Come spring, you look forward to seeing a lush growth of plants and vegetables in your garden. Unfortunately, deer find their way into your yard and destroy the growing foliage. These animals show distinct behavioral patterns that vary each season. It is beneficial for homeowners to know the deer habits during the spring, so that appropriate action can be taken to stop the deer damage caused by these creatures in gardens and yards.
In spring, pregnant does wander about in search of a safe place hidden from predators, where they can give birth to their young ones and raise them safely. One to three fawns are born at a time, generally in May or June. They do not move much for the first four weeks after birth, and their mother does all the food foraging on their behalf. After this time, they start accompanying her on short trips in search of food. Somewhere between eight and ten weeks, the fawns are completely weaned from their mother, although they do not live independently until they are a year old.
Food is not readily available for deer in the winter, and thus, these animals have a strong appetite in the spring. They are attracted towards tender buds, shoots and leaves that are rich in nutrients. Although they will eat any plant that is easily available, they show a preference towards violets, dandelions, wild clover, wild peas and asters among flowering plants, and for red maple, azaleas, dogwood, blackberry and blueberry among woody plants.
Deer Physical Characteristics
Deer do not have much body fat at the start of spring due to the scarcity of food all winter long. As the months progress, they feed on nutritious vegetation and they gradually return to their former healthy body size and weight. The thick coat of fur that they grow in the winter to protect themselves from the cold is shed in the spring. Through this molting process, the native white-tailed deer of North America changes the color of its coat from grey-brown in the winter to reddish-brown in the spring. Additionally, the longer days of sunlight combined with the dietary nutrients triggers rapid growth of the deer’s antlers.
Deer Repellent Strategies
A common method of keeping deer away from the yard is to spray specific repellent solutions directly on the plants that these creatures feed on. The deer is turned off by the taste and/or odor of the solution. This can be a messy process and needs to be repeated frequently for maximum effectiveness. On the other hand, a product such as Deer Repellent Packs, also known as DRP, takes advantage of the fact that deer get scared very easily, especially of predators like the coyote. Deer Repellent Packs consist of weather-proof pouches containing granules that are infused with the scent of coyote urine. Homeowners need to hang these pouches from fencing posts and especially from the branches of trees that are preferred by deer. The smell will keep deer at bay, and the plants can grow free of deer attacks.