The Damage Deer Do in Winter
Winter has enough of its own challenges, with snow, ice, and cold temperatures to deal with for months at a time. Unfortunately, you also have to contend with any outdoor damage done by deer during this difficult season. Just because your luscious green lawn or vegetable garden is no longer available, that doesn’t mean the deer will leave your property alone. Deer can cause damage year round.
Damage to your trees is the biggest problem with deer in the winter. With most ground plants under a heavy cover of snow, they resort to eating low-hanging leaves and bark from any trees or shrubs you have. The leaves may not be disastrous, but if they manage to chew and peel too much bark away from a trunk, deer can effectively kill even a very large tree.
Protection against this sort of damage is to carefully wrap your shrubs in few layers of burlap and to use a plastic barrier around tree trunks and hanging Deer Repellent Packs from each tree.
One other point to mention about trees during the winter is that bucks tend to shed their antlers in the latter half of the season. Sometimes they drop off, but sometimes the bucks have to knock them loose. They can do this against trees, often breaking branches in the process.
A good snow cover may help protect your grass or any plants still in your garden (perennials, for example) but deer are happy to paw at the snow with their sharp hooves to get at anything green underneath. But unlike their usual placid grazing, all that digging just creates a whole new level of damage to your yard or garden.
During lush months with lots of food, deer aren’t particularly destructive other than eating your plants. When food is scarce, they are more likely to push or break fences in their search for something to eat. Sturdy wooden fences may be fine, particularly low ones that a deer is more likely to just hop over. Lighter decorative fences are at greater risk. The same could apply to hedges, though they are more likely to be eaten directly rather than damaged due to deer movement.
To keep any of these scenarios from ruining your winter, you need to plan for a good deer repellent. Natural repellent packs work even in the cold wet of winter, so string some up along the border of your property to keep the deer pests out. It’s one of the few natural products that remains effective in winter weather.