I am going to need all of you DEER advice

San Antonio, TX(Zone 8a)

Okay, we are going to be moving into deer country. YEP so I need all the help I can get to keep them from eating me out of house and bales. Someone suggested that orange plastic tape fence as they don't like it. I have heard that human hair works, If I were my dear departed friend I would just sit out there and wait and smack them on their nose. Yep they kept bothering her dogs and no matter what she tried they wouldn't leave so she walk up to them and tried to shoe them away. nothing so she smack them on their nose and they back off and looked at her like, did you just hit me, then they took off. I love the animals too much but I also don't want to feed them either. All suggestions would be greatly appreciated. I will start a book and see what works best.

This is totally open to all animals so are there plants that the deer absolutely hate? I have never had to deal with deer. Slugs, yes many of them but this is slug country. We are moving into an area that doesn't get as much sunshine as my other area had also. So that is why I have chosen this area. It receives the greatest amount of sunshine.

We will be in the forest sort of. Loads of tall tall trees which is totally different from where we are now. No trees around our house.

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San Antonio, TX(Zone 8a)

This is how it looks where we are living now. Lots of sunshine.
This is how my new back yard looks. lots of rhodies and ferns and tall trees. I sort of feel like
I am moving into my little bit of Heaven on earth, We will be here for 5 years then to San Antonio. Maybe. heheh
And these are my dear friend Linda's sweet Schnauzers that I am caring for till they go to their new forever home with
her other dear friend. She is having health issues with her husband now so they may be staying with us if anything serious
happens.

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Magnolia, TX(Zone 9a)

You do have problems. Have heard tell stories of white walmart bags waving in the wind. coyote urine AND you guys urine fending them off. also motion detectors coupled with a water sprayer. How long til this is also ignored I cant tell you. As far as deer resistant plants- those are still being looked for. Is the new home in Or, too? How is Toledo Oregon in zone 8a? or do you need to give us better location clues?

San Antonio, TX(Zone 8a)

No, the home is about 50 years old and we are inland from the Newport, Oregon coast about 6 miles. Have you heard anything about those orange plastic fences fending off deer?

Magnolia, TX(Zone 9a)

No, never heard that one... think your deer are a little larger than ours... ours come the size of a large dog...I was always taught a deer fence is not built up and down, but up leaning out towards the incoming deer- seems they wont jump ht and width together...even with our small deer, 6'fences are required. The orange may be a fence that is used in your area. White is a traditional deer warning sign color. How about firecrackers? The black cats ones-always worked on the dog packs that were chasing horses down here, dunno if it would work on deer....

Monte Vista, CO(Zone 4a)

Just fence everything and get a large German Shepherd. I once saw a deer jump an 8' fence flat footed. The most graceful thing I've ever seen.

Magnolia, TX(Zone 9a)

Mostly they wont jump what they cant see beyond. mostly. have seen a few caught ON fences...

Monte Vista, CO(Zone 4a)

They have so many deer in a small town near here, that one night I was listening to the scanner (I was a news reporter then) and a report came of a deer in a swimming pool in the swanky part of town. Officers were on their way, with also wildlife personnel, but the homeowner (or idiot, whichever you prefer) roped the deer and tried to pull it out. It got away and was found dead beside a roadway with the rope still around its neck. Probably tripped and couldn't avoid a car. Very sad. The chatter I heard on the scanner indicated the police and wildlife folks didn't think that homeowner had many brain cells.

San Antonio, TX(Zone 8a)

We do have quite a few here and I do remember them eating a lot of her new flowers that came up. I guess I am going to have to invest in a good pig fence and then I will probably make some covered wagon chickenwire cages to go over the bales. That should be a good deterrent along with a few other obstacles . I will be getting the bales this next week.

Magnolia, TX(Zone 9a)

Hang white flags on them- they tend to go into peoples glass doors in Indiana. with or without the glass...

Glenville, PA(Zone 6a)

OK, this is my first post. I am new to SB gardening but do garden in a wooded area full of deer, groundhogs, moles, etc. I also have dogs but they are not used for deer.

What I have done successfully is plant my garden against my 6' dog fencing and came out from there with more 6' fencing to surround my garden. I plant things like tomatoes, okra potatoes, stuff deer don't like, etc against the fence. In the center, I plant the corn, lettuce, the stuff wildlife loves. I also run rabbit fencing along the bottom of the 6' fence. I use Trex lumber to build garden boxes on top of hardware cloth. The boxes are all different shapes and sizes but they all have a few things in common. The hardware cloth on the bottom and they are built L shaped. Each side of the garden boxes are one piece perpendicular and is attached to a horizontal piece. This provides a lip to help hold the hardware cloth in place and makes mowing easy. You can edge the lawnmower right up onto the horizontal piece....no weed wacking!

With all that said, I have had good luck and pray my luck holds out!

San Antonio, TX(Zone 8a)

Pat in PA. Like your advice. I did decide to move it inside the yard vs in the outside circle. We do have loads of slugs here and moles so going to be battling them too. I don't mind share a bit but they always take more than their share. Wish I could plant a garden just for all the critters so they would leave mine alone. heheh. Wish they could read.

Glenville, PA(Zone 6a)

You can tell that to the squirrels and chipmunks! I still have yet to figure a way around keeping them out of the garden.

So.App.Mtns., United States(Zone 5b)

There's a permaculture guy named Sepp Holzer in the Alps, that makes what he calls "Bone Sauce" (or something like that anyway), and he swears it keeps deer away.

I finally have everything I need to cook a batch except I need about 5 more pounds of bones. (Needs 10 pounds) I have friends who have deer problems and will test it for me. Heck, if it works I may even sell it!

San Antonio, TX(Zone 8a)

Deer bones?? I can get that just let me know if it works.

So.App.Mtns., United States(Zone 5b)

No, not deer bones, just regular meat bones.

San Antonio, TX(Zone 8a)

Wow, really that should be an easy fix if I can just keep the dogs away from it. Is there anything else mixed in with it?

So.App.Mtns., United States(Zone 5b)

Nope, just a cup of water in the lower pot, below the upside-down upper pot that has the bones in it. If you Google Sepp Holzer + bone broth, there are some instructions and I think there's a short YouTube video.

After it has cooked and cooled, it can be diluted with any vegetable oil, and painted on trees, posts, etc.

San Antonio, TX(Zone 8a)

I wonder why this keeps the deer away??

San Antonio, TX(Zone 8a)

I should have known better than to plant and not put up some sort of deterrent. I even planted inside the yard but obviously they jumped the fence. I am going to have to build some chicken wire covered wagons to place over the bales. We haven't moved in yet but now was a good time to plant. Guess the deer thought so too. Oh well, they were transplanted from my bales here at our current house and I still have several. Guess I will just have to get the covered wagons made first then try again. Dang it.

Monte Vista, CO(Zone 4a)

An electric fence would probably help.

San Antonio, TX(Zone 8a)

Yea, but I have dogs that wouldn't appreciate that. I don't mind sharing my strawberries with my lab. At least she waits for them to grow. Then she comes and eats the biggest ones. I will have to put the cages on again at that point,

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Glenville, PA(Zone 6a)

How tall was the fence that the deer jumped? It's a darn shame that happened!

San Antonio, TX(Zone 8a)

Obviously not tall enough but I can't afford to fence in the whole yard. I may just fence in my garden area though. Its not very tall but I really didn't think they would come in the yard. I have a lot to learn about living a block away from our old house. We are in the trees here and down there we didn't have a tree. Here is a pic of the difference. I can see our back yard of our old house from the front yard of our new house. What a difference less then a 1/4 mile can make.

The fence is only about four to five feet tall. Its only wood in front and the back side the rest is pig fence which obviously won't keep them out but as soon as I get the dogs up there it should make a bit of a difference.



This message was edited Apr 21, 2013 8:17 AM

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So.App.Mtns., United States(Zone 5b)

A fence four to five feet tall won't keep out determined deer. My neighbors (who live in a very large clearing) have 10' plastic fencing around their garden.

I don't know why I almost never see deer in my yard since they are everywhere around me. I did see deer tracks once in the snow. Rabbits are a problem in the garden, though.

San Antonio, TX(Zone 8a)

The only problem with that is that it is ugly and the neighbors probably wouldn't appreciate it. Since this is facing the front of the house I have to be a little discreet about my approach to all of this.
I am seriously thinking of using the boiled bones liquid that darius suggested but I am afraid that my dogs might find it too appealing too. hehehe
I am just going to make my chicken wire covers and see if that works for now.

Aurora, IL

Your story is making me think the guy who put his straw bales in the back of a pickup truck had a pretty good idea. I can't imagine deer wanting to jump into a truck.

Wake Forest, NC

I spoke to a guy once who put an electric fence (1 strand) about 1 FOOT off the ground around his garden. He said the deer got zapped sniffing around his garden and never once jumped/walked over.

Cleveland Heights, OH

Look up the Scarecrow on Amazon. A sprinkler with a motion sensor that blasts a 3 second burst of water out to 30 feet when the deer approach. Haven't tried it yet but it gets good reviews on Amazon and Joel Karsten said it works.

Northeast, WA(Zone 5a)

Gardadore. I just read this and will tell you a couple things that might work. My sister put electric fence just around her flower beds. 2 wires, one probably 18 inches up and the other one about 18" above that. The deer got zapped once and she never had a problem after that. A lot of the time she doesn't even have it on.

Another one, A couple put fences around just the garden out of poles. A double fence maybe 2 feet or a bit more apart. About 6 feet tall.

It appears that you already have one made from wood, so how about another to make a double fence. They probably don't jump over for fear of landing in the second one. But, I think they probably have to be solid so the deer can't see thru them.

Northeast, WA(Zone 5a)

Gardadore. I just read this and will tell you a couple things that might work. My sister put electric fence just around her flower beds. 2 wires, one probably 18 inches up and the other one about 18" above that. The deer got zapped once and she never had a problem after that. A lot of the time she doesn't even have it on.

Another one, A couple put fences around just the garden out of poles. A double fence maybe 2 feet or a bit more apart. About 6 feet tall.

It appears that you already have one made from wood, so how about another to make a double fence. They probably don't jump over for fear of landing in the second one. But, I think they probably have to be solid so the deer can't see thru them. Can't read their minds, just telling you different things that other people have tried.

Arroyo Grande, CA(Zone 9a)

My deer are lazy and won't bother with a double fence even at 4 foot tall. Another idea for protecting a garden - I took the old frame from a canvas type garage and zip tied plastic fence to it. I covered the whole thing, I don't even get birds in my vege garden! I use the center roof support to hang the bean supports from. I angled the sides some to get more square footage and staked it to the ground. Maybe you could use your strawbales along the sides. Works really well and you might even find one cheap on Craigslist.
Scarecrow sprinkler works well if you don't mind spending the time keeping them in working order.

Pueblo, CO(Zone 5b)

I tried this and it worked for short season - I don't know how long it would work or if it would work during a drought:
Get the fencing, either tall or double short. Don't get the fence posts. Lay it HORIZONTALLY above the ground as a trip hazard, raised up on short stakes or bricks or rocks. I would have it in manageable maneuverable sections, because you will need to be able to mow or weed under it.
With any deer barrier, you will need a visible barrier, like lawn furniture maybe, until they learn the less viable one is there. Otherwise, if their first time through they are running in a blind panic, you could have a deer rodeo disaster on your hands.

I have also used liquid fence ( rotten egg spray) on my fruit trees. It needs to be reapplied in wet weather. Late winter early spring is when the deer are the hungriest and that is when we are most likely to have wet weather, so it isn't as effective when I need it the most. But it works well most of the time.

Arroyo Grande, CA(Zone 9a)

Re-reading this has got me thinking. Most of my yard is NOT fenced. I use a lot of deer resistant plants in my gardens and then I just "fence" single plants that are good eating.
Deer don't like plants that smell, or plants with fuzzy leaves, pokey or poisonous plants. There are actually lots of plants deer won't eat. There are lots of good sites online that will give some ideas. Some I grow are: plumbago, agave, aloe, brugmansia, nicotiana, foxglove, canna, lavender, bulbs like Amaryllis, daffodils, watsonia.

Northeast, WA(Zone 5a)

I don't have my yard fenced. My fencing is mostly a tree line. Meaning that the "yard" has been cleared of trees and then the forest is all around that area. Do you have any animals? I have a dog who never chases nor barks at the deer. She will stand on the deck and watch them, and they will eat right close to the tree line, but inside where the weeds, grass is growing, and watch her. But, I don't think I have ever had the deer eating any of my plants. I don't have a lot of plants.

Mostly my plants are containers because I can't physically work in the yard. I have a perennial bed with peonies, helebores, Rhododendrons, Creeping phlox, Daylilies, roses, Rhudbeckias, Bay Laurel, things like that. Can't think of them all now. But, like I say, the deer don't come around the plants. I had a young moose come up the driveway, right past the perennials, my hosta bed, and Clematis and Honeysuckle and past the house and kept going until it got down where the deer normally eat and stopped for a few bites there. Don't know.

Maybe the smell of the dog stops them. Beats me. Get a dog. LOL, sorry.

Arroyo Grande, CA(Zone 9a)

I've seen a deer go nose to nose with my dog. They get so hungry here that a little barking doesn't seem to bother them in the least. They come right up to the windows and drive the dog crazy. I gave up on roses years ago, I'd get one flush of flowers and then they'd be eaten the rest of the season. They'll eat daylilies too, but most of the other ones you mentioned are deer resistant plants.

Northeast, WA(Zone 5a)

Really!! Didn't know that. Purely accidental. But, I do have 3 rose bushes in there. About a dozen day lillies lining one side of the bed. Nothing.

My dog doesn't bother them, no barking, stays her distance on the deck, and they stay and eat where their food is. I have told DH to get them some hay 'cause we have snow covering what they normally eat. But, he doesn't want to get them dependent on us. And I understand that too.

Arroyo Grande, CA(Zone 9a)

All I can think are our deer are more desperate here. It's dry here most of the year so the native grasses go brown and food sources get scarce. We can tell when the deer start grazing right up close to the house that it's summer. They'll eat the scented geraniums, something that's supposed to be deer resistant, but it's not poisonous. I also have a lemon tree like six feet from the front door and they defoliate whatever is reachable. I feel sorry for them so I let them eat certain things and protect others.

It's not a good idea to feed them hay. They will reproduce more and then before you know it you will have a herd. I'm tempted to feed them too. They are lovely and we don't really have a lot of them that come through. Usually it will be a momma and a couple babies, we rarely see a buck. It's fun to see them outside my bedroom window. I always wait a moment before banging on the window to scare them off. I'm always glad when I get to see them eat my flowers as opposed to them just disappearing, LOL.

Northeast, WA(Zone 5a)

Yes, I realize you don't feed the deer. I just feel bad when there is snow everywhere but not only that, the snow is on top of ice. Not good food.

We have a long way, many months to go til spring and the deer start showing up down here.

Arroyo Grande, CA(Zone 9a)

Honestly, if we had snow I'd probably sneak them a bale of hay. I try to be a good conservationist but you know sometimes it's hard. We have several "rescue" animal pets in our family. A dog, a cat, several doves and four domestic ducks.
We have so many bird feeders that we have to tell house guests not to be frightened when they open the back door in the morning. The hundred quail and other birds spook at the sound of the door. It's true you might up the population of deer, but personally I wouldn't fault you for trying to help.

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