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This paper describes bioassay techniques found useful to support the development of big game repellents and discusses the criteria for matching these techniques to specific tasks. The latter range from the preliminary screening of large numbers of potential repellents to the final selection of a small number of candidates which in repeated tests exceeded all established repellents and other candidates in degree and persistance of repellency. From this small number of candidates, the new, improved big game repellent is selected through field bioassays with the help of statistical analysis of their results. The bioassay techniques described here use a herd of wild deer held captive in a large pen under near natural conditions. They are simple multiple choice tests of preference, and no statistical methods are used for data analysis. Tests using the pen bioassay techniques for rapid screening of products are evaluated by gross ranking of browse counts; extended tests of promising candidates are evaluated via browse curves which show the increase in browsing with time. Established repellents are used as reference standard against which the performance of each product is compared.
vertebrate pest control, big game repellents, deer pen bioassays, cafeteria design, magic circle design, tree test design
Forest scientist, Forestry Research Center, Weyerhaeuser Company, Centralia, Wash.