Deer Fencing: Creating a Balance Between Wildlife, Ecosystems and Landscapes

Cohabitating with wildlife is a situation that all of us must manage at some point. Even those living in highly urbanized areas will see birds feasting outside of fast-food restaurants and accidentally flying into windows of high-rise buildings. For those living in suburban and rural areas, larger wildlife can wreak havoc on gardens, yards, crop fields, and just about anything they encounter.

Deer fencing is a humane and effective way to protect trees, shrubs, saplings, and flower beds from damage. Installing deerfencing around the perimeter of your vulnerable green space will create a harmonized balance between the wildlife, ecosystems, and landscapes.

Everyone knows of the saying “Good fences make good neighbors” which can be extended to the idea of successfully controlling livestock, wildlife, pets, and big game animals. Wherever you live in the United States, the fencing that you install will have consequences and influences on every animal – wildlife or domestic – that roams into or around your yard.

Questions to Consider Before Erecting a Fence

• What is the terrain like in your area? What does the land look like where you want to install fencing? Is it rocky or hilly? Are you near wetlands or streams? Keep wildlife in mind when deciding where the fence will be placed to avoid creating accidental traps.

• What is the objective of erecting the fence? Is it to keep an animal in or out, or both? Is it seasonal? To protect certain plants, shrubs or trees?

• What are the seasonal and daily activities of the wildlife in the area? Is there wildlife that uses the land to rest, feed or migrate? Keep in mind that fencing can often be modified and designed to permit safer, easier passage.

While there may be many reasons to install fencing on your property, it is also reasonable to impose as little influence as possible on the migratory and daily flow patterns of wildlife in your area. Consider using deer fences for particular uses to keep the most exposed and accessible plants safe.

Effective Uses for Deer Fencing

• Enclose a garden. Your fruit trees, flowers, and vegetables won’t be disturbed by hungry deer and other wildlife when enclosed by a tall, durable fence. By installing the fence around the perimeter of the garden only, you will be allowing the safe passage of wildlife critters throughout the rest of your yard, creating the equilibrium you seek.

• Protect saplings. Deer are fond of feeding on young trees, and they also use them to mark their territory and rub velvet from their antlers. Wrapping the saplings with deer fence is a great way to encourage deer to other areas.

• Enclose a vineyard or orchard. Deer love to eat fruit from trees and hemp plants. These plantings may be crucial to your livelihood and as much as you would like to permit safe passage for wildlife, barriers must be put in place.

Wildlife Situations to Consider

If the area you wish to enclose is large, keep in mind that the wrong type of fencing can cause animals harm. It will also create situations in which you will need to make constant fence repairs and improvements. These include various woven wire fences, wire strands, and barbed wire fences.

• Large animals such as elk, deer, and bear can become snared and entangled in a barbed wire fence. A strained leg, infection or torn ligament reduces the animal’s chances of survival.

• In the winter, pregnant, young, and stressed animals can have a difficult time leaping fences, and may put them in an increasingly stressful situation that could lead to death. Be sure that your fencing surrounds only what you need it to.

• Decorative iron fences with pointed spikes can impale or trap animals.

• Low flying birds like swans, geese, cranes, ducks, hawks, and owls may fly into fencing so be sure to make them visually aware of it.

• Woven wire fences are difficult for calves and fawn to clear. Once separated from the rest of the herd and their mothers, they often die of dehydration and/or exposure.

Keeping your yard safe for you and your family, your plantings and the wildlife that roam the area is an ecologically sound decision that keeps humans and animals living in peaceful harmony. By installing safe, durable, and effective deer fencing, animals will know to avoid the area and won’t become unwittingly trapped, while at the same time, your crops will grow uninhibited and flourish easily.