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  • Subject: Re: [nafex] Deer Damage
  • Date: Fri, 02 Jun 2000 01:22:26 -0400

Don Yellman wrote:
> For Mike Tomlinson:
> 1. Deer damage has certainly become an urgent problem for many of us.
> Here in Fairfax County, VA, the whitetail population has more than
> tripled in 25 years since we bought our little acre. Hunting, and the
> discharge of firearms, is illegal in the county, but quiet, air-powered
> guns are ok. There are some halfhearted county programs to thin the
> herd, but they are constantly opposed by animal rights activists. In
> addition to the fruit trees, deer will destroy nearly everything in the
> yard if left to their own devices, including, but not limited to,
> tomatoes, strawberries, asparagus, beans, and many flowers and
> ornamental plantings. The heavy plastic deer fencing or baited electric
> fences are good solutions, but I cannot use them in my suburban
> environment. I can tell you that things like wolf scent, puma scent,
> soap and hair have not worked for me, and the repellent sprays are
> expensive and only briefly effective. I get so disgusted with these
> animals that I would probably use nuclear weapons were it not for the
> test-ban treaty. Of course, I would only use tactical stuff. Nothing
> over 1 kiloton.
> 2. The little motion/heat sensing alarms sold by Radio Shack and others
> can help, however, when used with certain other elements to form a
> complete system. However, it's probably not for everyone. The system
> requires:
> a. Several detectors placed strategically around the yard, preferably
> over the current favorite deer food. Right now, that happens to be
> pansies. The detectors will range out to about 40 feet, and produce an
> irritating whistle accompanied by little flashing red lights. I use
> units called "critter gitters", and also a rather expensive driveway
> alert that sends a signal to a receiver in the kitchen.
> b. It is essential to have a very patient and tolerant wife, who is
> also a light sleeper. It is best to leave a window open.
> c. You will require a fairly high-velocity pellet gun, preferably of
> the spring piston type, equipped with a low-power scope, and a narrow,
> but powerful flashlight. The Maglite works best.
> d. You have to be willing to spring out of bed just before dawn and run
> into the yard in your shorts when your wife pokes you and says "that
> damn thing is going off again".
> 3. When you run out into the yard in your shorts (thankfully, it is
> still dark), you will find the deer standing around looking at the
> screaming motion detector. You won't be able to get closer than about
> 30 yards before they spook and run off; hence the need for a pellet gun
> with fairly high muzzle velocity. The pointy pellets fly truer than the
> flat wadcutters, and, I think, sting the deer a little more. But I am
> pretty sure they will not penetrate deerskin. Not enough weight.
> Nevertheless, the deer really get something to remember. After a little
> practice, you can get nearly 100% hits, although it's a little difficult
> to hold the flashlight next to the barrel while lining up a shot. Open
> sights do not work as well as a scope, as the light seems to reflect
> back and ruin your vision.
> 4. After a few weeks of this, when I have clipped nearly all members of
> the local herds (except for the little Bambis), I find that they start
> to avoid my yard. Last year, I managed to prevent any damage to the
> tomatoes, and even got a few green beans. This year, I have replanted
> all the strawberries, and do not intend to see them destroyed.
> 5. This system offers quite a few challenges, and, of course, you can
> lose some sleep. Depends on how much you love your plants. I often
> wish I could try what I consider to be the ultimate alternative
> solution: a good, free-ranging dog in the yard. But I do not yet have
> authorization for that, and may never get it.
> Rgds, Don Yellman, Great Falls, VA
> ------------------------------------------------------------------------
> Failed tests, classes skipped, forgotten locker combinations.
> Remember the good 'ol days
> ------------------------------------------------------------------------
Don, I don't profess to know much about your deer problem, ours are
still kept under control by high meat prices and over-population. I
tried a trick in New Jersey that worked. Went to the local barber shop
and a hairdresser's salon and picked up their sweepings, dressed my
fruit trees and garden with them. Hair seems to be a pretty good
fertilizer as well, but the dyes and other chemicals may not be good.
It seemed to keep raccoons away as well, but lotus suffered in SC from
them regardless of anything I tried (but they were underwater). Good
Ruck! as they say in the Orient. (Where it is impolite to throw hair
brushings and toenails on the habachi, so I put them in my potted plants
to keep the rats away from them) Doc Lisenby Zone 8 SC

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