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This is what my arborvitae looked like 3 years ago before the deer decided they were on the menu.  They were growing so nice and were just about touching each other creating the wind and view block I wanted.




Two years ago the deer decided this was their pirvate smorgasbord.  By the end of last summer the trees had started to grow back together but the deer took care of that this winter.  There should also be more green plants around the tracks but those were eaten to the ground.  The only thing they didn't touch was the alberta spruce.  The ground is chopped up pretty bad too.  At least they seem to avoid the track.  But they step close and my ballast gets shoved into the gournd.  They seem to leave the trees alone in the summer.  I will probably try one of the motion senseing sprinklers next fall.   Fences or a dog are out of the question.  It would take at least a 6 foot fence and my wife is scared of animals.  If I can't find a solution I'll probably give up on the outdoor railroad.  I've gotten to the point where I feel there is no use continueing a loosing battle.

 

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I don't think they hate you, I think they don't like the trees being in the veiw of your Rail Road. Since you probably only run during the day, the trees block thier veiw. They want to watch the trains too, but don't want to be up there scaring your wife. So, they trim the trees back so they can watch from a safe distance. 
  You could put one of the trains on a timer and let it run at night when you think the deer are out there, making the whistle blow as it passes the trees, and after a week or two, the deer might not come back. Try that, see if it helps. Your layout is pretty awsome and it would be a shame to see it disapear.

  Cliff
 

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That's a shame Kevin. I hope you don't have to give up on the railroad.

I had nothing but trouble with the deer when I had my track at ground level on raised beds. I lost 80' of track in one night plus many other violations. The deer decided that the track was a path to walk along even though they avoided it initially. People will give you all kinds of remedies to get rid of the deer but the only one that really works is to shoot 'em! Even then more will come later like a plague of giant rats!

Deer will eat practically anything especially during times when food is limited. One thing they don't eat are rhodies although they will eat azaleas. Since I put the RR on a raised benchwork at nominal 40" height they haven't bothered it. Of course there are no plants on it either except for several kinds of native moss and the deer do pass beneath the benchwork.

A dog does tend to scare the deer off and it doesn't have to be a large one although it shouldn't be a tiny variety. Deer have quite a kick and can kill a dog if they hit it. Still not foolproof though.

Your railroad's a real beauty and is worth fighting for. I understand how frustrating it is. It sounds like you need a really hefty roadbed like concrete or something to protect the track or consider raising it on benchwork as I've done. If you decide to go the benchwork route and want to see what I've done as a possible option you're most welcome to visit.

I don't know what to say about the trees except to replace them with something extremely poisonous. hehe!
 

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I bought 20 wireless deer fences.  They have a battery in the bottom and an electrode at the top with a scent that supposedly attracts the deer.  The idea is that they will touch the electrode with their wet noses and quickly learn to stay away.  I put them around my garden and around some other plants we had.

They were basically ineffective.  Our petunia patch was eaten down to the nubs and  I had 4 of these things around it.

The deer have never walked through my railroad for some r eason.  My track is on the ground.  

These deer fence things have a two year warranty on them.  I am sending them back this week for a refund.  They cost 20 dollars apiece.

Your railroad ran really well and looked good.  Don't give it up.


PS:  The deer also ate our Rhododendrons!

John
 

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Shoot em. Deer aren't completely stupid, when they realize that eating those trees subtracts one from the herd, they get the point. If you aren't into shooting them, contact your local game warden. They have all kinds of tricks to get rid of them. (usually they hire someone to shoot them) but other tricks are using urine of predators. Round here dog wizz is enough to keep em away, but they have plenty to eat elsewhere. It is unfortunate that they are harrassing you. But don't give up on the railroad. Maybe a diferent type of tree? Claymores? Landmines?
Good Luck
Terry
 

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Try tying white plastic grocery bags on a few tree branches. Sounds silly, but the deer see the white bag flopping in the breeze, and think it's another deer running away from danger. (No one said deer were necessarily smart creatures.) I had deer problems on my railroad back in Rochester--the little buggers found my wife's vegetable garden that was inside one of my reverse loops. I laughed myself silly when someone told me to try that, but I figured what the heck. So, I tied some white plastic grocery bags to the tomato trellis, and s'om beach, it worked! I continued to see evidence of deer along the edge of the property, but they no longer ventured into the yard. I don't know if your particular species of deer are quite as dumb as the Rochester species--they've got to be pretty damned stupid to want to spend winter in that climate--but give it a shot.

Later,

K
 

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Kevin:

You may try contacting your local Cooperative Extension Service. They likely have dealt with this problem many times before, and may be able to recommend measures that are particularly effective in your area.
 

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The only thing that I have found that was effective was a fence and a big dog.  Especially a dog that expects a treat every time she chases of a deer that gets near the fence.

 
 

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The term, "Venison" comes to mind! Deer can be very tasty.
 

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Mine don't hate me, they LOVE me, apparently my hundreds of dollars of Tuilp bulbs from Holland are some sort of expensive all you can eat deer salad bar....here they are in the side yard just yesterday....





If I could only get them to eat the neghbor's (not been used in years) trampoline!
 

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Posted By Joe Johnson on 02/29/2008 5:43 AM
The only thing that I have found that was effective was a fence and a big dog.  Especially a dog that expects a treat every time she chases of a deer that gets near the fence.




We had a trio in the back yard (fenced) last weekend.  I sent my Corgi bitch out back to "run" them off (she is a hearding dog afterall) but one of the does charged her?!?!  And she quckly retreated under the deck!
 
 

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We have shot our deer with paint balls from about 50 feet.

It had no effect on them.  They did not seem to even notice.

John
 

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Posted By jbwilcox on 02/29/2008 5:13 PM
We have shot our deer with paint balls from about 50 feet.

It had no effect on them.  They did not seem to even notice.

John

Freeze 'em first :D
 

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The problem is you are trying to get rid of the deer. They like your trees in the winter because there is less to eat in the winter. Plant something else that they would like better outside of your trees and let them feast! You could also try a recording of a dog barking but I doubt it will work very long.
 

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Here in the interior we have neither snakes nor deer. But we do have moose and mosquitoes.  

Of course, like Richard, I have a raised railroad. It's still not high enough to avoid the moose horns, although I haven't seen moose in the enclosed area in a few years. So far so good. Those moose can tear up just about anything, including my fence. 
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Thanks for the sympathy guys. I guess I shouldn't complain too much, they did leave my trees alone the first 8 years since I planted them. I would try the frozen paintball trick but they come around a night while we are asleep. By the amount of droppings they leave I'd say they pretty much live in my back yard at night. Hopefully I can come up with a cure for this problem by next fall. They seem to leave us alone in the summer.

I wonder if anyone makes a motion sensing tazer yet????????
 

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Put something else out for them to eat in the winter.    Try Bales of Hay.   Consult a zoo dude.  Fine out what they like other than your trees.  
If they are eating the bark.  Try  placing  some   tree branches have have been  trimed from other trees.  When I trim my  Plaoverdi trees   I place the  cut branches down my the  back  fence.   The bunny rabbits go nuts.   When they arent at my  bale of hay.

The came around me  because I put out  a hay bale and have water.   They are much more  adapt at jumping over my bridges than the  big  range cattle.  
Which I have been assured that they all have been rounded up this time and there aint one cattle left.
 
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