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How to Artificially Inseminate a Whitetail Doe

Introduction to Artificial Inseminating

The information on this web page is extracted from various sources with minor editing. Some questions were asked on deerfarmer.com forums that I answered and then re edited this page, and will continue to as long as I receive more info.
Based on Four years of artificial insemination (since fall 1998) with a 65% success ratio, the information collected is consistent with our practices. I do not conclude any information here to be fact.
(just that it worked for us)

Thank You; Wayne Pederson

( Note AI equipment used for Goats works for Whitetail Deer )


1. Liquid nitrogen tank
2. Speculum (25 x 175 mm for yearlings or 25 x 200 mm for Doe's)
3. A.I. light
4. Straw tweezers
5. Sterile lubricant (non-spermicidal)
6. Insemination gun (for straws)
7. Tranquilizing equipment or chute facilities to restrain the doe
8. Thaw box
9. Paper towels
10. Straw cutter
11. Thermometer
12. CIDR applicator to be ordered with the CIDR's

These supplies can be obtained from several livestock supply companies. listed on our suppliers pages.
The liquid nitrogen tank will be the largest single expense, and will cost approximately $600.


Gives you access to superior genetics and is the fastest way to improve your herd genetics. With improved technologies and knowledge we now have individuals and companies that are experienced in both extracting semen and doing artificial insemination. Processing and storage technologies and facilities have improved and are accessible to most deer farmers. Workshops are being offered by experts so that you can learn how to do the insemination yourself.

Stress affects conception rate; Doe's under stress can lower conception rate to as low as 20%. Tranquilized does have better conception rates - up to 65%. Bottle-fed doe's also suffer less stress from handling.

According to Dr. James Kroll, the conception rate for AI is in the range of 38% to 68%.
The does are inseminated using the semen during the breeding season. The prime time is November 5 to December 10. The does can either be held in a chute, or tranquilized. The doe must be in heat. Estrous can either be chemically induced,( with CIDR's ) or the doe is watched until she comes into heat naturally. Usually by putting in a buck that has had a vasectomy. One straw of semen is usually sufficient.

We found the conception rate was 50% higher for Doe's that already had their first set of fawns versus first time yearlings. Due to the fact that most older Doe's will have twins after they have had their first set of fawns, you get a higher return for your investment. With these factors it would be best to only artificial inseminate older Doe's.

Many farmers use squeeze or drop chutes and have deer that are very tame and accustomed to passing through the working facilities. These animals do not require sedation and will stand quietly for the most part once caught in the chute.

The Particulars

CIDR's (CIDR™ Cervical Implant Drug Release) are sponge like device that is shaped like a butterfly and is inserted into the Doe's vagina approximately 4 inches with a special applicator. It has a chemical ((Progesterone)) that stops the estrous cycle of the Doe as it seeps out of its sponge like pours over time from the body heat of the doe. It has a string attached to remove it with. When removed, the Doe will restart her cycle within hours. It isn't that hard to learn how to insert cidrs yourself and you certainly can pull them yourself. The CIDR can be removed without tranquilizing in a chute. The CIDR is like a tampon. It has a string attached that you need to pull it out with.

How the CIDR™ Insert Works

The CIDR Insert is administered intravaginally and delivers progesterone at a controlled rate into the vagina and then into the bloodstream of the treated animal. When delivered by this method, progesterone exerts a negative feedback effect on the hypothalamus, suppressing the release of LHRH and FSHRH (gonadotrophin) luteinizing hormone (LH) and follicle stimulating hormone (FSH), thus preventing estrus and ovulation.



Insertion and removal of the CIDR Insert can quickly become a standard part of any breeding routine. For best results, follow these simple steps:
Wear protective gloves whenever handling the CIDR Insert.
Prepare a container of clean water with disinfectant solution to wash the applicator between uses.
Fit the body of the insert into the applicator with the tail along the slot. The two wings will be pushed together, protruding about one inch above the top of the applicator.
Apply a generous amount of lubricant to the tip of the insert.
Clean the vulva area.
Make sure the tail of the CIDR Insert is on the underside of the applicator, curling down, to ensure that the tail will be hidden from curious pen mates.
Slip the applicator through the lips of the vulva and insert at a slight upward angle, moving forward over the pelvic bone until it meets resistance.
Dispense the insert from the applicator by depressing the plunger, then slowly withdrawing the applicator body.
Clip the string tail of the CIDR Insert so that 6 centimeters (2.5 inches) protrude from the vulva. This will prevent accidental removal by curious animals.
To withdraw the insert, simply give the tail a gentle but firm pull to release the insert.

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We put the CIDRs in October 25. Pull them on November 7th and doing AI on the 10th. We are trying to match the natural rut in the wild deer here in the north. The rut runs anywhere from Nov. 5 to Nov. 15 in this area.

The time frame for the CIDR to be in is 14 days.

CIDR's and Folligon (is PMSG)
Jack Schubarth
Sun River Whitetails
Vaughn, MT.
Don't forget to order your CIDR insertion tool when you order the CIDR"S


Or from
Reproduction Enterprises, Inc.
Phone: 1-405-377-8037 or Toll Free 1-866-734-2855
E-mail : info@reproductionenterprises.com



We also give a 1 1/2 cc shot of PMSG (Pregnant mare serum gonadotropin) at removal time.
Pregnant mare serum gonadotropin is normally available form you local Vet.

Once the CIDR is removed, the progesterone level drops off and follicles develop. At the time of CIDR removal, PMSG is given to tighten up the degree of synchronization. If insemination is to take place at the peak of the natural breeding season and the Doe's are in excellent condition the level of PMSG may be as low as 1 cc. If too much PMSG is administered, the ovulation rate will be too high resulting in an excessive number of multiple births. Some Inseminators do not use PMSG for Whitetail deer, due to the fact that most already have multiple births.

PMSG must be kept refrigerated from the time of purchase. Once reconstituted, it is to be used immediately. Unused portions can be frozen but must be used within a few months and must not be refrozen. PMSG is to be injected in muscle.

Insemination should take place 55 - 60 hours after removing the CIDR and injecting 1 1/2 cc of PMSG.

To do the actual AI, take a class for the first time or have someone come and do it for you and show you how to do it.


The first step is to restrain the doe to be inseminated. This can be done by tranquilizing or in a drop or squeeze chute. After the doe is restrained, the semen is thawed and the insemination gun is prepared. (it needs to be warmed to body temp.)

Remove the frozen straw from the liquid nitrogen tank with a straw tweezers, and place it in a hot water bottle thermos filled with warm water (95 to 98 deg F) for 30 seconds. After thawing, dry the straw thoroughly with a paper towel. Semen must be kept warm and must not be exposed to sunlight or water during the thawing and inseminating process to prevent damaging or killing sperm cells.

Pull the plunger back 4 to 6 inches on the insemination gun and place the straw into the gun with the cotton plug toward the plunger. After the straw has been secured in the gun, the sealed end of the straw must be cut off with the straw cutter. The cover sheath should now be placed over the insemination gun and secured with a 0 ring.

The next step is the actual insemination process. It may be necessary to lift the doe's hindquarters if she will not stand. If working alone, hold the insemination gun in your mouth, or have an assistant hand the insemination gun to you at the appropriate time. Turn your headlight on.


Lubricate the speculum with a non-spermicidal lubricant. Clean the doe's vulva with a dry paper towel and insert the lubricated speculum slowly into the vulva. Insert the speculum at an upward angle to prevent vaginal irritation. Using slight forward pressure and gentle turning side to side, advance the speculum until it reaches the cervical os. The os itself should be centered by sighting through the bore of the speculum

Once the speculum has been inserted, visually locate the cervix. The cervix should have a red-purple color and white mucus will be present if the doe is in heat.
Center the speculum over the opening of the cervix.
Gently insert the insemination gun into the speculum and thread it into the opening of the cervix by sight. The interior portion of the vagina, termed the fornix vagina, tends to stretch somewhat when the speculum or gun is pushed forward.
This may give the false impression that the rod is advancing into the cervix, when it is actually above, below, or to either side of the os. Use a circular motion or a gentle side-to-side manipulation and slight forward pressure, the inseminator should generally be able to feel the rod pass through three cervical folds.

Do not penetrate the cervix more than 1.5 inches. It is a good idea to draw a red ring around the cover sheath of the insemination gun 1 1/2 inches from the tip. ( The uterine body in most cervids is less than one inch in length. )
This mark lets you to know how far you have penetrated the cervix. The target for semen deposition, in the uterine body, is the area between the internal cervical os and the internal uterine bifurcation, where the uterine horns begin to separate inside the reproductive tract.
Accurate gun tip placement is probably the most difficult and important skill involved in transcervical AI.
When the gun tip emerges from the internal os, the inseminator may be able to feel the entire rod slide somewhat freely back and forth within the reproductive tract.

( Depositing the semen in the cervix or randomly in the uterine horns will likely result in lower pregnancy rates. )

While holding the insemination gun in place slowly pull back the speculum about 1 1/2 inch ( this will help alleviate some of the back wash effect of the semen )

Deposit the semen slowly by pushing the plunger forward. Be careful not to pull the insemination rod back through the cervix while the semen is being expelled. Slow delivery maximizes the amount of semen expelled from the straw.
If the Doe has moved during semen deposition or the gun has moved, stop the semen deposition and correctly reposition it before continuing semen deposition. Remove the insemination gun slowly and remove the speculum.

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It is best to not to put the Doe back in with a Buck until 14 days after insemination.


Artificial insemination is a powerful tool that can allow breeders the flexibility to increase the rate of genetic improvement in their herds. Although A.I. is a powerful tool, it requires proper technique and attention to detail for a high level of success. With good semen handling techniques, individuals can become successful A.I. technicians.
AI equipment can be found on the Suppliers page of this website.

Copyright 1998, Notice no part of this page may be copied or reproduced.