Backyard Deer Deterrents: the dirt on keeping deer out of your garden without breaking the bank.

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do it yourself motion activated camera system

I posted last summer how a good trail camera can provide important information in the war against deer... like where they enter your garden from and at what time.

Buying a motion activated trail camera would be the easy way to get started collecting deer data, but not nearly as much fun as building one from scratch. has an excellent step by step guide to hacking a motion sensor to work with a regular digital camera. I know it's a complex approach, but sometimes the road less traveled is where you learn some of the best hacking skills.
motion activated digital deer deterrent
The main reason I wanted to mention this was to provide help for those who might be trying to build a motion activated deer deterrent that makes use of digital coyote sounds.

Posted Wednesday afternoon, January 11th, 2012 Tags: diy
how to trap a live deer with a clover trap

The above contraption is a Clover trap, named after the guy who dreamed it up.

It's basically a frame just big enough for a deer with heavy nylon meshing stretched on all three sides and the top. I would imagine some scrap chain link fence material might also do the job, but make it harder to move.
deer logo
One of the tricks is to bait the trap for several days without setting it. This way your deer get comfortable with walking all the way in. The trap gets triggered when the deer hit a stretch of fishing line that activates the door.

I know it's not very sportsman like, but it might be a good way to bring down exploding population numbers while at the same time providing several people with some good quality meat.

Image credit goes to the Department of Biological Sciences at the University of Alberta in Canada.

Posted late Wednesday evening, December 21st, 2011 Tags: diy

digital coyote noise deterrent

There are several digital predator gadgets out there that will simulate just about any sound you can imagine so that hunters can lure a choice prey into their view.

The problem is price. Most of the high end units can cost anywhere from 400 to 800 dollars! That's why I'm posting about the device above. It's only 20 dollars plus shipping and has a setting called "coyote serenade".

I know it would take some tinkering, but it seems possible to maybe hack one of those driveway alert systems to trigger the coyote sound when the motion sensor is activated.

Posted late Wednesday morning, December 14th, 2011 Tags: diy
off the shelf motion detection being deployed as electronic deer deterrent

Youtube user rchopp had some luck recently using the above driveway alert system to keep deer out of his garden.

He simply put the receiver in a ziplock bag and hung it next to the motion detection unit near his garden.

Since our deer pressure is extreme I would consider making a modification that allowed one to switch the alert noise to something more harsh and scary, or better yet make the alert also trigger a mechanical gizmo that would activate and provide motion for a minute or two.

Expect to pay 30 dollars unless you catch it on sale.

Posted Wednesday afternoon, November 16th, 2011 Tags: diy
muzzleloading black powder rifle close up

Last week I posted about missing a legal opportunity to kill a deer in our garden by not having a bow and arrow handy.

Another tool to have in that line of thought would be a muzzle loading black powder rifle.

These weapons have their own window of time during the year when one can kill a deer and still be within the bounds of the law. A muzzle loader will cost at least a few hundred dollars and some time to learn the skill of how to load this older firearm technology.

Image credit goes to SnapShutter at twincity

Posted Wednesday afternoon, November 9th, 2011 Tags: diy
newest motor longevity report

These new mechanical deer deterrent motors just passed the 6 month mark with no signs of letting up.

The motors are rated at 12 volts AC, but I've been using a 9 volt adapter which makes it go even slower.

Round head screws work better for securing the motor to a board. I started out using more flat head drywall screws and lost a motor when the support arm got caught up in the space between the screw and the motor.
Dollar General variety pack of screws
You'll want a screw that's long enough to bite into the wood but not too long so that it pokes through on the top. Save yourself some time looking through hardware bins and get a variety package at a Dollar General store for $1.50. It has the size you need leaving 68 various screws for any future experiments or deer deterrent projects.

Posted Wednesday evening, October 19th, 2011 Tags: diy
special permit to kill deer out of season

It's been a good year for our garden and the deer damage has been minimal. We're pretty sure most of them in our area make a point to steer clear of the deterrents which keeps them away from our valuable vegetables, but we continued to have a night time nibbler that snuck in during a power outage and figured out the clanging deterrents are all bark and no bite.

Even though the damge was small, we both got a little spooked because we know how fast these animals can ruin a garden.

"Call up the Game Warden and get a special permit to kill that *#+%er!" is what Anna said after some research on the internet.
deer deterrent
We got a special permit to kill a deer out of season, but it only lasted 10 days. Anna spent about 20 hours hunting for a chance to shoot one without any luck. Hunting may be a fun way to pass the time, but it's not very productive unless you get lucky or have years of experience. We'll continue to use these mechanical deer deterrents because they work without as much time or money invested.

Posted late Thursday evening, October 6th, 2011 Tags: diy
future pasture plans to keep deer out of garden

We continue to expand our chicken pasture moat perimeter each day we find time to plug away at it.

The green outline represents our future plans.

We've been using 5 feet high regular chicken fence material. It comes in 50 foot rolls and our local independent hardware store sells it for just under 18 dollars per roll.

Posted late Wednesday afternoon, September 14th, 2011 Tags: diy
3 prong adapter outdoor style

These 3 outlet adapters are a good match for an outdoor mechanical deer deterrent when you need to branch off the power.

It's made from a heavy duty rubber like material and seems to have no problem handling our outdoor conditions.

The normal price is somewhere around 4 dollars, but I've seen them on sale for as low as 99 cents.

Posted Wednesday evening, August 24th, 2011 Tags: diy
map of property

A long term approach to keeping deer out of the garden is to use more permaculture techniques near the border.

We've had good luck with our chicken pastures operating as a buffer zone to keep the deer out of our back garden and mule garden as can be seen in the map above.

Maybe the chickens give off a smell that signals the deer how all the good stuff must have been taken already?

Posted Wednesday afternoon, August 17th, 2011 Tags: diy

Avian Aqua Miser: Automatic Chicken Waterer

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