Forest Rats Strike !

While sippin' my second cuppa this morning my wife started hollering for me to come to the kitchen . She points out the window and it takes me a second to realize there's a whitetail doe munching on my lettuce ! Time to start taking steps I guess ... and then we start discussing the damage I thought insects were doing to our new fruit trees ... yup , the forest rats have been at them too . I mean , it's not like there's a shortage of succulent new growth for the buggers to eat ! The woods here are just bustin' out all kinds of green , why oh why do they have to eat the stuff I grow for me ??
So this afternoon I'll be using 8 of my new 5' tall tomato cages to try to keep the deer from eating my trees . Hope it works , because they're skinny this time of year and not very good eatin' .
--
Snag



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On 5/19/2014 2:43 PM, Terry Coombs wrote:

They can sometimes reach about 6 feet off the ground. As everything greens up, they may neglect your trees but come back when they fruit.
I call them rats with hooves to differentiate from the tree rats i.e. squirrels.
Young trees need to be fenced. In the fall, bucks can tear them up polishing their antlers. I've seen them destroy trees up to maybe 6 inches in diameter. Park near here wanted to reforest an area and just wrapped the trunks. They lost about half the trees.
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I've had good results against white tails with Natural Fence -- a spray based on rotten eggs. It smells nasty going on, and you don't want the wind to shift on you. Once it dries it is mostly odorless and keeps the deer eating the neighbor's plants.
That's until we hit drought. They don't care what food smells like when they are starving.
--
Drew Lawson | It's not enough to be alive
| when your future's been deferred
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Frank wrote:

We live in a clearing out in the woods . There is PLENTY of succulent new growth for them to snack on . I believes it's a conspiracy - I hunted them last fall ...
--
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On 5/19/2014 7:16 PM, Terry Coombs wrote:

Wish I could hunt ours. I could use my crossbow but we are within the 200 yard limit of occupied dwellings and my wife does not want me to. I'm down to my last months supply of venison from last year gleaned from hunting on public land. Very frustrating to go hunting in the afternoon and look out a the thermometer on the deck to see what to wear and see a buck eating my shrubbery right next to the house.
Just this afternoon I looked out and saw a doe with her fawn that could not have been more than a week old. Deer are cute but royal PITA. In the fall when my chestnut trees are producing, my back yard is like a stock yard. Yelling won't chase them and I've taken to throwing fire crackers.
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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_wO45-2Ympk


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AnBxKALmpPU

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Drew Lawson wrote:

I just ordered a gallon of fish emulsion based on the premise that it too is protein-based <same reason they don't like egg/milk based treatments> plus it'll feed my plants . Actually , if that deer this morning had been a buck , it'd probably be in my freezer by now . But it was a doe , and I won't kill a doe this time of year , might have a baby out in the woods nearby .
--
Snag



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Terry Coombs wrote:

Perhaps they are like goats who are telepathic. A goat will get into your garden and then pick out of your mind your most prized possession, the plant that is most valuable and hard to replace. Then they head straight for it leaving all else alone until the target is destroyed.
David
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Terry Coombs wrote:

by creating a forest meadow you've pretty much put out the welcome mat.
we've tried all sorts of things and found that if deer are hungry enough they'll eat about anything even if it's been sprayed with all sorts of things. and as for deer proof plants, if the deer are young enough they'll sample plants. get enough deer to sample a plant and it's about as dead as it would be if it were prime deer feed.
in the end, for the formal veggie gardens a fence has solved the problem. for the gardens outside the fenced area, i plant multiple plots of veggies and hope the critters don't get them all. usually it has worked well, the outside plots act as decoy and diversions to keep critters happy and away from the fenced gardens.
today for example, we had visits by rabbits, woodchuck, chipmunks, snake and cat and none of them were in the fenced gardens. most of the time the woodchuck spent mowing the tops of some of the alfalfa in the spiral garden (a green manure patch). the chipmunks ran around and picked maple tree helecopters out of the limestone mulch. the bunnies were out front, i don't know what they did, but probably ate plantain and clover out of the grass. the cat came along later, but i don't know if it hunted or not. i just happened to be looking at a short round bird through my small binoculars when it popped up way back at the fence and i thought at first it was a bobcat it was so big...
of all the critters the one i'll likely have to move along with the air rifle is the woodchuck as it has gnawed some of the garlic off and i don't want to encourage it for coming up closer to the house. they do run quite fast. i was out yesterday and caught it in the same spiral garden and it ran off. i was thinking that i was very glad it didn't attack me as it could move pretty fast and it wasn't a small critter at all.
songbird
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songbird wrote:

Well , the only problem with that theory is that we have several hundred feet of 30-50 foot wide easement for power lines on the land . All kinds of grass/wildflowers/second growth shrub and small trees .

Good point ...

I'm pretty much locked in to the amount of ground I have cleared , and there's little room for decoy plantings . It's not like they are short of food , we've had a wet spring and everything is bustin' out green . LOTS of new growth for them , which is why I'm surprised they've gotten into the garden and orchard - especially since our dog has her own door and is in and out all the time <50 lb Shepherd mix>. I did expect some visits as the apples and pears ripen , but that won't be until later , and probably not at all this year . For sure if I feed these critters all summer they're going to end up in my freezer ... turnabout , donchaknow .
--
Snag



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