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Keep Me Wild: Deer

When you attract deer to your property, you may also be attracting mountain lions.

More than half of California is considered deer habitat. And where there are deer, there are mountain lions. That’s because deer are the mountain lion’s primary prey.

Allowing deer access to your garden and landscaping, or intentionally feeding deer, can be deadly. Wild animals naturally fear people, keep a distance, and will not bother you, so long as they remain truly wild. But if they become accustomed to humans, their natural ways are ruined. Their normal wildlife and fear of humans is lost. That’s when conflict occur.

  • Never intentionally feed deer. It's illegal to feed deer in California!
  • Landscape with deer-resistant plants. See the Gardener's Guide to Preventing Deer Damage (PDF).
  • Enclose gardens with eight-foot fencing or use deer-proof fencing.
  • Pick up fallen tree fruit.
  • Install motion-sensitive lighting around the house and garden.
  • Consider using commercially prepared deer repellents (available at garden supply stores.)

Learn more about deer in California.


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Office of Communications, Education and Outreach
1416 9th Street, 12th Floor, Sacramento, CA 95814
(916) 322-8911


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Wildlife-proof Products

Many products are available for keeping wildlife away from human food sources.