Live capture of white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus) (Zimmermann, 1780) is often necessary for research, population control, disease monitoring, and parasite surveillance. We provide our deer trapping protocol used in a tick-host vector ecology research project and recommendations to improve efficiency of deer trapping programs using drop nets in suburban areas. We captured 125 deer across two trapping seasons. Generally, lower daily minimum temperatures were related to increased capture probability, along with the presence of snow. Our most successful trapping sites were less forested, contained more fragmentation, and greater proportion of human development (buildings, roads, recreational fields). To improve future suburban deer trapping success, trapping efforts should include areas dominated by recreational fields and should not emphasize remote, heavily forested, less fragmented parks. Concurrently, our study illustrated the heterogeneous nature of tick distributions, and we collected most ticks from one trapping site with moderate parameter values between the extremes of the most developed and least developed trapping sites. This emphasized the need to distribute trapping sites to not only increase your capture success but to also trap in areas across varying levels of urbanization and fragmentation to increase the probability of parasite collection.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Insect Science