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Deer control


LawnSite Bronze Member
morristown, nj
Hello all, i am writing to get some feedback on a possible deer control measure that i have been looking into (or should i say thought up today while at work) To start, I'll explain my situation. Currently I am employed at morristown municipal airport in northern new jersey as a grounds specialist and am faced with a complex problem that I know is not unique. We have a overwhelming deer population and have to come to terms with the problem immediately (deer and airplanes usually mean millions of dollars of damage and an occassional loss of life, which doesn't go over well with the big executives who fly into are airport) We have tried just about every measure possible. We have fences but the deer jump over them or crawl under them. We send out patrols with scare pistols every half hour but are just laughed at. We have hunters roaming our grounds (don't worry, they do not shoot at the planes, at least try not too....) We have even gone as far as set up laser beam activated coyote decoys with growling voice boxes, and still have had no luck.<p>The best solution that i could think of for our problem was to repair our fence, patching the holes, making it higher, and then run a schedule patrol to make sure there were no breaks in the line. This however, is not possible do to the fact that our existing fence just happens to be located in a wetlands area and is no longer reachable for maintenance and/or too costly to repair. Because of this, we have looked into a relatively new deer fencing that is manufactured by a company called benners in Pa. Basically, the fence is a heavy duty plastic fence that is very strong, very economical, and rather easily installed. <p>Once again, however, due to certain regulations, we were not allowed to install this fence either. So....where does this leave me...?<p>Well, i just had a idea and would like some feedback on the whole idea. Out west, maybe you have seen them, they have these things called cattle crossing guards. What is basically is is a steel grate that cattle wont cross because they are afraid to have there hoof/legs stuck between the bars. From what i heard the product works without fault for cattle and the rumor is that it also works for deer. <p>So, my first question is whether anyone has had any luck with this idea and if so what were some of the drawbacks and downfalls?. To me, especially at this point where i have no other options, it seems to be a fairly rock solid idea considering the alternatives that consist of nothing at this point..<p>Now, my second question, which may sound silly, is the feasibility of contstructing such a grate around a entire airfield, a perimiter that measures close to 5 miles. Would this be insane? I have a feeling yes, but figured i ask.<p>I have given some thought and wondered if wires could act the same way as the cattle grate. Would a series of wires, say 30 or so, be spaced about 3 inches apart and 6 inches of the ground act the same way as the grate. I have no idea but am just wondering?<p>I would appreciate any response on this matter. If you found this to be the dumbest question to ever be asked, i apologize, and hope at the least, i have entetained you for all the time you spent reading all of this. <br>If you actually think that there was some validity to any of this, please respond back.<br>I am open to any suggestions and would like to hear any feedback and or any other suggestions that might be out there.<p>Thank you.....steve


Lawnsite Addict
steve, the cattle crossing won't work most are 3'-4' wide a deer can jump this like it's not there. Game fence is the only thing that will work. it must be buried 12&quot; below ground and be at least 10&quot; high.<p>----------<br>paul<br>


LawnSite Member
I have seen in the news airports using border collies to keep birds away. I wonder if this would work in you situation. My parents have one to help handle sheep and it works quite well. <br> Lance

gene gls

LawnSite Gold Member
I live in a town with a lot of apple growers. Deer do a lot of damage every year. I know of one grower that collected the cut hair from several barber shops and spread it in the orchards to give the sent of people present. He felt it worked to some extant. With the over populitation of wild life they seem to know where to go and not be bothered. I think if more time is spent in the troubled areas there will be a smaller heard present.Harrasment,let the deer know some one will be around more often.<p>I used to think it would be kool to have a couple of wild turkeys eating where I feed the wild birds.They were fun to watch for a while. Now three years later I have a flock of 57 turkeys that stop by every day. When I am home I show my presents to discourage them. I think they know the days Monday through Friday when I am away. They are very messey, like geese.<p>Good Luck


LawnSite Member
Steve,<p>I'm not sure if this is legal. You can attach an electric transformer of some kind that will send an electric shock without killing the deer on the wire fence. This has worked on a person I bumped into a local hardware store here in the west coast. He said it worked 100%. The deer intended to get through in the beginning, knocking down the wires, but they got the shock of their lives and did not try again. The deer found another entrance, but he managed to add more wire.<p>I can't remember how he built it or were he got this type of equipment. I don't think is legal here in Calif.<p>You can experiment by trying to integrate some type of product to convert it into an electrical fence without hurting humans and animals.<p>You know what, he described that it feels like a stun gun...but when you touch it, it just gives you a jolt.<p>Thought this may help. You may want to check if it is legal, but since you have deer hunters...I don't think this a problem.<br>


LawnSite Member
I have heard that the dogs work very well for deer. One nursery in MD tried fences, scents, etc and found dogs to be the best. Hey maybe you could try astroturf around the runways, that way the deer have nothing to eat and thus no reason to be there! Of course, if you spend all that money for astroturf, that in itself is reason for the deer to come back, just to sit there and spite you!


LawnSite Silver Member
S.E. Michigan
As Paul said, 10' game fence. This is what the game ranches use to keep their deer IN! And what kind of regulations would prevent you from installing a fence to keep deer of runways? Present your case to the local zoning variance board. Once you convince them that a fence to keep deer from causing an aircraft to crash is in their best interest (future lawsuits), I bet you get a permit to install the fence.

Team Gopher

LawnSite Platinum Member
Hi Steve,

Did you see this report?



LawnSite Silver Member
Yeah 10' fence. If the deer still jump that, take a picture because I want to see it. That hair idea worked on the movie "The Rookie" with Dennis Quaid. It kept them off the baseball field anyway!


LawnSite Member
I have seen deer go across a cattle station... broke their front legs off because they were running so fast.....Never saw it coming.... WAS NOT PRETTY... They got up and ran on stubs.. must have been the adrenaline i think.. Maybe you can come up with something better.. I do feel for ya though...Deer eat while they walk.. can be a real big problem.