Dear deer! DOW offers tips on ‘proofing’ homes near hills

       Warm weather brings a flurry of landscaping activity as homeowners' plant spring gardens. The Colorado Division of Wildlife (DOW) reminds people who live in areas with high concentrations of deer to select plants wisely.
       “Homeowners would be wise to 'deer-proof' their ornamental gardens by selecting plants that deer do not like,” said Shaun Deeney, an area wildlife manager in Colorado Springs.
       A plant can be deer-resistant for several reasons. Taste and digestibility vary with plant parts, plant age, growth stage, and time of year.
       Deeney recommends black-eyed Susan, daffodils, gayflower, grape hyacinth, larkspur, lavender and purple coneflower as some of the flowering plants deer tend to avoid.
       However, the availability of natural food can greatly affect the amount of damage caused by deer. If an adequate supply of natural browse is available, deer are less likely to eat ornamental plants. When the natural food supply is low, however, few ornamental plants will be resistant, and deer may cause heavy browse damage.
       A large deer population can create competition for food, causing deer to eat many plants they normally would avoid.
       Several factors have caused urban deer to live near humans, including intentional feeding and the absence of hunting in developed areas.
       “Deer are adaptable creatures,” Deeney said. “Many of our complaints stem from neighbors placing salt blocks or apples to attract deer.”
       While seemingly fun, feeding wildlife creates more problems than it solves. It is illegal to intentionally place or distribute feed for deer in Colorado.
       Another way residents encounter deer is when driving. People often assume that if a deer has crossed the road, the danger has passed. But deer tend to walk single- file and others may be coming..
       Deer are plentiful at roadsides as they seek green pastures. Roadsides, Deeney said, tend to green up faster than other areas, making them prime grazing spots.
       For more information, call the DOW at 227-5211.

From a press release