Exclusion methods prevent deer from access to plants and/or an area. The effectiveness of exclusion depends on proper installation and maintenance of the barriers in order to deny deer entry. Exclusion is the most effective nonlethal method to reduce deer damage, and when installed and maintained properly, can completely eliminate all deer damage.
Fencing is the most proven and reliable method of excluding deer from an area. It is the best long term exclusion method, but requires occasional maintenance. Exclusion fencing is the most cost-effective method over the long term. Fencing should always be considered for valuable plants that require protection throughout the year. Perennial protection, for example, is required for landscape, orchards, nurseries, vineyards and other high value plants. Fencing is the most practical and cost-effective method for protecting small landscapes, residential gardens and small orchards, and for large areas of high value crops.
Eight-foot fences are recommended to exclude deer, as shorter fences do not properly exclude deer. Fences need to be properly installed by a professional, and should contour to the ground to prevent deer from going under. To prevent deer from establishing feeding patterns, fencing must be erected as soon as possible.