The first time Doug and I saw deer close up we were driving through a neighborhood to a dinner party and the lovely creatures were crossing the road. Doug and I hung out our car windows whistling and blowing kisses like they were supermodels crossing a catwalk. “Hey Beautiful!” We were so astounded seeing deer close up.
When we moved further out we found they were in our own yard every evening. We watched in awe as a huge buck with a large rack (Hey there good lookin’!) jumped through a one foot opening into our garden. We laughed and pointed and blew kisses as they ate all the bird seed and moved on to what vegetables were left.
They are cute and all, I certainly don’t want to hunt them and they are beautiful crossing my landscape but I want them to deter around the gardens. A student of mine told me about an article he had read a long time ago about deer fencing on the cheap. We had just moved into this house last year and were a little cash poor so it seemed like a good idea, though highly far fetched that it would work.
So, Doug bought several t-posts and fishing line and went to work. He placed the t-posts every ten feet all the way around the mini-orchard and the garden. He then strung fishing line around the posts, winding it up every eight inches or so. Around and around he went like he was wrapping a secret present. The fishing line strings only go six feet high and a deer can easily clear eight, but the idea behind the force field, superhero fencing is that they walk right up to the garden not seeing the fishing line and when they hit it they get spooked. They cannot see where to jump and there is something invisible touching them so they leave it alone.
You can kind of see the fishing line in this picture. Apparently the neighborhood teenagers running in the dark through our yard one night didn’t see it as Doug had to redo a section!
Doug installed a gate and my arbor and it looks wonderful. It worked all year! I could not believe it. It seemed too simple. This spring there are a few lines down. And there is deer poo in the garden. I thought at least we outsmarted them for one year but Doug thinks we should just restring it taut and that it will serve us well another year. It makes for inexpensive fencing around hard to fence areas and when the cash flow does not allow for fancy fencing (or it is not your house) it is a fine idea, so here we go again! Here’s to another year of no more deer buffet! (They can eat out of the compost if they’d like.)