A deer fence still is the best remedy

We have a lot of deer roaming around Ashland, and they're often a nuisance. Most people who don't want the deer coming into their yards have to erect an 8-foot fence. To make it less expensive and troublesome for homeowners, would it be possible to collar the deer with a unit that responds to a hidden fence system? Then interested Ashlanders could purchase the hidden fence and keep the deer out of their yards without going through the trouble of building a rampart around their homes.

— Max in Ashland

Here's the thing, Max in Ashland. The problem with your idea, however well-intentioned it might be, is that it's not less expensive or less troublesome. Officials at Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife tell us it's just the opposite on both counts.

"It's not something that's easily done," said ODFW wildlife biologist Dan Ethridge. "You'd pretty much have to (collar) every deer in the neighborhood. Just the total cost of something like that is a lot more than anyone can comprehend. That's not likely to ever happen."

Collaring every deer would be close to impossible. Some of the deer are migratory, and new ones are born every year. And before you go trying to collar deer on your own, Max, know that it's against the law for you to capture the animals and collar them on your own.

The deer issue, unfortunately, is something of an uphill battle. Fencing — a method you mentioned — is the best bet, Ethridge said. There also are deer repellents, but their effectiveness is iffy.

"That's temporary-type stuff. Rain washes it off," Ethridge said.

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