Georgia Wildlife Resources Division
2067 U.S. Hwy. 278, SE, Social Circle, GA 30025
Scare devices can be effective in keeping deer away from both small and large cultivated areas. These devices often produce only short-term results but may be more effective when combined with other damage control techniques.
In places where deer are visible during daylight hours and have lost their fear of humans, scare pistols may be an integral part of a deer repellent strategy. Scare pistols can be purchased from various suppliers. When purchasing pyrotechnic pistols, be sure to order a pistol (launcher), blanks and cartridges. When choosing ammunition (cartridges), select for a mix of bangers, screamers and whistlers to keep deer from getting used to any one sound. These items can be purchased online or contact the local WRD Game Management office for suggested retailers.
Gas exploders or cannons are the most effective devices for large areas and can be used on small acreages. Exploders can be purchased for about $250 and can be set to explode at regular intervals. Both timing of explosions and location of cannon should be changed frequently to keep deer from getting acclimated to the noise. Pyrotechnical gas cannons may be purchased online or contact the local WRD Game Management office for suggested retailers.
Visual scare devices may be the quick fix for deer depredation problems. However, deer quickly may become accustomed to visual scare tactics and resume nuisance behavior. These devices may be more effective when combined with other damage control techniques. Methods should be varied every 2 to 3 days so that deer do not become accustomed to one type of tactic.
Scarecrows accompanied by a portable radio may temporarily frighten deer in small areas such as home gardens. Moving the scarecrow and radio every few days may increase effectiveness. Placing recently worn articles with fresh human scent such as baseball caps, socks or T-shirts also will increase effectiveness. Again, deer may become acclimated to the situation and resume depredation.
Motion activated yard lights, common to both farm yards and suburban areas, will startle deer and may discourage them from using the lighted area. However, deer may still remain in the shadows and eventually become accustomed to the light. Flashing lights or strobe light systems seem to work better than continuous light sources. Depending on location, lights can be powered by household electricity, 12-volt battery or solar power. Motion activated sprinklers attached to your garden hose also can be effective deterrents for deer on lawns or gardens. Several systems are commercially available including a reasonably priced battery operated system.