2013 Annual Report
1a.Objectives (from AD-416):
To develop and prototype a Rotunda Door Control System and an Automatic Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) Implanter to collectively facilitate efficient and humane capture, release, and permanent electronic identification of white-tailed deer.
1b.Approach (from AD-416):
The ARS Deer Capture and Handling System, consisting of a 40-foot diameter rotunda, darkroom, working boxes, and the ARS-patented Deer Lift restraint and handling device, requires that two drop doors be released simultaneously to capture deer within the rotunda. The Rotunda Door Control System will electronically sense deer entering each of the two doors, record the maximum number within the rotunda at any one time daily, and permit the programming of doors to drop when a predetermined number of deer are within the enclosure. The Automatic RFID Implanter will provide for the unattended implantation of RFID tags beneath the skin of deer that are attracted to bait in the device, thus providing permanent identification without need for external appliances such as ear tags that can be removed or lost by the deer.
During FY 2013, ARS scientists collaborated with this industry partner to develop and build a computerized drop door release mechanism to enhance efficiency of trapping white-tailed deer within the ARS Deer Capture and Handling System that consists of a 40-foot diameter rotunda with two entrance doors, a series of working boxes, and an ARS-patented restraint device dubbed the deer 'Lift Chute.' A prototype control device was transported to Kerrville, TX, and has been successfully field tested on wild deer at the KBUSLIRL. Through additional funding, the same cooperators are assisted with design and construction of an ARS Automatic RFID (radio frequency identification tag) Implantation Device that has been received in Kerrville and is undergoing extensive testing and mounting into a field-appropriate frame. Significant improvements and design changes also have been made on this latter device.