Coexisting with deer?

This topic contains 1 reply, has 6 voices, and was last updated by  Rob Halpern 4 years, 5 months ago.

Viewing 15 posts - 1 through 15 (of 17 total)
  • Author
    Posts
  • #151815

    Craig Richmond, RLA
    Participant

    I took this photo in the front yard of a client’s home on the Long Island south shore. This deer was browsing on all the ornamental plants in the neighborhood, leaping 4 foot tall fences without any effort. It wasn’t worried about dogs, because they can’t jump the fences. The deer didn’t even flinch when I drove past it in my car and I was about 10 feet away.

    My mom lives in a senior community in the near ‘burbs of DC and I’ve seen the deer ignore residents walking 6 feet away from them. I didn’t believe it until I saw it with my own eyes.

    I remember when deer wouldn’t eat rhododendron and blue holly. Now it seems like my plant palette has become limited, because they’ve expanded their menu. I’ve always taken the live and let live approach to dealing with the problem. I don’t like using deer fencing; I usually specify plants that are low browse risk. But I’m concerned they’ll start eating everything.

    Is this a problem for just the Northeast and the Midwest or is this a national issue? What are some of the solutions for dealing with deer in the landscape you guys have come up with in your area?

    #151831

    Rob Halpern
    Participant

    The only effective control is fencing.

    There are no deer-proof plants. If deer populations are low, there are many plants that they will browse rarely. But as deer population density has increased, they eat whatever they can. In some case, they will be less likely to browse right next to a house, so the plantings there can get a bit more creative while the property perimeter gets bare. But if the deer population pressure is great enough, then even plants under the windows are not left alone.

    #151830

    Trace One
    Participant

    How about very high fencing with those flashy streamers tied on in intervals, Rob – do they help at all? One of the guys at work had fencing that had a gap at about 5 -6′, and the deer sailed neatly through the gap. But according to  him, the flashy streamers tied to the fence seem to be of help..

    ?

    #151829

    Rob Halpern
    Participant

    A 10′ high fence,especially angled out a bit , is usually effective for the most part.

    #151828

    Tosh K
    Participant

    10′ high fence or double row of 6~8′ (often planted with a hedge to screen, yes it’s expensive); spray treatment in CT seems to have pretty good effect as they can go elsewhere, more urban areas maybe be limited (it’s a 1~2 times a season and not too cost prohibitive).  They browse everything, and deep in winter it gets really bad (there’s a herd that travels by my parents that eat the lavender).  The deer have wrecked the understory and now a lot more towns are becoming lenient on hunting and/or aggressively thinning them out (often with the support of Audubon and other wildlife groups as it is healthier for the deer to be thinned out); the lyme disease and other tick related diseases seems to help encourage the thinning out of deer (even though ticks are far more prevalent in smaller mammals).

    Make sure the gates are not easy to open by them – a couple of nurseries have had deer come through gates (they opened the latch).

    #151827

    Gregg Spadaro
    Participant

    Here in NJ deer are a huge problem as well but it is localized to the region that you are in. Deer prevention approach varies based on client needs, intensity of problem, and budget. I usually reference the Rutgers deer list https://njaes.rutgers.edu/deerresistance/
    as it is very comprehensive for plant selection. I have also had success with 8′ tall deer fencing (but you need to check local codes to see if it is allowed). If you don’t want to have a gate at your driveway you can install cattle guards, deer won’t cross them. Finally, we have had success with companies that specialize in deer prevention but you have to be committed to regular spraying. These guys are great
    http://www.njdeercontrol.com/

    #151826

    Craig Richmond, RLA
    Participant

    You’re right. Here’s an image of the same deer nibbling along the foundation of the neighbor’s house.

    These people have kids and dogs that run in and out of the house all day.

    #151825

    Craig Richmond, RLA
    Participant

    I use plantings that are low browse risk, but eventually they’ll be eating everything if we don’t so something. I’m sad to say that as we continue to encroach on their domain, we will have to start thinning out urban/suburban herds. In my home state they higher marksmen and donate the meat. Thanks for the info. 

    #151824

    Craig Richmond, RLA
    Participant

    I’ve seen cattle guards used effectively, which I thought was strange because if they really wanted to they could just leap over them as well. Maybe if their hungry enough they will eventually. Thanks. 

    #151823

    Craig Richmond, RLA
    Participant

    You’re right on about them needing to be thinned out for their own good. There’s just too much competition for food. We can’t introduce predators or hunt them safely in our neighborhoods. It seems like all we can do is give them more space. It’s sad to see scrawny deer who are just trying to survive. Thanks Tosh. 

    #151822

    Alan Ray, RLA
    Participant

    I offer my clients with deer problems my specialized deer eradication service. For a reasonable fee, my son in law and I bring our rifles and dine on free range organic meat all year…

    I have found that dogs are about the most effective way to run the deer off the property if my eradication service is not required.

    #151821

    Craig Richmond, RLA
    Participant

    Sorry Alan, you’ll have to catch them on foot to take one out. No guns or bow and arrows in this neighborhood. Besides you probably wouldn’t want to eat one of these scrawny, mangy things. It’s really sad to see deer in such poor condition. 

    #151820

    Craig Richmond, RLA
    Participant

    Thanks Elizabeth.

    #151819

    Craig Richmond, RLA
    Participant

    Henry I’m starting to believe that “harvesting” them is the only solution. We can’t introduce predators, we can’t let them starve, we can’t let them ruin our gardens and we’re not going to vacate their habitat. Maybe we can plant more food sources for them and plan on having a certain amount of damage to our plants. This should improve the health of the herds and provide a good quality protein to the community. We just can’t have you guys shooting sheet metal and wall piercing rounds in the city and suburbs… I think?

    #151818

    Craig Richmond, RLA
    Participant

    You mean the Westchester herds aren’t nibbling their way into the Bronx yet?

Viewing 15 posts - 1 through 15 (of 17 total)

You must be logged in to reply to this topic.

Lost Password

Register