How to Recognize Deer Damage to Your Yard and Garden

Deer in Yard

Deer in Yard

It can be a very beautiful experience witnessing a deer galloping around your area but they can be a pain when they set loose in your garden. With a little bit of work you can prevent deer from rummaging in your garden. The first step is to identify the signs of deer in your area. Those signs include:

  • Trails: Deer use trails to get from one destination to another, usually from bedding areas to where they find their source of food. To use the least amount of energy, deer prefer to use the same trails time and time again.
  • Tracks: If you see tracks, it can tell you how often the deer are using the trails. Less tracked trails may only be used as an escape trail or only used at certain times of the year.
  • Droppings: Deer droppings or scat can help you identify which areas deer frequent. If you look closely at the deer scat you can also identify the size and sex of the deer.
  • Deer beds: Deer use specific areas as their resting place which are called deer beds. A deer bed will be oval and the dirt, leaves, snow or grass will pressed down.

In the fall, bucks start rubbing and thrashing their antlers and forehead against trees in preparation for the mating season or the “rut”. The activity causes smaller trees to break and damages the bark or larger trees while leaving the scent of the buck on the rub. Rubbing removes the velvet from the antlers and strengthen the neck of the buck for any fights it might encounter during the rut.

Once you have determined that there are deer in your area, the next thing you need to do is identify the signs of deer damage being caused to your property. Some of the following may be evidence that deer are damaging your yard and garden:

  • Ripped and jagged edges on the leaves.
  • Scored, damaged tree trunks caused by rubbing during rut.
  • Deer can reach leaves as high as 6ft so if you find damage high up on your trees you can rule out other pests.

So how do you keep your yard or garden from becoming the number one food source for deer in your area? Here are some suggestions:

  • Plant trees that deer don’t like. Plants with thorny, fuzzy and leathery leaves repel them and plants with strong scent that deer hate.
  • Put up a physical barrier like fences.
  • Use deer repellents

Deer are always on the look out for predators. Repellents discourage deer from feeding due to creating a bad taste or because the repellent alerts their sense of smell and convince the deer that  there is danger lingering around. Shake-Away repellent, as an example, uses the active ingredient  predator urine. The coyote’s marking tool, urine is in granulated form and encased in a breathable waterproof pouch which is quick and easy to setup and very safe to use.

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When using Shake-Away Deer Repellent Packs  your yard is marked by the scent of a predator and deer will avoid browsing through the area and will eventually change route to avoid the danger of predator encounter.

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