So it’s happened again. You’ve spent months working on your garden, and a few days before the harvested deer come by to harvest it for you.
While 8-foot tall deer fencing may be effective, it’s not practical for most gardeners. How do you keep deer from destroying the garden without spending a fortune?
Fortunately, deer don’t know that humans haven’t quite yet mastered force field technology. If they run up against a barrier that they can feel, but they can’t see, it’ll confuse them. A confused deer gives up quickly and moves on to easier forage.
A few strands of fishing line on stakes wrapped around the garden can be incredibly effective at deterring deer. Of course, they could walk right through it, or jump right over it, but they don’t know that.
A deer will spot the tasty produce in your garden, and start going for it. If their nose bumps into an obstacle that they can’t see, they’ll stop. Simple as that.
The trick is to pick low test fishing line. The first time I tried the “fishing line trick” I got the heftiest fishing line I could find. Quite simply, I didn’t want them to walk right through it.
The problem is, anything sufficient to catch a marlin on the open sea is also thick enough that the deer can see it. They’ll just see it as a regular fence and hop right over.
Choose something light, like 10 to 15-pound test fishing line. Tie it to stakes about 3 feet above the ground, or nose height for a deer.
Run a second strand about 18 inches above the ground too. I’ve watched deer grazing, walking with their head down, go right underneath the higher strand without even touching it. Trust me, you need 2 strands and that second strand only takes an extra minute and another 10 cents worth of fishing line.
We have gardens and orchards throughout our 30 acres, and it’s impossible to deer fence it all. Each small section has a fishing line fence, and in some areas, I put 3 stakes and fishing line around individual trees.
For trees near the house, the fishing line goes up in the wintertime and comes down during the summer months. The deer in these parts tend to strip the bark in the winter, but in the summer there are easier pickings. That allows me to mulch and harvest the trees in the summer without bothering with the line, and quickly put the line back up in the winter to keep the trees safe.