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Providing evidence to improve practice

Individual study: Deer guards and bump gates for excluding white-tailed deer from fenced resources

Published source details

VerCauteren K.C., Seward N.W., Lavelle M.J., Fischer J.W. & Phillips G.E. (2009) Deer guards and bump gates for excluding white-tailed deer from fenced resources. Human Wildlife Interactions, 3, 145-153


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

Install automatically closing gates at field entrances to prevent mammals entering to reduce human-wildlife conflict Terrestrial Mammal Conservation

A replicated, controlled study, in 2006–2007, in three forest and grassland sites in Ohio, Iowa and Wisconsin, USA (VerCauteren et al. 2009) found that vehicle-activated bump gates prevented white-tailed deer Odocoileus virginianus entry into enclosures. Bump gates excluded deer from all enclosures. At enclosures without bump gates, there were averages across the three sites of 0.4, 33.0 and 49.0 deer entries/day. However, supplementary tests on a separate bump gate revealed that it did not always close securely following vehicle passage. Deer-resistant enclosures (6 × 6 m, baited with alfalfa cubes) were constructed at three sites. At each site, two enclosures (one each in forest and grassland) had bump gates installed (designed to open upon low-speed vehicle contact and close after vehicle passage) and two (one each in forest and grassland) had open gateways. Deer movements into enclosures were monitored using camera traps from December 2006 to April 2007.

(Summarised by Nick Littlewood)

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

A replicated, controlled study in 2006–2007, in three forest and grassland sites in Ohio, Iowa and Wisconsin, USA (VerCauteren et al. 2009) found that deer guards (ground-level roller grids) reduced white-tailed deer Odocoileus virginianus entry into enclosures. Deer guards at two sites excluded more deer than did open enclosures (data not presented). At the third site, deer did not cross one deer guard but there were 2.5 incursions/day at the other compared to 0.4 incursions/day in open enclosures at that site. Deer-resistant enclosures (6 m × 6 m, baited with alfalfa cubes) were constructed at three sites. At each site, two enclosures (one each in forest and grassland) had a deer guard (a grid of rollers over a 1.5 × 3 m pit) and two (one each in forest and grassland) had open gateways. Deer incursions into enclosures were monitored using camera traps from December 2006 to April 2007.

(Summarised by Nick Littlewood)