CD8⁺ T cell responses can be generated by direct or cross-priming mechanisms, and several mouse models have been used to reveal which of these is the most important pathway for various viruses. Among these models is systemic treatment of mice with a CpG-containing oligodeoxynucleotide (CpG) to mature all dendritic cells (DCs), rendering them incapable of cross-presentation. A second is the use of cytochrome c (cytc) as a selective poison of the subsets of DCs able to cross-present antigen. In this study, using two vaccinia virus (VACV) strains, namely, WR and MVA, we found that the CpG and cytc methods gave conflicting data. Moreover, we show for both strains of VACV that treatment of mice with CpG and cytc inhibited CD8⁺ T cell responses to antigens designed to prime exclusively by direct presentation. Further investigation of the CpG method found that the extent to which priming is inhibited depends on the antigen examined, immunization route, replication ability of the virus, and, crucially, immunization dose. We suggest that greater caution is required when interpreting data using these methods and that priming pathways for antiviral CD8⁺ T cells are not simply separated according to DC subsets or their maturation state.