Residents Seek Alternative to Bow Hunting as Deer Eat Their Plants
An interesting article about deer repellents and how they keep deer out of your yard and away from your plants.
By: Steve Kander
One proposal in Charlottesville, Virginia would allow the bow hunting of deer during specific times of the year. This proposal has been met with backlash by concerned parents and citizens, who fear the potential consequences of allowing deer hunters to hunt in areas close to neighborhoods and parks.
Over 100 residents of the town have signed a petition against the measure, which they say is unnecessarily severe and inconsistent with the peaceful character of the community.
Like many areas, Charlottesville has struggled with the problem of deer eating plants, which can affect many species along the food chain. Birds that depend on low-growing plants for food have been known to relocate from areas where deer are prevalent. In the past, large carnivores like mountain lions or wolves controlled the deer population, but most of those animals have long been driven from populated areas.
Many oppose the killing of deer on ethical grounds, and others regard it as an expensive, unnecessary way to stop deer from eating their plants. The Charlottesville proposal would cost $1,500 per year to organize and regulate bow hunting. In these economic conditions, many communities simply cannot afford another significant expense.
Advocates for alternatives to control the deer population argue that deer repellents have been shown effective at keeping deer out of lawns and gardens. These repellents are commercially available and cost considerably less than bow hunting. Some residents have taken to using spray deer repellents around the perimeter of their property, and many have had success with decreasing the number of deer eating their plants.
These repellents contain ingredients that work to irritate the senses of taste and smell of the deer. The deer are repelled by a putrescent egg scent in the spray, which resembles the smell of a dead animal and is a warning of nearby predators.
Residents who have turned to deer repellents were satisfied by its effectiveness. Also, these homeowners were conscience of the repellent’s environmental impact, and sought out organic deterrents to safely prevent deer from eating their plants. Homeowners can look for the OMRI logo to check if the spray is certified organic.