Fences and Deer-Damage Management: A Review of Designs and Efficacy
Document Type Article
Published in WILDLIFE SOCIETY BULLETIN
White-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus) may cause more damage than any other species of wildlife. These damages include crop loss, automobile and aviation collisions, disease transmission, environmental degradation, and destruction of ornamental plantings. One practical method of controlling deer damage is the use of exclusionary fences. The relatively high cost of labor and materials required to build effective fences has limited most applications to the protection of orchards, vegetable farms, other high-value resources, and mitigation of human health and safety risks. Improvements in fence technology resulting in less expensive, yet effective fences have expanded the use of fences to manage damage caused by deer. Fences typically installed to manage white-tailed deer damage include wire or plastic mesh, electrified high-tensile steel wire, and electrified polytape or polyrope fence. We reviewed the scientific literature on fencing to determine which fence designs would be the most effective for excluding deer in a variety of situations.