Re: CULT. heat ! and DEER
<"She feels they avoid things that are fragrant or have
an odor - anyone have a comment on that? ">
I think it depends on where you are, the particular deer (what are they
used to especially) and just how hungry they are. Might depend on the kind
of deer too, but I haven't noticed a lot of difference in what a Mule Deer
and a White Tail will eat when hungry. Where I am now, we have little
bitty Mule Deer.
If they are really hungry and have nothing to eat, they can destroy a yard
overnight, and they will eat anything, whether it tastes strong, sweet, has
spines, or whatever. They will go for the sweet tender green stuff first,
but they will strip the bark right off the trees if they are hungry enough.
They'll kick at water pipes if there's a leak, and make it leak more (if
Generally in areas with lots of rain and foliage, I think they are looking
for a "treat" and tend to go for things that taste different than what they
are used to. In arid regions (like where I am), they are often just plain
hungry for anything edible.
Late this winter and early spring we had unseasonable rains, and there is
green growth now, especially in the mountains. I haven't had any deer in
the yard yet this year (keeping fingers crossed).
Most years we get no rain (or very little) between September or October and
late June or July, and it is a struggle with the deer almost every spring.
By the time the rains do come, the yard is a mess. This is the first year
in several that my poor little fruit trees have been able to grow without
being browsed to nubs.
To the Iris. They are usually among the last things the deer touch, but
sometimes they get a hankerin' for the flowers, and then I keep lights on
at night and let the dog out a lot at night (the dog is pretty useless
though, the deer seem to just laugh at her). Usually the earlier Iris are
done flowering before the deer really start being a problem, but by the
time the TB's are in flower, the deer are usually eating everything in
Some other things they tend to save for last are anything in the
Cupressaceae (Juniper, Cypress, etc.), and anything in the Olive Family
(Lilac, Privet, Foresteria, Forsythia, Ash, etc.). They haven't bothered
my little Spuce trees yet, but they're so pathetic that the deer probably
take pity on them? Their favorites (here) include Grapes, most vegetables
and flowers (including Lilies, Daylilies, etc.), and anything in the Rose
family. They don't seem to bother Daffodils either, but those are usually
finishing before the deer really start coming down from the mountain. They
will eat all the flowers off some of the things in the Bean Family (like
Locust, Senna, and Baptisia), but they rarely eat the leaves. Yucca
flowers are candy too, but the cattle usually get those before the deer get
to them. Cattle get addicted to them.
Interestingly, gophers and deer seem to have similar tastes. The gophers
work from the bottom up though, and once the roots are gone, the plant is
gone. At least the deer usually don't dig out the bottoms of the plants.
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