Do Fishing Line Deer Fences Really Work?

One of the ongoing battles that homeowners and gardeners face is how to keep deer from munching on their plants and flowers. While there may be numerous solutions on the market, some claiming to be foolproof, one simple and cost-effective method has gained popularity: using fishing line as a deer deterrent. The concept behind this approach is rather ingenious – a few strands of fishing line, strategically placed on stakes and wrapped around the garden, can allegedly deter deer from entering. The idea is that deer, being cautious creatures, would perceive the thin fishing line as an impenetrable barrier, and choose to avoid entering the enclosed space altogether. However, the effectiveness of this method raises some questions: do fishing line deer fences really work, or is it merely an urban legend? Let's delve into the world of deer deterrence and examine whether this low-tech solution stands up to it’s claims.

Does Fishing Line Scare Deer?

One common method used to deter deer from entering gardens and damaging valuable plants is by using a fishing line fence. Gardeners often string up monofilament fishing line on stakes surrounding their plants, hoping that it will scare off the deer. While this method may have varying degrees of success, it isn’t foolproof.

The thin and almost invisible fishing line may startle a deer that’s casually browsing in the area, causing it to back away and potentially move on to another location. This initial shock can be enough to deter some deer from venturing further into the garden.

However, more determined deer may not be so easily frightened by the fishing line fence. These deer may find ways to either jump over or push through the line in order to reach the desirable and tasty plants on the other side. The effectiveness of the fishing line fence largely depends on the deers level of persistence and the availability of alternative food sources.

While the thin and invisible line may startle casual browsers, more determined deer can find their way over or through the fence.

Other Methods for Deterring Deer From Gardens

There are several methods to deter deer from gardens other than using fishing line deer fences. One popular method is using scent repellents, such as sprays or granules that contain predator urine or other strong-smelling substances. These scents mimic the presence of a predator and can discourage deer from approaching the garden.

Another effective way to deter deer is by using physical barriers, such as wire or mesh fences. These fences should be at least 8 feet tall to prevent deer from jumping over them. Additionally, planting deer-resistant plants or using repellent plants like lavender or marigold can help deter deer from entering the garden.

Utilizing motion-activated devices, like sprinklers or noise-makers, can also startle deer and make them think the area is unsafe. These devices work by sensing the deer’s movement and responding with a sudden burst of water or a loud noise, scaring them away.

Deer are known for their determined nature, making it challenging to keep them out of your yard. While shorter fences can serve as a deterrent, a deer fence of significant height is often the most reliable solution. Unlike other types of fencing, a barrier-style deer fence is designed to prevent deer from crossing your property borders. However, it’s important to consider that even with their size, deer can still attempt to push under the fencing, requiring careful attention to ensure it’s effectiveness.

Does Deer Fencing Work?

They’re agile creatures that can easily jump over shorter fences. However, a deer fence that’s tall enough, typically around 8 feet in height, can effectively deter these animals from entering your property. These barrier-style deer fences provide a physical barrier that’s difficult for deer to overcome. The height of the fence serves as a deterrent and prevents them from jumping over.

Another advantage of using a deer fence is that it’s designed to be sturdy and strong, making it difficult for deer to break or damage. Unlike other types of fencing, such as wire mesh or electric fencing, deer fences are specifically designed to withstand the pressure and force exerted by deer. This means that even if the deer try to push against the fence, it will remain intact and prevent them from crossing.

One common issue with deer fences is that deer can sometimes try to push under the fencing. To address this, it’s important to ensure that the fence is installed properly and securely. This includes burying the bottom of the fence at least a foot underground to prevent deer from pushing under.

It’s important to note that no fencing method is completely foolproof. However, by installing a proper deer fence, you significantly decrease the likelihood of deer entering your property.


The simple act of placing a few strands of fishing line on stakes around the garden can create a psychological barrier that confuses and deters these creatures. While they may have the physical capability to cross or jump over the fishing line, their lack of awareness regarding this fact works to our advantage. By exploiting their lack of knowledge, fishing line deer fences can effectively protect our gardens and landscapes from the damage caused by deer.

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