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HOW TO KEEP DEER OUT OF THE VEGGIE GARDEN?

Post in 'The Green Room' started by detmurds, Jan 28, 2007.

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  1. detmurds

    detmurds New Member

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    Folks,
    I have been told that in order to keep the deer out of my garden this summer I must have an 8 foot tall fence. Well, I started putting this fence up and it looks kind of hidious. Too tall,...what should I do? The size of my garden is about 875 square feet. (25 X 35)

    I live in Washington State and I see deer on my property every single day.

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  2. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    WA state here too. We have 7-8' deer fence around each of our large gardens. They are a necessity in our area if you want to grow a garden reliably. We use the heavy duty black deerfence on the upper garden. It comes in 100 ft rolls and doesn't look bad from a distance. I used chicken wire in the lower garden because we look out over it, and one can hardly see it at about 50 ft away. However, expect no more than 10 years from it. But if the looks are not appealing, one could put up an 8 ft. electric fence, wire at every 1 of height. They are almost invisible from a distance. This is what my brother-in-law did on his property. Now they can grow whatever they wish, wherever they wish. Or you could get a junkyard dog...
  3. Eric Johnson

    Eric Johnson Mod Emeritus

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    Here's a couple of suggestions that have either worked for me or been recommended by people who know what they're talking about: These are all helped by having a four-foot fence around your garden.

    1) Hang your sweaty work shirts (after splitting or cutting) on the fence. The smell will keep the deer (as well as the neighbors) away.
    2) Put moth balls, human hair, big cat urine, etc. around the permiter of your garden, but keep changing substances because they eventually become accustomed to whatever you put out.
    3) Surround the fence with obstacles like wood piles, compost bins, flower beds with deer covers over them, etc. Deer can easily jump over a 4-foot fence, but they balk at jumping around, over or into obstacles.
    4) Put obstaces in your garden in places where deer are likely to try to jump. Tee-pee trellises, chicken-wire trellises, raised beds, watering cans, cinder blocks, etc.
    5) Put up a single strand of electric fence from which is suspended a small tin can filled with peanut butter.
    6) Lay a four-foot section of chicken wire or other fencing down on the ground around the perimeter of your garden. Deer won't walk on it, and thus won't get close enough to jump over.

    These rules all apply to East Coast deer. I don't know if they're any different on the left coast.

    My take on deer is as follows:

    1) They have no sense of human decency;
    2) If they sense that you value something, they'll do what they can to destroy it.
  4. detmurds

    detmurds New Member

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    Thanks for the info, I think I might just stick with the 8ft fence. Where can I get that "deer fence" here in the Puget Sound,...I live in Seabeck.
  5. babalu87

    babalu87 New Member

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    Buy a bow ( I like Hoyt)
    Learn to shoot it
    Find a local butcher
    Eat Venison
  6. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    I got a roll at the local TrueValue Hardware. They might have it in your neighborhood at Home Depot or Lowes. If not, check with your local nursery suppliers. Or it can be ordered online. Search for deer fence. or at: http://www.deerbusters.com/ or http://www.bennersgardens.com/default.asp or http://www.invisible-deer-fence.com.../deer_fence_rolls.htm#fencerollspolypropylene
  7. detmurds

    detmurds New Member

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    What I think i am going to do is put up a fence about 6.5 - 7 feet high, and have three electric fence wires offset on the outside. The fence I want just to ensure little rodents don't get in there, and the electric fence will keep racoons, out, and I will also bait it for the deer for the shock of their lives! I'm sure that the deer fence works great but I want this to look better than a plastic fence. Thanks fellas for all the help!
  8. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    One of the nice things about the plastic fence is you don't see it from a distance at all. But it does have a shorter lifespan. Sound's like you're going to do a great job. Post some pics when done.

    PS: maybe consider some turrets on the corners. That way they can be retrofitted with remote operated potato cannons, ak47's or water cannon. :)
  9. Eric Johnson

    Eric Johnson Mod Emeritus

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    If all else fails, use the garden for bait and eat the deer.
  10. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    All I'd have to do is electrify the patio. Then I could roll them right into the kitchen. They come right up to the entry windows and munch on the flowers there if I don't spray them.
  11. detmurds

    detmurds New Member

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    I wonder if it is against the law here in Washington State to kill "nuisance deer"? It probably is?

    I know in Michigan (my home state) one is allowed to shoot and kill any dog that chases a deer! I don't really agree with it though.

    I will surely post some pictures.
  12. Eric Johnson

    Eric Johnson Mod Emeritus

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    I was just kidding--don't even think about it. Here in NYS I think you'd do less time for murdering a human being.
  13. detmurds

    detmurds New Member

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    Funny how true that probably is!
  14. MrGriz

    MrGriz New Member

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    I know that here in WI it would sure be cheaper to commit murder than poach a deer. Seriously, it would be cheaper to tresspass on a farmer's land, shoot one of his cows and pay all the fines than shoot an illegal deer.

    Quite a while back, there was a farmer near where I hunt. He was caught with 22 un-tagged does hanging in the barn. Can you say bye bye to the farm!
  15. drizler

    drizler Minister of Fire

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    Where I live in NY many long term locals call that nuisance deer next months dinner. Still you can easily enough just string a simple electric fence using those push in fiberglass poles that look like modern arrows. You can get the whole works from any Tractor supply or most hardware stores. For fencing you can either use the wire which is cheaper or the plastic wire fabric stuff which is good for small areas but more expensive. It is nice to take down and put away as needed. Cheap o electric fencers aren't too bad either and you can even get em solar or battery driven though more expensive. If its the small critters like coons getting in you have to get something low enough to the ground to touch them as well but thats not so hard either just more work. We used to like them till they started migrating Lyme Disease in the form of deer ticks into the region, now they are a menace especially if you have horses.
    Here is a board that I am sure you will find helpful for all kinds of countrified things and they aren't super rednecky or survivalist wackos. Try posting there. http://www.homesteadingtoday.com/index.php
  16. detmurds

    detmurds New Member

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    Hey Driz, cool I will check that out! Thanks for the words of advice!
  17. DavidV

    DavidV New Member

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    I was gonna post a picture of a crossbow. however, dear season has ended....and I don't poach....even though I got skunked this year.....and last year too. I tell you what...I don't put some meat in the freezer next year and i'm gonna be sittin up in a tree with a ballpeen hammer waitin on the little turds to come into the yard.
  18. mikeathens

    mikeathens New Member

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    I have billions of 'em on my 85 acres. We typically mix a raw egg with a gallon of water in the watering can and sprinkle directly over anyhting we don't want them to eat. Repeat every couple days, especially if rain.

    Too bad Ohio doesn't give a crap about poaching. I was outside splitting wood a couple months back and four yahoos in a chevy beretta shot from the car into my pasture - 200 feet away from where I was standing! Got the plates, car description, etc, reported to ODNR and local sheriff - nothing happened!! The sheriff had the balls to tell me it was a DNR issue - and I said whaaa whaaaa what!!?? four yokels carring a loaded 12-ga deer gun in the front seat of a moving vehicle isn't a police issue??
  19. Backwoods Savage

    Backwoods Savage Minister of Fire

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    Ah, the deer problem. We have an overabundance of them here. We can sit right in the house and watch them practically every day. Most of our acreage is wooded so most of the deer stay pretty close. Yes, that can pose problems with the garden, but....it doesn't have to and YOU DON'T NEED AN 8 FT TALL FENCE.

    The reason most say you need an 8 foot fence is because that is how high a deer can jump. However, just because the can does not mean they will. Deer will usually only jump that high (or even 6 feet) if they are fleeing danger. They might to get at food but only if they are almost starving.

    All we use for keeping out deer here in Michigan is a 4 foot fence. About 6 inches higher than the 4 feet we aslo string one strand of light wire that could be used for electric but we do not use electric. We have two large gardens every year; one is 60'x120' and the other is 120' x 160' and in the past 5 years we have had one deer jump the fence. Looking at the tracks that deer took about 3 steps and jumped right back out. No damage.

    btw, the deer walk right along the fences regularly (read daily). Our problem is with coons and possum. Well, our real problem is people from the towns and cities who live trap coons and take them out into the country "where they belong." Just a few years ago our coon population soared until we found who was letting them loose right by our property. After getting over 30 coons I was getting more than upset and found the culprit. Problem solved except for that one year when we lost hundreds of dollars worth of strawberries. btw, a 6-8 inch high electric fence works great for coons and possum to keep them out of the sweet corn.
  20. Eric Johnson

    Eric Johnson Mod Emeritus

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    I agree completely ^^^^.

    An eight-foot fence is not only impractical, but probably insightly.

    I've always had good luck with obstacles in and around a 4-foot fence plus, as I mentioned, hanging my sweaty work clothes on the fence.
  21. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    We started out with a 4+ foot fence in the lower garden. And they kept coming in. Prolly because we live on a hillside and they would enter from the top end. Once they find out there is a food source, they will come back. Now it's at 7-8 feet high, no more deer problems and you can't see it 50 feet away.

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  22. detmurds

    detmurds New Member

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    Cool, I am already working on my fence by slowly putting up the posts. But come two weeks from know, I am buying all the rest of the posts, fencing, and electric fence stuff. Enjoy your garden this summer BeGreen!
  23. detmurds

    detmurds New Member

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    I hear you "homeboy", as for I am from Macomb County (Fraser) in Michigan myself (left to serve 21 years on the US Navy). I've been "Up-North" and all around that fine "GREAT LAKE STATE" but never have I seen deer there like I do here in Washington State for some reason? I am as I think I have mentioned doing the electric fence thing outside of the fence line. I may just keep my fence at 6-7 feet max with a wire running at the 8 foot mark? Thanks for the detailed and exciting reply! And as always, lets go Wings, M GO Blue, and Go Get'm Tigers!
  24. Backwoods Savage

    Backwoods Savage Minister of Fire

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    detmurds, thank you. Not sure about Washington's deer (muleys there?) compared to what we have here, but I can tell you that it is unusual to sit in a blind or tree any day and not see at least 30 deer. The most I've seen is 46. They also go through the yard on a regular basis. My wife likes to talk to them out the kitchen window! We've even been blessed to have 2 fawns born in the yard! Now that was something else.

    Our eldest son almost made a career in the Navy but after he got married he opted to get out (12+ years) even though the Navy made him an outstanding offer; one I could not have turned down. But it worked out great for him anyway. He has a job he loves and just received another promotion.

    M just might go blue for sure. Probably looking at a new football coach as the present coach is not well. Tigers came alive! Lions suck big time and have for so long...I don't even watch or listen to their games.
  25. DavidV

    DavidV New Member

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    DISCLAIMER. I ain't no poacher. I'm a father who hunts and raised his children to hunt responsibly and legally. But I gotta say....the sheer "FUN" factor to engineering that eloctro project just tickles me.
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