Equilibrium charge-state fractions of energetic deuterium ions and atoms emerging from alkaline-earth (magnesium, calcium, strontium, and barium) vapor targets are reported in the range of 0.3- to 3-keV incident D+ energy. Deuterium negative-ion production in thick barium and calcium vapor targets equals similar production in cesium vapor (34%). Moreover, the maxium D- production in strontium vapor exceeds that for all other known gas or vapor targets and reaches 50% at 500 eV. Theory does not quantitatively describe these results, although ab initio molecular-interaction-energy calculations on the neutral and negative-ion CaH systems lead to the prediction of large D- yields at low energies. The theoretical prediction is based on the lack of a strong coupling between the negativeion and neutral molecular states. This implies that there are small D- electron-detachment cross sections at energies less than 1 keV. The present measurements agree with previous measurements done at higher energies. © 1982 The American Physical Society.