Deer fencing

Help! Talk to me about deer fencing.

We are contemplating perimeter fencing at our new place, and the suggestion has been raised to make it deer fencing. I really don’t know from deer, but the fence builder’s quote sure made my eyes open wide.

Our land is long and oblongish, rather than squat and square, so I could conceivably just deer-fence the area of land where the majority of the planting is going to go.

All current fencing is ancient. We are on a 10% slope, so I’m not sure about heights required (insofar as an uphill jump over a 6 foot fence is more like 8 feet, you see).

I’m not sure if deer avoid fenced areas because they SEE the fence, and don’t challenge it, because they jump and hit the fence and bounce off (which implies some pretty high tensile strength in the fence itself), or what. We intend to plant things that might logically attract deer – fruit trees, berries – but how do they know an area is now planted? Do they smell the berries, or only find out via brousing in the area? (We don’t currently have a problem of deer entering the property and our current deer fence is only about 35% complete).

Hoping some of you have good info for me. Thank you in advance.

I would count a 6’ fence should keep most deer away, but maybe not all.
We have a 6’ chain link fence, concrete base, around the house/yard.
The concrete bottom is to keep feral hogs away.
We rarely have deer jump in, but have a few times found some, mostly does, that jumped in and then we had to chase out.
If any others jump in and back out, we didn’t see them.
We have 8’ and 12’ gates in four places where we can drive them safely thru.
Picture of some of our deer around the house last Saturday:

It can depend on your location and the size of your local deer population. We’ve got pretty big whitetail deer up here - they will walk right up to my 5’ Electrobraid fence and hop over it from a standstill with no effort. They’d probably also laugh at a 6’ fence.

For perimeter agricultural deer fence our local DNR recommends a 10’ tall fence that is 8’ woven wire with an additional 2’ high tensile at the top.

https://www.dnr.state.mn.us/livingwith_wildlife/fences/video.html

A friend of mine lives across the street from the tree nursery for our local park system and they use this fencing. We ride past it to access the trails, and there are quite a few spots where the wire is bent/damaged where a deer still tried to get in.

Perimeter fence needs to be high, but interestingly if you are only fencing in a small garden plot you’d probably be OK with a 4-5’ high fence since deer are reluctant to jump into a small enclosed area.

Black magic? I dunno how but they always know

Put in a dog proof fence, and get some guardian dogs if you want to keep deer out. IMO, you really only have to do that around your house and garden areas, so not usually a huge area. No problem with deer in your pasture areas.

Our debate was whether the cost and appearance of a deer fence was really justified. If you are going to be selling the things you are growing, it may be worth the expense. We looked at the cost of deer fencing and the fact that it interrupts the view and decided we could buy a lot of organic fruit for that cost.

https://www.codot.gov/business/designsupport/standard-plans/copy_of_2012-m-standards-plans/2012-m-standards-pdfs/m-607-4/m-607-4
Here is a set of specs for deer fence along highways, using 8-foot woven wire. You should consider how you are going to handle deer that somehow manage to get inside your fence - see the section on ramps for one solution. Orchards around here have 8 ft tall gates. I’m fairly certain the design is for mule deer.

https://cpw.state.co.us/Documents/LandWater/PrivateLandPrograms/FencingWithWildlifeInMind.pdf
This article presents another perspective - what can go wrong for wildlife if you install the wrong type of fencing. See page 6 for the effect of slope.