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deer feeder

In a clearing near a wooded area, a metal barrel with a dispenser below it is mounted on a tripod roughly six to eight feet high. Next to the device are two orange traffic cones. In the distance to the left, a white-tailed deer approaches. Below the device, a racoon feeds on dropped corn.

A proof-of-concept study shows the potential of feeding wild white-tailed deer corn treated with moxidectin, a derivative of ivermectin that eliminates ticks. Deer are key hosts in tick lifecycles, and systemic treatment could aid in reducing tick abundances. And, unlike ivermectin, moxidectin in deer meat may be safely consumed with no required delay. To test this strategy, free-ranging white-tailed deer were fed moxidectin-treated corn from automatic broadcast feeders in Norwalk, Connecticut, in a study conducted in 2021 and 2022. In both years, deer were captured to document how many parasitizing ticks they carried and determine moxidectin levels in their blood. (Photo by Rebecca Earnest, Yale School of Public Health)

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