Snapped: Deer beware, going electric

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For years, I have done annual battle with the deer. In my ongoing quest to protect my crops, I’ve surrounded my 2,000-square-foot veggie garden with deer netting, hung smelly soaps or repellants, scattered human hair (don’t ask), and even used a motion-activated sprinkler, which I have to admit, was quite effective, but tended to squirt me more than the deer. Yet, no matter what types of deterrents or barriers I’ve tried, I’ve never been able to keep the deer out of the garden.

I’ve been toying with the idea of an electric fence for several years, but always put it off as I thought it would be ugly, expensive or dangerous. After much reading and research, we finally decided to give it a go and installed an electric fence three weeks ago, a three-string barrier that cost less than $250, took two hours to install (we already had the fence posts around the garden) and has – so far – kept out the deer (knock on wood!).

electric deer fence

Three strands of electric wire, placed at differing heights, make up our fence.

My husband laughed when I hung the rather unattractive ‘Electric Fence’ sign, but I thought it necessary to remind the children, the neighbours, and (most importantly!) myself to be careful and deactivate the fence before venturing into the garden. I wasn’t initially thrilled with the appearance of the fence – after all, it lacks the charm of a picket or split rail fence – but the first time I walked into the garden, I felt like I was gardening – finally – in a deer-free space. It was heavenly! And if you ask me, I’ll tell you that my ugly electric barrier is the prettiest fence I’ve ever seen.

Will it keep out the deer?

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