There are many species of deer in the United States. The most common and widely distributed is the Whitetail. Though their numbers dwindled in the late 19th century, wildlife management, limited hunting seasons and a reduction of their natural predators have enabled populations to rebound. In fact, several states boast populations of deer in excess of 1 million. Though hunters, cars and disease take their toll annually, whitetail deer continue to prosper and are now a pest in several areas of the country. This article will explain how you can stop them from entering your yard and eating your plants.
WHITETAIL DEER PROBLEM
Whitetail deer become a problem when food sources are limited and browsing of local herds begin to damage plant life. Deer forage for food where it is most plentiful and nutritious. Their diet includes all types of browse (leaves, stems and buds of woody plants) as well as flowers, grain, fruit, vegetables and just about anything a homeowner might plant around the yard. Deer eat a lot; the average adult male can consume over 5 lbs of food a day.
URBAN DEER POPULATIONS
Deer populations have outgrown many areas forcing them to find food where available. Many times this leads them to peoples yards. Deer can do a lot of damage in a very short period of time. Expect to find gardens invaded during the night and plants eaten to the ground. Flowers simply disappear and fruit bearing vines will have no fruit. Though you can complain to your local animal control office, there is generally nothing that can be done since this large animal is protected and very difficult to live trap and relocate. Occasionally deer have to be tranquilized and taken away, but this is the exception and not the rule.
Human and dog scent was once thought to keep deer away, but not anymore. Only in the most rural country areas are deer afraid of man and dog. Urban neighborhoods which have deer herds don’t have hunting pressure or wild dogs to scare them and deer quickly learn where people are so too is the food. If you have deer active in your yard or garden, there are a few repellents which can help.
USING ANIMAL URINE TO REPEL DEER
The first repellent you may consider using is COYOTE URINE. Since Coyote have become a natural predator in some areas, deer will avoid where they believe Coyote are active. Don’t think this defense mechanism applies to any carnivore; several large predatory animals are not distributed throughout the United States and therefore will not scare deer. Coyote are in just about every state and though not known to feed on whitetail with any regularity, will take advantage of abundant herds, weak or sickly animals and fawn. Because of this behavior, deer tend to stay away where coyote are active.
Coyote Urine placed around your property lines or where you want to repel deer can help scare them into finding food elsewhere. Try to make several scent markings where it will appear as though a coyote has been urinating. It is quite common and usual for coyote to mark their territory. Make these markings on a tree, a fence, a trail or even a structure close to where you suspect deer are active. Once detected, the deer will stay away.
There is no exact science to this method of repelling deer; there are many factors which will impact how long a treatment will last. Rain, time of the year, alternative food supplies, and the type of deer you have around your property all will determine whether you have to apply some urine every couple of weeks or every couple of months.
Another option is WOLF URINE. This should be used much the same way as the Coyote Urine and many times will incite more “fear” in the deer compared to coyote.
To protect Urine treatments from breaking down quickly due to rain or the sun, use our LIQUID GUARD. This stations can hold 16 ounces of urine and will allow for slower and more even impact. They have a roof to shield the sun and rain and a stake to secure it to the ground. Many times your treatments will persist long after the urine has evaporated since the smell has not been impacted by any of the elements. Place along walkways, trails or entrances to keep deer out.
As an added measure of protection, spray any desirable plants you have with either ROPEL LIQUID or DEER OFF. Both these products taste terrible and when applied to plants, flowers or other vegetation will stop deer from browsing. To decide which would be best for you, follow these guidelines: If you suspect there could be other animals active and browsing your plants, get the Ropel.
DEER SPRAY REPELLENT
If you are sure you only have Deer active, the Deer Off would be the better choice. Keep in mind this is a “ready to use” product and won’t need any mixing or special application equipment. Coverage will be in the 20-25 plant range or 200-250 sq/ft. But it can remain active for months. Sometimes as long as 2-3 months. For larger areas, get the DEER AWAY. It’s concentrated and must be mixed. Gallons will make 5 finished gallons of spray. Coverage is about 2000 sq/ft per finished gallon which means you’ll get 10,000 sq/ft of protection from 1 gallon of concentrate.
Remember, you don’t want to spray fruit or vegetables you intend on eating. The bad taste will make the harvest useless. You may spray the plant stems, stalks and leaves as the plant develops without the taste getting to the fruit. This could prove a big help when dealing with deer that like to eat young plants that haven’t produced any crop yet. Be sure to treat these to insure they can.
DEER WATER SPRAYER
Another device you might need to employ is one which is fairly aggressive. It sprays water at the deer, relies on motion to activate it and will work around the clock. This device is called the MOTION ACTIVATED WATER SPRAYER and is an effective tool when you are trying to protect small areas from foraging deer. It has a built in motion detector that is powered by a 9 volt battery. You can adjust it to “see” up to 35 feet away but can be adjusted to a much smaller zone if needed. Once motion caused by any animal enters the zone it will get sprayed with a 3 second blast of water. The unit will then shut off and reset within 10 seconds. It will then be ready to spray again. Units have a stake bottom which allow you to set it into the ground securely and can be linked by hose for setting up several in series. This will allow a progressive coverage zone if needed.
DEER ULTRA SOUND REPELLER
If you have a large area to protect and you have not been feeding the nuisance deer, you may try one of our Ultra Sound Devices. These are electronic units which are placed in the yard where deer are not wanted. They work by producing sounds which vary in frequency. Some of these frequencies are distressful to deer and the goal is to bother them enough so they move away. We have found these units to work fairly well on deer which are truly wild and have not been trained to come to any one spot looking to be fed. Such animals that have been interfered with to this degree will simply ignore the sound because they are so dependent on the food. However, wild deer which may be foraging on some plants in your yard during the night when no one sees them are more likely to be sensitive to the sound. Our experience has been that once they hear the noise they are alarmed enough to move away. By forcing them away before they are able to learn just how good the food is on your property you stand a much better chance to keep your landscape in tact. This simple act of forcing them away will cause them to find food elsewhere which is ideal. We have three units to choose from and they all have a wide range of applications. Be sure to read all the details of each ULTRASOUND UNIT so you know just which one will work best for your application needs.
DEER CANNON REPELLER
For really persistent deer abundant in large areas, you will need to install our ANIMAL CANNON. This loud “sonic” boom of a sound is enough to spook any deer and they won’t get used to it. Small yet powerful, this device uses propane to power itself and doesn’t need much maintenance. Just set it up and point it in the direction you want protected and turn it on. Blasts will keep the area free of deer for sure. This device is not recommended for the average neighborhood but more for rural areas and lots in excess of 5 acres. When placed on the ground, this device will cover 2-3 acres. When elevated above ground vegetation, up to 5 acres can be be effectively protected. The optional CANNON TRIPOD will keep the unit up and off the ground as well as allow it to spin in any direction. This spinning gives it extra coverage area. Lastly, the CANNON TIMER should be installed if you need to keep the unit off from time to time.
Lastly, if you have sensitive plants or shrubs that you don’t want to sustain any damage, installing some ANIMAL NETTING might be required. Since nuisance deer can be both persistent and desperate, our standard repellents may not be strong enough to do the job. Deer under stress or where deer populations have reached epidemic levels warrant extreme protection. Our Netting will provide such a defense.
Just cover up or wrap any plant or shrub you want to save from browsing animals and it will remain protected as long as the netting stays in place. The netting will allow both water and sun to filter in as normal. Furthermore, when properly applied to the plant, the netting will not impact how the plant grows. Deer which try to chew on protected plants will get a mouthful of plastic that they just don’t like. If they persist, the plastic will get stuck between their teeth like dental floss. Though it poses no hazard to them, deer clearly don’t like this sensation nor the fact that the netting obstructs their ability to grab a mouthful. Deer will quickly move away and on to the next food target when such plants are encountered making Animal Netting an excellent choice of protection – particularly for young flowers or shrubs. This same netting can be used as fencing too. For most situations, the 7′ tall size will be more than adequate to keep deer out of garden areas. Use any kind of cable tie or twine to secure the netting to stakes or trees and don’t worry about it being too weak to hold – deer are not overly aggressive about getting past any kind of blockade. In most cases they just retreat. This is a natural instinctive behavior for them so where applicable, use it as a “deer fence” – it will keep them out.
Whitetail deer can be a problem in urban areas where food is limited and gardens are plenty. Homeowners in many states are having problem with deer eating anything they plant. To keep them away from your yard, spray some Coyote Urine at entry points. Treat plants and gardens with Ropel and Deer Blocker to insure the deer won’t eat everything you have planted. Retreat as needed to keep them away. Install a Motion Activated Water Sprayer or one of our Ultra Sound Devices for added protection. In extreme cases, protect sensitive and targeted plants with our Animal Netting to be sure they don’t eat your most desirable plants.