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Providing evidence to improve practice

Individual study: Mule deer responses to deer guards

Published source details

Reed D.F., Pojar T.M. & Woodard T.N. (1974) Mule deer responses to deer guards. Journal of Range Management, 27, 111-113


This study is summarised as evidence for the intervention(s) shown on the right. The icon shows which synopsis it is relevant to.

Install metal grids at field entrances to prevent mammals entering to reduce human-wildlife conflict Terrestrial Mammal Conservation

A replicated study in 1972–1973 of two fences in Colorado, USA (Reed et al. 1974) found that steel rail deer guards did not prevent crossings through vehicle openings by mule deer Odocoileus hemionus hemionus or elk Cervus canadensis. In test conditions, 16 of 18 mule deer released adjacent to 12, 18 or 24-foot-wide guards, crossed the guards, in an average time of 173 s. During natural encounters, 11 mule deer and one elk crossed a 24-ft-long guard and four mule deer crossed a 12-ft-long guard. There were at least 11 approaches by mule deer and three by elk in which animals did not then cross. Guards, at vehicle openings in 8-ft-high fences, comprised flat steel rails, 0.5 inch wide, 4 inches high and 120 inches long, set 4 inches apart. Rails were perpendicular to the traffic direction. Eighteen deer were released in situations where guard crossing providing the only exit. Deer and elk tracks, from natural encounters with two guards, were examined periodically, between 29 June 1972 and 19 April 1973.

(Summarised by Nick Littlewood)

Install wildlife exclusion grates/cattle grids Terrestrial Mammal Conservation

A study in 1972–1973 of two fences in Colorado, USA (Reed et al 1974) found that steel rail deer guards did not prevent crossings through vehicle openings by mule deer Odocoileus hemionus hemionus or elk Cervus canadensis. In test conditions, 16 of 18 mule deer released adjacent to 12, 18 or 24-foot-wide guards, crossed the guards, in an average time of 173 s. During natural encounters, 11 mule deer and one elk crossed a 24-ft-long guard and four mule deer crossed a 12-ft-long guard. There were at least 11 approaches by mule deer and three by elk in which animals did not then cross. Guards, at vehicle openings in 8-foot-high fences, comprised flat steel rails, 0.5 inches wide, 4 inches high and 120 inches long, set 4 inches apart. Rails were perpendicular to the traffic direction. Eighteen deer were released in situations where crossing guards provided the only exit. Deer and elk tracks, from natural encounters with two guards, were examined periodically, from 29 June 1972 to 19 April 1973.

(Summarised by Rebecca K. Smith)