Friday, June 27, 2008

Deer Damage - Part Two

I found out something yesterday when I was trying to take pictures of the deer fencing. When you try to make you fencing pretty invisible, you also make it hard to take pictures of. The one that worked is the one about which is how I've been making my 'gates'. I found last summer that if I used bamboo stakes and ran a few strands of monofilament fishing line between them, I could keep the deer out of our ponds where they found the waterlilies quite tasty and munched other things one their way to and from the ponds. I have expended this system this year to surround all of our daylily beds. I'm just using one strand, about 3 feet above the ground - too tall to just walk over and too low for a large animal to just walk under. Deer don't like to jump into a place where they can't see the ground, so I hope this works since you really can't see the ground in the daylily beds because with all of this rain the foliage is really thick and lush. I also am in the process of surrounding the whole 7 acres or so of gardens with the stuff. It is slow going and I've run out until I get into town to buy more. So far I've put up about 1500 yards of the stuff. I've put a 'gate' every so often by simply using a hose washer which will slip over the bamboo stake. I started out with bought stakes, but then realized that with our lovely bamboo grove, I could just use the old canes and so have been cutting them. We thought about some sort of traditional fencing for the perimeter, but anyone who has put up any sort of fencing on less than flat ground knows just how hard it is. I know this system isn't anyway near perfect, but I am hoping that they'll just stay in the woods where there is plenty of stuff to eat instead of trying to find a way to get in here.
My other deer fencing is around the vegetable garden. I have always had a 3 foot chicken wire fence around it to keep out the rabbits and groundhogs. Unfortunately about the time the tomatoes are getting ripe, the deer would hope in and finish everything off. I bought some black mesh fencing, very light and virtually invisible unless you're right next to it and 7 feet tall. So far so good. It wasn't hard to put up and looks like the kind of mesh we've always used over blueberries to keep the birds from eating them. The deer are out of the garden, not I just have to keep all of the weeds out !
I haven't finished the front of the property since most of the deer come in from the back where we back up to thousands of acres of woods. Yesterday when I was sitting at the computer in the front room, I looked out the window and there was a very large 8 point buck looking in at me. Needless to say he was quickly shooed out and told not to return. Yeah, like he really listened to me.

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