Orchard Deer Report

For those that have massive deer population like me, I thought I would compile a report of my orchard from the perspective of deer damage. Fruit eating is a given.

Most Deer Resistant: Rarely or never touched.

American Persimmon
Asian Persimmon-Less so than the others.

Receive occasional abuse including eating foliage or buck rubs, ect.

All Stone Fruit

Savagely attacked every year in every way.

Cherries- A favorite for rubs and foliage.
Hazelnut-Love that foliage.
Kiwi-Love everything about these.
Mulberries- These seem to be their top favorite with mega destruction. They stripped the foliage of most and then began jumping up to get more. But, I put them there as a distraction for that purpose. Just had no idea how popular they were going to be.

As a side note. The above resistant category also seems to be the most insect resistant as well. Maybe the overall easiest to grow.


You say Asian persimmons are less so than the American. Is that the fruit on non-astringent trees or are you talking about damage to leaves/trees?

We have a doe and her nursing fawn browsing here. She stands at my plums and chaws down until I get about eight feet away from her, and then she jumps the fence and moseys off. Back in a few hours.

We live right in the heart of town. it’s said that cougar follow the deer population. I’m starting to cheer for the cougar.


Humm… got me thinking

They look so cute.
Thinking a breeding pair.
Would make orcharding so much more exciting. !
What could go wrong ?


FWIW, my deer are less picky. This year I had severe and recurrent damage to new growth on figs. There was severe damage to the lower (reachable) branches of a hybrid persimmon and on three Asians. There was little or no damage on an American.

In past years I had severe damage to new growth on gooseberries. It was impossible to grow them until they were fenced.

My pears and apples are savagely attacked, often, if deer get the chance. I’m in the process of replacing 4’ fences, which proved ridiculously inadequate, with 7.5’ fences.

I agree about mulberries.

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Most of the fruit I grow ends up tasting a lot like venison. :wink:


Most of the venison I eat tastes a lot like the fruit I grow.


I have a tall fence, a doggie that tells me day or night if they are around, and a slingshot. Deer damage (in my case moose) is not what happens to fruit it is what happens to them.

Moose are stupid but ultimately creatures of habit. When I started slingshotting them there used to be grown moose coming around, but they learned quickly enough that it was not a safe spot. Now I get the occasional young explorer moose that doesn’t know better but is about to.

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What do you put in your slingshot? How long did it take you to get some competence with it?

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Metal slingshot ammo. Moose are as thick skinned as they are dumb. I would snack one pretty solidly and it would run a few steps before stopping to think about what just happened. It takes two hits for them to get the message.

It doesn’t take long to get good at it. Buy a quality slingshot and extra bands, keep them out of sunlight. They degrade and will eventually need replacement.

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Thanks! How far away can you stand?

You can hit something as big as a deer quite a distance away, the metal balls are pretty good ammo. I would not want to get smacked with one at 50 yards.

The thing is, hunting of small game past a distance you could assume a good hit is unethical, but here all you want to do is smack some sense into the beast. If you can hit it, it is good ;).


Well said. Thanks.

I have been using a pump BB gun. I agree with what don said, but bb’s and slings require you to get pretty close and most of the time they run. Plus they show up at like three in the morning.

Just the trees. Not to many fruits they don’t eat.

my father used to use his 16 ga. to ward off moose. took his knife and cut the end off of a shotshell. poured out the shot and filled the cup with melted wax. would whack em hard enough they would get the message without really hurting them. used the same thing in my 20ga. to scare off a bobcat killing a neighbors chickens. suprisingly accurate. id aim for the hindquarters.

Farmers used to use rock salt shots. Doesn’t hurt them, but they burn for a while to remember it.

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hell on your barrel if you dont clean it right away and the wax slugs are still hard hitting at 50 yrds where as rock salt is only penetrating at about 10 yrs… hit a side of meat with a mallet. thats what it sounds like when a wax slug connects. :wink: they sell rubber buckshot for police crowd control that ive heard works well also.

I never thought of the rubber buck shot. That’s a great idea. Sad part. Went to buy ammo the other day and a box of 12 guage is now like $150.

and thats if you can find it!