Table of Contents
Chapter 1 - Where Deer Are Found
Deer Population in Past Present and Future
At Home on Your Range
Chapter 2 - Getting to Know Deer
Survival in the Wild
Deer Species 101
Understanding Deer Behavior
Chapter 3 - What are the Damages?
Investigating the Scene
Other Injuries and Insults
Chapter 4 - Deer-o-Scaping
Why Your Yard May Lure Deer
Plants Deer Avoid Eating (chart: Deer-Resistant Plants)
Testing for Palatability
Tricks of the Trade
Garden Designs That Discourage Deer
Chapter 5 - Deer Deterrents
Defining Your Objectives
Why Deterrents Do or Don't Work
Tactics NOT to Try
Chapter 6 - Fencing Lessons
Gates and Bypasses
Protecting Individual Plants
Chapter 7 - Community Efforts
Excerpt from Chapter 5
Taste repellents work differently from odor repellents. Rather than forming an odor barrier to an area taste repellents also called contact repellents protect the extract plant or leaf to which you spray brush or otherwise apply them; deer must taste the repellent before it can take effect. This is both their greatest success and their biggest drawback. If any other food is available deer can't stomach leaves or stems coated with such nasty stuff but first they must learn. Unfortunately learning means tasting and tasting means at least a bit of damage. Most deer will try several bites before they realize that the entire plant (or border or garden) tastes awful.
For gardeners who enjoy in or near their yards contact repellents may be the perfect answer. Deer do not withdraw from the entire area. They may still meander through now and then even once they decide you have nothing in your yard worth eating. But unless starvation threatens your bitter bushes and sour grapes will not tempt them to taste again.
Just as area repellents have cons as well as pros contact repellents have a few shortcomings of their own. First most taste repellents are meant exclusively for nonfood plants: Plants you have treated to taste bad to the deer won't taste good to you either. Second contact repellents protect only the parts of the plants they actually cover. Make sure to spray the entire plant from the ground and up to at least five or six feet high. Also as with different repellents but all require more than one dose from occasional touch-ups to complete reapplication. Additional applications are necessary to protect new growth the deer's favorite part of the plant as foliage unfolds throughout the growing season.
Copyright permission by Storey Communications