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Old 09-13-2009, 09:39 AM
 
Location: Chapel Hill, N.C.
36,502 posts, read 49,804,128 times
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We finally got to Duke Gardens yesterday and it was beautiful. The whole family enjoyed our visit there very much. All free, even parking because we got there right at 9 but we did leave a donation in the box on the way out.
My questin is this: lots of hostas and other great deer candy but no deer damage in sight. When I asked the attendant why no deer damage and if entire garden was fenced he said no deer cause it was in middle of busy town. I don't believe that as we all know deer are all over busy Cahpel Hill and Carrboro. I saw in the paper that they are having their 2nd deer culling in Duke Forest starting this week. Maybe that helps but it is hard to believe a garden the size of Duke Gardens doesn't have any deer roaming.
Does anybody know?
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Old 09-13-2009, 08:09 PM
 
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It's all those scary Duke Students. The deer don't like to go near them.

Seriously, though... wouldn't the deer have to cross some pretty busy roads to get from Duke Forest to Duke Gardens? And plus why leave Duke Forest when you have a literal buffet. ???? (Just a guess here.)
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Old 09-16-2009, 07:47 AM
 
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They likely keep the deer population low in Duke Garden. It's more than offset by the seemingly large deer population in the RTP where, I don't think, hunting occurs.

Last night at work, I literally sat in our bottom floor break room and watched a deer and fox mildly compete for food from a seed or corn box. Some Canada geese were the audience.
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Old 09-16-2009, 10:07 AM
 
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The concentration of deer on the east side of 15-501 is much, much, much, much lower than on the west side. In 15 years of driving 751 to Old Erwin, I have never seen a deer on the east side of the highway, and I see them near the ramps on the west side a couple times a week, even though both sides of 751 are just as heavily wooded. I suspect the highway does a pretty good job of limiting migration from Duke Forest over to the University.
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Old 09-16-2009, 01:02 PM
 
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I live one mile south of the gardens, on the east side of 751, and we get deer eating the hostas and hydrangeas and whatnot. i have seen deer in the woods to the south and to the west of west campus, but never on it. Not sure how they keep the deer out--wish I knew!
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Old 09-16-2009, 02:10 PM
 
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I saw the person who until recently was the Director of the Gardens (and is Professor Emeritus from the Biology/former Botany dept at Duke) today and asked him. He says that they actually have no idea why there are no deer in the Gardens. The houses in the area have chewed up yards from the deer, but they have stayed away from the Gardens. The Gardens does nothing to actively dissuade the deer from coming- he considers it luck!
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Old 09-16-2009, 10:13 PM
 
Location: Chapel Hill, N.C.
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wish I had some of that luck! But seriously this is a strange phenom. They must have a secret weapon they aren't willing to share.
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Old 09-17-2009, 08:02 AM
 
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Could it have to do with the nature of the use of that area, the people that are in it, etc.? Maybe the deer have learned to avoid the area because of all the human activity.
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Old 09-17-2009, 10:34 AM
 
Location: Chapel Hill, N.C.
36,502 posts, read 49,804,128 times
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CH Transplant- that can't be the reason. I practically live in my yard and the deer just look at me, snort and stomp when they see me. Our neighborhood is full of walking people and dogs and lots of deer following along behind or beside us.
Here in my 40 something year of gardening I am fighting a huge battle with deer for the first time in my life and I've always lived in wooded areas. They are driving me crazy with destruction. I've tried at least 5 different spray on products, moth balls, irish spring, netting and still they nudge ahead and eat daylilly foliage to the ground, coneflower leaves and all sorts of plants which are supposed to be deer resistant. Now I'm even wondering if a fence to the sky will keep them out.
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Old 09-17-2009, 11:02 AM
 
9,197 posts, read 23,613,028 times
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I can understand - we have much the same situation in our neighborhood, and my wife constantly battles the deer nibbling on her plants.

It's just an uneducated guess, but my thinking was - if the Gardens aren't doing anything to repel them, and the plants would seem to be appetizing to the deer, there must be something about the Gardens that causes the deer to stay away. Maybe there's a deer psychologist on City-Data who can shed more light on this.
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