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  1. #21
    Platinum Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    Posts
    845
    Location
    SW Pennsylvania
    Tractor
    Kubota BX2200

    Default Re: How to keep deer out of the orchard?

    I battled the deer for many years. I tried everything from egg concoctions to Iris Spring soap but nothing worked for me (the IS works fairly well). One of the problems with repellants is that they wash off when it rains. Finally I installed an electric fence around the fruit trees and the garden and that solved the problem. For the past four years I havenít had any damage to areas that I have fenced. My fence is three strands with the highest strand about 40 inches off the ground. I have it on a timer that activates it at dusk and turns it off at dawn. During the first month of installation I baited it with foil coated with peanut butter. The deer quickly learned respect for the fence. It is not uncommon for me to turn our spot lights on in the evening and the deer will be bedded down around the perimeter of the fence. I counted 12 one evening. Even though they could easily jump the fence they stay clear. Now if I could only find a way to keep the groundhogs out I would be set.

    The attached picture shows the fence around some young fruit trees that I planted a couple of years ago.

    The electric fence is inexpensive and very effective. I bought all of my supplies at TSC. Fence charger, wire and 60 in fiberglass posts.

    John
    Attached Images Attached Images

  2. #22
    Veteran Member
    Join Date
    May 2001
    Posts
    2,385
    Location
    Michigan
    Tractor
    New Holland TC40D Supersteer

    Default Re: How to keep deer out of the orchard?

    I am quite interested in the fact that your fence is only 40" high, yet is stll effective. I may rethink my much more massive and complicated fending plans.

  3. #23
    Silver Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Posts
    178
    Location
    SE Michigan
    Tractor
    Deere 790

    Default Re: How to keep deer out of the orchard?

    When we first put in our garden, it was only 12 by 12 feet. We put up a 3 foot fence, and that kept the deer out. 2 years ago, we expanded the garden to 18 by 24, and the deer ate everything. The fence was then extended to 6 feet high, and that works. It was like they didn't like the small size. My thinking is that it's a combination of the garden size, and the fence height. Around here, a 10 foot fence is recommended to keep the deer out.

  4. #24
    Platinum Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    Posts
    845
    Location
    SW Pennsylvania
    Tractor
    Kubota BX2200

    Default Re: How to keep deer out of the orchard?

    Maybe I'm just lucky or maybe Michigan deer are smarter than Pennsylvania deer. I fence an area about 60 feet by 70 feet and they don't touch my garden. You have to be careful to install and maintain them properly. Many people that install electric fences have inadequate grounding or have their fences shorting from weeds touching. If the deer find that it is not operating they will go through the fence. I think they periodically touch it with their noses. I have seen them cautiously approach the fence until their nose gets zapped. The other deer in the herd watch curiously to see what happens.

    Several other people in my neighborhood have tried electric fences and have the same results that I do. It works here.

    John
    Attached Images Attached Images

  5. #25
    Veteran Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    Posts
    1,168
    Location
    New Hebron, MS
    Tractor
    MF 1455v 4wd, 1040FEL

    Default Re: How to keep deer out of the orchard?

    One of my older neighbors is of the opinion that if a deer encounters a fence at eye-level he'll jump it, and his garden fencing is two strands with one at four inches high and the other at twelve inches. He says with them being low they keep rabbits and coons out for the most part and the deer walk into them without noticing they are so low. Also said that a possum will sull when he gets on the fence and lay there and die. He says that it works for him...

  6. #26
    Platinum Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Posts
    800
    Location
    Winn Parish, LA
    Tractor
    Case 380B, Super C

    Default Re: How to keep deer out of the orchard?

    Seems they try going under and through more than over the top. That's where I'd find most hair when it was all 6' Ts with 4 barbwire. So I dropped the top 2 wires down and used conductor for top and ran another off ground at a foot or so. I also planted a 1/2a of chickory/white clover to keep their minds off the buds and shoots.

  7. #27
    Platinum Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2002
    Posts
    718
    Location
    Maine
    Tractor
    Cub Cadet 7360SS & Craftsman GT3000 23 HP w/50

    Default Re: How to keep deer out of the orchard?

    John, if you get a chance, can you take a photo of the straps with the peanut butter. I'm interested in how you attached them to the fence. Thanks.

  8. #28
    Platinum Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    Posts
    845
    Location
    SW Pennsylvania
    Tractor
    Kubota BX2200

    Default Re: How to keep deer out of the orchard?

    I just took pieces of aluminum foil about 4X6 inches and folded it over the top strand of fence wire. Spaced them about 10 ft apart and then smeared peanut butter on them. Deer love peanut butter so they try to lick it off. When their tongue or nose hits the foil they get zapped and they stay away from the fence. I left mine on for a mouth but I never saw any take a taste after the first few days. It also attracted a family of Raccoons. It was hilarious watching the coons try to reach the peanut butter. They would get zapped by one of the lower strands before they got to the foil. They tried for about a half hour and then gave up.

    John

  9. #29
    Veteran Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2001
    Posts
    2,387
    Location
    Mid-Missouri
    Tractor
    Kubota L210

    Default Re: How to keep deer out of the orchard?

    I plant a 50x50 garden and like to be able to till it in the off season with the 5' tiller and my tractor, so I wanted to be able to easily take down any fence I put up. I use 16' cattle panels held up by t-posts at the ends and in the middle, with the t-posts just driven in to the minimum holding depth. The panels are only about 52" high, I think, and deer would easily jump them. So, I use about 2 foot extensions of pvc pipe on the t-posts and run two strands of nylon cord between these extensions, giving me about a 7' "barrier". I've hung various stuff on the cord, like plastic grocery sacks, left-over Xmas ribbon, those little flags used to mark utilities, etc. Anything to let the deer know there's something up there. It keeps them out, and I can assemble and dis-assemble it pretty quickly. If I hadn't already invested in the cattle panels, I'd probably try some kind of electric fence. The two strand arrangement, with one outside the other sounds like it might work, though I'd then have to keep the weeds down under the wires.

    I have lots of deer here in the middle of Missouri. There was a record harvest of something like 200K this past hunting season, and I had five deer in my backyard yesterday. I got tired of them eating the trees I put out, so now all my pecan and fruit trees are surrounded by five foot diameter circles of woven wire that is about five feet tall. That will protect the trees until they get tall enough that the deer won't be able to top them.

    Chuck

  10. #30
    Platinum Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    Posts
    845
    Location
    SW Pennsylvania
    Tractor
    Kubota BX2200

    Default Re: How to keep deer out of the orchard?

    Chuck52... They are a huge problem in Pennslyvania also. The attached article is a year old but it estimates the deer population to be around 1.6 million in PA with an annual harvest of around 500,000. I think half of them live in my neighborhood!

    PA Deer Population

    John

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