U.S. Department of Agriculture: Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service


Date of this Version

July 2003


Published by Wildlife Society Bulletin 2003, 31(1):247-252.


Populations of white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus) and the number of deer-human conflicts have increased in recent years, emphasizing the need for efficient and inexpensive methods to reduce site-specific deer damage. Recent research using laser technology to disperse a variety of bird species has yielded promising results, prompting wildlife professionals and the public to question whether lasers could play a role in reducing damage and conflict with mammals, primarily deer. We evaluated 2 red lasers (63-650 nm) to determine their effectiveness as devices to frighten deer. No differences occurred in flight response between lasers or between the control and lasers. We suggest that deer were not frightened by either model of laser because they could not detect red laser beams or their intense brightness. Red lasers do not appear to have potential as frightening devices for deer.