I was talking to a friend yesterday about the deer which are eating the
flowers off my mums (not that it matters much - the plants will be corpses
anyway soon). He said he had the same problem with some small apple trees on
his property - the deer were stripping the new leaves. When he went to the
store to find some sort of repellent, the lady, a friend of his, told him to
save his money and try a homemade thing: Irish Spring bar soap, shredded
with a cheese grater and hung around the trees in knee-hi stockings.
He said he ran out of soap after making these things for all but two trees,
and in the two days between that point and going grocery shopping again, he
watched with binoculars as the deer passed by the scented trees and headed
straight for the "normal" trees. When he caught up and treated those last
two, the problem ended, and it worked 3 years in a row.
I'm gonna try it, although the deer around my property are so fearless, I
may be able to walk right up to them and dope-slap them. We'll see.