Keeping critters away with a well placed fence

Deer are a gorgeous creature that unfortunately can do a lot of harm to the environment around them, including your yard. Especially if you own a lot of property, it can be hard to keep these creatures from devastating the landscape. Many advocate getting plants that deer do not like to eat but that is not a cure all for the situation. A fence is usually needed to really curb the issue.

Deer are at once beautiful and destructive. Where they exist in rural and suburban areas, they can devastate a landscape overnight. While there are so called deer-resistant plants, these will vary by region, and in times of little food deer will eat them too. Increasing populations of deer in some suburban areas has resulted in more aggressive food finding behavior which is why there can be some variations in just how high this fence must be to function properly during drought or exceptionally long winters.

There is a second way that deer can damage your landscape. Each year they rub the felt off new horns which can severely damage or even kill young trees and shrubs. Inevitably homeowners in deer country will be forced to come to terms with the deer problem if they want to enjoy a beautiful or productive landscape.

Some communities created to create a wildlife rich place to live prohibit deer fence, and in some cases, all fences to encourage an open range. It is important to determine if your neighborhood is under similar regulations before you put up a deer fence. Conservation agencies of the government may also have limitations set up around national parks, preserves and other managed wildlife habitat.

A good local landscape architect or site planner can help you better manage your landscape through specific design strategies. Those familiar with larger homesite design and local deer behavior are ingenious at devising ways to use deer fences so they are more limited and less visible. Remember, this fence is expensive to buy and install, and it must be maintained if aggressive hungry bucks decide to take it on with their antlers. A good strategy gets the job done for the least cost.

Certainly deer fencing can be built on a site-wide basis along the property boundaries, which is the most expensive option and also requires a deer-proof gate for your car to go in and out. To avoid the cost and inconvenience of a gated compound, focus first on the most plant oriented parts of the homesite such as a food garden or orchard.

Deer Fence DetailsDeer can jump straight up and over a six foot fence, so any barriers must be at least 8 feet tall. However, in areas with extreme pressure for food or overly large populations of deer, there may be individuals that can jump higher than the norm. This height of fence must be able to stand up to wind, winter storms and snowfall, which is what contributes to the expense. To lower materials costs there are some contractors installing electrified fencing like that used in livestock pens. These can be driven by solar powered units, but these too have their shortcomings and may be illegal in some communities.

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