[Market-farming] Deer Control (was: NITEGuard pest Control lights)

Richard Stewart rstewart at zoomtown.com
Sat Jul 14 11:22:00 EDT 2012

This may sound arrogant but in the end if you cannot afford a fence chances are the crop you are protecting isn't that valuable to justify the cost.  You can do a fence on the cheap and its depreciable against your business income over a period of several years AND there is also EQUIP money still floating around out there that may also help out.

One of the things we have found is that growing things they do not prefer helps.  :)  So we place all our garlic OUTSIDE the fence as the deer will not touch it.  Same with onions and leeks.  When we expand our herb garden into a more commercial large scale rows it'll all be outside the deer fence as well.

That said we've put up a fence.  Its a one acre fence and about as cheap as you can get using three strands up to 8' high with foil hologram ties on it and peanut butter/foil strips.  Fence posts are cheap metal T-posts which should last you a decade or two if treated properly.  They are easy to put in and we do huge spacing with 1 post every 20'.

We then hook up a 25 mile charger to what is a short run and ONLY keep the top two lines hot, which gives about 10K volts the last time I measured.

We then rotate whirlygigs and two telescoping rods with those eye balloons that you see in grapes and orchards (for deer and birds).  My neighbor is using a propane gun to keep deer, coons, and black birds out of his corn and the occasional shotgun.

We've also been considering getting a motion sensor water gun but I have yet to hear good or bad things about it.

In the end if you do not have anyone hunting on your property your deer pressure will slowly mount.  Ever doe that survives winter usually breeds two to three more the following season.  We have 300 acres so we have a lot of hunters (six plus one guest each).  We apply for nuisance permits every other year to allow them to hunt out of season and those deer are turned over the local Free Food Bank.  As much as it benefits us the demand for hunting locations is so high we charge a processed deer per hunter and take in about 600# of venison each year which we use a lot ourselves, and distribute to special no pay events that feature local sustainable food, and to our workshare volunteers that stick around through the late season.  Its also great to barter with other local food producers.

Just some things to think about.

Richard Stewart
Carriage House Farm
North Bend, Ohio

An Ohio Century Farm Est. 1855

(513) 967-1106
rstewart at zoomtown.com

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