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Deer forage near the Wakara Way in Salt Lake City.

Deer forage near the Wakara Way in Salt Lake City on Thursday, June 24, 2021. Deer forage near the Wakara Way in Salt Lake City on Thursday, June 24, 2021.

Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News

Photo of the day: Drought may cause more wildlife to seek food, water in neighborhoods

SHARE Photo of the day: Drought may cause more wildlife to seek food, water in neighborhoods
SHARE Photo of the day: Drought may cause more wildlife to seek food, water in neighborhoods

The ongoing drought may lead to more wildlife, particularly deer, to travel into Utah neighborhoods in search of food and water.

Officials with the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources say in order to find alternate food sources, deer and other big game animals may end up in people’s yards or gardens. If you want to try to save your plants and want to minimize any property damage from these wildlife visits, here are a few tips:

  • Building an 8-foot fence around your garden or yard is the most effective method, and is probably the only reliable way to keep deer out of your garden.
  • Another fairly effective technique is to install a motion-activated sprinkler.
  • People can also try planting unpalatable vegetation around the perimeter of their gardens to deter deer from eating additional plants.

While some may want to prevent deer and other wildlife from eating their lawns or gardens, others may be looking for ways they can help hungry and thirsty animals. While it may be tempting to provide feed or water for these animals, it can lead to unsafe situations for the animals and people.

“The best way you can help wildlife is by letting animals stay wild,” Justin Shannon, a DWR section chief, said in a statement. “Don’t approach them, and don’t try to feed them. These animals have evolved to be able to survive numerous weather conditions and to make it on their own. Often people’s good intentions wind up doing more harm than good for the wildlife. Not to mention, it can be really dangerous when deer, moose or bears become habituated and lose their fear of people.”