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Wildlife Movement In Fall: All Eyes On Deer


Deer are the center of attention this season; but for all the wrong reasons. They know that fallen tree leaves means that cooler weather is approaching and home gardens will soon shut down for the season in preparation for early frost and potential snow. Soon, deer will eat more than twigs and leaves and less fruits and veggies. A realization that leads deer into a quick panic. 

Because temperatures are worsening, deer will move about landscapes in the early morning hours to avoid brisk wind guests. Home gardeners will need to keep close watch on their landscapes and make the necessary precautions to protect their fruits and vegetables from deer damage this autumn. They will also need to protect trees in yards. Here's what will need to be done:

deer-4386713-1920.jpgTree Protection is a must

In the late summer-early fall, bucks will walk in search of trees to rub off the dried velvet from their antlers in preparation for deer mating. This is known as the "rut season." While deer do not seek out to destroy trees, it is a direct consequence of their actions. Male deer choose to perform this task in the late summer months in order to make themselves look more desirable to lady doe deer in late October through mid-November. This is when homeowners will see a rise of deer on landscapes.  

To protect the bark, tree growers will need to wrap tree guards around young trees. Other fall gardening tasks with trees involve: trimming branches back - approximately 5-7' feet - away from homes and cutting back on fruit vines with pruning shears.

Deer Damage To Gardens

In late summer, gardeners will begin to plant fall vegetables including cabbage, carrots, cauliflower and collard greens. Deer know that they need to act quickly to gobble up plants while home gardeners are inside watching football games and checking scores.

Gardeners will need to plan the ultimate defense strategy against deer damage this fall to keep deer at bay. It is advised to install a deer fence early on in the season while the weather is tolerable. Who wants to install a fence in 30 degree weather, after all? 

There are different types of deer fence for sale, but the type of deer fencing chosen will depend on several factors such as:

  • The level of deer browsing: light to moderate or heavy?
  • Are gardeners dealing with chewing animals such as rabbits, ground hogs, woodchucks, coyotes, wolves and foxes?
  • Are gardeners planning to set-up the fence temporarily or permanently? 

Plastic Fence 

Plastic deer fence is a great option for home growers who are looking for temporary relief against deer damage; seasonal use; or light to moderate deer pressure. Poly deer fencing is strong enough to block nosy deer, however, it is not recommended for use against chewing deer and small garden critters. 

Metal Fence

Gardeners that see a considerable amount of deer on yards will need to invest in a metal deer fence. Steel yard fencing is a must for dealing with chewing animals such as rabbits. Unlike plastic fencing, steel fence is engulfed in PVC as a secondary layer of protection against chew marks; changing weather elements and deer head-butting. 


Deer damage was strong in the summertime but will continue into fall as deer rush to eat better tasting foods before early frost and snow. This season has a particular focus on tree protection and yard fencing for gardeners who wish to protect crops and tree bark against deer rutting and browsing.