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Syracuse, New York
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Special Topics

Deer in Landscapes and Gardens

For More Information

As a result of the surging population of white-tailed deer across much of the United States, and the associated cost of the damage they cause to agricultural and ornamental crops, not to mention collisions between deer and passenger vehicles - estimated at more than 50,000 per year in New York State alone, government agencies and universities have committed significant resources to the development of strategies for managing the numbers of these animals.

While there seems to be a consensus that the best long-term strategy for managing deer populations in suburban settings will be the administering of a contraceptive vaccine, the development of a low-cost delivery system is still a number of years off.

In the meantime, there are several web-based resources available that expand on the general management strategies mentioned in this section of my website.

Reducing Deer Damage to Home Gardens and Landscape Plantings

At the end of this resource is an extensive list of plants that are reported to be more or less susceptible to seer browse. However, as I mention, and list of this type should be regarded with a healthy does of skepticism as feeding habits are strongly dependent on neighborhood characteristics, weather conditions, herd size, etc.

Northeast Wildlife Damage Management Cooperative

This link will lead you to a page that lists dozens of links to online resources from agencies and universities throughout the northeast that deal with the management not only of white-tailed deer, but all potentially nuisance wildlife.

Use of Dogs Contained within Off-Limits Crop Protection System for Reducing Deer Damage to Orchards and Horticultural Crops

This link describes a research project conducted at the thirty acre main orchard at the Western Maryland Research and Education Center in 2000-2001 where dogs were used to scare off browsing deer. While this strategy has limited use in residential/suburban settings, it may be practical for some rural residences?