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Gardeners: How to get rid of deer?
Old 05-19-2008, 07:13 PM   #1
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Gardeners: How to get rid of deer?

I have tried in the past suggestions that did NOT work like: hanging Ivory soap near the veggies; putting human hair around the veggies; and making a mild solution of Tabasco and water and spraying it on the veggies, which, unfortunately, wilted some of the tomato leaves and yellow flowers

Last year, they left my flowers alone that were wildflowers (and won lots of compliments as they turned out gorgeous--all from a $.59 pack of wildflowers), but had a field day with my moss rose when they were abundant. Moss rose must be a really delightful yummy thing to deer as they even pulled them up from the roots...grrrr. Needless to say, the moss rose were ruined, and I was p.o.'d.

Believe me, it's war now with those deer; so, I am open to suggestions as to what does work. Any ideas out there? This is an upscale neighborhood, so I can't shoot them; but, they are aggressive and roam around at night foraging for food, hence, vegetables and soft petal flowers are prone to be chomped on for deer dinner. Help!
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Old 05-19-2008, 07:40 PM   #2
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Can you put up a solid fence? Deer will not jump over what they can't see through.
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Old 05-19-2008, 07:50 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Orchidflower View Post
This is an upscale neighborhood, so I can't shoot them;
Neighbors don't want to be disturbed by the sound of gunfire, eh?

Here's a good guide that might help. Archery and Bowhunting Links

Sorry, couldn't resist. Other than culling them I have nothing to offer. I have always heard that once you become infested with the antlered pests that turning live deer into venison is the only fix. If your neighbors are suffering similarly, perhaps you could hire a professional hunter to get rid of them for you.
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Old 05-19-2008, 08:15 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Leonidas View Post
Neighbors don't want to be disturbed by the sound of gunfire, eh?

Here's a good guide that might help. Archery and Bowhunting Links


Crossbow?

Quote:
Sorry, couldn't resist. Other than culling them I have nothing to offer. I have always heard that once you become infested with the antlered pests that turning live deer into venison is the only fix. If your neighbors are suffering similarly, perhaps you could hire a professional hunter to get rid of them for you.
If they are causing traffic problems, the local 'powers that be' might be persuaded to do something.
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Old 05-19-2008, 08:23 PM   #5
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My dad made a unique type of scarecrow (a scaredeer?) Two pieces of wood fastened into the shape of a cross. He slipped a light colored long sleeve shirt on it and hooked a rope to the top of the cross. The rope is attached to a tree branch or a 2 x 4 attached to a pole. The slightest breeze will cause the thing to turn and rock back and forth. The motion is random and the deer think it's a human in the garden. The light colored shirt is visible to them at night as well. He never has deer in his garden any more.
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Old 05-19-2008, 08:33 PM   #6
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I have no experience with this, but people have recommended it:

Scarecrow Sprinkler - Gardening - Outdoor - Eco Home & Outdoor - Gaiam
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Old 05-19-2008, 08:34 PM   #7
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The deers around my house are so domesticated that they fear no human being. I actually have to throw things at them to get them to move, then they would stop and see what my next moves would be, it takes quite a bit to chase them away. They eat all the ground covers on my slope and everything else along the way. I have not found anything that will keep them away. It is a problem around our neighborhood, we are not allowed to put up fences (solid or ortherwise).

I feel your pain.

mP
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Old 05-19-2008, 08:59 PM   #8
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Here's a few things that have worked for me or folks I know.....

Motion detecting lights. These are cheap if you can run an extention cord to them and run them on 120AC. Otherwise, battery powered types are available but are more expensive. Deer comes into the area, lights go on, deer generally leave. I had a friend who also rigged a solonoid controlled valve to a motion detector so that a noisey rotating springler started when the deer got too close.

Electric fence. Yep, they can jump it but generally wind up touching it as they wander around and that will scare them off. If you have a few strands down near the ground, an electric fence will also keep stray dogs, feral cats, various varmits and the like away.

I think you're in western Illinois. Call the Ill DNR. They get lots of calls about deer problems, especially in the far Chicago suburbs, but if you and a few neighbors are persistent, they may come look things over and possibly schedule a special, supervised hunt to thin the ranks a little. They invariably take some heat from the bambi fans for doing this, so it's generally a last resort. They would also be a good source of additional ideas for deer deterents.

If you have any neighbors who are adding to the problem by providing salt blocks or food for deer, show them this:

http://dnr.state.il.us/pubaffairs/2007/Nov/reminder.htm

Here's a good (but kind of lengthly) article on controlling deer at airports. Electric fences were one of the solutions.

Airport Wildlife Management Bulletin No. 21
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Old 05-19-2008, 09:01 PM   #9
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I don't have deer problems due to a 6' cedar fence, but my brother has had success with "deer netting", similar to this stuff...

Deer Stop Netting | Garden Animal Control

He just drapes it over the plants.
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Old 05-19-2008, 09:11 PM   #10
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Been there, doing that!!!

The only thing that works long term is to startle them. We use ScareCrows, the kind you hook to a hose. Move them around in your yard, look for their common routes and set up a couple that will be set off as they move your direction. We coordinate placement with a neighbor so the deer don't jump the wrong direction.

Deer have the brains of a cow, although they move fast they don't think quickly at all. They also become habituated to their environment so do move the ScareCrow around. My husband once set out some electric fence wire but it proved to be high maintenance because it is easily grounded and deer would tear it out when startled.

Deer don't like Dahlias, they love roses and will taste almost anything else.

Good luck..
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Old 05-19-2008, 11:25 PM   #11
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Deer fence - I fenced in about 1/3 of an acre for our vegetable garden and fruit trees.

DD
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Old 05-20-2008, 04:01 AM   #12
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One of these devices might do it,motion detector hooked up to a valve on your garden hose.

Scarecrow: Deer and Animal Repeller
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Old 05-20-2008, 04:43 AM   #13
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I've tried everything and nothing seems to stop them. So I concentrate on plantings they haven't eaten so far:

Spirea
Boxwood
Vinca - annual flowers
ornamental grasses
evergreens
Iris
Lilac
Barberry
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Old 05-20-2008, 07:11 AM   #14
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Years ago I actually purchased mountain lion urine, and spread it around on little cotton balls. Did not work. [To save you the trouble of posting, I'll say it here: "How do they get them to pee into the jar?"]
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Old 05-20-2008, 07:56 AM   #15
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I used the scarecrow coupled with a motion sensing light and a motion sensing device that would play back a recorded sound...which in my case was "boo!".

Getting a light in the face, "boo!" and then sprayed with water seems to have been effective.
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Old 05-20-2008, 08:11 AM   #16
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For those who haven't had to deal with this the deer "ScareCrow" is a motion sensor that sprays water from a hose. One can adjust the water pressure (distance of spray) and the eye-ball to some extent.
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Old 05-20-2008, 08:31 AM   #17
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We use a product called Liquid Fence. It's some kind of animal urine, it stinks, and it keeps all deer and all but the most determined rabbits away. All that aren't scared off by it meet my pellet gun.
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Old 05-20-2008, 08:55 AM   #18
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I'm using mono filament fish line for the first time this year and it seems to be working. I used 12# line on 3 foot bamboo stakes around beds I want to protect.

Theory is that deer can't see it, but it freaks them out to feel it.

We shall see as the season progresses.
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Old 05-20-2008, 09:54 AM   #19
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Well, I see I'm not alone with the deer problem. Lots of great ideas I hadn't even heard of before. Thanks!
Last year I did finally go to the Dollar Store and Walmart and buy chili seeds (the kind they give you for pizza) and some ground cayenne for $.50-1 a shaker, and then sprinkled that on the tomatoes and, particularly, the yellow flowers. Didn't hurt the tomatoes at all, but you do have to go back and do it every few days--especially if it rains. It worked, but it's alot of extra work.
In fact, one night I am in bed. I hear a bunch of clomps on the ground, then a bunch of fast clomps, then a thud. Next morning I woke up, and the chickenwire fence for the little dog was all crushed in on one side. I assume Mr. Deer was treating himself to some of my yellow flowers on the tomato plants, and got himself a really nice taste of hot chili seeds or ground cayenne; hence, the clomping around. As you know, deer are really quiet, so he must have been dancing mighty good (I, personally, envision the deer clog dancing). Heh, heh, heh....he didn't visit me again that I know of for the remainder of last summer.
But, like I said, this takes ALOT of extra diligence for it to work with all the trips shaking out the hot pepper taste on the tomatoes, and I am looking for an easier way now.
What deer don't seem to eat is marigolds and wildflowers it seems. They eat hosta, tulips, moss rose and anything with tender petals it seems. I'm surprised that one of the posters says they don't eat iris and some of the other tender petal flowers. I will try those next year.
By the way, Iowa here in the Quad Cities area has a sectioned portion of land for hunters to kill X number of deer if they want to in that area; unfortunately, some man walked his dog around there and was shot to death last year. But Iowa is SO overrun with deer that they are allowing kills now...just not in neighborhoods. The Illinois side here hasn't done that yet.
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Old 05-20-2008, 11:04 AM   #20
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I'm surprised that one of the posters says they don't eat iris
Correct - deer think our yard is their personal salad bar, but they don't touch the iris or the daffodils, and certain other bulbs. I have tried planting tulips among the iris, the deer almost always find them and mow them down. We had a few tulips evade the deer this year. Boxwood has been deer proof so far. Hostas were, but now the deer munch those too. They munch some of our evergreens (yews?), they look terrible until they sprout some new growth.

We cannot have fences, and although I'm itching to do some gardening, it just isn't worth the effort it takes to keep the deer out. They munch our tomatoes while still green. They don't eat them, just take a bite and leave them laying on the ground. I've gone to just throwing flower seeds (that I collect each year - zero$, very little effort) - cornflowers, marigolds, and zinnias grow easily. I also planted some sorghum the past few years. It was part of the fall decorations my wife bought one year, and I planted some and they grew, Surprised the deer didn't eat it. Looks like corn, but kinda pretty with that bright red seed head.

Plus some gourds for fall. That's enough to fill in the garden, and give me some hiding space for cuttings to decay.

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