Fencing to Exclude Deer

An adult deer can easily jump 7 ft. or higher, and can squeeze through small gaps in vertical or horizontal slatted fences.  While short fences (4 ft.) may be effective at reducing damage in very small areas or around individual trees or shrubs, a “deer proof” fence would need to be 8 ft. or taller and constructed of strong impenetrable material like welded wire or chain link to be effective long-term.  This type of fence is expensive, it is not aesthetically pleasing, and may not be feasible in many situations.  However, the one-time cost of erecting a permanent 8 ft. fence may be offset by many years of a damage free area.

Although deer can jump high and far, their eyes are located on the side of their head, giving them poor depth perception.  A 3-dimensional electric fence will not serve as a “deer proof” fence, but can serve as an effective deer deterrent, and may be a less expensive fencing option.  One effective design involves erecting 2 single strand electric fences, each 2ft tall, and 5ft apart.  Another effective design involves erecting a multi-strand electric fence angled outward at 45 degrees.  These type fences require continued maintenance and may be less effective if deer are already accustomed to coming into the fenced area.