Eastern Wildlife Damage Control Conferences


Date of this Version

October 1993


While regulated public hunting or controlled lethal reduction programs are effective in controlling white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus), populations in most areas, increasingly there are settings (e.g., urban and suburban environments) where such programs are either unsafe or publicly unacceptable. Past research with contraceptive techniques in deer have shown these techniques to be either ineffective or infeasible for managerial implementation. Current research with immunocontraceptives show promise as being both effective and feasible for field application. Immunocontraceptive vaccines can be delivered remotely and are highly effective in causing infertility in most treated does. Much more research is needed before these techniques can be used efficiently in contraceptive management programs for deer, however. Immunocontraceptives techniques need to be developed that will not require separate booster vaccinations. Also, field application trials are needed to determine the effectiveness of these techniques at the population level. Finally, effort also is needed on public information and education programs so that both the limitations and potential of these new techniques are understood.