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Posted on: January 30, 2024

Dealing with Deer in Rosetown

deer pic

On January 23, 2024 the Town hosted an informational meeting to educate residents about "urban deer". Conservation Officer Ted Glass and Wildlife Ecologist Leanne Heisler said that deer are moving into small towns because of the abundance of food and shelter and lack of predators. There are some things we, as residents, can do to deter the deer population from settling in town. The most important thing is to stop feeding deer in town. There are some tips and ideas listed below. Please educate your neighbors and newcomers to the area so we can eliminate the issues as a community.

Brochures and a list of deer-resistant flowers, shrubs and trees are available at the Town Office.

Here's some quick tips on living with our Saskatchewan wildlife:

  • Do not feed wildlife. They become dependent on it, and learn habits that can harm them or cause conflicts with people.
  • Keep your distance when you spot wildlife. Giving them space reduces the chance of conflict.
  • Always keep your pets leashed and under control.
  • Pick up after your pet. Cleaning up waste helps keep your pet and wildlife healthy. 
  • Secure your property: remove any pet food, dispose of garbage in cans and place compost in bins. It reduces wildlife being attracted to the area by the food source.

How can you help reduce urban deer? 

  • Do not feed the deer. They have ample food supply in the wild and supplementing this natural food supply not only attracts and holds deer in the area but can trigger an unsustainable population increase.
  • Fence off your fruit trees and gardens.
  • Keep shrubs and other plants trimmed. Deer require cover to safely travel through communities and bed down. 
  • Use motion-activated lights, sounds or sprinklers to startle deer and dissuade them from coming into your yard. They are seeking a safe haven and will avoid places that have proven to be stressful in the past.
  • Avoid having fruit trees in your yard.  If you do have fruit trees, trim lower branches to discourage deer from feeding and remove all windfalls from your yard promptly.
  • In winter, cover shrubs and trees with burlap or plastic sheeting to create a barrier against grazing in your yard.
  • Plant flowers and shrubs that wildlife do not like to eat. 
  • Remove standing water from your yard and cover rain barrels.
  • Place bird feeders higher than deer can reach.

Try these 5 tips to discourage & prevent deer from hanging out in your yard 

  • Spray them with your garden hose from a safe distance; make loud noises (e.g. banging pans/aluminum cans; open/close an umbrella; waving & clapping hands while shouting.
  • Remove attractants such as crab apples, Halloween pumpkins, bird seed, etc.
  • Use scare tactics such as mobile yard ornaments or scarecrows.
  • Try natural or chemical deterrents such as blood meal, Critter Control, TKO Orange, or human hair.
  • Plant deer-resistant plant species; consult your local nursery or greenhouse.


 Avoid Deer Conflict

Although deer aren’t considered dangerous, they can act aggressively toward people and dogs to protect themselves or their fawns. Here are some strategies to reduce the chance of deer-human conflict:

  • Never feed deer. Feeding deer can cause them to associate people with food; they can act aggressively when hungry. Reliance on unnatural food sources poses challenges for deer in the winter when food sources are less abundant, increasing aggression. 
  • Deter deer from your yard. Plant unpalatable species, remove bird feeders, use tree guards, rake up crab apples and put them in the compost bin (or remove fruit trees altogether). If deer sleep in your yard, place objects randomly like patio furniture to disrupt sleeping areas. Don’t let your dog chase deer out of your yard as this may encourage aggression.
  • Give deer their space. Deer may act aggressively if threatened. When walking, cycling, etc., change your course to give deer as much room as possible. When driving in the presence of deer, slow down.
  • Keep dogs on a leash. Unleashed dogs often chase/scare deer causing them to run into traffic or encourage aggression. If a deer approaches a dog on leash, back away and seek an alternate route. Don’t attach your dog leash to yourself.
  • Behaviours to watch for:  If deer feel threatened, their ears will be back and they will stomp their feet and sometimes snort.


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