Deer in Spring Landscape

Deer Damage Management Techniques

Non-Lethal Deer Damage Management Techniques

Lethal deer population control is limited in suburban and urban areas of Maryland by human safety concerns, differing public opinions on deer management policies, and local laws. As more areas of the state have become developed due to suburban sprawl, the need for deer control methods other than lethal ones has increased. The following list of non-lethal deer management techniques can be useful to gardeners, homeowners, and landowners to help decrease deer damage to their properties.

Some advantages of non-lethal methods are: widely available; easily applied; broadly accepted by members of society. Some disadvantages of non-lethal methods are the cost of the materials, the need for regular maintenance of some methods, the unsightly appearance of some methods, and their limited effectiveness.

Non-lethal methods do not reduce or control deer population numbers, but they can help reduce deer damage. Deer damage problems will continue to exist and will likely increase if uncontrolled deer populations increase over time.

When non-lethal methods are required, the following techniques can be effective at controlling the damage that deer can do. Measures should be taken before significant damage begins. Some techniques are more effective than others at deterring deer damage.

Other factors that determine the success of a deer damage abatement program are: the amount of other food resources available to deer, the number of deer occupying the area, and the ability of deer to acclimate to the damage management techniques. For the best results, individuals should try a combination of non-lethal measures to reduce or alleviate the deer damage.

Various deer management techniques are listed below and described in detail when you click on the link to a specific method.

Ban on Long-term Deer Feeding

Drive Deer from the Area

Exclusion

  • Non-Electric Fencing

    • Wire Fencing

    • Plastic Deer Fencing

  • Electric Fencing

  • Individual Plant Protection

    • Tree Shelters, Wire Cages and Plastic Netting

Repellents

  • Taste-Based Repellents

  • Odor-Based Repellents

  • List Of Some Common Repellents

    • Commercial Repellents

    • Home-Made Repellents

Deterrents

  • Scare Techniques

    • Auditory Deterrents

    • Visual Deterrents

  • Other Deterrents

    • Electronic Repellent

    • Baited Deer Fence

    • Dogs as a Deterrent

Deer-Resistant Plants

  • List of “Deer Resistant” Landscape Plants
    Flowers – Shrubs – Trees

Maryland’s Deer Project helps Maryland’s residents resolve urban and suburban deer problems. A list of services are provided below:

Community Deer Management Assistance

Upon request from a community representative, a DNR wildlife biologist will meet to discuss the various deer management techniques that are available and can assist the community in determining the most appropriate deer management techniques for them. Communities must collectively decide which technique(s) are best for them.

Corporate Deer Management Assistance

Upon request from a corporation representative, a DNR wildlife biologist meet to discuss the various deer management techniques  that are available and can assist in identifying those methods most appropriate for the company.

Governmental Deer Management Assistance

Upon request from a government agency representative, a DNR wildlife biologist will provide assistance by consulting government agencies on the most appropriate deer management techniques for them, and assist them in designing a plan to help them manage the deer on properties they control.

Additional Information

For more information on these topics, and the services that can be provided, contact:


George Timko, Assistant Deer Project Leader
Maryland DNR, Wildlife & Heritage Service
Washington Monument State Park
6620 Zittlestown Road
Middletown, MD 21769
301-432-4307 (Phone and Fax)
gtimko@dnr.state.md.us

Maryland Deer Damage Management Techniques