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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Evaluation of electronic frightening devices as white-tailed deer deterrents

  • Author(s): Belant, Jerrold L.
  • Seamans, Thomas W.
  • Tyson, Laura A.
  • et al.

The authors evaluated the effectiveness of the motion-activated Usonic Sentry (with and without strobe), motion-activated Yard Gard, and Electronic Guard for deterring white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus) from preferred feeding areas from February to April 1996. Two four-week experiments were conducted, monitoring deer use (number of intrusions and com consumption) at eight feeding stations in a 2,200-ha fenced facility in northern Ohio with high deer densities (≥38/km2). During these experiments, one of the devices was positioned at each of four sites. The mean(± SE, n = 4) daily number of deer intrusions at feeding stations during treatment (96.5 ± 12.6-169.0 ± 22.0) was similar (P ≥ 0.13) to or greater (P 0.04) than the mean daily number of deer intrusions during pre- or post-treatment (109.8 ± 15.6-148.8 ± 21.4). Corn consumption declined (P ≤ 0.05) only at stations with Usonic Sentrys without strobes for one week. It was concluded that the electronic frightening devices tested were generally ineffective in deterring white-tailed deer from preferred feeding areas.

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