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Re: deterring deer

From: "J.F. Hensler" <hensler@povn.com>

Anyone trying to discourage deer from munching the tempting things they've planted should know that deer will be much more difficult to keep away in the fall and winter than in the spring. 

Hunger and the need to put away calories for the demands of spring will overcome much of their dislike for foreign smells and objects. (One old doe has even learned how far the leash of a friend's dog will reach and walks right past him for a snack of her garden.) 

The only thing we've found to keep deer away from plants without fail is a sturdy fence, at least 8 feet tall, with no gaps that they might jump through. Deer will learn quickly that lightweight fences can be torn down and will not hesitate to do so. 

An "experiment" of using shorter, sheep proof fencing on the side of the garden away from the woods, has been a lesson in how smart some deer can be. The only way I've found to protect the more valuable daylilies, species irises and species crosses has been to cover them with hoops and netting. 

Next spring should be no problem since the bucks will prefer to remain in seclusion while growing their antlers and the does will be particularly timid until after the fawns are old enough to be left alone for a while. 

This should be enough time for Skip to rebuild the fence...

Christy Hensler

Newport, WA z4b

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