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Relative preference of captive cow elk for repellent treated diets


, : Relative preference of captive cow elk for repellent treated diets. Journal of Wildlife Management 56(1): 164-173

Because of the extent and cost of elk (Cervus elaphus nelsoni) damage in Colorado, we tested the repellency of MGK .cntdot. Big Game Repellent (BGR), chicken eggs, coyote (Canis latrans) urine, Hinder, Hot Sauce Animal Repellent .cntdot. (Hot Sauce), Ro .cntdot. pel, and thiram on tame cow elk there from December 1990 to February 1991. At the concentrations used, coyote urine and BGR performed better than the other repellents for deterring elk from feeding or cubed alfalfa hay. Consumption of rations treated with odor repellents (BGR, chicken eggs, coyote urine, and Hinder) increased from day 1 through day 5 of the trial, but consumption of rations treated with thiram (a taste repellent) decreased. In a second trial, hungry elk consumed significantly more repellent-treated apple twigs (Malus domestica) than did elk that were maintained on an ad libitum diet. Hot Sauce applied at 100 times (6.2%) the labeled concentration for deer (Odocoileus spp.), deterred all 9 satiated elk and 7 of 9 hungry elk from browsing on apple twigs, but the labeled concentration (0.06%) failed to deter most elk fed ad libitum and all elk when hungry. Coyote urine, at 10% and 100% concentrations, failed to deter hungry elk, but the 100% solution moderately deterred elk fed ad libitum from browsing on apple twigs. Thiram applied at the labeled concentration and at 10% of the labeled concentration for deer failed to deter an elk when hungry and most elk when fed ad libitum. In a third trial, Hot Sauce at concentrations of 0.06%, 0.20%, and 0.62% did not deter any of the 9 elk fed 50% of their average daily intake, but the 2.0% and 6.2% concentrations deterred 2 and 6 elk, respectively. Hot Sauce, at concentrations of 6.2% and 12.4%, and 100% coyote urine were not phytotoxic to apple trees.

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