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The Deer Culprit

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Turkey Tracks: August 6, 2022

The Deer Culprit

The other day as I turned onto Howe Hill Road, below my house, I saw a female deer standing by my side of the road. I should have tried to take a picture, but deer don’t normally hang around when a car stops.

I rolled down the window. She didn’t move. She also didn’t moved when I talked to her. Not one foot.

So I drove on up the hill and turned into my steep driveway.

Yesterday early morning I looked out the kitchen window, and there she was, about to nosh on the wild day-lilies on the hill. I’m sure she would have moved right on to the hostas on that hill—though I had sprayed them—and will do so again after whatever rain we might get in the next few days.

I opened the window and yelled at her, and she moved into the woods, but not at any kind of fast pace.

I now have 20 whirlygigs in place around the yard, and they do move merrily if the breeze hits them. Their shiny surfaces seem to throw light when they move. Movement is, obviously, a big “if.”

But I’m not sure they move at night when the breeze from the bay dies down. Or, even, work to when moving to scare the deer.

Whatever, my female deer visitor ate all the Borage just about to bloom in the new garden by the driveway two nights ago—leaving only the plant stems. And got into the plants BEHIND those where I sprayed the edges of beds and did SERIOUS damage to several, including a large hydrangea. She also ate all the buds off the dahlia that I winter over. It was full of buds.

So, she does seem to avoid where I have sprayed…

Or I hope so anyway.

She is practically tame.

I’m going out to respray again this morning—and moving deeper into the beds with the spray.

Written by louisaenright

August 6, 2022 at 10:25 am

5 Responses

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  1. It is a constant battle. Try liquid fence- it has worked well for us, and only needs to reapplied every sev wks. Will hold up after rain. Good luck. I know your frustration! Xo

    Judith Brill

    August 6, 2022 at 11:54 am

    • I am going to get the Liquid Fence next. The Bobbex smelly spray I have seems to work. I just didn’t respray when I saw the deer in daylight in the early morning so close to the house. We were meant to get rain off and on—thunderstorms—which did not happen. I sprayed yesterday again—and will do so again in 10 days or so, but now, it’s not just the deer problem, it is also the lack of rain.


      August 7, 2022 at 8:04 am

  2. Commiserations on being visited by this living weed whacker.

    Laura Kate

    August 6, 2022 at 1:21 pm

    • I’m still chuckling, Laura Kate. Love this sense of humor—in the face of ongoing destruction. On Friday night, that deer wiped out tons of my hosta, the tops of several more hydrangeas, and so forth. Our drought now has turned a lot of local vegetation and much of my grass brown—so the green plants in my garden must be a read draw for that deer.


      August 7, 2022 at 8:00 am

      • True. When the natural habitat is lush, there is no need to expand the foraging area.

        Laura Kate

        August 7, 2022 at 8:38 am

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