The Place


Should you feed deer in your yard? What if you want to get rid of them? We asked a wildlife expert

Posted at 1:13 PM, Nov 22, 2016
and last updated 2016-11-22 16:23:31-05

Stephanie Jochum-Natt with Wild Aware Utah and the Hogle Zoo tells us about all things deer.

FEEDING DEER...JUST SAY NO! While well-intentioned people try to help deer by feeding them, they can harm them instead.
• Do not feed deer or provide them with salt or mineral licks.
• Deer are ruminants that need sufficient time to switch from a summer to winter diet. Offering the wrong foods, especially during the winter
months, is harmful to deer and can kill them.
• Feeding deer not only makes them lose their natural wariness of humans, it can also contribute to the transmission of disease by unnaturally
concentrating deer.
• Attracting deer to your property through feeding may attract predators, like cougars that follow deer herds.
• Feeding deer near neighborhoods and roadways increases the risk of deer-vehicle collisions.
• Annual migration patterns to wintering areas may be disrupted if the deer are enticed to remain at a feeding area

Most foothill, bench areas and valley floors are traditional wintering and foraging areas
for deer. They will regularly feed on many plants used in landscaping.
The most effective way to eliminate unwanted browsing by deer is to enclose the area
with a fence that is at least 7-8 feet high. Entrances must be closed at all times,
particularly at night. Lower fences, such as 4-foot-high chain-link, and decorative, wood
or metal fences will reduce, but not eliminate deer use.
• Wrap highly susceptible landscaping plants with heavy burlap.
• Wrap trees with wire mesh or burlap.
• Avoid using ornamental plants in your landscaping. Instead, use native shrubs and
plants that can withstand occasional browsing by deer.
• Plants that are preferred by deer and frequently suffer damage include: day lilies,
firs, fruit trees, hostas, ivy, junipers, some pines, tulips and yews. For a list of plants