The Walden Effect: Farming, simple living, permaculture, and invention.

Oh deer!

deer attack of 2011 number 2

Anna noticed some additional deer damage near the sweet potato leaves this morning.


I noticed a mother deer with two small ones yesterday near a neighbor's mail box when I was driving back from the post office. They seemed more bold than most deer and took a few seconds to scurry off into the woods where as most deer around here bolt at the slightest hint of a car. I'm thinking it's the same trio that's been attacking our garden since the 22 hour power outage we had last month.

We changed one of the mechanical deer deterrent clangers from a pet bowl to an old baking pan and Anna brushed up on her shooting skills. If things get much worse we'll start taking turns waking up early in hopes of ambushing the offending deer while at the same time adding some venison to our winter meal plans.

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About us: Anna Hess and Mark Hamilton spent over a decade living self-sufficiently in the mountains of Virginia before moving north to start over from scratch in the foothills of Ohio. They've experimented with permaculture, no-till gardening, trailersteading, home-based microbusinesses and much more, writing about their adventures in both blogs and books.

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Good luck with the deer. Venison sounds great!

I love the new banner, by the way. Those chicks are beautiful. I've seen you mention a few breeds on here, can you tell me which ones are in the photo?

Comment by Sara Sun Aug 7 16:58:45 2011

I'm contacting the Department of Game and Inland Fisheries this week to see what hoops I'd need to jump through to shoot a deer out of season legally. Hopefully they won't be too hard...

The new banner is our Black Australorps at three months. (They're about four months now.) Thanks for the kudos!

Comment by anna Sun Aug 7 17:40:02 2011

I wonder if the repetitive clang of the deer deterrent is making the deer less scared of the area. Perhaps a motion sensor attached to the deterrent, rather than always cycling, would break up the otherwise peaceful night as the deer creep into the garden for a moonlight snack.

Best of luck.

Comment by Denis Tue Aug 9 14:08:17 2011

Based on the chain of events, I'm actually 99% sure the opposite was the cause of the incursion --- that lack of constant noise let the deer in. Our garden had been deer-free until an unfortunate power outage kept the deterrents silent overnight. The deer crept in during that one silent period, and have been back several times since. I'm pretty sure that once they got a taste for the garden (and saw that the deterrents didn't hurt them), they were willing to risk it later times.

I'm still waiting to hear back from the game warden, because I think the only real solution right now is to take out the deer who have learned to creep in. Meanwhile, Mark's working on a different kind of deterrent in hopes of scaring them away.

Comment by anna Tue Aug 9 15:40:46 2011

I know we have discussed this before but I believe it would be worth repeating. Even a inexpensive scope would be a big plus for your hunting. Target acquisition would be faster, bullet placement more accurate, and targets in low light easier to locate. In your rural area, pawn shops and gun smiths should have a good selection of good used scopes w/ mounts.

Good luck with getting your out of season permit. They are hard to get but in your situation, I can't see how they could deny you. Good hunting

Comment by Erich Wed Aug 10 14:38:59 2011

Sometimes good ideas are worth repeating! I'd actually completely forgotten the scope discussion --- when the deer stay out, I tend to ignore guns. :-) We'll definitely have to get a scope.

My problem right now is figuring out how to get the deer in eye-sight, though. Even though I haven't gotten approval yet, I've been walking around with the gun the last few days, and I can't see hide nor hair of the deer. The problem is that they're active at night and I'm...not. Any ideas?

Comment by anna Wed Aug 10 16:30:04 2011

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