Great Plains Natural Science Society


The Prairie Naturalist

Date of this Version


Document Type



THE PRAIRIE NATURALIST, Volume 37, No. 1, March 2005, pp 47-49


Published by the Great Plains Natural Science Society. Used by permission.


On 16 May 2002, an adult female white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus) died after becoming entangled in an electric fence in southeast Minnesota. The deer (#393) was captured 30 January 2000 as part of a cooperative, long-term deer mortality study being conducted in southern Minnesota (Bigalke et al. 2002, Brinkman 2003, Brinkman et al. 2002). Although fence entanglements occur, they do not account for significant losses in white-tailed deer populations (Matschke et al. 1984). Nixon et al. (1991) documented mortality of two fawns with broken cervical vertebrae that had collided with fences, but did not distinguish the type of fence that caused the mortalities. While electric fencing has been shown to be effective in deterring movement of white-tailed deer (George et al. 1983), we were unable to find reports in the literature of a deer being entangled and dying in an electric fence.