- White-tailed deer have distinctive white tails, reddish coats in the summer and blue-gray coats in the winter.
- A male's antlers consist of a main beam with prongs issuing from it.
- Encounters with deer in urban environment are very rare.
- Deer prefer open brush areas and forests.
- They eat twigs, shrubs, fungi, acorns, grass and seasonal herbs.
- Their home range is rarely more than 1 mile across.
- They can run 35-40 mph and jump 8½ ft. vertically. Deer prefer to crawl under obstructions rather than jump over. They can generally fit through a space that measures a foot square.
- Females breed at 1½ yrs. of age from November - February.
- There are usually 2 young born after a 6½-month gestation period.
IS THERE A PROBLEM? HOMEOWNER SHOULD ACCEPT NORMAL, UNOBTRUSIVE BEHAVIOR.
Refer to SELF-HELP if:
- Property damage has occurred.
- Anyone is deliberately or inadvertently feeding them.
- The established activity patterns are a nuisance.
Refer to PROFESSIONAL ASSISTANCE if:
- The deer is injured.
- The problem is repetitive.
- Extensive property damage has occurred.
- Homeowner is in possession of a fawn.
- The homeowner is unable or unwilling to exercise self-help options.
Never chase or attempt to catch a deer – you can kill it from stress and exhaustion.
- Scare off the animals with a squirt from the hose or by running at them.
- Spread commercial repellents such as Ro-Pel®. But combine it with an antitranspirant such as Cloudcover, Wiltproof, Forevergreen, etc. Both combined will make the treatment last all season long.
- Plant repellent plants such as daffodils, bearded irises, hot peppers, catnip and peppermint (both members of the mint family).
- Spray human urine around the area that you want to exclude them from.
- Suspend soap bars. One bar per tree should suffice.
- Visit your local barbershop and get lots of human hair. Stuff it into nylon socks and attach them to trees that are being eaten by deer. Dog hair usually works too.
- Spray a solution of boiled garlic cloves and water on plants. You can also try planting time-released garlic cloves at the base of shrubs and trees diluted ammonia also repels deer quite nicely.
- Mylar party balloons (those silver ones) or hanging mirrors can also be used since they can scare the deer by reflecting light and creating movement.
- You may wrap "gold Dial deodorant soap" in cheesecloth. Hang the bars at 4 feet intervals, 4 feet above the ground.
- To stop them from chewing bark: Mix 1 part bone tar with 50 parts water and paint on the bark. It won't hurt the trees.
- For more tips go to Deer Controls
Habitat Modification & Exclusion
- Place a tall fence (8-10 ft.) or electric fence (hot-shot wire) around the garden or orchard. A 9-inch lower wire is recommended on either electric or non-electric fencing because the animals may push through higher sets. The fence can be slanted away from the garden to increase effectiveness.
- Place fence posts 6 to 8 feet apart so that deer can't lean and bend the fence. Also try tapping Christmas tree icicles to wires at about 3 ft. intervals. This confuses deer as to the height and density of the "extended" fence.
- Wrap wire loosely around the trunks of trees.
- Fence off individual shrubs that attract deer.
When property damage is severe or repetitive, and other measures have failed to resolve the problem, the department may determine that the animal should be removed from the area.
Homeowner is in possession of a fawn:
If you have found a fawn in tall grass, chances are that it was just resting. Mothers only nurse their young twice a day, leaving them alone the rest of the time. The mothers feed elsewhere so that predators will not be attracted to the fawns (fawns have no scent). If it is not crying, leave it there and check back in 12-24 hours. Leave it at the site and observe it from afar. Usually, these animals are not orphans. "Kidnapped" young can usually be returned to their mother if taken back to the original site within 8 hours. Never feed a fawn. If the mother is missing for more than one day, bring the fawn to a rehab clinic.