1. The Electrified Peanut Butter Fence
gotta love the name!)
Baited and electrified fencing can be
purchased pre-made or cobbled together at home. The basic idea
is that deer are attracted to bait stations around an
electrified fence. When any deer licks the bait they receive a
shock that trains the deer to stay clear of that area.
fence is much cheaper than other styles of fencing and is much
easier to setup. If
power is an issue, you can even go solar!
Electric Fence Kits & Supplies
2. Vineyard Protection Scare Devices
Frightening deer with scare devices like
popguns and predator calls should work for a period of time
before the deer adapt to the specific tactic. Be cunning, be
terrifying and try not to be too annoyed. Motion activated water sprinklers
are a modern form of the classic
Japanese Zen Garden Deer Chasers. These electronic scarecrows
are a wonder to behold!
Bamboo Accents Zen Garden Water Fountain Spout, 7.5 Inch Shishi Odoshi Rocking, Includes Submersible Pump Kit.
Scare devices work better for birds as
their damage is more seasonally timed to the harvest. My Dad
keeps inexpensive rubber snakes in the branches of his cherry
trees to discourage birds. The downside is the occasional
startling moment as you rediscover them next season while
pruning or mowing!
(that is also how you know they are working)
3. Standard Fencing to Surround the Vineyard
Physically excluding deer is a great way to
prevent damage. Unfortunately, it often the most expensive
option, as the typical deer-proof fence is 8 feet high and made
of woven wire. Also, it can detract from the natural beauty of
the vineyard. Many Fence Supply stores offer a 7.5 ft. tall
polypropylene deer fence that is less unsightly.
4. Invisible Fence to Protect Grape Vines
Dogs contained by buried electric
around a protected area can be an effective deterrent. House
pets are usually not effective because deer feed in the evening
when lap dogs are less likely to be roaming.
5. Hunting to Reduce Deer Damage
Today, deer have few natural predators and
the most efficient type of population control is hunting.
Although control methods such as infertility treatments, are
being researched, it is unlikely they can or will be economical
or biologically effective anytime soon. Other mortality factors,
such as vehicle collisions are also factors, so whenever
possible plant vines near a Hummer dealership!
6. Deer Repellents
Liquid Fence, and Plantskydd® Deer Repellent discourage deer from feeding by making the plants
either taste or smell bad.
Some folks even mix their own
success rates have been reported using a mixture of 20% eggs and
Most deer repellents can be applied as a
spray. Hinder, an ammonium soap-based repellent, and Deer-Off, a
product that uses putrescent egg solids, are some of the few
repellents approved for use on garden vegetables and
fruit-bearing trees during the growing season.
Using repellents might be too risky for
some wine grape growers, as the smell and taste of the grapes is
so vital to their marketability. However, I haven't seen any
data supporting the idea that the repellent factors are
transferred to the fruit.
7. Sonic Devices
This has lead many vineyard managers to try Electronic Deer
Repellents such as the Deerchaser Deer Deterrent.