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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.
  • Landscape with deer-resistant plants.
  • 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.)
deer habitat distribution map
Click to enlarge

There are six recognized subspecies of mule deer in California, occurring in about half of the state.

deer walking on lawn
Many products are available for keeping wildlife away from human food sources.
Click here for a list.

deer eating
It is illegal to feed deer in California. Penalties may include a fine and/or jail time.

 

deer guide cover
Download The Gardener’s Guide to Preventing Deer Damage (PDF)

for tips on keeping deer
out of your garden.

 

deer poster
Download Deer Poster (PDF)

 

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Download Brochure (PDF)

 

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California Department of Fish and Game

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