James Whitelaw wrote:W/ 6 acres being transitioned to veg & fruit, fencing is an important topic we are still struggling with, so appreciate ideas being posited. We haven’t made any decisions yet. In addition to deer there are birds, bugs and small varmints to contend with as well.
One possible idea we’ve been mulling is guardian robots 🤖 ...waiting for laughter to subside...seriously, we are already seeing autonomous sentry robots patrolling malls and such, why couldn’t small robots be deployed to patrol and chase off deer, birds or whatever. We watched a public tv piece on growing blueberries and they had recordings of small birds in extreme distress that apparently does a good job of discouraging blueberry hungry birds. I’ve thought those hand wavy plastic balloon things they deploy along roadsides might be adaptable to deter birds. We have Northern Goshawks and owls who are a good help with keeping chipmunks and such in check.
A small device, either mobile or stationary, could upon detection of an approaching deer would display a pair of red flashing devil eyes and a blood curdling growl (pity any lost inebriated hiker who happens upon the protected field late at night). For persistent deer who suspect the robo-wolf isn’t all its seems, perhaps a paintball shot at the deer could seal the deal. Obviously stationary guardian devices would require a larger number, but would be cheaper and easier to make.
I think I remember reading about a robo-wolf they are using in Japan, with the flashing, red devil eyes and blood curdling howl plus growling. Expensive, but I think they are already doing it. Sounds like a good idea, but they might get habituated to it and then ignore it.
Further R and D may be required before further prototype development continues...although I personally vote for an R2D2 type design, on tracks as opposed to wheels, armed with water spraying and high powered fans, or compressed air "cannons" that create allow for targeted shots of water or "bullets" of compressed air....
HANG ON! How about a version of the greyhound racing "rabbit"? With the adaption of a motion sensor the thing would literally race circles around the protected area on a wire when triggered...add in one of those ultrasonic deer whistles so it screams like a banshee in "deer"...
I'm next to a state park and have heavy deer pressure every day. I've had the line up for about 2-3 months and this will be the third place where I need to fix a section. Two of the three sections were from me spooking a deer through it. I like the way it is performing. It's cheap and replacing broken sections is very easy. I planned to run baling wire if the mono filament didn't work, but I'm sticking with this for now.
If you want to completely stop deer, I think you you need a very tall and probably expensive and probably ugly fence. The mono filament seems to do a good job of "deflecting" or redirecting them - assuming the deer have ways to get around the area and other things to eat. They will occasionally get in though and that's why I have 16" diameter cages around most of my seedlings. I took this picture yesterday - it's on my lowest terrace and you can kind of see the 30# mono filament on the downhill side.
BUT based on picture, it seems you are not on "flat" ground. I have found on the "upslope" you need to go higher with the line as the slope essentially shortens the height.
I recommend 4 strands minimum, spaced at 24 inches, but 8 strands is ideal, spaced every 12 inches, as it covers the fawns and young in their first year as they grow. That said we are on an island and our deer are pretty small compared to mainland deer.