We had friends staying with us for a couple of nights, and we could not possibly have scheduled better entertainment than that provided by resident deer. The mom seemed to be trying to teach her young ‘uns to jump the fence. She would take a long, running approach, then float over it effortlessly. Standing on the other side, she would make encouraging gestures. The kids must have been the deer equivalent of teenagers, because they completely ignored her. They were gamboling (bouncing along as if on springs) between snacks.
Speaking of deer snacks, I adapted several formulas for discouraging their munching found on the internet. Here is what I came up with, and it seems to work:
Into a blender, crack an egg, throw in about 3 cloves of garlic and a handful of the hottest peppers you can find. Squirt in a little dishwashing soap and top off with water. Blend thoroughly. Strain through a fine mesh into a spray bottle and let stand for 24 hrs before spraying it onto the leaves of the plants to be protected. I keep the spray bottle in the refrigerator and replenish the spray each time it rains.
Apparently, the spray is most effective if used in the early spring. The new generation of deer will get the idea that these plants are distasteful and leave them alone. Every source seems to warn that new strategies will be needed over time, but this seems to be working for now. Two disclaimers: 1) once you have rendered the plants they have been feasting upon disgusting, they will move on to things they had never bothered before. 2) the stuff will leave you choking and gasping for air if you happen to breath it in.
The only final solution to the deer invasion is a very tall deer fence around an entire property…but then you would miss the show. An earlier post here describes an in-between measure to protect individual trees.