The Best Deer Deterrent of All: the Element of Surprise

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The Best Deer Deterrent of All: the Element of Surprise

Before you resort to an expensive ten foot fence barrier to protect your garden from deer, consider the most effective deer deterrent of all - the element of surprise.

While a deer’s main goal is survival, they seem know that what you plant in your garden tastes much better than anything in the wild and are willing to venture outside of their comfort zone to get it. The key to keeping the deer away is to speak to it's survival instincts and make it ask itself "Is this worth the risk?" before it comes too close.

A deer’s survival is based on avoiding danger. Most pest deterrents quickly fail because they do not pose a threat of imminent danger. Before a deer enters any danger zone they always first scan the area to assess the risk. Deer can quickly figure out that anything with a mechanical repeating pattern is not a high risk. It doesn’t matter if you’re pest deterrent is a blinking light, a repetitive noisemaker, or a waving flag they will soon assess that no danger exists. Some people have even tied their dog up in the garden thinking that surely a dog would threaten the deer, but much to their surprise, the deer figured out that the dog was tied up and enjoyed the vegetable garden anyway.

In order to effectively scare deer away, they must feel threatened and the only way that they will feel consistently threatened is through the element of surprise. Just as the dog became an ineffective deer deterrent, so do all other static devices. The use of a timer or a motion detector attached to the deterrent can be used to produce such results. Once the deer has been surprised more than once, it will start to become uncertain about their safety in that area and will tend to look for a new place to find food.

The use of a timer or a motion activated device may just save your garden and yourself from having to use an unattractive fence. And by the way, determined deer can jump over a fence anyway.

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  • Marshal Baggett
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