[NAFEX] Deer fences and repellants!
Sarah Kehler Ewing
skkewing at yahoo.com
Fri Feb 27 19:21:11 EST 2009
It sounds as though a 7 ft. fence is quite adequate for your Yankee deer. But this won't work for our Northern (Canadian) deer. I had an 8 ft. fence around my orchard. I added a further 4 ft. to the fence (now up to 12 ft.), and no more deer in the orchard. (But they do decimate the flower beds and shrubs.) Veg garden also protected with 12 ft. fence. A local runner asked as he wheezed by if we were raising giraffes.
David Maxwell in Nova Scotia, zone 5, with deer who have
studied Transcendental Meditation, (or Levitation).
Deer fences is such a fun topic!
I have used fishing line on electric fence posts around one of my gardens (over the hill, behind the trees and out of sight of my house/dogs with complete success for three years (not so much last year). Two rows of fencing: one as high as possible and the other about 12" off the ground to keep my dogs out. The theory is that they can't see fine, clear (not coloured) fishing wire and they touch it and don't like running into something that they can't see. The first three years I grew every kind of garden vegetable from corn, beans, tomatoes, carrots, etc. Last year I planted all that which they again ignored and made the fatal mistake of adding apricots, apples, pears, raspberries, strawberries, spinach, Swiss chard, runner beans which they apparently find delicious. I sprinkled blood meal, bone meal, and human hair around the perimeter which didn't even slow them down. I won't plant those things out there again: I didn't get a single leaf of chard
or spinach as they found it when it was 6" and ate it down into the dirt, clearly they understand nutrition! The fruit tree seedlings I managed to save by fencing their 3 1/2 foot wide bed with orange diamond hazard fencing held up on electric fence posts and then zigzagged the top opening with fishing line.
I currently successfully keep the deer from decimating my main orchard trees by keeping three dogs (one mutt, one Norwegian Elkhound and one Great Pyrenees who is worth more than the other two put together) and putting a "collar" of page wire around the trees that they show a preference for: far enough out or along the deer's favourite pathways.
My next plan of attach/defence is to copy the presentation given by a fellow member of my local fruit enthusiasts club. He keeps deer at bay near Fort Saskatchewan, AB by placing 9 evenly spaced electric wires on an 8' landscape post leaned at an angle out of his orchard onto 6' pickets. He then uses a 15 watt solar panel stuffed inside a Rubbermaid with the biggest battery Wal-Mart sells to power the fence. He also uses three fence posts to turn corners while maintaining the outward lean. The idea is that dear have perception problems and won't jump it even though they physically could because they aren't sure what they are landing on.
Another idea successfully used by the Amish community at Rexford, Montana (mountainous, treed and very populated by hungry deer) is to build board and batten style 8' fences out of lumber slabs. It works perfectly well on their huge gardens. The theory is that the deer won't jump a fence when they can't see what they will be landing on. It is admittedly pretty expensive since the rest of us don't have access to large quantities of free lumber slabs!
Sarah (I'm too lazy to type my last names every time so look by my email address if you really care!)
Zone 3: where the deer are too red neck to take Transcendental Meditation
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