Dr. Brad Hildabrand (OSU 79) recently volunteered with White Buffalo Inc. to help sterilize white tailed deer in East Hampton, NY. Female white-tailed deer were captured using remote immobilization (darting) techniques. Deer were then transported to a temporary veterinary surgical sterilization site, where bilateral ovariectomies were performed using a ventral mid-line approach under general anesthesia.
The Village of East Hampton is located on eastern Long Island, and represents a challenging situation for deer managers. Most of its land area is covered by single family homes with little open-space. This provides excellent deer habitat and at the same time can be restrictive to the implementation of some deer management options. There is limited hunting permitted within the community, and there are no non-human predators present that are capable of limiting a deer population. Given the favorable conditions, the deer population in the community has increased to a level that is incompatible with some local land uses.
Fertility control technology has been shown to be effective for use on white-tailed deer and the general public has expressed considerable interest in this non-lethal approach to managing deer. The ultimate goal for this management approach is short- and/or long-term population management to minimize human-deer interactions or disease outbreaks in areas with high deer populations where hunting is limited, controlled, or prohibited and where other management tools are difficult or impossible to implement.
Dr. Hildabrand joined the Army in 1990 after 11 years in food animal practice. He is currently assigned as the Senior Veterinary Advisor for Defense Logistics Agency at Fort Belvoir, VA. He and his wife, Dr. Annette Hildabrand (AUB 89) live on a small farm near Clifton, VA where they raise Labradors, dressage horses, and chickens.
For more information regarding this project or opportunities to volunteer with future projects, visit www.whitebuffaloinc.org
This article featuring COL Brad Hildabrand ('79) is the inaugural submission for Featured Alumnus Highlights. CVHS alumni are invited to submit veterinary career highlights of interest to the veterinary profession and public health. To submit content contact Sharon Worrell, firstname.lastname@example.org or 405-744-5630.