arctostaphylus
 

Plain ol' Steve

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hard to tell from the pic ,,, vinca major was a commonly used ground cover in the old days ,,,,, myrtus will be more shrub like generally ,,,, was in an area of old cabins or home sites? if not doubt if was vinca major because it had to be planted and at the elevation you listed it cant grow ,,,,, maybe a variety of arctostaphylus
I call it ground cover for lack of a better term. It is a tiny plant which individually is no taller than 1.5 inches and has a spread no larger than a 1/2 dollar coin. But it grows closely together as dose grass. No developement in the area for many miles. I will look up the arctostaphylus.
 

6x7

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How can you tell a buck turd from a doe turd?
 

hunterdoug

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How can you tell a buck turd from a doe turd?
I've always believed clumped is buck and spread, loose is doe, have had others say not true, I still believe clumped from what I've seen, but I'm not a biologist. What say you?
 

fishnhunt

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I've always believed clumped is buck and spread, loose is doe, have had others say not true, I still believe clumped from what I've seen, but I'm not a biologist. What say you?
This is just an old wives tale...Not to be too personal but...Have you ever had the runs? How about constipation? Anything in between? Can you tell the difference between yours and the wife/GFs if its sitting there without reference??
 
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Plain ol' Steve

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How can you tell a buck turd from a doe turd?
Pretty much what hunter Doug said. Am I wrong about this?

Fishnhunt: I appreciate the analogy but my wife and I aren't herbivores nor are we deer. I can't say that I have checked on my wife's turds. She is pretty good about flushing.:thumbs up2: I find it believable that a buck and doe could have different turds whether it be do to lifestyle, diet or other reason, but I have to admit that I have as much evidence to prove it as I have to disprove this old wives tale.

Does anybody know for a fact that turds from bucks and does are indistinguishable? This may very well be an old wives tail and this would be a great place to kill it.

Thanks again guys
 

fishnhunt

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Pretty much what hunter Doug said. Am I wrong about this?

Fishnhunt: I appreciate the analogy but my wife and I aren't herbivores nor are we deer. I can't say that I have checked on my wife's turds. She is pretty good about flushing.:thumbs up2: I find it believable that a buck and doe could have different turds whether it be do to lifestyle, diet or other reason, but I have to admit that I have as much evidence to prove it as I have to disprove this old wives tale.

Does anybody know for a fact that turds from bucks and does are indistinguishable? This may very well be an old wives tail and this would be a great place to kill it.

Thanks again guys
I give as reference a degree in wildlife management and a career in natural resource management...My analogy above was simply to describe the differences that you might notice on a daily basis. Its no different for deer...

A lot of things can and do affect the appearance of fecal matter including: diet, disease, microbiotic makeup of the digestive system, each individual makeup, and of course animal size, etc. So yes strictly speaking a bucks poop could be bigger than a does but the majority of deer will have a lot of overlap in terms of size and weight of the scat. The differences would be so slight that you wouldn't be able to identify them in the field and the accuracy in the lab settings would be very low as well. Simply too much variation in individual animals and biotic systems to be an accurate measure. When researchers are doing studies on deer scat and gender identification they use DNA to make the type of identifications. A deer's digestive system is the same regardless of the head gear that it may or may not have.

From a practical sense there is much more to be learned from a deer scat and this person has generated a pretty good (albit not scientific) article about what you can tell from deer poop: http://www.buckmasters.com/the-science-of-deer-pelletology.aspx
 
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Plain ol' Steve

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Great response. It certainly outweighs anything I have seen supporting the contrary.

Thanks you.
 

smithstation

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We used to raise fallow deer and with them all on the same diet, mainly alfalfa hay and pellets, all their scat looked the same. Just my 2 cents......
 

6x7

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We should send this to myth busters!
 

6x7

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Every time I clean a buck and cut the bung hole out its all ways lose pellets not clumped together!
 

QuackAssassin

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I always tell the difference in buck vs for by the size of the turd pellets , literally every large buck I've seen who has crapped has had bigger pellets , does are smaller . Never mattered on age
 

Bubblehide

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I am with the research on this one, just like the article fishnhunt linked to.
 

markt800

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it could be some crap and sprouts... or my American standard this morning??? can't tell
 

markt800

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the only place I've seen buck crap clumpy is Utah. even the small bucks drop pellet logs there.

here in so. cal they all drop pellets but buck pellets are bigger and more round then the small egg shape doe poop.
 


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