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Deer and electric fence

Posted by slowpoke_gardener 6/7 (My Page) on
Fri, Jul 18, 14 at 10:00

I am having quite a bit of deer damage and there is really no need for it because they have food every where. I will string wire in various areas hoping they will get against it and run off. They have just about stripped my yardlong beans and have started on my cantaloupes. If I cant get them to feed some where else they will strip everything I have.

Madge just came in and said that a lady hit a doe in front of the house, but they cant find it, it ran out into the woods. I hope it is the one that has been eating my garden.

Larry


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Deer and electric fence

Larry
I am sorry about the garden but that made me laugh. I am glad I don't have to worry with that here but my garden at the other property is all open. The deer ate my pecan tree down to a tiny stick and in just a few months it came back over 2' tall. I put it in a cage now. I hope they move on somewhere else, yours and mine.
kim


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RE: Deer and electric fence

Deer pruned a 100' row of okra last night. I have a radio playing in a shed next to the garden. They were within 10' of it.

I don't know if a single hot wire would deter them.


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RE: Deer and electric fence

I have pretty good luck with an electric fence in the past. I did not have to put one up last year. I should have known I would not be that lucky 2 years in a row. I try to run the wire just high enough that they stick their head into it when they are eating. Year before last I had to run a wire zig-zag over the sweet potatoes. I left the charger on for a week or so at night and then I turned it off, partly because I fell on the hot wire, it made me not like sweet potatoes also. I still had no problems after I turned the charger off.

Robert you had the wrong kind of music on the radio, turn on opera, that will run anything off. Deer love Bluegrass music.

Larry


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RE: Deer and electric fence

I've seen deer slide down low and creep under a single hot wire....or jump over it. Some people 'bait' a hot wire by putting peanut butter on it so that when the deer reaches for the peanut butter, it hits the wire and learns it is hot. I've never done that...but we don't have a hot wire.

My neighbor keeps deer out of his apple trees by keeping a radio playing in one of the trees. He puts it in a zip-lock bag that is zipped mostly closed, only leaving a small space open for the cord to stick out of. However, it didn't keep the deer from jumping his short (don't remember if it is 3' or 4' tall) fence and eating his garden. This also works best if your garden is close enough to an electric plug that you can run an extension cord out to the garden to power the radio.

Before we raised our garden fence from 4' to 8' I tried using a radio to keep them out of the garden. I kept the radio on a talk radio station all night long and it kept the deer out of the garden about 95% of the time.

Larry, Our dogs love opera. If you play opera music, they howl right along with it.

We have a white cat with black spots who thinks he is a tiger or lion or something. When deer come into the yard in his presence he walks right towards them....all 8 or 10 lbs. of him. He will walk right up to them but he never gets too close because when they see him coming, they turn and run off. I cannot believe a cat (and a cat whose name is Tiny Baby, at that) intimidates deer into leaving, but he does. So, I think maybe you need a cat like Tiny Baby who thinks he is a lot bigger and tougher than he actually is.


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RE: Deer and electric fence

Well, the doe killed yesterday morning did not cut down on my garden damage, but it may have helped on reducing future damage, because she looked to be ready to have a couple of babies.

I hate caring for a fence of any kind, but it looks like I don't have a choice, but with an electric fence I can just pull the post, mow and then drop the post back in the hole. Its not pretty but I looks better than weed eating.

Larry


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RE: Deer and electric fence

Well, the deer would not stay away from my garden. It has now been 4 nights that I have had a hot wire up, the first 2 nights the deer knocked the wire loose and strung it towards the woods. ( I think it bit them and they ran toward the woods taking the wire with them). I was expecting this and had a loose hook from one wire to another so they would pull apart easily. Its no problem to get the downed wire and hook it back into the loop, and by doing the wire this way it does not kill the protecting of the beds up stream, the downed wire does not ground out the rest of the system.

These are my purple hulled peas that I am experimenting with by planting in a no-till, no fertilizer method. They seem to be growing well, and it looks as they will be productive. I had doubt of them being productive with the deer eating the tops out each night.

Larry

 photo DSCN1898_zps8dedc5f3.jpg


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RE: Deer and electric fence

My purple hulls are sprawling, too. They don't seem to mind and are producing tons at the moment. But I don't have deer eating them! Hopefully, those deer won't be back !


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RE: Deer and electric fence

My purplehulls are about done, but they've been productive for a very long time. Unfortunately, a vole is eating one plant per night....moving right down the row. Every morning there is a new dead plant. I can fence the deer out of the garden, but the voles that venture out of the woodland and into the garden underground are a whole different issue.

Bon, My experience is that the deer always come back, no matter what. I like watching the deer and enjoy seeing them, but not when they are eating garden plants....hence, we have 8' tall garden fences.

Lately the deer are restless and want to get into the garden. I'll be inside it, with the gate closed, and they'll be standing outside the fence looking up at the top of the fence as if trying to guesstimate if they can jump that 8' fence or not. So far, the answer is "not". I always ask them "does it not bother you that I am standing right here?" and the answer is that apparently it does not. Eventually they move on, and then I can open the gate and leave the garden.....which I'd never attempt to do while they are standing there nearby. They might trample me in their hurry to get through the gate while it is open.

Larry, I'm glad the plants rebounded so well----now, if only the deer will leave them alone, you'll get a great harvest.

Dawn


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RE: Deer and electric fence

Looking at the picture of fence as well as hearing your discription makes me wonder if you are setting it up correct.
Do you have the ground wire connected to a rod driven at least 3' deep?
Do you have wire connected with proper type clamp that "bites into" rod?
Do you keep earth moist deep around rod?
The yellow insolators on tee post are ok but the wire looks to be improperly mounted.
Normaly,the hot wire incircles the area being protected,that's certainly not true in the picture. It also sounds like you are saying the wire is set up "near" instaed of "around" crops.
Hot wire must not be allowed to touch a weed,tree,building,post or crop plant.
Once the fence is properly set up,here's a few tricks to make it more effective. Small light weight shiny trinkits suspended by 6" of thin wire from hot wire will attract deer's attention so they sniff the trinkit and get shocked. Deer rarly crawl over/under or jump anything without first sniffing it. They are acustomed to fence wires in their travels and know they are safe without sniffing the wire. If you sat a large plastic bear in your garden,deer would watch it before entering the garden. Once it didn't move to chase them,the deer would tentivly enter the garden and walk up to sniff it. In cases of presistant deer or coons,additional wire(s) will ramp up the fence. Alternating ground (fastened to rod) and hot wires make it difficult to get through without touching two wires. Adding ground wire(s) is somtimes nessary in drought conditions. If expense of buying posts and insulators is a factor with large fields,there are tricks there also. I have contained cattle,hogs and dogs with hot wire many times. I have excluded livestock and wildlife from crops as well. It works.


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RE: Deer and electric fence

Dawn, they will figure out that the fence is only on 3 sides sooner or later and I will have to do something different. Our little (house) dog is barking now, he seems to know when something in fooling around the house or lawn. this is night #6, we will see what happens.


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RE: Deer and electric fence

Klem1, you are correct, nothing about the fence is set up properly, but I am getting over 5000 volts through it if my tester is correct. I hope to use it for a few nights and then unhook it. Last year I only strung the wire and never hooked the power to it and the damage stopped, I was not that lucky this year.

Larry


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RE: Deer and electric fence

If the deer are as dumb as my dog it will work periodically. I added a wire to the top of a 3 foot fence to keep my dog in the yard and the coyotes out. He would go into the yard and you would hear a seriously frantic series of yelps. The next day the dog wouldn't even look in the yard. The day after that he wouldn't go out the back door. The day after that he'd go out there. The next day you'd hear the series of yelps all over again, and the routine would repeat, and repeat for the longest of times. Are deer smart?

I was going to ask if deer are smarter, but gravel is smarter than that dog.


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RE: Deer and electric fence

grubby, that is funny. Many years ago I put an electric fence around our Christmas tree. Our dog was doing a lot of damage to the decorations and presents. As I look back on it now, I think the dog was only to blame for some of the damage, I think some of the holes in the packages were from the kids and they were just trying to frame the dog. The kids have kids and dogs of their own now. They are finding out what it is like trying to stay one step ahead of the kids.


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RE: Deer and electric fence

Your peas are look'in good.


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RE: Deer and electric fence

lol grubby


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Well, the deer hit my north garden last night. They had stopped hitting the north garden when I had my grand-daughter string up a wire ( but not hooked up). They have not gotten into my south garden after they had knocked the wire down the first two nights after stringing a hot wire.

My wife saw 5 deer behind the house when she got up this morning. We had 7/8" of rain yesterday, so I know all he tracts are fresh in the north garden, and I am missing a lot of sweet potato vines. I will clean the tomato and bean vines off the wire and hang one of my extra chargers on the fence for tonight.

Five deer can eat a lot of sweet potatoes vines in one night. I really should not complain, we usually see seven deer in that group.


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Larry, Since my gardens are fenced off from the deer, they cannot eat much of it---only the things I have climbing on the garden fence, or any plant foolish enough to grow through the fence. That means our deer are underfed and stalk me when I am walking across the yard carrying anything they like to eat. We have a doe named HeyBaby (I name all our deer, don't you name yours?) who practically runs straight towards me if I am carrying melons or cucumbers. She stands on the edge of the woods and watches me dump stuff on the compost pile. Then, as soon as I am far enough away from the pile that she feels safe, she comes there and eats up everything there that she likes. I often prune off the excess ornamental sweet potato vines in the big garden and put them on the pile for her. I can throw the vines on the pile and yell "Hey Baby!" and she'll be at the pile devouring them before I am back inside the house. She has twin fawns and is teaching them how to scavenge around all my compost piles and garden fences to find good food. They aren't as used to seeing me as she is, so they run off when I am outside, but she just stands there and stares at me with an expression that clearly is asking "what did you bring me?" There are 10-15 other deer that come around pretty regularly looking for something tasty, but it is HeyBaby and her fawns that get the best stuff. Since she is used to seeing me, she'll come in the middle of the day (sometimes I think she knows my canning routine better than I know it myself) and get all the good stuff while the others only come after sunset. By the time the sun sets, HeyBaby and her fawns have gobbled up everything worth having.

In 2011 there was just nothing at all for the deer to eat that fall and winter after that horrible heat and drought, so I planted a deer food plot mix for them in late summer or early fall. I watered like crazy and it grew very well, but as far as I know, they never touched it. The rabbits loved it, though, so it wasn't a wasted effort, and the clover comes back on its own, which keeps all the cottontails happy and away from my garden.

In dry years, I like to overseed the lawn with winter rye grass, more for fire protection than anything. I'd rather be surrounded by an ocean of green grass in a dry winter than a bunch of dormant summer grasses. In years when we have the rye grass, the deer will aggravate me by pulling it up by the roots (they are browsers not grazers), leaving big bare spots in the lawn. The bunnies can sit in the yard and eat winter rye grass for hours and hours, and because they do that, we always have plenty of foxes, bobcats and coyotes hanging around to eat the rabbits in winter.

It seems like it is either a circus or a zoo here every day of the year, and your place sounds just about as lively.

Dawn


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RE: Deer and electric fence

Dawn, I enjoyed your deer story. I have created some of the problems I am having myself. I have been throwing our garden scraps in the garden rather than taking them to the compost pile because it is much closer. The deer have been coming up and eating the melon rinds and yardlong beans, but leaving the other plants alone. I thought it was "cute" to go out and see what was left of melon rinds, but it was not "cute" when I saw what was left of my sweet potato and pea plants.

I place another charger on the north garden tonight, hoping to turn the deer, but I don't have a lot of faith. The 2 or 3 chargers I have left were bought years ago to keep kids and pets out of the flower beds. The are too weak and have too much voltage drop in rain of heavy dew to affect a large animal, and I don't want to go to the trouble to make a special set-up.

Larry


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RE: Deer and electric fence

I wish I had a magic formula for deterring deer for you. Years ago the Tulsa zoo sold zoo doo - lion, tiger, bear poop. Apparently that kind of predator scares off prey animals. Don't know if they still sell it.

Speaking of encounters with wild animals. Daughter got a text "Daisy [dog] decided the black and white squirrel had to die." Yes, she killed a skunk.


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