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Predator urines as chemical barriers to white-tailed deer


The authors assessed whether bobcat (Lynx rufus) or coyote (Canis latrans) urine could reduce white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus) use of established feeding areas or trails. A four-week experiment evaluating deer use of eight feeding stations, four each with coyote or bobcat urine was conducted at a 2,200 ha fenced facility in northern Ohio with high deer densities (38/km2). At this same facility, the authors also monitored deer use of four trails where coyote urine was applied. For both experiments, urine was placed in holders positioned at ground level within 2 m of the area being protected. The number of deer entering feeding stations after two weeks exposure to predator urines was 15 to 24% less (P <0.05) than the number of deer entering feeding stations during pretreatment. Deer use of trails did not decrease in response to presence of coyote urine. It was concluded that predator urines used as a chemical barrier were of limited effectiveness in deterring high concentrations of white-tailed deer from areas with established sources of food and ineffective in deterring deer from trails.

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