Living with Deer

Certainly, no animal deserves to be killed for simply trying to survive in their historical habitat, eating and sleeping where they have for many years before humans moved into deer habitat.

Learning to coexist with our native wildlife can be a challenge – a rewarding challenge, if approached respectfully with an open mind and healthy curiosity. Humans are as much a part of nature as all other animals. Attempting to fight against nature often results in a no-win scenario because that fight simply cannot be sustained. As humans continue to encroach upon wildlife habitat, more and more of that habitat is destroyed, leaving deer and other wildlife no options but to enter the spaces we’ve designated as “humans only.”

Through research, ingenuity, and creativity we can implement peaceful, long-term solutions to protect our gardens and landscaping without posing a threat to deer and other wildlife.

As our cities and living areas expand, so does the destruction of native wildlife habitat.

Humans have taken deer habitat for development and expect the deer to simply move on, or to no longer browse in areas where they have found food for hundreds of years. Of course we see more deer as we force them into smaller areas of habitat when we build homes, buildings, parking lots, and roads in deer habitat.

If nothing changes, nothing changes. The only change we can control is our behavior. Certainly, no animal deserves to be killed for simply trying to survive in their historical habitat, eating and sleeping where they have for many years before humans moved into deer habitat.

Education empowers homeowners and gardeners.

Public education about deer resistant/repellent plantings, fencing options, and repellents empowers citizens to protect their plants. Many of these products are available locally and some (such as Deer Off stakes by Havahart) offer satisfaction guarantees. Eight to ten foot fencing, lower fencing with hedges, double fencing, and forty five degree angle fencing will keep deer out. Deer will not attempt to jump over something if they cannot see what lies beyond it. Netting and tree guards protect trees and plants. These are permanent solutions – killing is not.

The absence of deer and other wildlife in our city parks and natural areas can negatively effect our quality of life and mental health.

A growing number of studies and campaigns have begun to provide evidence that shows a connection with nature makes us healthier and happier people. These studies also suggest that accessible natural areas may be vital for mental health in our rapidly urbanizing world. The more we destroy native habitats, we not only negatively impact the wildlife that resides in these areas, but deny other humans the opportunity to seek the solace, refuge, and healing that nature can provide.

Please visit our Resources page to learn more about living and gardening with deer.