Deer Research Center

The Penn State Deer Research Center is located in a 22 acre fenced enclosure northeast of campus off of Big Hollow Road, and provides research and educational opportunities for students and faculty.

The current facility was constructed in 1972 and includes a handling facility and nine outdoor paddocks ranging in size from 0.3 to 3.5 acres. The handling facility, centrally located within the enclosure, contains 24 individual holding pens, chutes for deer restraint, an animal scale and a feed room. The facility typically maintains a herd of 75- 125 captive white-tailed deer.

The Deer Research Center exists to provide research and educational opportunities for students and faculty of the university, and to share information about white-tailed deer with the public. Over the years, research projects have focused on antler growth, nutrition, repellents and exclosure fences.  A recently completed collaborative study with the National Wildlife Research Center to address deer overpopulation issues in several eastern states led to the EPA registration of an immunocontraceptive vaccine for white-tailed deer.  We have also collaborated with federal agencies and other universities in the development of diagnostic tests and vaccines for a variety of diseases affecting both farmed and wild white-tailed deer.

Current research includes studying the health benefits of probiotics in the rations of farmed deer and conducting palatability tests to determine preference for a variety of native and invasive plant species.

Each year the Deer Research Center provides numerous opportunities for undergraduate and graduate students to participate in the research experiments both as student employees and student researchers. These hands-on experiences provide an excellent way for students to prepare themselves for careers in animal science, wildlife management, veterinary medicine and biology or graduate study.

For more information

Contact Don Wagner.

More information on Deer Research at Penn State