How do I keep deer and moose from eating up my garden?

claireplymouth z6b coastal MAJanuary 1, 2013

New England gardeners are not alone in being plagued by large, hungry creatures with antlers; but it's still a very serious problem in many areas.

When the question was presented to the New England Gardening Forum, some Garden Web members responded with their own experiences, for example;

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From Suenh in New Hampshire:

"Nothing stops a moose. Nothing!

Deer can be kept out with an assortment of tricks. But you need to rotate the tricks or they figure it out. The only permanent solution is an electric fence."

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From Chelone in Maine:

"To me, deer are little more than rats with long legs and pretty eyes. I realize this is not a "politically correct" opinion. Know this, though; we are overrun with deer because their natural predators have been largely eliminated AND we plant umpteen plants/shrubs that attract them.

I would like to see more people grant access to hunters, bow hunters, in particular. I personally LOVE venison. Any hunter who brings down a deer on my land will be held in very high esteem if he gives me a piece of venison in return for hunting rights...

Mmmm...! Fire up the grill!"

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also from Chelone, in a less hungry mood:

"We share our home with two, very active field dogs. I believe their presence has kept the marauders at bay, several neighbors report extensive damage, but I've only noted nibbles on a Nikko Blue hydrangea on the "outskirts" of our yard, and that was a few years ago (tough winter for deer!). While I am no fan of dogs (prefer cats) I have to say they seem to get the job done. I "sicced" them on 4-6 deer a year ago that were browsing in the wooded area of our yard (pre-dawn, 4:30-ish). Worked like a charm!"

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From Sara_the_Brit in Connecticut:

"I use several different things for different areas of the garden. My town is overrun with deer (SW CT) and have caused so much damage many people have given up gardening altogether.

1. My main gardening area is fenced off. I have a 5 foot high wire fence. Technically, deer can jump 8 feet, but they're lazy around here, and will simply go next door if it looks vaguely troublesome. 5 feet have been fine for 4 years.

2. Outside the 'zone', I use Bobbex spray at least twice a week in summer (more if there is lots of new growth). This is based on rotting eggs etc. Neighbors tend to use this, or Deer-Off which has a similar base.

3. I've...

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