How to Keep Deer Off Your Property
Until one has to live with them, it seems easy to appreciate deer. They devour prized plants and gardens relentlessly, leave droppings on the lawn and travel in packs. Navigating roads late at night is now a more dangerous task due to groups of the roaming beasts. However, there are several solutions to keep deer off of your own property, ranging from natural solutions such as dogs and repellents to a militant fence.
Although it may seem extreme, the most effective way to truly prevent deer from entering your property is a fence. Not just any fence either- deer are capable of jumping over 7 feet, so one would think there are not many unobtrusive options in this department. Difficulty of installation varies depending on the material, but every type requires fence posts to be installed around the property- about a day’s worth of work. While not completely invisible, a variety of fences are certainly not jarring and do not distract from the landscape.
Some companies offer a somewhat transparent polypropylene fence of varying thicknesses depending on the size of the property and weather conditions. Essentially a plastic mesh that is purchased in rolls of several hundred feet, these plastic fences can cost up to $350 for a 165’ roll. Visibility of the transparent plastic is rather low and is light and easy to install.
Hexagrid metal fences are both inexpensive and durable. As an added bonus, their visibility is also quite low. PVC coated metal mesh stands up to the elements for up to a decade, and can cost around $250 for a 7.3’ x 100’ roll. More visible than the polypropylene fence, the hexagrid fence is just as simple to install.
Serious metal containment fences, while certainly more durable, run a much higher cost. The same amount of labor is needed for installing fence posts but crimping tools and wire cutters are required for setup. An 8’ x 165’ roll can cost up to $650. A metal containment fence is heavy and can be seen from far away.
Deer repellent is known to be a viable solution. Usually a large bottle of chemicals and natural products known to deter the animals, one must spray the property line and areas where they are unwelcome. Relatively inexpensive, the repellent smells incredibly unpleasant- take a shower after spraying! It works in most cases, but unfortunately needs to be reapplied after rainstorms. If that will not prove to be a problem, this is the solution for you. A bottle of repellent can cost around $30 at a hardware store.
Some stores stock devices that emit ultrasonic sound waves for hundreds of yards at about $60. A small, black box that can be mounted on a house or tree, an ultrasonic emitter is maintenance free and proven to keep animals from entering the property. The downside: nearly all animals can hear the unpleasant sounds and most pets will be subject to the sonic torture.
A dog will chase intruder animals from the property instinctively. Deer avoid areas with canine droppings. Perhaps it would not be necessary to buy a dog specifically for this purpose, but if you already have one with an assertive enough bark, let it roam outside more often.