First on the agenda at tonight’s public forum is the topic of urban archery. We don’t know which way the council is leaning, with the exception of Sally “No-way-no-how” Greene, but in the interim, we have some ideas to try that may work to keep deer out of your garden.

 Deer repellant spray: A Chapel Hill woman, Marilyn Cox, markets a spray concocted of all-natural ingredients to spray around the perimeter of your garden and on especially vulnerable plants. Do not spray it on vegetable plants or other things you may eat, and if you spray it on flowers that you will bring inside, rinse them off thoroughly first so as not to bring the odor indoors. Cox’s product line is I Must Garden, and is available online at and at local stores, such as Dickinson Garden Center. Enough spray to cover an acre costs $114.99.

 The Internet is a treasure trove of recipes for homemade deer repellant sprays, most of which involve raw eggs and hot sauce. Don’t forget to buy a pump sprayer. And be careful not to spill the mix all over the garage floor, or you’ll repel more than deer for weeks.

 Chicken wire obstacle course: To protect isolated beds, lay chicken wire flat on the ground around it. The wire can be bent or cut to go around corners. Deer evidently don’t like to walk on it, and a 4-foot-tall roll may be wide enough to discourage deer from moseying close to the beds. The annoyance is having to lift it up to mow. A 4-foot-tall, 50-foot roll costs $64.99 at Target.

 Net fence: Securely staked, a 7-foot-high net fence should keep the deer out, though it tends to break up the vista. A 7-foot-high, 100-foot roll of Tenax plastic deer net costs $37.23 at Lowe’s. And 8-foot-tall, 2×2-inch pressure-treated pine posts to stake it are $2.97 apiece at Lowe’s.

 Double picket fence: Two 4½-foot-high fences set 4½ feet apart are said to discourage deer. The idea is that deer will do the math before jumping and believe that if they jump over the first fence they won’t have room to jump over the second fence. An 8-foot section of 4-foot-high pressure-treated wood picket fence costs $25.97 at Home Depot.

 Deer resistant plants: Southern States used to hand out a 4-page list of plants deer wouldn’t eat. Suffice it to say, deer aren’t so picky these days. No plant is 100 percent deer-proof.
— Nancy Oates

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  1. Mark Marcoplos

     /  April 19, 2010

    And dogs are a deer repellers best friend.

  2. Nancy Oates

     /  April 19, 2010

    Better that than coyotes.

  3. Bob

     /  April 19, 2010

    For about $70-$100, you can get a butcher to convert a deer carcass into an incredible number of meals at the shelter…… some parts of the country, there is clarity that we can fix a couple of problems at the same time. Somehow, I sincerely doubt this town council will take seriously the damage done by these four-legged pests to the homeowners in town. Heavens, look at their decisions on spending money…..

  4. Mark Marcoplos

     /  April 19, 2010

    Bob – you are so right. Literally. How could these free-wheeling money-burners see the deer for the forest. I say let’s put bounties on the damn deer and get the free market focused on this problem.