Bald Head Island Considering Birth Control for Deer

Feb 15, 2011

Village leaders on Bald Head Island say their deer population is near the limit the island can support. One solution they're considering is shooting female deer with contraceptive-laced darts. But biologist Robbie Norville of the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission says most wildlife contraceptives simply aren't effective.

"I don't want to throw a blanket over them because there are several out there, but the ones that have been proven more effective were those that required the deer be actually caught and the contraceptive issued to the deer and that's mission impossible in a wild herd of deer."

Norville says residents are seeing more deer in their yards because housing and commercial developments have encroached on deer habitat. He says scent deterrents and hunting during regular seasons might be more effective ways to control the population. Researchers at NC State are developing a new contraceptive that might work in certain environments.