Billings Montana--//mna press//--With 2015 breaking records as the warmest year ever in the U.S., you'll soon be seeing an unhappy side-effect of the mild weather; more deer will be browsing your backyard when the weather gets warm. Now 2016 is here and the deer are even more populated than ever before.
A bumper crop in fact, the deer have easily accessible, plentiful food source which helped them get through winter in good shape. They're healthy and will be ready to birth plenty of fawns come this spring and spring is here now.This season we'll see deer populations rise in suburbia and across the country.
Don't discount deer's intelligence, they're smarter than you think; they actually possess a memory of negative experiences, learn from them and adapt their habits accordingly. Deer know they're greatly exposed to danger due to hunters and predators in woodlands and have moved right to the edge of woodlands, in close proximity to suburban neighborhoods, where they've learned they're safe.
They're also smart enough to know danger is not present or even threatening in suburbia and they will remember your bountiful backyard food sources, too. Once in your yard, you can count on deer damage to your trees, shrubs, gardens and landscapes that you've invested much time, money and effort in.
The damage to residential landscapes, crops and timber from deer foraging ranges around $1 billion annually. With a single deer capable of eating a ton and a half of vegetation per year, just one or two deer can cause significant damage.
Deer don't have to devastate your yard this spring and summer, according to Scott C. Williams with the Department of Forestry and Horticulture at The Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station. "You can definitely use deer's intelligence against them to trick them right out of your yard. Just as they learn where to find safe, reliable food sources, you can "train" deer to avoid any specific area."
Negative conditioning work well to deter deer from your yard, but it's important to choose a strategy that outsmarts them continuously. Scare tactics such as dogs barking, canned noise and scarecrows have limited effects, as deer quickly learn there's no real harm associated with these "threats." Fences also have limitations; deer can easily jump over any fence lower than 8 feet and few neighborhoods will approve a fence of that height.
Although deer are smart enough to spot easy food sources, it is possible to humanely and effectively keep them out of your backyard all year. It's a simple matter of using their smarts to outsmart them and convince them they're better off looking elsewhere for food.