Height of deer fence?

nygardener(z6 New York)August 7, 2004

In Woodstock, where I've just started a garden, deer are rampant. The first thing I did after laying out the garden was to put up a 6-foot deer fence. It's kept the deer out so far, but the proprietor of the local produce/garden stand told me yesterday he'd heard that a 7-foot fence was necessary.

Has anyone had deer jump a 6-foot fence? Should I plan on adding the extra foot of height? It seems every Hudson Valley gardener has a deer story, and after watching them chow down on the meadow grass, I don't want them to be eyeing my flowers for dessert!

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dadgardens

There is another thread (probably in deer resistance) that says that 6 feet is enough if it can't be seen through, otherwise 8 feet is safer

    Bookmark   August 7, 2004 at 8:48PM
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nygardener(z6 New York)

Thanks, dg. After a more thorough search of GardenWeb, it looks like the answer also varies regionally. Has anyone in the Hudson Valley actually had deer jump a 6' see-through (wire or plastic mesh) fence?

    Bookmark   August 8, 2004 at 3:42AM
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shaolin(z5 NY)

I had a deer wander into my garden (because I was stupid and left the gate open) and then frantically jump to get out of my six foot fence, and it took her a couple of leaps and crashes before she managed - so, I think they can do it - but it's quite hard. I've never had one get in (unless they use the gate!).

    Bookmark   August 8, 2004 at 10:56AM
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leslies(z7 No VA)

Deer have jumped my fence. It's 7' plastic mesh fencing and when I walked up to that spot, it was clear that the fence wasn't even really sagging between the two trees. The deer was heading up a steep fence, so it might have been higher than 7 feet from the deer's point of view.

Now, that was a frightened deer looking to escape. I'm not so sure a deer would be inclined to jump that high to get in. Just in case, however, I'll be stringing wire/cable among the trees about 4' to the outside of the fence next weekend.

    Bookmark   August 9, 2004 at 1:58PM
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oldroser(z5)

My fence is 7.5 feet and so far, so good. However, there is no doubt they can jump it if they are frightened or if a doe is being pursued by a buck. Maybe you could string a wire or barbed wire a foot above the top of the fence?

    Bookmark   August 10, 2004 at 11:04AM
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orcuttnyc(z5-6 NY)

I saw on tv, on a gardening show, that someone hooked a car battery to the fence. Easily rechargable, and the deer get the message pretty quick.
I'm glad I don't have a drastic problem. I find a four four enclosed group of plants survive bambi-itis pretty well...

    Bookmark   August 10, 2004 at 6:18PM
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susanzone5(z5NY)

My fence is 5 feet tall and no deer have jumped it in 8 years. Knock wood. The fenced in area is 25' x 35'.

I make sure there are tall things like bean towers and staked tomatoes. This makes the deer cautious about jumping into someplace that will spear them (bad vision).

    Bookmark   August 14, 2004 at 5:18PM
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michaelzz(z6CT)

the good ole deer is CT can clear those fences in a heart beat ,,,,, espcially if they are in the inside and need to make a quick get a way .... my property borders on the reservoir and they have an 8' foot with additional 2' of barbed wire on it ,,that does the trick and protects one side of my yard ,,of course they come from the other direction !!

    Bookmark   August 24, 2004 at 9:47AM
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actechs(z6 NY)

I've been using 4 foot chicken wire, deer have been kept away along with the woodchucks.

    Bookmark   August 26, 2004 at 3:46PM
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jayco(5b NY)

They can definitely clear 6 feet no problem. I think the question is: how big is the area you're trying to enclose? They don't like to jump into a small area. They don't like to jump into an area where they can't see what's on the other side. If it's a relatively small area they probably won't bother to jump in--unless they're really hungry, like in the winter. If you had some evergreen azaleas growing in there I bet they'd jump in over the winter. But it all depends on how hungry they are and how much effort they're willing to expend to get at whatever's inside. Ask around and see what works for neighbors with similar size plots.

    Bookmark   September 14, 2004 at 11:53AM
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greenhouseman

I had the same exact question. This is the best advice I could find:

"...the best deer control answer here is not to raise the fence but to angle it outwards...a short metal extension at 45 degrees and carrying several monofilament cables will provide far better deer control in open spots than raising the deer fence two or even three vertical feet"

Here is a link that might be useful: Deer Fence

    Bookmark   June 2, 2012 at 5:38PM
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squonk61(upstate NY)

Greenhouseman had a great answer. 6 ft. is very jumpable unless you have an angled top outwards, or inwards if you make sure that part is visible. Another thing to think about is having something about 3 feet inside the fence that acts as a landing deterrent. Boulders or hedges/large plants can act as a landing obstacle and deer do not want to break their legs or ankles. A 4 to 5 ft. fence with a hedge running along it placed at the landing distance from the fence would do the trick.

    Bookmark   August 6, 2012 at 6:20PM
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