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White-Tailed Deer

Odocoileus virginianus




Habit: Deciduous forests, conifer forests, rainforests, grasslands, farm land, marshes, and even deserts. Life span is approximately 9 to 12 years. It is a long-legged, fast-moving mammal.


Anatomy: White-Tailed Deer are about 3 to 3 1/2 feet tall at shoulder. Bucks (males) weight up to 400 pounds (180 kg), does (females) weigh up to 200 pounds. Fawns (babies) are usually born in May or June. Only bucks have antlers, which are branched; the antlers are shed each year, and later regrow.


Behavior: Deer are shy herbivores (plant-eaters) who spend most of the day eating leaves, grass, bark, acorns, and other plant material. Does often travel in small herds with their fawns.


Problems: Love to eat organic gardens! Humans and deer often share a habitat, there can be problems for both of them. When a deer's habitat becomes smaller because of human development, deer will often eat food from gardens. Deer need to cross roads to look for food and water and are sometimes struck by cars. People can also catch a sickness called Lyme Disease from the deer tick.


Deer solutions


Q: My garden is on the edge of wooded tract of land and plenty of deer around to nibble on crops. I run two electric fence wires (no fence charger used) around the garden, one about 12" above the ground and the other about 36" above the ground and I hung aluminum pie plates from the top wire with nylon cord where the plate would just tap the bottom wire and would space them 30-40 feet apart or whatever looks good. If there were any wind, the plates would bang on the bottom wire and send vibrations along the wire. At night if there is any light source, i.e. moonlight, night light, headlights etc.; the plate would reflect that light as it moved and make an intimidating flash that made the deer nervous and they would move on.


A: Still having trouble with deer I have heard of people laying fencing about 60" tall with a 4" square mesh on the ground and staked it up off the ground about 6" in random spots where the deer would have to walk across the uneven wire and that irritates them when there feet hits the wires and the fence would rattle. Of course with either method deer could still get to the crops but it is a great deterrent.


To keep deer out of your garden, build a strong electric or very tall fence or try the following techniques that sometimes work: Place small porous bags of human hair around the garden. One of my listeners recommended this. Put in a simple two wire electric fence. On the top wire strung about 4’ off the ground hang 2 x 6 inch strips of aluminum foil.





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