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


Date of this Version

April 1996


Published by Elsevier Science Ltd. Crop Protection, Vol. 15, No. 6. pp.575-578. 1996. Published by Elsevier Science Ltd. Printed in Great Britain. Permission to use.


In response to increased white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus) depredation of agricultural crops and encroachment on airports, we evaluated the effectiveness of systematic and motion-activated propane exploders as deer frightening devices. We conducted three experiments in a 2200 ha fenced facility in northern Ohio with high (91/km2) deer densities during 1994-1995. Systematic exploders were calibrated to detonate once at 8 to 10 min intervals, whereas motion-activated exploders detonated 8 times/deer intrusion. Systematic propane exploders were generally ineffective, deterring deer from corn for <2 days only, whereas motion-activated exploders repelled deer for O-6 weeks. Repellency of motion-activated exploders varied seasonally, possibly in response to variations in deer density, availability of alternate food, or reproductive and social behavior. We recommend motion-activated exploders over systematic exploders as deer frightening devices for crop damage mitigation and on airports; however, systematic exploders may have utility for short-term (a few days) use.