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Dealing with deer

 
gardener
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One of the biggest challenges I have faced on my wild homestead is dealing with deer. At first I wanted to live with them and use hedgerows to guide them away from sensitive plants.

Yeah, that didn’t work—the hedgerows got munched before they could get established.

So I eventually installed fences first around specific planting areas and now around my entire 2.86 acre property. Some of this is brand new deer fencing, some is just extensions on existing fences and some are double fences around my hedgerows.

A bit of a hodgepodge but after 4 years of dealing with deer they’re finally staying out.

But sometimes a fence isn’t an option. So what else can you do?

This week’s blog post—How to Deal with Deer on Your Wild Homestead—dives into 6 strategies that can work to keep deer from eating your plants.

I want to give a big thank you to my patrons over on Patreon for picking this blog post topic. Each month they get to vote on a list of questions that I’ve been asking on Facebook, here on permies, or via email. I then write a blog post based on the question that was voted #1—this post on dealing with deer was voted #1 by my patrons last month.

The 6 Strategies for Dealing with Deer



I should note that each of these strategies can work but they don’t always work. It really depends on how much deer pressure your site has.

On some of my restoration sites the deer pressure is fairly light and the deer really just walk around and it’s fairly easy to get them to leave certain plants alone by adding brush rings around them.

But on my own wild homestead the deer pressure has been very intense and in the end fencing my whole property was really the only viable option.

A lot of times a combination of strategies may be needed. Say brush rings around groups of fruit trees and shrubs, a full fence around your main garden, and individual fences around specific highly sensitive plants.

One strategy that isn’t listed on the blog post is hunting. This is mainly because it’s limited in its effectiveness. Often there are just too many deer for hunting to reduce their numbers enough. But also there are limits on when you can hunt and how many deer you can kill. This varies but because of these issues I left this strategy out. If this one works for you then that is your choice.

Here are the 6 strategies covered in the blog post. Make sure to check the post out for more information about each of them.

- Strategy 1: Fence Your Whole Property

- Strategy 2: Fence Individual Plants or Small Groups of Plants

- Strategy 3: Dense Plantings – Mix in Plants Deer Don’t Like

- Strategy 4: Fence Specific Planting Areas and Your Garden

- Strategy 5: Use Branches and Brush Rings

- Strategy 6: Plant a hedgerow

After trying several of these strategies on my own wild homestead I ended up fencing my whole property and I’m now planting hedgerows all along it. The long-term goal is for the hedgerows to replace my fences. But that will take a fair bit of time.
What Strategies Do You Use?



But sometimes even the best strategies don’t work. It’s important to take time to observe the deer on your land and start to understand their patterns and habits.

Eventually I figured out where the core routes the deer liked to take were and I made sure to reinforce those sections with stronger (more expensive) fences. The result is that I don’t have deer breaking through my fence anymore!

The blog post goes more into what you can learn by observing deer and how that can guide your efforts to manage them. The post also covers the 6 strategies in more details.

So please check it out!

And please let me know what strategies you use to deal with deer on your wild homestead.

While you are over on the blog most make sure to leave a comment! If you are the first to do so you will get a piece of pie! The pie will get you access to some special features on perimes, discounts at some vendors, and you can use it to purchase some products on the permies digital marketplace.

If you leave a comment on the blog post make sure to leave a post here on permies too so I can easily give you the slice of pie.

And again a big thank you to my patrons for their support. You can find more information about Patreon here.
 
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Many people use the plastic deer fence around here because it's cheap. The problem is that we also have a certain amount of bunny pressure, so our current plan for some of our garden areas is to use hardware cloth at the bottom and lighter, cheaper fencing higher up. This will have the double benefit of giving some rotational areas for young ducks or chickens. We have one lot of fencing which will keep the deer out, but it won't keep young ducks in, so I'm still having to do the ducks job of slug control. It's worth thinking of all the potential benefits/plans as you go along.
Staff note (Daron Williams) :

Thanks for the comment on the blog post! You were the first so pie for you!

 
pollinator
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If I could add some ideas?  

Fencing on hills can be tricky. On the high side the downslope fence must be higher than 8 feet - the height of the hill will often gain them several feet. Conversely, when fencing across an uphill slope, fencing may be able to be lower, depending on the angle.

As you did with the white rail fence, cheap bamboo poles can often be added to extend the height of a "too low" fence. The extended area does not, necessarily need to be deer fencing - at this height all we are seeking is a visual barrier which can be achieved in multiple ways: flagging tape, fishing line with "danglers" (yarn, CD's, cans...) so it is visible, rope, cheap netting of any variety...

Where there is no fencing, at all, again, only a visual barrier is needed, generally. Cheap bamboo poles jammed into the ground as fence posts, with even light weight plastic mesh will suffice; or a combination of materials, more solid on the bottom (fawns) and less so above.  

In areas where there is a height restriction, angled barrier/fencing may be required. Extended out from the top of say a six foot fence, go 4-6 feet so they can't leap the angled fence AND the 6 foot fence height.

Sturdy deer fencing is often only required around garden or orchard areas where they are specifically seeking a meal. To get them to "change their path" often flimsy, but visually obvious will do the trick.
 
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A double fence, 4’ high and about 4’ in from the main fence has worked here. They won’t jump where they can’t land is the thought. I also planted peas where I want you route them to, grow fast and they like them.
 
pioneer
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What has worked for us is a perimeter fence that keeps our LGDs in, and they keep the deer out. It is about 4' woven wire with an electrified high tensile strand on top and near the bottom inside. We have neighbors that encourage deer to hang around and we have seen groups as big as 40-50 deer.
 
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I purchased a motion activated sprinkler system from Orbit for my food garden which solved my deer, and most of the time, bunny, raids. The sensor system I use is powered by the electric grid but I’m sure someone could convert it to solar The only problem I had was when my wife forgot the system was armed and got a free face and body wash.
 
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The only thing that worked for me here in the UK, was fencing. I'd planted 3,000 as a small woodland over 4 acres, and roe deer were decimating them down to the tops of the rabbit guards. I tried various fencing strategies with few resources and limited success. The one that worked and still does, is to erect posts long enough to allow a top wire at 1.8mtrs/6'. The bulk of the fence is strainer wires at 100mm/4" spacing. The previous fence was at 6" spacing, until I saw a doe run full on at it, lift her undercarriage at the last moment, and sail straight between the wires! The top wire is barbed....no deer would attempt disembowling on that!

Anyhow, with a couple of years of formative pruning, I managed to re-establish leaders on most of the damaged trees. And whilst the fencing was initially an eyesore, it now works as a trellis for tayberries and blackberries, so doubles it's function.
 
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Where you have rodents (mice, squirrels rabbits) you will also have owls, hawks and around here an occasional Bald Eagle looking for snacks.  If your name is MacGregor, sorry, Peter will get you every time.  Last year the deer cleaned out my blackberry patch and relieved the Mulberry tree of its fruit.   But, the deer are a joy to behold in spite of their personal disregard for my property.   Be safe and be well.  j johnson near Stockton Lake in SW Missouri.
 
pollinator
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When we had a smaller homesite, 2-3 acres, our two normal mutt dogs did a great job of keeping the deer (and most of the other wildlife) out of our gardens and away from the house. We had moderate deer pressure but fairly heavy predator pressure (coyote, raccoon, skunk, bobcat and mountain lion).

At first we used and Instant Fence dog containment system which is on grid and let them roam about 100' from the house in all directions. But once they understood where home was, we could let them roam free.

Since moving to our larger homestead, 100+ acres, and being off grid, we trained them to "home" by tying them up for the first couple of weeks whenever we weren't with them. They have about a 200-300' range that they keep the deer out of. Beyond that they bark at and watch the deer go by but don't chase them. As added protection, I did fence my annual garden with 6' high field fence but that is really more to slow down the deer so the dogs will see them than it is to keep them out.

The dogs are outside 24/7 though so this doesn't work if your dogs stay inside any significant portion of the time.

We have heavy deer pressure here.
 
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Lorinne Anderson wrote:If I could add some ideas?  

Fencing on hills can be tricky. On the high side the downslope fence must be higher than 8 feet - the height of the hill will often gain them several feet. Conversely, when fencing across an uphill slope, fencing may be able to be lower, depending on the angle.

As you did with the white rail fence, cheap bamboo poles can often be added to extend the height of a "too low" fence. The extended area does not, necessarily need to be deer fencing - at this height all we are seeking is a visual barrier which can be achieved in multiple ways: flagging tape, fishing line with "danglers" (yarn, CD's, cans...) so it is visible, rope, cheap netting of any variety...

Where there is no fencing, at all, again, only a visual barrier is needed, generally. Cheap bamboo poles jammed into the ground as fence posts, with even light weight plastic mesh will suffice; or a combination of materials, more solid on the bottom (fawns) and less so above.  

In areas where there is a height restriction, angled barrier/fencing may be required. Extended out from the top of say a six foot fence, go 4-6 feet so they can't leap the angled fence AND the 6 foot fence height.

Sturdy deer fencing is often only required around garden or orchard areas where they are specifically seeking a meal. To get them to "change their path" often flimsy, but visually obvious will do the trick.



I agree with the visual barrier. in my garden,  I use tall t posts, fencing about three feet up but then run white strings around the top part (without the fencing) as a visual fence for the rest of the three feet.  three strings a foot apart. NO deer in garden!

Sandy
 
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I don't have deer problems so much as elk.  Think deer but twice as big.  Not only can they jump 7' fences, they can push them down.  Currently I'm fencing individual trees and clumps of plants and that does help prevent some but not all damage.  

I've got a rescue mutt that I've had long enough for her to know where home is but she's not much for being outside unless I'm out there, too, and even then she'd rather just lay on the porch and watch me.  She's not into barking, either.

However I've not had any elk munching on fruit trees or berry bushes so far this year [knocking on wood], and generally they do their terrible job of pruning in late winter when they're getting desperate.  So maybe just having a dog is doing something for me.
 
pollinator
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Our plan is fencing around areas that we want to cultivate. I wouldn't want to exclude deer from all of our property, we have 80 acres, there is no need. But after learning about the area, we have decided to clearly separate cultivated and wild areas for multiple reasons. One is needing to exclude deer and other nibblers, another is irrigation needs. Much of the native flora don't like irrigation, but we would like to keep the areas around the houses green to suppress fire hazards. But fencing is expensive and for now many trees and shrubs are individually surrounded.
 
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I live on bedrock and have created a number of small gardens that will likely someday be destroyed by deer.  Maybe then I will build a true fence, but being on bedrock makes it really difficult.  So far, my 3' fence around the garden surrounded by random wire cages lying around the gardens seems to deter them.  ?  I've just been lucky I suppose and once the lettuce grows then my low effort method will be tested ! A dog seems like the best idea.
 
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Our raised bed kitchen garden has just under a 1/4 acre footprint. From the day we laid it out we knew we were going to have to find some way to deal with the deer. The initial attempt was to just fence it off with 6' tall 2x4 welded wire. We hung the wire on T posts placed on top of the 2x12" hemlock timbers to give us an extra foot in height. 7' is really nothing to a motivated deer. But we were lucky and for the most part they were staying out. A few years into the garden we needed more vertical growing space so I hung 50"w (  8' - 12' long ) stock panels on T posts around the entire inside perimeter keeping them 14" in from the original outside fence and hanging them two feet higher ( giving us a height of about 9' ). I read that deer don't like to jump into what they think is a confined space and they seem to be viewing this double fence effect as just that. Since we put the panels in for trellising there hasn't been a single deer incursion...and that's going on eight years. We have an understanding with the deer that "we" have moved in on their space...so anything that grows through the fence is theirs. This pseudo double fence may have been effective with the deer...however the raccoons are another story entirely.  
 
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Deer will jump two fences spaced apart...the trick is to figure out how far apart the fences need to be. There are a couple of ways I have used to keep deer away...

Swiss Chard planted in a wide swath outside your garden fence may deter them with distraction. Deer love Swiss Chard! The trick is go keep the deer from eating the Chard as it grows. Chard needs nitrogen to grow fast, deer hate the smell of blood. So, I have had success with sprinkling blood meal on areas around the garden and on the chard as it grows.

I have used nylon stockings, cut into 8-10" lengths, tie off one end, put about 1/2 cup blood meal in the stocking, tie off the other end and hang these bags on branches of fruit trees and fence posts. This has kept the deer from rubbing bark off newly planted trees. When the blood meal gets wet, it will form a clump in the stocking. To refresh the blood meal, just squeeze the stocking to loosen up the blood meal. The bags will need to be replaced every several months. But his has worked for me.

Blood meal will draw other animals, raccoons, skunks, squirrels, chipmunks, probably opossums. Bunnies don't like blood meal.

If you have a good deal of clover in the surrounding areas outside the fence, deer may go for the clover and leave the garden.

However, good fencing, blood meal, chard planted outside the fence in combination may work.

If you can't keep them out, give them something better on the menu!
 
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Thanks for the reminder about blood meal, Cynda. I have used that before and it was effective. The only other options we use are unpredictable but enjoyable - two wild children who get up early in the morning and play into the evening when the deer are out and a cat who thinks she is a mountain lion. She chases deer out of our field regularly. We have built a new garden space and planted it with buckwheat until we can get to it in the fall and I am just waiting for the deer to enjoy the buffet. Thanks for all the ideas, permies!
 
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I'm in the process of reading Temple Grandin's book "Animals in Translation". So I've come upon this posting about deer-deflecting strategies just as I'm simultaneously exploring Grandin's observations, insights & advice on how to learn to see the world the way prey animals & grazing livestock species see & respond to the world. Although she writes & lectures more from the perspective of how to humanely and calmly manage livestock (&/or pets) that have a nervous system based on the survival priorities of prey animals, the principles she applies to moving prey-animals calming into and through various spaces, needed to corral & care for them, would seem to me to offer tips on how to deflect, spook & redirect an invasive grazer as well.

In "Animals in Translation" she emphasizes that we need to retrain our perspective/outlook to try seeing & observing the world of "threats & dangers" from the prey animal's perspective, which she explains is entirely sensory & heavily visual. With a narrower range of color vision, high contrast between light & dark, the illusion of bars or confusion of high contrast color-tones or shadows may do more to spook deer than barbed-wire or a thin wire that's run 6'-8'up (even if it is electrified). From reading Grandin, I'm suspecting that running a string of fluttery white and black flags might buy one as much deflection as anything... because of the spooking factor & triggering caution over approaching something that is changeable & hard to ID, hard for the animal to "read" or categorize as "safe".

It makes me wonder if stringing CDs in a manner that lets them spin & flutter might be effective. An experiment with putting inexpensive high-contrast whirlygigs on the fence posts might be interesting.

I think I would be tempted, by Grandin's observations, to go photograph my deer-proof fence from the deer's side, at deer eye level, and then set my camera to view in gray-scale in order to get a better sense of how the deterrents look to the deer. I suspect that thin gray wires may be nearly invisible while clipping high contrast fabric strips (or large stripe or block pattern) to the wire with clothespins might be visually "more spooky" to a grazer (& perhaps less costly than an electric top-wire). Though I also suspect, if you have a regular neighboring herd vs deer passing through, it may be necessary to switch things up periodically so the "spooky" stuff stays unfamiliar, new & uncomfortable to be around.

In this thought-experiment, in order to maintain the fence's ability to spook the deer, if you want to redirect them away from your garden crops, I'd be inclined to set up the alternate browsing goodies some distance away from the fence & possibly in or near some comforting "cover". Offering alternate grazing goodies near the fence, but on the deer's side, may stop the fence jumping in the short run but it may also desensitize them & make them comfortable with grazing near the fence. In the long run that may just serve to neutralize the fence in its role as a discomforting barrier to avoid.

Of course, Grandin describes all the rationale for this far better than I ever could. The thought I'm really offering here is that for those who are really struggling with a lot of deer pressure, & who are looking for humane & low-cost solutions, reading-up on some of Grandin's work might give you some further ideas to test before you you have to go all-in with more electric runs or other more costly materials. Although I have not yet read it, Grandin also has a book on Livestock Handling for Small Farms that looks to me like it could be a worthwhile read for homesteaders. This is a different book than the one written for livestock yards/larger-facilities (where she started her career).

If you'd like to explore her work, without buying one of the books, she has a pretty extensive & pragmatically oriented website loaded with free info & advice covering many species from pigs to antelope. Her books include entertaining stories & contextual tales in the set-up to the science, but her very unglamorized website just cuts right to the facts & straight talk advice on what works with what animals (& cites research as well)>  https://www.grandin.com/

If you're not a reader, but are curious to learn more about her observations on how animals think & how we can interact with them more effectively (both more kindly & more cost-effectively) you can find many YouTube videos of her giving farm talks in that vein such as this one which is titled as being about horses but which ranges around to dogs and other barnyard species as well https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_vTNdbDb2Vg  

Bottom line for me, in reading her book as I was reading this post... I was just struck by how we are here trying to construct our human idea of what might be the most effective warrior deer obstacle course. Many good ideas, but most may still be grounded in our own perspective: our human view of the problem, our omnivorous primate cultivator's view of our garden & what we conceive of as a "barrier" or detraction to entry.

If I weren't in the middle of reading "Animals in Translation" this week, I know I would've consumed this posting's conversation in a mindset of seeking to learn: How high should I make it? when triggering a grazer's fear of being preyed upon while eating may well be a much bigger detractor for this visually hypersensitive skitterish (high jumping) muncher than building a higher fence or adding an essentially invisible hot wire. Grandin's book doesn't specifically present a solution for deterring invasive deer but reading it has given me a new perspective on how to approach the problem. It also reinforces the comments here that suggest: While we busily test the rest, the fact remains ~ Dogs are Best! ...with cats that think they are mountain lions being in the running, it seems, as well  ; >
 
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Here are three more methods to manage deer.    The land around our gardens is managed as a wildlife refuge.  We have deer, (but not a lot of them) and rabbits - quite a few.
METHOD 1.  I manage all the animals by PLANTING THINGS THEY ESPECIALLY LOVE TO EAT.  Thus they concentrate on those plants as they move through the yard and leave my plants alone for the most part.  I have to fence in small areas planted with their other favorites, strawberries, beans and raspberries.  Rabbits love clover so I have encouraged big patches of clover in all the grassy areas. Now the rabbits come out to eat the clover at dusk - and they do not eat my veggies.   Deer particularly love FIREWEED AND NORTHERN WILLOWHERB so I let these plants to grow along the path edges.  The deer take a mouthful as they walk on by.     This protects my other plants and the results are bushy plants and a great show when they finally flower.   I do use some of your other fencing techniques.  It absolutely necessary to encircle young fruit trees with fence until they are about 6 years old. I encourage them to grow above the browse line asap by fertilizing and pruning to one leader for upward growth. Once above the browse line, the trees can grow freely and be pruned into fruit tree shapes.   It must be said that sometimes it is wise and necessary to harvest a female deer to plan for the future and keep their population in check.  Knowing how many deer groups are in an area is important to figure out which one.  Like coyotes, we want to keep the ones who know how to co-exist with people in an area because they will teach the next generations.  

METHOD 2.  Newly planted seeds and tender seedlings are much relished by wildlife.  They are at the most risk until they are a few inches tall. I lay PIECES OF WIRE FENCING flat on the ground over the newly planted areas and leave them until the plants are about 4 inches tall. This deters everything, birds, deer and expecially CATS.  CAVEAT - the area MUST be kept weeded and the fence removed before the plants get too big or it will have to be left in place until the end of the crop.   FLAT FENCING is a great system when used for planting in succession - ex, lettuces every 3 or 4 weeks - just move the fence pieces from one bed to the next.  Old junk pieces of fence are an indispensable part of my gardening system.  Light weight fence pieces can be tented, or bent in an arc to protect taller young plants, or kept flat on the ground.  2X4 hole fencing is my favorite - but anything heavier than chicken wire is fine.  An ideal size is 3' x 5', but I use what I have, which is a hodge-podge of different sizes and shapes, like my garden beds.   Nipping off the edge prongs prevents snagging, (bending them doesn't work), and using manageable sizes to protect the delicate plants is the best way to work this Flat Fence system.    This is a good way to use those short pieces of fence that are laying around!  

METHOD 3.  I talk kindly to the animals and tell them what they can and cannot do and eat in my space.

I am deeply aware that I share this land with animals and they are an integral and important part of this ecological system.  Since their presence benefits both the land and me, I must leave space and native food for them to live.    Keeping the system balanced benefits all of us so we can thrive and flourish.  
 
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We always used tallow soap. Deer smell it and think: “Active carnivore in the vicinity! Run!” Irish Spring is a brand that works well. Just hang some bars from some posts around the area you want to protect.
 
Jay Angler
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@Myron Platte - that particular soap would scare *me* off. I would have to make my own and try that instead!
 
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I've bought a role of 4" high Tenax  pet fencing -- it's like the extruded plastic mesh deer fencing but shorter. I've also some step in fence posts. I used this for a variety of purposes, and this past fall i used it to fence off an area of native plants i wanted to get established. Both inside and outside the fence i planted crimson clover. Inside the fence the clover grew lush and tall over the winter. Outside the deer cropped it to the ground. The flimsy barely there fence has kept the deer away since last fall.  I assume that while the deer pressure is high -- cropping any sprouts down to the ground all winter -- there was just enough easy access forage that the hassle of dealing with the fence wasn't worth it.

Now to see if the crimson clover "straw" will suppress the blasted goose grass that took over the area last year.
 
Daron Williams
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Jay – Thanks for the comment! Using the combination makes a lot of sense. Great suggestion and appreciate you leaving a comment on the blog post too!

Lorinne – Of course! One thing I love about this site is the great conversations and sharing of ideas that happen here.


Yeah, hills are a challenge. I just strengthened a section of mine that was on a hill where deer had tried (and failed) to jump it. Had to extend it upwards about a foot—I’m hoping it holds up better now. Great suggestion about how to extend the fence and using visual barriers.


That is a great suggestion about putting in an angle at the top of the fence if you can’t go vertical. I’ve seen people use that sort of thing to grow climbing plants on too!

Only thing I would be careful about is sometimes young deer are more adventuresome than the adults. Some of my fences started out more flimsy and it worked for a long time but then a more adventuresome juvenile showed up and kept jumping through the fence. I had this happen each year in one area. So eventually I just built a sturdy fence there. But your right that often a sturdy fence isn’t need but I would just add that you be ready to strengthen sections if needed.

Great ideas and suggestions! Really appreciate the comment!

Don – Great to hear that the double fence worked for you!

Sarah – Wow, 40 to 50… crazy! Lol, I thought seeing 4 at a time here was bad. I’m really glad they don’t hangout in those sorts of groups here. Great that your perimeter fence is working to keep deer out and your LDGs in.

Neil – Great to hear that is working for you! I wasn’t sure how well those work so it’s great to hear that it’s working for you. Thanks for sharing!

Niall – Yeah, over large areas a fence is often a good choice. Thanks for sharing the details on how yours is setup. And great to hear that you were able to repair your trees and use the fences for trellis.

J Johnson – Thanks for sharing and I do agree that deer are beautiful animals.

Penny – Great to hear that your dogs are working for you. Thanks for sharing a bit how you trained them. Good to know this can be successful!

Sandy – Great to hear that it works for you too! Recently this year I’ve noticed that a small chain link fence I put up to make a backyard area was enough to keep deer out of my current core growing areas. Interesting how sometimes a small barrier can work.

Lif – Thanks for sharing your experience with elk. I have a restoration project coming up on a site with a lot of elk. I’m not sure how I will manage that. Something to think about so I appreciate you sharing your experience!

Stacy – That makes a lot of sense and yeah if I had 80 acres I wouldn’t exclude them from it all either. On some of my larger restoration areas I like to use cluster fencing but it’s meant to be temporary. I set it up around an area until the plants get established enough to handle deer browse and then I take it down and reuse it on another site.

Thanks for sharing!

Elise – Welcome to permies and thank you for sharing! Yeah, bedrock would make it a challenge. You can use concrete blocks or rocks to anchor posts. I’ve even seen people take tires put a t-post in the middle and fill the tire with concrete. Very heavy but it can work if you can’t get posts in the ground.

If you have raised beds you can attach a fence to the outside edges though this can of course make harvesting more challenging.

Good luck and feel free to post any questions you have here on permies or reach out to me specifically. Happy to help!

Ken – Interesting story, thanks for sharing! Great to hear that the pseudo double fence is working for you.

Cynda – Thanks for all the tips! I’m using a similar approach to the chard by growing native roses (Nootka rose) along the outside of my hedgerows. Deer love to browse on the young growth but this type of rose just gets bushier in response. This gives the deer something to eat and keeps them moving down my hedgerow instead of trying to jump over it or go through it.

Thanks again for sharing!

Dawn – So funny about your cat! Glad you’ve found the conversation helpful!

Nokomis – Great thoughts and thank you for sharing what you have been learning from Grandin. Observing the deer and learning to think like them makes a lot of sense. Really appreciate you sharing this all with us!

If I end up still having issues in a couple spots that I’m currently watching I might have to try tying up some white cloth flags to see if that works.

Thanks again!

Merry – Thanks for sharing! I’m working to get plants that are herbaceous but evergreen growing around my hedgerows to give the rabbits some winter time food. I find that is when they nibble on my young trees and shrubs. The rest of the year they don’t cause much problems. Giving them something to eat can be a great option.

Though I’m also installing barn owl boxes this year so… well got to go both routes! 😉

I also grow Nootka rose along the outside of my hedgerows. Deer love it but it can easily take their browse. That way they just move down the hedgerows instead of trying to get through them.

Thanks for sharing about the flat fencing technique. I wasn’t aware of that and I may have to give it a try if rabbits become more of an issue.

Living in balance with nature is the best way. Sometimes it can be a challenge but worth the effort in the long run.

Thanks for sharing!

Myron – Thanks for the tip! I may try that in the future if my finished deer fence isn’t enough—might be a way to give my hedgerows time to grow and become more of a solid barrier.

Judielaine – Thanks for sharing your experience with that fence and crimson clover. Good luck with the crimson clover “straw” and goose grass!

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Wow! Lots of great comments—took me a bit to get through them all but I really appreciate you all taking the time to share your experience and thoughts.
 
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