Most gardeners want to keep the deer from destroying their plants. Deer can quickly do substantial damage to landscaping and crops, yet there are a select few of us who enjoy watching them feast in our backyards.
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Whether you want to attract them for hunting or just to watch their beauty, there are few things to keep in mind before you try enticing them with delicious vegetation. If you live near a busy road, obviously you don't want to attract deer who might cross it. In some areas it is illegal to bait deer for both hunting and viewing purposes. Its important to know your local laws. Deer are wild animals and as with all wild animals it is best for them not to rely on humans as a food source. Be sure to plant your treats in a setting that is both safe and natural for them.
Deer eat the bark of maple, aspen and dogwood. Deer love fruit, nuts and seeds. If you can plant near an oak the tree, the acorns will attract them. They will eat apples (and crab apples), pears, grapes, and strawberries. Peas, corn, oats and wheat are other favorites from the garden. Deer will graze on clover and alfalfa too. Lush greens and tender plants are a source of water for them.
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Deer are sensitive to smells and strong scents can drive them away. Do not plant fragrant blooms like lilac, honeysuckle, butterfly bushes or potenilla. Balsam fir, garlic, sage and thyme should be avoided too.