This Fancy Fence Is One More Peril for Deer

Every time I see one of these spear-style fences, I remember Mary Ann Baron first telling me how treacherous they can be.

Deer on the run can, and sometimes do, get stuck on fences when trying to clear them or pass through them. Often, several deer run together into the danger, and the harm befalls them all.

Some time ago, I joined Mary Ann and our friend Bridget of Philadelphia Advocates for the Deer to try to prevent a local deer shoot. Of course, we opposed it because the ethical thing to do is to simply let deer be. One of the many other reasons shooting deer is a bad idea, we explained, is that the deer would be running in fear, across roads and into unfamiliar territory.

Startled deer can run into unexpected perils. Photo of running White-tailed deer by Jeff Houdret.

And when they do run from unusual dangers, deer can run into unexpected perils. A Radnor Township police official mentioned that being called to the scene of a deer impaled on a fence is an unforgettable horror. Why would Radnor Township allow these fences, then? And how many of us really need a fence — let alone one with spikes, or posts that deer can be caught between? 

We Can Take Action.

Some animal advocates have worked on physical remedies. One of my Patreon subscribers remembers doing this at a cemetery in Williamsville, near Buffalo, New York. The protective action was to top individual fence spikes so the deer wouldn’t be impaled. The advocates raised money for the new metalwork. Check out the story and picture here.

Small actions can prevent tragic accidents and spare lives. We can ask our town governments, churchyards and botanical gardens, clubs and multi-unit properties to rule out dangerous fences.

An online search for local fencing companies typically brings up these types of fences for sale. We can address the companies on social media, engage them in discussion, and ask if they’d consider discontinuing fences that pose dangers to deer. 

Thanks to Maureen Schiener and Mary Ann Baron for contributing to my awareness. I hope this article helps other readers explain the issue for property managers. No one wants to wake up and find an impaled deer on a fence; so please, ask people to prevent it in the first place.

Thanks for Going Out of Your Way to Care.

If you have any reports on engagement in your community, kindly share! Readers beyond the eastern U.S. region: Do you know of other animals in your area who are similarly at risk? Please post a note in the comment section below.



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Banner photo: Melisa Valentin, via Pexels.

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