Deer are not known to eat apples. They prefer other fruits such as pears or peaches. If they do eat apples, it’s usually only once in a while when there is no one around to stop them. You might think that if you have deer fences around your fruit trees, then they will never get near them because they won’t want anything to do with those things.
But what happens if you don’t put up any kind of fence? What happens if you just leave your fruit trees alone?
It turns out that some people have had their apple trees attacked by deer. One woman reported her tree was eaten by a large black bear. Another man found his tree eaten by two bears. A third person discovered his tree was devoured by three bears!
A few years ago I read an article about a farmer whose apple orchard was destroyed after being hit repeatedly with lightning strikes. Apparently, a couple of lightning strikes caused the trees to go into shock and fall over.
So what can you do to prevent your fruit trees from getting attacked by deer?
First off, make sure you have enough food for your animals. Don’t let them starve to death. Also, make sure you have plenty of water in case there is a sudden downpour. During a bad thunderstorm, deer will not get near large bodies of water. They are very afraid of getting zapped by lightning.
If fencing off your fruit trees is too much trouble for you, you can always try creating some noise around them. If you happen to have some old CD players laying around the house, set them up around your trees and turn them on. Most electronics from the twentieth century make deer nervous. Alternatively, you can bang some pots and pans together every once in a while. If you’re really desperate, you could always fire a shotgun into the air.
Just make sure you don’t hit any of your animals (or people) with a stray bullet!
You might also try planting some spineless cacti around your fruit trees. It isn’t uncommon for deer to be hurt while rooting around for food or water with their sensitive noses and eyes. If they are used to going only where it’s safe, they will avoid your orchard altogether.
You could also just build an above-ground electric fence around your trees. Those things work very well at keeping deer away. The only problem is that you have to keep re-charging them. You can either do this manually or get a solar panel attached to the system so it recharges automatically during the day.
Another thing you could try is planting garlic around your fruit trees. Deer hate the smell of garlic. It doesn’t have to be a lot, either. If you plant some garlic in your yard and it gets on the grass, it will keep the deer from coming near it.
If you still want to build a fence (perhaps an underground one), you can try using crushed glass instead of broken glass. Deer don’t like walking on it. However, you would need to keep it swept up so that no one (including yourself) steps on it and gets hurt.
If none of that works for you, then you can just try staying up all night and shooing away any deer that come near your yard. If you do it often enough, they will eventually get used to your face and leave you alone once and for all.
Bears are an entirely different story. The only thing that will keep them away is a fence. No wall is too high or steep for them to climb. If you don’t want them munching on your fruit, then you will need to take some drastic measures…
Now that you have chosen what animals you are going to raise, it’s time to build a shelter for them. Unless you already have a barn on your property, you are going to need to build a stable of some sort. Go to the lumber yard and see if you can find a sponsor to give you the wood in exchange for advertising space on your buggy.
Once you have all of your materials, you will need to start building a stable. Stables are rather large structures and thus take a lot of time to build. Expect the process to take at least a month (if not more). Now you just have to hope that the local newspaper has an ad for you before then…
If you have enough money, you could always just buy some land from one of the larger farms in town. They should have some extra space that you can use to build a stable. However, you will most likely need to fix it up before using it as a stable.
Before you do anything else, you need to get your animals up-to-date on their shots. Go to the local veterinarian and ask them if they can give your animals the necessary shots so that they are healthy and not likely to get sick. You also want to make sure that the animals are safe from predators who might try to eat them as well.
Once your animals are healthy, you will need to build a stable. See the Building a Stable section for information on how to do this.
After you have built your stable, it is time to start making some money! Go back to the lumber yard and ask them if they have any lumber scraps that you can have for free. They usually have a lot of scraps that they just throw away. If they don’t give you any for free, see if you can get a good deal on some. You are going to need some wood to make the stalls for your animals.
You will also need to get a hammer, nails, and wood glue, but those are fairly cheap at the hardware store. You should also invest in some horse and wood paneling to make your animals more comfortable.
It should also be noted that you will need someone to look after your animals while you go to school. You could ask a friend from school, but it is likely that they will be too busy with schoolwork of their own. Instead of asking for help, you could just hire someone from the local orphanage to help you out. They are used to doing the tasks that no one else wants to do.
Go to the local orphanage and pick someone to help you. Be sure to get someone around your own age so that you don’t have to babysit them and can be friends with them at the same time.
With all of this done, you are now officially in the horse breeding game!
“Woah!” you say as you pull back hard on the reigns of your Shetland Pony. The pony is named Lightning and is one of the fastest Breeds you have ever seen. You were given him as an early Christmas present and have already gotten him into racing. So far he has four first place finishes, each time beating the favorite to win.
Your other horses are doing good as well. The farm is starting to turn a slight profit as well. This is all thanks to the help of your hired hand Guillermo. All of the animals are healthy and all of your dreams are seemingly coming true.
So what’s next?
You could try to get into horse training, or become a jockey, or even buy some land and build a racetrack!
To Become a Jockey you will need to get yourself into a good racing school and then pass a series of physical tests. To get into a racing school you will need good grades and to join the high school equestrian team. Good luck.
To try to become a horse trainer you will first need experience in horses, so try working at a stable. From there you will need to take classes in horse training and possibly take some science courses as well.
Finally you could try to build a racetrack to bring more revenue into the farm. This however is very expensive and would require you to get a loan from the bank. You would also need to get the town to approve a racetrack as well. If you can get this done, you will have plenty of cash, but until then, you’ll be in debt.
“Let’s build that track kid. The whole town will go for it.” -Damien Dark
“Let’s try to get into a racing school.” -Jane Dark
To Be A Jockey, You Must Have Several Things. First You Must Have The Necessary Skills For Riding Horses. Second You Must Be Small And Light Enough To Ride The Heavily Testosterone Filled Thoroughbreds. Third You Need To Be Able To Pass All Of The Physical Tests Given At A Racing School.
As For Horse Training. First You Need The Necessary Skills To Train Horses.
Sources & references used in this article:
Deer by SR Craven, SE Hygnstrom – The Handbook: Prevention and …, 1994 – digitalcommons.unl.edu
Effects of browsing by mule deer on tree growth and fruit production in juvenile orchards by DD Austin, PJ Urness – The Great Basin Naturalist, 1992 – JSTOR
Reducing Deer Damage to Yews and Apple Trees: Testing Big Game Repellent®, pel®, and Soap as Repellents by RK Swihart, MR Conover – Wildlife Society Bulletin (1973-2006), 1990 – JSTOR
Economic feasibility of a deer-proof fence for apple orchards by JW Caslick, DJ Decker – Wildlife Society Bulletin (1973-2006), 1979 – JSTOR
The influence of deer browsing on the reproductive biology of Canada yew (Taxus canadensis marsh.) by TD Allison – Oecologia, 1990 – Springer