Deterrent Blasts Delinquent Deer

Did you read about the woman from LaVale, Maryland, who contracted rabies after an encounter with a deer? Strange, to say the least, and an incident that made me think of a recent visit by a hungry deer. I was filling the birdbath in the back of my yard when the young deer just popped out of the woods. Despite the drought, the woods behind my house is thick, so things tend to just pop out of them. The photo shown here was taken more than a month ago, but it's probably the same deer, now in the hungry teen stage of life. Anyway, the strange part is that she just stood there looking at me and didn't seem at all concerned that I was flailing my arms and yelling. She finally scampered off, but it pushed me into a little pro activity.

I figured these deer are pretty thirsty by now. The one I saw was probably hoping for a drink at the birdbath. And that's fine. I wouldn't mind seeing Bambi saunter up for a sip or two now and then. But would she stop there? I think not. Just a little to the left of the birdbath are some really healthy tomato plants. Both 'Legend' and 'Japanese Trifele' are grafted plants that have grown to amazing size since planting.

'Legend'


I reached for the big gun in my anti-deer arsenal. It's called the Scarecrow, sent to me by Contech to try out in my garden. This "motion-activated" animal deterrent is easy to set up without dowsing yourself to the skin (which of course I didn't do with the first one I got years ago) and should be just the ticket to keep marauding ruminants from munching on my tomatoes.


The Scarecrow reminds me of Heckle and Jeckle
They HAVE been eating the phlox, however. I wondered why everyone else was talking about their Phlox and I hadn't seen any sign of mine. They'd all been "deer-pinched," a delicate operation made possible using only the lips. (Pretty amazing when you think about it.) Imagine how good the tomatoes would taste to a deer on a hot day.

Putting the Scarecrow together was easy, and putting the facial decals on was kind of fun. I can't help but think about those crazy Talking Magpies when I look at it, though.

So far, the tomatoes haven't been munched and the birds are too small to set off the high-pressure blast from the Scarecrow. I'll let you know if I see the deer playing in the sprinkler while they're eating tomato sandwiches. 

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