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Deer are lovely, shy and gentle animals – until they eat your prize persimmons. Then the battle is on. How do you keep these four-legged eating machines out of your yard without resorting to tactics that will harm your family and pets? Here are a few of our best tips.


You probably figured we were going to say that. But it’s true. A good fence is the number one way to keep deer out of your yard. To be effective, your fence should be:

  • Tall – at least seven feet. White tails – the bane of suburbanites — can jump high.
  • Secure – Stake your fence to metal or wood posts that extend into the ground.
  • Complete – The fence must reach all the way around the area you wish to protect. Otherwise, the deer will find a place to slip in.
  • Double – For severe antelope infestation, build a second fence a few feet inside your outer fence. They won’t like this at all, especially if they land on the second fence or become trapped between them.
  • Slanted – Another tactic is to build the fence slanted slightly outwards toward the deer so they bang their heads. Ouch.
  • Electric – Nobody wants to be barbecued. Of course, this may not be appropriate for your pets.
  • The right materials – Privacy fencing is best, as deer will be afraid to go where they can’t see. Mesh fences stretched between metal posts can work for larger areas.
  • An inconvenient landing zone – Who says appliances in the yard are just for hillbillies? If deer keep jumping your fence, obstruct their landing zone.

Plan Your Garden Carefully

deer proofing your backyard fence
Photo Courtesy Fayez/Wikimedia Commons

Many gardeners set themselves up for failure by stubbornly planting favorites they have in common with the deer. Without proper fencing, your beans, peas, lettuce, hostas, fruit trees, pansies and English ivy are at high risk. Consider caging your best plants with deer netting attached to PVC pipes. Sure, it’s not that attractive, but do you want to eat those peaches or sacrifice them to Bambi?
Keep your prize plants close to the house, where less brazen deer may hesitate to tread. A thorny or pungent border around your garden may deter deer. Garlic and chives aren’t on their list of fave foods, and short needle spruces will poke them in the legs and sides. You can also buy deer repellent sprays and powders to distribute through the yard.

Keep it Tidy

Tall grasses and luxurious weeds make a comfy deer bed. So get out the lawnmower and clippers. Don’t let fruit rot on the vine – you might as well send them engraved invitations.

Make Multiple Levels

Deer prefer flat terrain. So building sunken beds, raised beds and adding terraces can be a good way to keep deer out of your yard.

Your Four-Legged Security Force

Instead of lazing on the sofa, make Fido earn his keep. Dog smells and dog barking discourage antlered intruders. However, be careful if rutting bucks are in the area – they can be unpredictable and even deadly.

Ready for a new fence?

Other Tactics

Deer can be sneaky. They like to slip into the yard and eat everything while you’re sleeping. Surprise them with loud noises and motion-activated lights or sprinklers. Deer party in my yard? Not on my watch, Bambi.
Want some help constructing the perfect fence to deer proof your yard? Call your friends at Buzz today and we’ll create an impenetrable anti-antelope zone.