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Keeping Deer Away From Bird Feeders

bird feeders, feeding deer

Greetings Outdoors Enthusiasts,

A while back, an Open Air Living reader posed the following question to me:

"Do you know how to stop deer from eating from our bird feeders? They can't open the top, but they manage to suck out all the feed from the small openings. Any suggestions? "

Here was my response:


There is lots of squirrel info to be found.  Not much deer.
Try seaching the internet for, deer proof feeders, deer proofing bird feeders, etc
The best pieces of advice I could find are as follows:
First, raise the height of your feeders.  Although this may make it harder for you to fill the feeders, it will also make it harder for the deer to get into them.  Unfortunately, deer can reach up to six feet on their hind legs.
Second, Stop putting food in the feeders for a few days.  The deer will have to start looking elsewhere after a day or two.  (they may eventually find the feeders again as they remember it as a food source)
Third,  Spray the seeds with capsaicin.  The hot ingredient in hot peppers.  Looks for sprays and powders that you apply directly to seeds.  Birds are supposedly not as affected by the HOT like mammals.  In addition they don't eat the shells like the deer do.
For a long shot try soap (irish spring)
Another bit of advice I found:
"Avoid feeding deer.  When a deer is accustomed to feeding at a location, and the feeding stops, it could resort to eating anything and everything nearby."
If nothing else works, one book I have suggested bringing in the feeders at night.  Saying, "You won't stop the visits, but you will save your wallet from being emptied."
It's spring now.  The snow is gone, and deer should be able to find the browse they need.
They have been surviving in this state way longer than bird feeders have been around.
Now is the time to teach them people shouldn't be their primary source of food.
See you 'round the campfire

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