Scientists in the Deer Research Laboratory are committed to conducting research relevant to white-tailed deer management. Pioneering researchers included Dr. Jim Jenkins, whose co-invention of the dart gun paved the way for deer restoration efforts, and Dr. Larry Marchinton, who was integral in unlocking the social ecology of deer. Since the mid-1990s, the Deer Research Laboratory has been overseen by Drs. Karl V. Miller and Robert J. Warren.
The Whitehall Deer Research Facility consists of a 19-stall barn surrounded by a complex of fenced enclosures. The research complex maintains approximately 60 deer to provide students with the skills needed to excel as wildlife professionals and conduct research to aid in management of wild deer populations.
Research conducted at the Deer Research Facility and numerous field sites across the eastern United States has been key in unlocking our understanding of the whitetail’s reproductive processes and behaviors, scent and vocal communications, visual and hearing capabilities, disease agents, and population social structure. We have also investigated the importance of the timing of deer reproduction, the use of fertility control drugs to manage deer populations in urban areas, and the use of various drugs to capture wild deer.