Conservation Officer Service
- Ungulates can be discouraged from causing damage to plants and gardens through the use of barriers.
- Burlap sacks or sheeting can be placed over top of plants and trees during the winter months to prevent browsing.
- Netting can be used to protect large areas. Depending of the type and design of the netting it can be removed during the day. Netting doesn't inhibit the growth of plants where as the use of burlap during the summer growing season might.
- Chicken wire or stucco wire with a small enough mesh size (< 4cm) can also be used to prevent damage to crops or gardens. Short pieces can be used to wrap individual plants. Longer pieces can be used to protect hedges.
- Barriers can initially be quite expensive to install. Barriers are however re-usable year after year making them cost effective.
- Also see Netting and Fencing.
- Scare products along with fencing are options for dealing with crop damage being caused by ungulates.
- If there is a lawful hunting season open at the time and in the location that the crop damage is taking place; there is the option of contacting the local rod and gun club to arrange for hunters to come and harvest the problem animals.
- The Wildlife Act doesn't authorize the owner of agricultural property to destroy wildlife that is damaging or eating crops.
- You can also contact your Producer Association for advice and guidance. I.E. Cattlemans Association.
DEER RESISTANT PLANTS
- For nurseries, orchards, pastures and large gardens fencing is often the only way to prevent damage from wild animals.
- Common fence designs for protecting crops and gardens from wildlife damage incorporate either woven wire mesh, electrically charged wire or a combination of both.
- Electrical fences that are constructed along public right of ways should be posted with warning signs.
- Installation of fencing can be an expensive proposition for home gardens, however, fencing more effective than repellents.
- Non-electric fences should be at least 8 feet high with no gaps between the fence and the ground.
- Barbed wire fences should be discouraged, they are prone to causing injuries to wildlife. Single strand wire in combination with barbed wire (top strand) is effective for cattle containment. A single strand of electrical wire along the top of the fence is also an option.
- Fences must be checked on and maintained on a regular basis to ensure that they haven't been damaged and that they are functioning properly.
- Local feed stores or hardware stores will also carry fencing products.
FLOWER and VEGETABLE GARDENS
- Refer to Crops, Fencing, Netting, Scare Devices and Barriers for more information.
- Within several of the electronic documents are lists of deer resistant plants.
- Leashed dogs (scare device) can be use to deter ungulates from feeding on crops or damaging gardens and ornamental trees.
- Under Section 78 of the Wildlife Act, a person commits an offence if they cause or allow a dog to hunt or pursue wildlife.
- Netting can be used to prevent birds and animals from entering or gaining access to crops, fruit and vegetable gardens. Netting is cheaper than installing fence but not as effective.
- Also see Fencing.
- For orchards, fencing or netting is often the only way to prevent damage from wild animals.
- Refer to Fencing or Netting.
- Repellents discourage deer feeding by having either an offensive taste or odour. No repellent is continuously effective, and what works in one location may be useless for another. Repellents are unlikely to work on large groups of ungulates - fencing is the best solution in that case.
- There are a number of chemical and naturally based deer repellents available on the market today.
- Some chemically based products may not be safe for use on vegetables or plants that are intended for human consumption. Be sure to read the product label/talk to the manufacturer before applying the repellent to food products.
- Some repellents can kill symbiotic parasites/bugs that live on plants and flowers and help protect them from disease.
- Recent studies have shown that ordinary bars of soap can be helpful in repelling deer. Use any inexpensive brand of bar soap. Drill a hole in the centre of each bar and suspend from the tree about a metre apart.
- Other repellents include human hair, feathermeal, bloodmeal and mothballs.
- Also see Scare Devices.
- There are number products on the market which are based on motion detectors that will either activate lights, make sonic or ultrasonic noises or spray water. They are typically effective over a relatively small area due to the limited range of motion detectors (10 metres).
- Motion detectors can be wired into lawn sprinkler systems providing an effective nighttimes water-based scare device/repellent. A certified electrician should do the wiring.
- Commercial scare devices such as propane exploder cannons are also available. These devices produce very loud bangs at regular intervals, which drive away deer, elk and birds. They are only suitable for large areas and make too much noise for residential neighbourhoods.
- Bangers or cracker shells fired from orchard launchers can be used to scare off ungulates.
- Municipal bylaws may limit the use of some scare devices. Contact the local bylaw department before using audible scare devices.
TREES - Fruit and Ornamental
- To prevent damage from ungulates browsing or rubbing their antlers on trees, Fencing, Netting, Barriers or Scare Devices can be employed to help solve the problem.
- Ministry of Environment. Province of British Columbia
- Ministry of Environment - Ecosystems Branch
- Ministry of Agriculture & Lands. Province of British Columbia
- Alberta Department of Sustainable Resource Development
- United States Department of Agriculture
- Margo Supplies Ltd. Problem Wildlife Control Products
- Smarthome Inc. Animal Repellers & Containment
- Miller Chemical and Fertilizer Corp. Hot Sauce Animal Repellent
- A Gardener's Guide to Preventing Deer and Elk Damage
Ministry of Environment. Electronic Brochure.
BOOKS and RESOURCE MATERIALS
- Fencing With Electricity by Brian Kennedy. Alberta Agriculture, Food and Rural Development Publishing Branch. 7000-113 Street, Edmonton Alberta T6H 5T6. 1995.
- BC Agricultural Fencing Handbook. Government Publications Services. PO Box 9455 Stn Prov Govt Victoria, BC V8W 9V7. Phone: 1-800-282-7955.