Friday, July 9, 2010

Oh Deer! Fishing Line Fence Revisited

At least one sly deer read my July 1 blog post on excluding deer with a fishing line fence. On July 2 I noticed that 3 of my 23 tomato plants had a few top stems nipped- by deer of course. It was a warning shot; a clear message: "Go ahead- brag about some other silly attempt to keep us from enjoying all of the food groups. Next time we won' t leave any green tissue."

It looks like one deer jumped over the fence or crawled under. Will the others figure it out? With vegetation drying down I am surprised the deer have not made more of an effort. Tonight I will be adding a few more runs of fishing line to discourage these marauders.

This is a temporary solution. I'll be busy building a more permanent bamboo fence this fall.


  1. Bamboo outside works for about a year. Then the bamboo breaks down. There is some kind of bug here in Maryland that loves to bore through the canes and make it very weak. I build trellises each year out of bamboo, and have to replace them the next spring. Good thing is that neighbor has about 20 times more bamboo than the neighborhood can use.
    Good luck on the deer fence. Looking forward to hearing more about it.

  2. Those are probably powder post beetles in the bamboo. Here's a pub dealing with them:
    I have bamboo growing in my backyard and frequently encounter them.

    It would be nice to have a non-toxic protective lacquer that you could apply to bamboo to make it last longer as a trellis.

  3. Yep, deer are amazing creatures. They can find any weakness in you attempt to exclude them. I had a 140# doe trying to get to my peppers Thursday morning and chased her. She went through an open space in my fence that was about 2 by 2 feet. I have since closed that opening, but I'm sure she'll find another.

  4. How did this go for you after you added more fishing line?

  5. Relying on horizontal runs does not keep the deer out. I switched to vertical runs of 20 lb. test filament (see March 11, 2014 blog post). This has worked very well. No deer have entered the garden in 5 years. I have to make a half-dozen repairs each year where the line breaks due to rubbing/snagging. I try to keep the vertical runs of fishing line no more than 6-8 inches apart.

    1. How do you secure the vertical line top & bottom? To what is the line affixed? How high are your vertical runs? Do you have a picture of this or a link to one? Would greatly appreciate more info! Thanks!

  6. The blog post below (and related posts that appear at the bottom)have more info and photos:

    The vertical runs were 6.5-7.5 ft. high. I tied the fishing line to the bottom wire and then wound it around each of the other horizontal wires and then down again in a zig zag pattern.

    The fence worked for years until the day it didn't. I think that one or more deer felt trapped between the fence and a patch of bamboo and tore through the fishing line in a panic. I replaced the fishing line with deer netting which has worked well.


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