Live Capture to Control Deer Numbers


In special cases, such as city parks, refuges, or suburban neighborhoods, it may be necessary or desirable to capture white-tailed deer alive and move them to other areas. Deer can be captured safely and economicallywith rocket nets, drop-door box traps, or tranquilizer guns, but these techniques are expensive, time-consuming, and require the expertise of professional wildlife biologists.

 Live capture and relocation is seldom a practical alternative unless delicate public relations problems mandate live removal as the only choice. During 1982, 15 deer were removed from a Milwaukee, Wisconsin nature area using chemical immobilization. Total cost was about $100 per deer but other more recent removal operations have been more expensive, up to $400 per deer or more. In addition to high costs, the survival of relocated deer is usually low. Live removal is seldom justified.

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