Deer are common sights throughout many parts of North America. If you live in a rural area, there’s a good chance that you will see deer near your home from time to time.
Some people think that it’s very interesting to observe deer from afar. Others might find them to be a nuisance due to the fact that they munch on many types of plants.
If you went out into your garden recently and discovered that some of your pumpkins have been eaten, you might be wondering if deer are to blame. Do deer like pumpkins and are they known to eat them?
Read on to learn a bit about deer and whether they like pumpkins. You’ll also get some advice that will help you to keep deer away from your garden area.
Deer Love to Eat Pumpkins
It’s very common for deer to eat pumpkins that are being grown in gardens. Pumpkins have all sorts of edible parts that are going to appeal to deer.
The deer will eat the flowers, leaves, and seeds of the pumpkin. They’ll even dine on the rind when they’re hungry enough.
A deer’s favorite part of the pumpkin is located inside of the pumpkin. You might be able to observe deer eating the guts of a pumpkin at some point if you are able to spot it from a far enough distance.
This is going to be a great meal that the deer will enjoy. It might be annoying if deer keep messing with your pumpkins, but you can’t blame them for wanting to find a meal.
Are Pumpkins Good for Deer?
Yes, pumpkins are good for deer because they contain many nutrients that they need. This is a healthy type of food that deer will really enjoy.
Pumpkins contain vitamin C, potassium, and a lot of fiber content. All of this is going to be beneficial to the deer.
Since pumpkin guts are so fibrous, they’re going to help deer to develop stronger bones. Even pumpkin seeds wind up being good for the deer because they contain omega-6 fats.
Pumpkins can act as a great food source for deer during the winter months. It’s a great way for deer to get nutrients when it’s hard for them to find other things to eat.
If you have excess pumpkins from your harvest, it makes sense to give them to the local deer population. Some people like the idea of helping the deer to survive during the winter months.
How to Feed Pumpkins to Deer
Feeding excess pumpkins to deer isn’t as easy as walking up to a deer and dropping a pumpkin on the ground. You should never approach wild animals such as deer, and it’s likely that they’ll run away from you before you can even get close.
So you’re never going to directly feed pumpkins to the deer. You’re simply going to leave excess pumpkins in a spot where the deer will enjoy them.
If you have a large yard, you can place excess pumpkins somewhere in the yard that’s far away from your house. Put the pumpkins back there and the deer will likely eat them.
Deer like to stay out of sight and they are more likely to eat things that aren’t out in the open. If there’s tall grass or bushes nearby, that’ll help.
It’s also good to crack the pumpkins open for the deer. This allows them to easily get to the guts of the pumpkin.
Pumpkins have fairly hard outer shells and it might be tough for the deer to crack them. Cracking them open will simply allow the deer to enjoy the best parts of the pumpkin faster.
This is a reliable way to get rid of excess pumpkins that are going to go bad anyway. There’s a good chance that hungry deer will eat the excess pumpkins that you place in the yard within a few days.
Should You Feed the Deer?
It might be wise to take a few moments to consider whether it’s a good idea to feed the deer or not. You might like the idea of helping the animals to survive during the winter, but deer can also be harmful.
Deer are dangerous for many different reasons. It’s well-known that deer cause many car accidents in North America each year.
It’s common for deer to run into vehicles and sometimes they stop in the middle of the road. Feeding the deer might make it more likely that car accidents will occur in your area since there will be more of them around.
Also, wild deer are potentially dangerous animals. Sometimes deer will attack humans if they feel threatened.
This is true when male deer are more aggressive than usual during the mating season. Does will attack if people get too close to fawns.
Feeding deer isn’t necessarily an outright bad thing to do, but there are reasons why you might not want to do it. Consider the pros and cons before you make a decision either way.
How to Keep Deer Away From Your Garden
Not everyone wants to have wild deer come around. There are many ways that you can try to deter deer from eating the contents of your garden.
Below, you’ll learn about some of the best ways to deter deer from eating your plants. This should make it less likely that deer will bother your garden plants, and you’ll not have to see them in your yard nearly as often.
1 – Install Fences
Installing fences will do a good job of keeping deer at bay. Deer like to keep things simple when they’re foraging for food in backyards.
They try to go for plants that they can easily see and that they have easy access to. If you place fences around the garden area, it’ll be a lot tougher for the deer to access the plants.
A deer can certainly jump over a fence, but that doesn’t mean that it will be convenient. The deer might avoid the area since it’ll be tougher to escape if a predator gets close.
It’s wise to install fences around the perimeter of the garden. You might even want to install fencing that the deer can’t see though.
This ensures that they won’t be able to see the pumpkins and the other plants in the garden. It’s just one good way to deter deer from messing with your crops.
How Tall Should the Fence Be?
You want the fence to be quite tall if you don’t want the deer to be able to jump it. It’s recommended to install fencing that is between eight and twelve feet tall.
Fences that are this high should make it hard for the deer. A tall fence is going to be a great way to keep deer out.
If the deer can’t jump high enough to clear the fence, they won’t be able to do anything to access the garden. You can make the fence taller by putting planters on top of it if you don’t have enough material to build an eight foot tall fence.
Plant Shrubs Near the Fence
Planting shrubs near the fence can make it very impractical for the deer. If the deer try to jump the fence, they’re going to land right on top of the shrubs.
This is going to make it painful and tough for the deer to access the garden area. Deer are smart enough to think twice about jumping the fence when there are obstacles in the way.
You’ll be able to easily enter the garden area through a door that locks. However, the deer will be forced to jump the fence and face the peril of the obstacles that you’ve put in their path.
It’s a good idea to do this if you want to deter deer from getting to the garden. This doesn’t take a lot of effort and it can work nicely to protect your veggies.
Try a Double Fence
A double fence will make it impossible for a deer to clear the fence. You will have one fence on the perimeter and then another fence close to the perimeter fence.
The gap between the fences won’t be large enough for the deer to fit. These two fences will be far enough apart that the deer won’t be able to clear both fences in one jump.
It’s also true that deer won’t typically jump fences when they can’t see what they’re getting themselves into. The deer don’t like blind jumps because they realize it could lead to trouble.
A solid fence is going to be better than a mesh fence or another type of fence that will allow the deer to see the other side. Choose the type of fence that you build wisely and you’ll be able to keep deer out of the garden.
2 – Use Sprays
There are various sprays that will deter deer from coming around. Some of the sprays are made using predator urine that will scare the deer off.
The basic idea is to spray this predator urine near the garden area. It’ll keep various animals away from the garden because they will think that predators are nearby.
You can also use dog urine if you have a dog. Dogs are predators and the smell of dog urine will keep deer from wanting to get too close.
3 – Letting the Dogs Out
Letting the dogs out can keep deer away from the yard, too. If you have a fence around the perimeter of the yard, the dogs should be able to roam freely without you having to worry about them getting loose.
Dogs will bark if they notice any deer near the area, and the barking of the dogs will scare the deer away. Deer are smart enough to stay away from dogs and they won’t even bother to try to access the garden area.
Many people use this to their advantage to keep deer and other wild animals from messing with their gardens. It can be a good idea to let your dogs scare deer and other wild creatures away.
4 – Motion-Activated Sprinklers
Motion-activated sprinklers can be a perfect option to scare deer away. Installing some of these sprinklers will help to protect your garden and your home.
These sprinklers will detect whenever something gets close to it. This will cause the sprinklers to jump to life and start spraying water in various directions.
The sudden streams of water will startle the deer and they’ll run away as fast as they can. This is a great deterrent that won’t harm the deer at all.
You might even like using these types of sprinklers to protect your home at night. This can be a great way to keep burglars from getting too close to your garage or your home.
Some choose to pair motion-activated sprinklers with motion-activated lights. Both can be beneficial.
Deer love eating pumpkins and they might come to your garden specifically to munch on them. Pumpkins contain many nutrients that are beneficial to deer.
They can be a great source of food for deer during the long winter months. When other types of food become scarce, they can snack on pumpkins that people are growing in their yards.
Some might choose to feed deer excess pumpkins that they don’t have any use for. If you want to do this, put the pumpkins in the back of your yard as far away from your home as possible.
Whether it’s a good idea to feed the deer or not depends on how you look at things. It might not be good to encourage deer to remain in the area due to concerns about car accidents.
You can deter deer from messing with your garden by taking certain steps to make it hard for them to access the garden. Typically, this involves installing fences.
Deer are good jumpers so you’ll want to build a tall fence that will keep them out. You could also build a double fence that they won’t be able to clear in one jump.
Motion-activated sprinklers and predator urine sprays can keep deer away from the garden, too. Even letting your dogs roam in the yard will help to keep the deer from eating your pumpkins.
You have options to consider now. Do your best to make the right choices for your property.
Ben has a bachelor’s degree in construction engineering. When not constructing or remodeling X-Ray Rooms, Cardiovascular Labs, and Pharmacies, you can find him at home with wife and two daughters. Outside of family, He loves grilling and barbequing on his Big Green Egg and Blackstone Griddle, as well as working on projects around the house.
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