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Hannah & Hadleigh Baker, Virtual FFA Arkansas State Agriscience Fair Soybean Science Challenge Junior Level Winners

Screenshot 2021-07-29 100919

Hannah & Hadleigh Baker, Mountain Home Junior High School, Mountain Home, AR

Mentor: Josh Baker

Category: Environmental Science/Natural Resource Systems

Project Title: Comparing Flavor Preferences of White-Tailed Deer to Understand Their Feeding Tendencies in Order to Improve Deer Numbers at Feeding Sites

 

Abstract:
Wildlife populations are an extremely vital part of the agricultural industry. For white-tailed deer, specifically, numerous humane measures are being taken to control the white-tailed deer population. While hunters may envision giant racks on their wall farmers see reduced crop yields instead. Deer eat millions of pounds of forage each day. This damage to crops in a substantial amount of ways. However, to control the population of deer in a given area, hunting is the most effective way to reduce deer inhabitants. To attract deer to a specific hunting site, feeding areas are often applied to allure deer. To entice the white-tailed deer with food, we must find out which type of corn these deer prefer. Our topic of deer corn experimentation is important to the agricultural industry because it will provide farmers with precise data that clearly represents which type of deer corn, they prefer. In our experiment we provided different types of corn to the white-tailed deer on our farm. As we placed the different types of corn out, we aimed to identify which type of corn the deer preferred. The data that we collected would provide agriculturalists with precise information to discern which type of deer corn white tailed deer favor. Therefore, when corn is produced and distributed the people who purchase corn for their deer will be aware of what type of corn to obtain. This information reduces the inconvenience of farmers purchasing non effective deer corn. Finally, farmers will be able to effectively entice white tailed deer with the corn that they prefer to consume. Prior to creating our deer corn experiment we were obligated to research the current data on white tailed deer corn preferences. The current data is exponentially contrasting to the results that we collected. The existing data states that white-tailed deer prefer persimmon deer corn over everything. Much like our experiment they set the control as plain deer corn and two other variables as apple and persimmon. This result was considerably unalike our experiment. The data that is currently available for this typical experiment was conducted through wide open spaces, a hunting informational site out of Texas. The existing data states that Persimmon is the most favored flavored corn by white-tailed deer. In our study Persimmon was the least favored corn out of the entire experiment. As far as the methods they used compared to ours they were extremely similar. We both created a normal feeding site and recorded the data over time. In the end, our results varied significantly. However, not only does the flavor of the corn plays a part in the corn preferences, but the location is a crucial factor. This might have been due to the location of the favored corn type. In conclusion, location and flavor are a key component to deer preferences and can alter the type of corn they choose to consume

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