This information is intended to provide education and information about how to keep deer away from your Trees, Flowers, Garden, and Plants, so that you can make an informed decision if you need to deal with a deer problem.
Information gathered from the Ohio Department of Natural Resources
The whitetail has two seasonal coats. The spring/summer coat is reddish tan, and relatively short, with a thin and wiry hair texture. The winter coat is more grayish or even bluish tan with heavy, long guard hairs and a thick undercoat that provides excellent insulation. White patches are found around the eyes, on the throat, belly, tail (underside), and insides of the legs. When in flight, the large white tail or flag, flipped up in the air
can be the easiest way to spot the deer.
Courtship activities among deer begin in mid-October. Bucks will chase does over a period of five or six days prior to mating. The buck will mate with a doe several times and remain with her for a few days keeping other males away. Eventually the two will separate and the male will go on to breed more does before the breeding or rutting period ends.
Gestation lasts 187-222 days; 200 on average. Young are born from mid-May through July and are fully weaned and leave the mother after 10-12 weeks. A doe will have 1 fawn in her first breeding year and can have 2 or 3 fawns per litter in the following years
Habitat & Behavior
Whitetails are active around the clock, but less so during daylight hours. Most often, white-tailed deer are on the move at dawn and dusk. This behavior can prove hazardous to humans during the breeding season in the fall. Commuters to and from work often encounter deer on the move at this time of year which can result in serious accidents. Drivers should pay special attention October through December when traveling through zones marked with deer crossing signs.
How to Keep Deer Away
There are different approaches that can be used to keep deer away but they primarily fall into two groups; contact repellents and area repellents. Contact repellents will be directly applied to plants, where area repellents are for a larger area and will deter the deer from entering. Frightening the deer is usually only a temporary fix and fences are useful if constructed in such a way that the deer cannot jump over it. Whatever your choice it is best to keep changing up the repellents or using a combination since deer learn quickly and
will adapt or work around if the food source is plentiful.
There are different mixtures that can be added to plant life such as trees or flowers, but the most effective seems to be twenty percent rancid whole eggs and eighty percent water. The spray is water resistant but will need to be reapplied every thirty days through the season. It is best to spray in a dry period where the spray can completely dry before any moisture is applied. It is recommended to spray new trees completely while older trees only need the bottom half treated. It can also be applied to different plants with the same effect.
This type of repellent would include hanging mixtures that have a foul odor and adding fencing to the area to keep deer away from a garden or other plants. A standard deer fence will be eight feet high and is made of woven wire. This is the most effective way to keep deer out. Other fence options could be mesh barriers and slanting deer fences.
Setting up a net is also a deer repellent to keep deer away from valuable plants. This netting is normally 7 feet high and tied to a fence post to keep tricky deer from poking their noses through the netting and eating any vegetation they can. The netting should be sloped a bit away from the vegetation so that when deer begin to approach; their ears are tickled making them very uneasy. Netting should cover flower beds, gardens and other areas that you want to protect from the deer. Eventually, you will have to adjust the netting when the plants or vegetation start to get close to growing through the netting.
Fences created to repel deer need to be at least 8 feet high because deer can jump pretty high when needed. Wire or electric fences work as adequate repellents against deer, but not only are they expensive to obtain, but having them installed can be quite costly as well. Oh, and let’s not forget that it takes time to set up a fence correctly. Keep in mind when using a wire fence that you may have to maintain and repair it often due to deer running into them trying to get in. If a deer can do some damage to a vehicle, just imagine what it can do to your fence.
When Deer Become A Nuisance
Deer are beautiful animals to watch from a distance, but when they start to use your home as a habitat then the beauty turns into annoyance. Deer are part of the Artiodactyl group, which means they are hoofed with toes. They live on their home range which is becoming more urban as neighborhoods expand into wilderness areas. Deer live on the edges of wide open areas, usually at a tree line where the trees and the open area meet. Their expansive hearing includes being able to hear frequencies that humans can’t even hear and their ears will rotate three hundred and sixty degrees. The deer love to eat greens and are herbivores, which is why they will love your garden and lawn areas.
Eating Habits Of The Deer
Deer will eat grass, berries, leaves and stems, acorns, mushrooms, and agriculture crops. If there is very little food available they will eat the barks of the tree or anything that is available including plants that they do not like. The deer have small bottom teeth and the top of their mouth is a hard palate. This is why they will tear a piece of bark off rather than bite into it. Deer are cud eaters and have four stomachs similar to cows and goats. Deer are grazers mostly eating in the early morning hours and around dusk.
Setting Up A Home on Your Property
Once deer have settled into an area it becomes difficult to get them to move out. Males, which are called
bucks or stags normally will not stay within a group of deer unless it is rutting or mating season. If you have a herd of deer on your premises they will be does and fawns. The herd, even a small group of two or three, can cause damage to your property by eating your plants; rubbing and tearing off barks from the trees at your home looking for a great food source. If deer are causing damage it is a good idea to look at the different repellents available.