White-tailed deer


Title:  Evaluation of a drop net for capturing deer.
Author(s): Conner, M. C., E. C. Soutiere, and R. A. Lancia.
Year: 1985
Abstract: White-tailed deer (Odocoileus virninianus) were captured with a drop net during March 1983-March 1984, at Remington Farms, near Chestertown, MD. The mechanically-released 21.34m x 12.34m net was dropped 55 times during 133 trap days (0.48 drops/trap day) resulting in the capture of 173 deer (3.15 deer/drop). Trapping was most efficient in winter (0.61 drops/trap day; 3.9 deer/drop) and least efficient in late summer and early fa11 (0.33 drops/trap day; 2.36 deer/drop). Cost of the net and hardware was $1,200. Cost of the bait, drug (Rompun), and handling gear was $3.66/deer and manpower per deer captured in winter equaled 2.19 hours. The cost of capturing each deer in winter was $24.50 when the $1,200 for the net was included. If the cost of the net is amortized over 5 years and 100 deer are captured each year, the cost per deer declines to $21.49. Rates of mortality and injury were 7.5% and 1.2%, respectively. All known mortalities appeared to be a result of capture myopathy. After myopathy was diagnosed, efforts were made to decrease stress on the captured deer by increasing the dose of Rompun, blindfolding the deer, and eliminating all nonessential noise at the capture site. Injuries were limited to 2 animals - 1 buck that broke its antler at the base and 1 fawn that dislocated its right tibial-tarsus joint. Although the net is an expensive initial investment, a large number of deer can be captured safely at minimal cost per animal.

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