Eastern Wildlife Damage Control Conferences


Date of this Version

February 1991


We conducted experiments with behavioral conditioning of white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus) using verb 3-wire, electrified fencing modified with either an attractant or a repellent in order to test the idea that an attractant or repellent coupled with an electric shock, would be a more effective deterrent than a random shock or no shock at all. Exclosures measuring 6 x 6 m with 3 wires at heights of 50, 100, and 150 cm were established at 2 study sites in Tompkins County, New York. Each site contained 4 exclosures which were either nonelectrified (control), electrified, electrified with an attractant, or electrified with a deer repellent. We baited each exclosure with fresh apples to ensure visitation by deer. All exclosures were monitored daily to determine her visitation, disappearance of apples, and to measure fence voltage. Data from 116 days indicate that the electric fence with a repellent excluded deer most effectively. Deer penetrated this type of exclosure only once. Electricity and attractant ranked second, and electricity alone ranked third in effectiveness for excluding deer. The control was the least effective barrier (37 encroachments).