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

StinkMaster smelly sprinkler deer deterrent

using scent as a deer deterrent

How to build a StinkMaster smelly sprinkler deer deterrent.

1. Place submersible pump at the bottom of a large trash can.

2. Hook modified garden hose from pump to sprinkler.

3. Fill trash can with water and scented soap.

4. Adjust timer so that pump turns on for a short burst and off for maybe an hour.

The goal is to spook the offending deer with a fresh, unnatural scent.

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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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5) Stay out of reach


5) Take a automatic shower

(take your pick)


6) Eat very clean vegetables


Comment by Roland_Smith Wed Aug 10 03:08:27 2011

I think Mark neglected to mention:

  1. Point away from the garden at the deer entry spot where people seldom walk.


Comment by anna Wed Aug 10 07:54:19 2011
I'll be very interested to hear how this works for you guys (seriously, I always enjoy reading about your experiments - cuts down on my having to experiment by almost half! :) ) I've tried cutting up cheap, very stinky deodorant soap and hanging it about the garden in little bags which got wet every time I watered or it rained, but it certainly didn't deter them. Perhaps our deer, living in a more suburban area than yours, have just gotten too used to the stench in which many humans douse themselves and their belongings in order to smell "clean and fresh." :D
Comment by Ikwig Wed Aug 10 15:24:58 2011

I tend to agree with you --- in the past, I've had no luck using artificial scents (or human pee) to keep deer at bay. On the other hand, the biggest failing of scents is that they get old, which is why Mark thought the stinkmaster might be more effective.

The deer got in again last night, but they didn't go past the Stinkmaster. So, I have to say the results are inconclusive. :-/

Comment by anna Wed Aug 10 16:31:48 2011

Is there an (artificial) scent of a predator you could use? I remember reading about people using wolf urine and faeces to deter herbivores.

Of course it could very well be that humans are the top predator in your neck of the woods! So maybe hanging out used clothes for a day or so could help?

Comment by Roland_Smith Wed Aug 10 18:35:54 2011
Coyote urine is what people often buy, but it's expensive and I've been leery of spending so much money on something that I think's unlikely to work. Mark just talked to the local game warden, who confirmed my opinion --- unlikely to keep deer out if pressure is high.
Comment by anna Wed Aug 10 19:17:38 2011
instead of having the stinkmaster on the timer, try putting it on a motion sensor, like the kind you get for lamps. then use a few of them to spray the perimeter.
Comment by David L Thu Aug 11 09:40:16 2011
The motion sensor idea is a good one! There is a motion-sensor activated sprinkler deer deterrent already on the market --- maybe we should buy one and give it a try, adding a bit of perfume to the water.
Comment by anna Thu Aug 11 15:19:27 2011

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