Evaluation of propane exploders as white-tailed deer deterrents

  • Published source details Belant J.L., Seamans T.W. & Dwyer C.P. (1996) Evaluation of propane exploders as white-tailed deer deterrents. Crop Protection, 15, 575-578.


This study is summarised as evidence for the following.

Action Category

Use loud noises to deter crop damage (e.g. banger sticks, drums, tins, iron sheets) by mammals to reduce human-wildlife conflict

Action Link
Terrestrial Mammal Conservation
  1. Use loud noises to deter crop damage (e.g. banger sticks, drums, tins, iron sheets) by mammals to reduce human-wildlife conflict

    A randomized, controlled, before-and-after study in 1994–1995 on a grassland site in Ohio, USA (Belant et al. 1996) found that motion-activated propane exploders temporarily reduced white-tailed deer Odocoileus virginianus visits but regularly firing exploders did not. There were fewer deer visits in the week following deployment of motion-activated exploders, in two out of three seasons (23–94 visits/week) compared to the pre-treatment period (159–313 visits/week). In spring/early-summer and late-summer, visit rates returned to pre-treatment levels after 2–6 weeks. In autumn, exploders did not reduce deer visits. Regularly firing exploders did not reduce deer visit rates compared to pre-treatment levels in any weeks studied and neither did non-functioning exploders. The experiment used different combinations of three out of six feeding sites, during 9 August–12 September 1994, 20 September–24 October 1994 and 27 April–12 July 1995. Each time, a two-week pre-treatment period preceded a 3–9-week treatment period. Feeding sites (>1 km apart) were semi-circular fences around whole kernel corn. Treatments were propane exploders firing eight times in two minutes when motion was detected, exploders firing every 8–10 minutes and non-functioning exploders. Deer visits were monitored with electronic detecting devices.

    (Summarised by: Nick Littlewood)

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