There are several reasons why there might be sleeping deer in your yard, and some people realize it isn’t wise to have them there. It is important not to attract deer into your yard or garden, as there are some dangers accompanied with that, to both your family and the surrounding wildlife.
Why do deer sleep in my yard?
First of all, you should feel honored because that means that the deer feels safe enough in your yard to let its guard down. Seriously, that’s a safe spot for the deer now if they lay down there, usually under trees or around bushes.
They also like being near a food source, so you probably have something that they like to eat in your yard.
Where do deer normally sleep?
Most deer don’t have a returning place they sleep for too often, maybe a night or two. Deer sleep where they feel like lying down, sometimes frequenting a location that has met multiple of their needs. Most importantly, deer do not stray very far from their main water source.
Are deer in your backyard dangerous?
There doesn’t seem like there would be anything wrong with deer sleeping in your yard, but there are some factors, such as your pet dog which is a natural predator.
Minor issues arise with deer accidentally tripping the motion-activated sprinklers. The sudden water could scare the deer into tripping over a sprinkler, harming itself and the equipment.
Buck in particular can be a threat to any who cross their path, especially during mating season, or “rutting” season. They remain ever alert and can smell danger in the wind up to half a mile away under normal conditions. They can even smell a hunter’s trail for up to 10 days after he or she has walked it.
Deers can spread Lyme Disease
A very serious concern is Lyme Disease, a disabling disease that leaves its victims extremely fatigued and in chronic pain. Lyme Disease is easily spread from deer due to the amount of ticks deer carry under their coat. It’s very easy to transfer those ticks into your yard and onto your clothes. If you live anywhere that has an issue with Lyme Disease, you should actually avoid deer and the path they lead.
Hunters in particular need to stay safe in the woods during hunting season both against other hunters as well as pests such as ticks and other insects.
Deer that frequent your backyard can also pass on diseases and parasites to other deer much easier and at high risk. Chronic wasting disease is an example of a serious and deadly prion infection that has no cure. It’s the deer version of mad cow disease in cows. This is why it’s a bad idea to feed the deer in your backyard: you don’t want to encourage them to return.
What can I use to deter deer?
Believe it or not, cayenne is a great deer deterrent. Oregano, sage, and chives are all considered natural deer deterrents, although I can’t attest to their effectiveness. Deer also don’t like plants with fuzzy petals, so enjoy that Lamb’s Ear if you can!
Apparently, human hair clippings are known to repel deer too.
But those are just the natural options; you can also choose chemical deer repellents as well as use physical barriers in order to prevent deer from entering your property.
Some people use an ultrasonic deer repellent to annoy the deer populations away.
Also, be sure you don’t have any food sources for the urban deer in your yard.
Frequently asked questions:
Is it normal for a deer to be alone?
They are almost always found in groups of does and/or fawns, maybe with a buck. The more lonely deer would be the buck searching for a bunch (“herd” of deer), or the female with her young not far behind.
Can I shoot deer in my yard?
Many deer are killed each year during hunting seasons (and the off-season for several reasons), but you can shoot a deer on your property IF you are a licensed hunter. BE CAREFUL. If you miss the deer, are you shooting into your neighbor’s house? There are lots of things to consider when hunting deer in general, but it’s not wise to do practice hunting near any form of civilization.
Where do deer sleep during the winter?
They build these cool “nests” under coniferous trees, building up the snow around the base, creating sort of a cocoon. The low branches make a sort of roof, while the snow wall protects them from the wind and wild animals.
Why do deer sleep standing up?
Actually, yes, deer sleep standing up. And apparently, they can even sleep with their eyes open, especially if they had a run-in with a predator recently.
Deers enjoy sleeping where they feel comfortable, and they only sleep for about five hours a day! Overall, I wouldn’t encourage deer to come to your yard for a visit; it’s fun to watch them and they are a beautiful addition, but you could inadvertently be doing more harm than good by attracting deer and spreading communal diseases amongst the local deer population, and/or inadvertently having deer harm property or visa-versa.