I may be about to get my come-uppin's. For several years, I've had people ask me over and over how I manage to keep the deer out of my gardens. Max's Garden sits at the very back of Our Little Acre, only protected by a split-rail fence on two sides and you know how much a fence like that can keep out. Nothing. But I've been a little smug about how deer leave my gardens alone.
A field is on the other side of that fence and depending on the rotation schedule, grows corn, soybeans, or wheat. On the other side of the field is a creek, formally known as Cunningham's Ditch, affectionately known to us as The Creek Behind Our House. There are many trees along the ditch and the sloping banks of the ditch are pretty thick with native shrubs and smaller trees, providing good cover for wildlife.
A Great Horned Owl visits regularly and will even perch in our large oaks in the back yard, but he prefers to spy on us from the ditch trees. No doubt he's hoping to find a kitty snack, but our cats are too smart for that nonsense.
Deer have been seen in the field, as close as 50 yards from Max's Garden. Last summer, they watched as we harvested vegetables. Day after day, they'd peek over the top of the wheat at us; they were wary and so were we. But no signs of them actually being in the garden ever materialized.
I'd seen tracks in the mud one spring a few years ago and promptly purchased some PlantSkydd to spray on the split-rail fencing. Either they moved on to greener pastures or the PlantSkydd worked. No signs of deer entry were seen again.
Yesterday, I took a walk-through of Max's Garden because the temperatures are warm for this time of year and the snow is melting. I wanted to see how things looked, halfway through winter, and there in the snow, I saw them. Lots of them.