We compared the effect of 3 capture methods for white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus) on blood indicators of acute excitement and stress from 1 February to 20 April 1989. Eleven adult females were captured by Clover trap or cannon net between 1 February and 9 April 1989 in northeastern Minnesota [USA]. These deer were fitted with radio-controlled capture collars, and 9 deer were recaptured 7-33 days later. Trapping method affected serum cortisol (P < 0.0001), hemoglobin (Hb) (P < 0.06), and packed cell volume (PCV) (P < 0.07). Cortisol concentrations were lower (P < 0.0001) in capture-collared deer (0.54 .+-. 0.07 [SE] .mu.g/dL) compared to Clover-trapped (4.37 .+-. 0.69 .mu.g/dL) and cannon-netted (3.88 .+-. 0.82 .mu.g/dL) deer. Capture-collared deer were minimally stressed compared to deer captured by traditional methods. Use of the capture collar should permit more accurate interpretation of blood profiles of deer for assessement of condition and general health.