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Habitat modification and fencing keep out deer

Airport fencingTransport Canada didn't focus on deer deterrents as a way to keep deer out of airports.  Instead, they concluded "In most cases, the use of deer deterrent techniques should be used only to provide temporary control until a more permanent solution, such as fencing, removal or killing, can be found."  So far (knock on wood), we've found our deterrents to be a permanent solution.  But we're just now reaching the end of our first twelve months.  So, in case Mark's clangers fail, here are Transport Canada's top recommendations for more permanent control:

  • Habitat modification can be used to reduce an area's attractiveness to deer.  "Typical actions include the pruning or removal of trees and shrubs; and the removal of standing water (ponds, ditches, puddles), alteration of grass heights, selection of broad-leaved herbaceous plants (forbs) for planting, and paving. The main goal is to reduce the airport property's attractiveness to wildlife."  This is probably a good idea at an airport, but clearly isn't going to cut it here on the homestead where we're actively working to encourage most wildlife.
  • Fencing is Transport Canada's primary recommendation for a permanent solution.  They recommend that deer fences be 10 feet tall and consist of galvanized steel chain-link or high-tensile fixed-knot.  On the other hand, they note that electric fences "are effective in excluding deer under favourable conditions, but they will be penetrated when deer are motivated to cross them, when short-circuited by tall plant growth, or if snow accumulations exceed the height of the lower electric lines."  I don't doubt that a ten foot tall chain-link fence would keep the deer out, although I do doubt that I could ever afford to fence in our two acre garden and orchard to this level.

The entire article is interesting reading, and I recommend you start from the beginning and browse the whole thing.  Thanks again for sharing, Dave!

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