envelope icon phone icon

Content is below menu. Find the page you want, then scroll down. Current page in white text.

About Us

Home

Ideas

Trees

Inventory

Care

Deer Problems

Fertilizing

Irrigation

Mulching

Planting

Shipped Seedlings

Sunken Pots

Watering

Our Forests

Almanac

Links


If men were the automatons that behaviorists claim they are, the behaviorist psychologists could not have invented the amazing nonsense called "behaviorist psychology."
Robert A. Heinlein

Dealing with Deer

Or, as I now refer to them, "hoof rats".

In 2019 I came out to a tree farm where most of my pines and cedars had been eaten from ground level to 4 feet above ground. Tens of thousands of dollars in damage.

I've been researching deer damage since.

If you are serious about this, you need defence in depth.

Fences

If Bambi is starving, he will ignore all repellants and deterrents. There are several styles of fence you can put up.

All boundary region defences will work to keep Bambi in, as well as out. If you forgot to close the gate, and Bambi wanders in, he may not find the gate on the way out. So now you force him to dine on your fine buffet of choice apple trees.

Aversions

The peanut butter fence is a case of trained aversion. Red hot chili peppers are another. So are bitter agents. You create an unpleasant association with some stimulus, and the deer avoid that stimulus. The problem with aversion training on your plants: Bambi has to eat your plant to find out there is a problem with it.

When you spray anything, you have to worry about how long it will stay. Some things come off with the next rain. There are spray adjuvants generically called 'sticking agents' or 'stickers' that you can add to the mix to keep something else from washing off readily.

Fear of the Unknown

Many things work for a while, or when Bambi is snacking and not starving. Deer aren't very bright: It doesn't take much in the way of brains to sneak up on a twig. Anything strange either sight or smell or sound set them running. But after a while, they become accustomed to the presence, and return. One article put it, "Anything works for three weeks"

Alternate foods

Some plants tolerate browsing far better than others. Dogwood, alder, willow, chokecherry, pin cherry, saskatoon are all browse that deer eat naturally, and have adapted to this.

An abundance of these in the woods near my tree farm didn't help my pines last winter.

Hunting

I've tried this several years. The problem: With 80 acres I really don't want multiple groups on my property at once. Deer season is only a month long here, so with 4 weekends the best I can hope for is to get rid 8 deer, assuming the hunters are solo. Most of the time, 2/3 of the hunters have left empty handed.

Poisons

Don't.

If you decide to do this anyway use an agent that won't poison whatever eats the carcass.


Got something to say? Email me: sfinfo@sherwoods-forests.com

Interesting? Share this page.

Want to talk right now? Talk to me: (8 am to 8 pm only, please) 1-780-848-2548


Back to Top
Copyright © 2008 - 2018 S. G. Botsford

Sherwood's Forests is located about 75 km southwest of Edmonton, Alberta. Please refer to the map on our Contact page for directions.