I was standing in the kitchen peeling potatoes for supper when I looked out the window into our backyard and saw a deer calmly wander by the window.
We have a large population of urban deer in my town so this would not be an unusual sight except that we happen to have a 6 foot deer proof fence completely surrounding our yard.
My first thought was how the heck did she get in here and that followed quickly by the image of me kicking the gate shut behind me earlier that morning as I came rushing in from an early morning errand. Yep, I should have stopped to make sure that the latch had actually closed. Instead the gate had simply bounced back open again allowing the doe easy access in.
Now a deer proof fence is great if the deer is outside of it but when the deer is inside the yard, well let's just say that fence may not be quite the greatest thing to have. Finding the entrance in seems so easy but finding that narrow exit portal does not seem quite so easily accomplished. So these are the images of the deer in my yard and how I convinced her to leave.
She Tried to Find a Way Out but Couldn't so Frustrated and Tired She Decided to Just Lay Down and Take a Little Nap
Problem - I Love the Urban Deer but my Husband Does Not
Growing up living in the country I am a person with a very deep appreciation for all forms of wildlife. I love to watch the animals who accidentally flutter or stumble into my world, the tiny chattering species, the big scary ones, and even those who stop to munch out on my garden. My husband does not appreciate them quite so much.
Although I enjoy seeing the urban deer as they wander through our neighborhood my husband is not quite so critter friendly as I am. Our backyard contains berry bushes, a number of fruit trees, as well as a garden and he has absolutely no desire to share his earthly riches with the local deer population.
My husband is constantly nagging me to make sure that I close the gate behind me to insure that no deer get in. Yep, guess I should have stopped to insure that the gate had actually closed this morning. In my defense though this is the first time that a deer has actually managed to recognize that little opening as an opportunity to get into our yard.
I would happily wait for her to leave on her own terms but I knew that when my husband arrived back home that he would be exceptionally unimpressed to find this little doe camping out in our backyard.
She Really Enjoyed the Taste of our Cherry Tree
She Then Moved to a Shady Spot Under the Fruit Trees
I can imagine that the cool shade of our fruit trees was like a quiet oasis compared to the concrete jungle she had traveled through to arrive at our yard. They were doing construction on the major street next to us so I can imagine how calm our backyard must feel to this young doe.
I talked to her for a bit in the form of voice you usually reserve for babies or young pets. She was pretty calm looking up at me and even when I walked into the yard she didn't jump away from me. I figured she was either used to seeing humans or she was extremely exhausted.
I did not really mind a deer being in the yard and would have considered letting her stay till evening when things would be a little slower on the road construction but I knew my husband would not be impressed. I figured it would be about 3 hours till he got home so I went back into the house to think and finish preparing the potato salad I had been working on.
She Looked so Tired our Yard Must Seem an Oasis to Her
I would have waited for my husband to get home to work on our urban deer issue together but I figured he would scare the living heck out of her so I decided to tackle this little whitetail on my own.
I still had about 2 hours till hubby would be home but I figured it was time for me to try to direct the deer out of the yard. I had seen videos of the Contech motion sensor scarecrow being used to chase deer out of the yard with short bursts of water so I figured our water hose might work to help encourage this one out the gate.
As with any wild animal you must always exercise caution when dealing with them. My plan was to hide behind the fruit trees and to use them as protection just in case she decided to turn and face her attacker.
I can see her ears going back as she is trying to figure out what I am up to and whether or not I can be trusted. I keep talking to her in a soothing voice as I get the hose ready and wrangle myself into position. Meanwhile I am thanking the heavens that just last week hubby bought a new super spray nozzle for our hose.
I Had Seen This Previously Which is Why I Thought to Use a Hose
I Love the Humane Concept of This Gadget
I Hide Behind a Tree and Take Aim at Her Rear
I can see that she is watching me to see what I am up to. She seems more curious than afraid. I hide behind a tree and take aim at her rear then turn on the spray and she starts to move.
I begin at the very back of our yard hiding behind our cherry tree and taking aim. I then move from behind the cherry tree to the apple tree. All the while I am talking to her in a soft voice telling her what a good little sweetheart she is and spraying her with short bursts from the hose .
This picture is taken with our open gateway in sight. Can you tell that I am still hiding behind the apple tree at this point? A deer may look harmless but those hooves can really hurt if the deer decides to come at you. It is always wisest to use caution and to never trust any wild animal. They can be unpredictable.
I am Out From Behind the Trees Now but it is Difficult to Take a Photo and Shoot the Deer at the Same Time.
We Reach the Gate and I Feel like Yelling "Touchdown" as she Goes Through
She Seems Confused as to Which Direction to go Which Leaves me Feeling Rather Sad to Have to Send Her Back Out There
Then my Little Whitetail Doe Ambles Off Down the Block
Deer in the City are Referred to as Urban Deer
Land that used to be forest not too long ago is being cleared for housing and as people move into wilderness areas there are increasing animal - human encounters. Our city has quite a large urban deer population.
Generally it is dog and deer encounters which bring the largest problems but residents are also not too happy with the local deer chowing down on their flowers, trees, and gardens.
Most cities refer to their community deer problems as the "urban deer issue" and local councils meet to discuss how they will deal with the wildlife in their communities. Deer culls are an option which really concern me and an action which more communities are actively participating in.
Personally I think that we are the ones who moved into the wilderness so perhaps we should be the ones who learn to be a little more tolerant of the wildlife that we are attempting to displace. Education and awareness can help to make living in unison with wildlife a much safer situation for both the humans and the wildlife involved.
She Stops to Check out the Neighbor's Flower Bed
Natural Deer Deterrents for the Lawn and Garden
Please be humane in your interactions with wildlife. Our languages are different and local wildlife may not quite understand the territorial boundaries that we humans set out for one another.
Fencing and other Barriers: A visible barrier will generally be sufficient to keep deer away from an area. The fence does not have to be eight feet tall to work either. It just has to be visible.
Contech Motion sensor Scarecrow: This is my favorite natural deer, dog, cat, or other annoying creature deterrent. It delivers a sharp spray of water when it senses any movement.
Natural scent deer deterrent: Deer have sensitive little noses and there are some scents that they really dislike. Human hair, garlic, hot red pepper, and blood are natural deer repellants.
Deer do not like the scent of human hair and it can be used to create a barrier that effectively locks them out. Human hair from your brush or comb can be dropped into your flower beds, or enclosed in a nylon stocking to hang on your trees, or fencing. Reapply after rain or as necessary.
A homemade "deer away" solution can be easily prepared using garlic or hot pepper. Mix this recipe up in an empty gallon milk jug or create your own special blend.
3 well beaten eggs
1 cup milk
2 minced cloves of garlic
Water to fill the gallon jug.
You can pour small amounts directly from your milk jug, or if your watering can has large enough holes not to plug with the garlic, then use it to sprinkle the solution over the plants. Reapply after rain or as necessary.
Older deer will avoid the scent of blood as they view it as a fresh kill zone. I personally do not recommend using deterrents prepared from blood as you may attract other problem animals. Check store sold preparations before you purchase them to see exactly what ingredients they contain.
Lesson Learned: Take Time to Smell the Flowers
Or to Nibble a Few if That is What you Prefer to do
Plants, Greens, Flowers, and Trees That Deer do Not Like
There are many plants, grasses, and woody bushes and trees that deer do not like the smell of so planting these in high deer traffic areas may help to keep your yard wildlife free.
http://www.mgabc.org/content/deer-resistant-plants is a comprehensive listing of the least favorite flowers, grasses, and trees to deer as well as the plants most favored by deer as well.
There are many natural deer deterrents that can help to keep these animals and other roaming or fluttering creatures away from your yard, orchard, flowers, or garden.
It is important to keep in mind that the effectiveness of these devices does depend upon the hunger level of the animal in question. If a deer is starving it will go to extreme measures to acquire food but then of course I presume that you would too.
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