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Deer have become an increasing problem in nearly all areas of the United Kingdom and the deer population is thought to be higher now than at any time in history. Coppice re-growth and natural regeneration of trees is impossible in many places without fencing or other protection and in some areas Muntjac deer are causing significant damage to the ground flora of woodlands. Deer fencing is erected for any of the following purposes:
- To exclude deer from woodlands, including plantations, coppiced woodlands, newly planted amenity woodlands and those where natural regeneration is needed to maintain or extend woodland cover.
- Exclosure fences may also be needed to protect high-value horticultural and agricultural crops.
- To enclose deer in a farm or park.
- Exclude deer from private property.
A 2002 study conducted by the National Wildlife Research Center, a division of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, found that electric fencing "was an effective and economical deer barrier."
Where they choose to feed, rub, walk and breed is a habit learned over time and reinforced every time they do it safely. To exclude a deer herd from a food source, area or trail to which they are habituated forces the herd to break this habit. Thus the first day, week and month of denial of use (by a fence) is the key period. Once the habit is broken, the change in routines and location is easier to maintain.
There are four basic approaches to controlling deer damage to woodlands, which may need to be used in combination:
- Fencing or tree guards. Netting or mesh fences are necessary, as deer can push between the wires of line wire fencing. Muntjac can push under netting, which must be lapped or buried as for rabbits. Tree guards must be of sufficient height and robust enough to resist damage.
- Providing alternative grazing and browsing to divert attention away from the areas you want to protect.
- Culling of population. Culling has to be organised on a local area basis, as deer will rapidly move into woodland where culling has taken place. Contact the local Forestry Commission office as there may be a deer management group in your area.
- Electric Fencing is highly effective and being intrinsically lighter than conventional fencing is substantially cheaper and easier to erect.
To read the full article please follow this Link. Techniques using Electric Fencing to exclude Deer