Deer in the garden

Note from Web Master: The following was posted as a comment to a post. I have moved it to the questions section. My sincerest apologies to SouthernFlower for the difficulties and will respond personally.

Hello. I am new to this blog, but am not sure how to post a question. Unfortunately, this is not a resonse to this post, however, I am hoping someone can help me with a problem. I have deer getting into my garden. I really don’t want to erect a 7 foot fence or use any smelly chemicals to get rid of them. Does anyone have any suggestions? Any help would be appreciated. Thank you.

8 thoughts on “Deer in the garden

  1. >problem. I have deer getting into my garden.
    >I really don’t want to erect a 7 foot fence or
    >use any smelly chemicals to get rid of them.
    >Does anyone have any suggestions? Any help
    >would be appreciated. Thank you.

    I’m not sure this is what you want to hear, but our best “pest” deterrent to date has been the dog. The downside to that is that we now watch the deer/wildlife through binoculars as the dog keeps everything well away.

    One product that we didn’t try is the motion activated water sprinker. If the battery life and water usage is as good as they claim it to be, this could be a viable solution for you.

  2. Well, you didn’t say what breed of dog! We have an australian sheperd mix who takes the deer out of HER pasture, but apparently assumes the yard is my domain, so I need to deal with it. My concern with getting the type of dog that would keep out the deer, is the same type of dog that would run the neighborhood. What breed to you have?

  3. pattyJean wrote:

    >Well, you didn’t say what breed of dog! We have an australian >sheperd mix

    It’s a mutt- although I have to think that anything that will put up a fuss should do the job. I just happen to buy into the theory that mutts are generally more intelligent than purebreds.

    As to running the neighborhood, that’s something they’ve got to learn not to do early. We’ve adopted a couple of dogs along the way and breaking them of acquired “bad” habits is a lot tougher than training them not to go there in the first place.

    Maybe if you put in a low decorative fence, enough to dissuade the dog from chasing around in the garden, and then tied the shepherd out on a long enough line so that it could effectively cover most of the perimeter. I suspect that the dog wouldn’t particularly appreciate it but it might not have to last long if the dog picks up that the garden is also part of its’ responsibility.

  4. Hi SouthrenFlower! We tried many things to keep deer out of the garden, mainly the strawberries which they love. What finally worked was putting pieces of Ivory and Irish Spring soap in little mesh bags. In our case they were bait bags the fishermen use. The bags were nailed to wooden stakes that are about a foot high. The stakes were placed about every eight feet all around the strawberry patch. The deer must not have liked the smell of the soap because they stayed away. Maybe it was the fishy bait bags they didn’t like!

    However deer seem to adapt to almost anything.There is no gaurantee they won’t eventually get used to the soap and then we will have to try something else! We can’t fence all our garden but we may fence the strawberries and put a fence cover over the top of the enclosure also.

    Here we have excepted deer as part of the farm and plant extra of everything they like. Bill always says he plants enough for the bugs, the deer, the neighbors and us! The deer graze in the hay field too but we always have a good crop of hay. They stop grazing when manure is spread in late Spring.

    We have a half Border Collie / half Old Fashioned Collie who will run cyotes, foxes, dogs, cats, chicken hawks or any critter off our farm EXCEPT deer! She loves deer and lays near them in the pasture while they graze. They also seem to like her!

    In Nova Scotia it is illegal to let a dog chase deer. Dogs caught chasing deer can be shot by wildlife officers as was the case of a dog of someone we knew. Deer are protected here except during fall hunting season.

    The bottom line is we are less frustrated now we are living in harmony with the deer and have accepted them instead of trying to run them away. It may not work for someone else but it works for us.

  5. lrose wrote:

    >In Nova Scotia it is illegal to let a dog chase deer.
    >Dogs caught chasing deer can be shot by wildlife
    >officers as was the case of a dog of someone we
    >knew. Deer are protected here except during fall
    >hunting season.

    I’m rather curious as to what the rationale for that would be. Has there been a problem with feral dogs cutting into the deer population?

    Our dogs chase deer. At least our dogs *think* they chase deer. It’s all rather comical in that the dogs will go tearing off across the back 20 and the deer will just stand there and watch them coming. In the last 30 feet or so, the flags will go up and the deer are gone. And by that point the dogs are so winded they don’t stand a chance. Truth be told, they didn’t stand a chance the moment they left the deck- but they keep going back for more!

    Having observed this humiliation time and again, I don’t worry about the dogs actually harming a healthy deer. They make a good noise but that’s pretty much as far as that goes.

  6. I suspect this is another one of those laws that was made long in the past when packs of dogs were a problem running deer and killing them . Now days I don’t know of any packs of dogs around here. That is because the local SPCA does a super job of picking up strays.
    Right now there are so many deer in our area and not of alot of hunters in the fall. They have had a ban on killing does also many hunting seasons. Other times some people can get permission to shoot does during hunting season. There is a herd of sixteen that graze in our hay field and pasture at night. Deer are protected here and have more freedom than people to roam where ever they choose!
    Apparently in other parts of Nova Scotia deer populations are down. That must be because they all live here by us along the coast!

  7. lrose wrote:

    >Right now there are so many deer in our area
    >and not of alot of hunters in the fall.

    We have quite a few areas with the same problem. I haven’t seen the numbers on the 2007 season but I have to think that the number of folks hunting deer has been dropping. Fuel costs aren’t going to help that for the 2008 season . . .

  8. I use dog poo at the fence which is four feet tall. I also yse dog hair, raw manure (horse). I hang old cd’s and tin plates with the center cut out. I also have two dogs that try their best, as barking at all hours of the night testifies. I haven’t tried the soap or ciane pepper yet. Do these work? To some degree. But I still have deer in my two acre garden.