A Review of Some Mule Deer Capture Operations

    Published: Jan 1988

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    Wild mule deer (Odocoileus hemionus) were successfully captured for use in trials to evaluate the hazard presented by their exposure to anticoagulant rodenticides. All captures were at night with 30 to 50 cm of snow on the ground and temperatures from −12 to 5°C. Panel traps proved unsatisfactory as the deer suffered injuries from “panic” behavior. A modified Palmer Cap-Chur rifle was used with considerable success; disposable darts contained a mixture of Vetalar and Rompun at 15 mg and 1.4 mg/kg body weight, respectively. Variations of over 35% in the explosive charges used to fire the darts were the major cause of injuries to the deer or missed shots. Weighing cartridges and selecting those within a narrow range reduced variation to about 10%.


    Rompun, xylazine hydrochloride, Vetalar, ketamine hydrochloride, mule deer, Odocoileus hemionus, Cap-Chur rifle, Pneu-darts, Cap-Chur darts, immobilization, trapping

    Author Information:

    Godfrey, MER
    Visiting scientistdirector of Research & Development, Washington State UniversityJ. T. Eaton & Co., Inc., WenatcheeTwinsburg, WAOH

    Browne, RW
    Agricultural technologist, Washington State University, Wenatchee, WA

    Smith, LO
    Agricultural technologist, Washington State University, Wenatchee, WA

    Committee/Subcommittee: E35.17

    DOI: 10.1520/STP26183S

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