How do I stop Deer?

Ontario is home to a large population of White-tailed Deer (Odocoileus virginianus). Deer can be a bit of a nuisance at bird feeders especially during the colder months when an easy meal at a bird feeder is much more appealing. We do not recommend feeding corn or hay to deer in the winter as it is vastly different to their wild diet and can endanger their health. A deer’s stomach develops a specific community of microfauna in the winter and offering them anything other than their normal diet (woody browse) can actually lead to illness or even starvation. A sudden change of feed can cause distress, as their stomachs don’t have the ability to process the new food. It can cause bloating and severe discomfort, making the deer weaker and more vulnerable to predators. Deer may actually die from eating too much supplemental food at one time. So, while you think you may be helping the deer by feeding them, the opposite is true.

White-Tailed Deer

White-tailed Deer (Odocoileus virginianus) - Photo Credit

In addition to health concerns, feeding deer can bring them close to dangers including roads and domestic dogs. Deer also have to travel from their winter cover habitat to the feed site, which uses up energy. This causes the deer to stay in the same area, rather than disperse, which makes the spread of disease easier, and leads to more inbreeding. Wintering deer who are not fed by humans tend to disperse over an area large enough to reduce competition for food and avoid the danger of predators.

Attracting deer to feeding sites changes their natural behaviour.  Dominant adult animals fill their bellies first at these sites, while the smaller and weaker individuals, including the vulnerable fawns, will have wasted valuable energy travelling there, where they may get little feed. Deer can also become quite easily habituated, losing their natural fear of humans. If you want to help out deer during times of harsh conditions, cut down some aspen or maple branches for the deer to munch on.

The Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources advises people not to feed the deer, and the Omnibus Bill, passed at Queens Park in December 2009, contains an amendment, which grants the Minister of Natural Resources the power to make regulations regarding the feeding of wildlife in Ontario. WBU Barrie recommends you respect and follow any regulations from the OMNR and local or federal government. Many municipalities and several American states have made it illegal to feed game animals.

Please note that all of information provided on our website about our products is meant to be informative only. For more information regarding prices and shipping (within Canada only) please visit our store in Barrie (515 Bryne Drive, Barrie, ON), phone us (705) 726-7600 or send us an email at [email protected].

 

Here are our 8 Rules for Keeping out Deer

1. Feed Foods Without “Fillers”: Many bird seed blends from other stores include “filler” ingredients such as millet, cracked corn, red millet, canary seeds, milo, wheat and oats in large quantities. “Filler” ingredients such as wheat and oats are not eaten by any of backyard birds except House Sparrows, Rock Pigeons (or just plain old Pigeons as most people know them) and Mourning Doves. Corn and millet are eaten by some birds but when used in large quantities to fill up a bag of seed to drive the cost down most of it ends up being wasted because feeder birds such as finches and chickadees throw it on the ground in search of sunflower seeds. Seeds dropped on the ground in great quantities can attract deer to come and eat what is fallen. Bottom line good quality blends can help keep reduce unwanted visits from deer away at your bird feeders. None of our WBU Barrie blends include cracked corn, except our WBU Wildlife Blend which is for squirrels and chipmunks.

Feeding seed blends with pure edible ingredients such as black oil sunflower seeds, sunflower chips, safflower and peanuts will help to discourage birds dumping seeds on the ground for deer to find. Try these millet and corn free blends in your feeders to discourage deer:

WBU No-Mess Blend NM CDWBU No-Mess Blend NM CD: No shells. No mess. 100% edible. Our WBU No-Mess Blend NM CD contains more peanuts and has added calcium to help bone development and egg production. Being millet free ensures it flows easily through your feeders and discourages unwanted ground birds as very little makes it to the ground from the feeder. WBU No-Mess Blends are great near flower beds, patios and decks. Our unique No-Mess Blend bird seed features seeds that have had their shells removed so only the meat of the seed is left. No hulls on the seeds makes for tidier feeding, since there's no debris on the ground to clean up. Pound for pound, our No-Mess Blend bird seed offers the best value because you do not pay for uneaten seed waste. The birds eat everything. Buying one bag of our No-Mess Blend is roughly the equivalent of buying almost two bags of a seed blend with shells.

Ingredients: Sunflower chips, peanuts, and calcium

Bag Sizes: 5 lbs. (2.26 kg), 10 lbs. (4.53 kg), and 20 lbs. (9.07 kg) 

 

WBU Choice Blend

WBU Choice Blend: Our WBU Choice Blend is a fantastic combination of high-oil content seeds. The black oil sunflower, sunflower chips, shelled peanuts, safflower and striped sunflower do a great job of attracting a variety of birds, including chickadees, woodpeckers, titmice, nuthatches and jays. Try offering Choice Blend in a hopper feeder, seed tube feeder or our Dinner Bell™ feeder, and add loads of fun to your backyard bird watching experience.

Ingredients: Black oil sunflower, sunflower chips, shelled peanuts, safflower and striped sunflower

Bag Sizes: 5 lbs. (2.26 kg), and 20 lbs. (9.07 kg) 

 

 

WBU Supreme BlendWBU Supreme Blend: WBU Supreme Blend features black oil sunflower, sunflower chips, safflower and striped sunflower in a combination that helps attract a wide variety of birds, such as chickadees, nuthatches, titmice and wrens.

Ingredients: Black oil sunflower, sunflower chips, safflower and striped sunflower

Bag Sizes: 5 lbs. (2.26 kg), and 20 lbs. (9.07 kg)

 

  

 

2. Hanging Feeders High: Deer can reach up to about 6 feet and those long tongues of theirs are great at reaching into small places. By hanging your feeders high and out of their reach is one way to solve the problem. Using our WBU Tree Hooks or our WBU Advanced Pole System at the right height can help your feeders out of reach of deer.

3. Bring Feeders in Each Night: Since deer are primarily nocturnal, locking feeders in a secure garage or shed before it gets dark each night will deny them access. Of course, this is a bit tedious or may not fit your schedule, so may not work for everyone.

4. Using Fences: The same types of fencing that keep deer out of your vegetable garden or your prized hosta collection can also be used to fence them off from feeders.

5. Repellents: There all kinds of repellents sold to keep deer out of your yard. Many contain putrid smells which resembles that of dead animals and they often contain bone meal. Some of these repellents work fairly well and are worth a try. However, keep in mind when it rains these repellents may wash away and have to be re-applied.

6. Motion Activated Sprayers: During warmer weather motion activated sprayers are a great option. When a deer is detected the device shoots an intense spray of water and makes a noise to scare it away. As a nice bonus if you use a motion activated sprayer, you will not have to hang your feeders up high. They can also work against cats, rabbits, geese and even Great Blue Herons at your garden pond.

7. Offer Foods Deer Don’t Like or Feeders that a Deer’s Can’t Access: While it can be tricky to keep that long tongue out of a feeder, WBU Finch Feeders have holes so small a deer cannot feed from the ports. Similarly, WBU Cylinder or Stackables in our WBU Seed Cylinder Feeder or WBU EcoClean DinnerBell Feeder with a WBU Cage around the feeder can also help to keep them out.

It’s also important to note that deers are herbivores so products that contain suet will not be as appealing to them. Plain suet, WBU Simply Suet, would be your best bet as our other suets contain lots of fruit, nuts and in some cases corn which would be appealing to the deer.

8. In certain circumstances, where other methods aren't effective, WBU Hot Pepper Products may be the best option for deterring squirrels and other mammals. When feeders and food are placed in certain trees, on decks, or near windowsills, it may be difficult to keep away mammals including squirrels, raccoons, deer and rodents. In these situations, seed, suets, No-Melt Dough, Bark Butter, cylinders or Stackables™ with hot pepper may be a good solution. Only use products where the hot pepper is bound tightly in the product, such as our WBU Hot Pepper Products.

Approximately 90% of Eastern Gray Squirrels and Red Squirrels do not eat WBU Hot Pepper Products. There is also evidence to suggest that WBU Hot Pepper Products are effective at deterring a variety of mammals including but not limited to: Fox Squirrels, Eastern Gray Squirrels, Red Squirrels, rabbits, rats, mice, White-tailed Deer, Mule Deer, raccoons, opossums and skunks. There is also strong evidence to suggest they are also effective against bears, however if you live in bear country please read our section on Problem Solving Bears. WBU Hot Pepper Products may not be as effective when it comes to Eastern Chipmunks as they have fur-lined cheek pouches and this fur seems to act as a barrier to the effectiveness of the products.

 

Helpful Tips for Feeding WBU Hot Pepper Products

For all the information on Feeding WBU Hot Pepper Products please visit our Problem Solving with Hot Pepper page. Our Problem Solving with Hot Pepper page details everything you need to know about WBU Hot Pepper Products, including frequently asked questions (FAQ) such as, does it work to discourage squirrels, is it safe for birds to eat hot pepper, and is it safe for hobbyists to offer hot pepper foods. Here are a few helpful tips:

How to Feed WBU Hot Pepper Products?

When offering WBU Hot Pepper Products they must be the only thing in a feeder. In other words, you can’t mix WBU Hot Pepper Products with other non-hot pepper options. For example, you wouldn’t want to mix regular Bark Butter with Hot Pepper Bark Butter as animals will just eat around the spicy option. WBU Hot Pepper Products must be fed on their own to be effective.

Hot Pepper Safety

As pointed out by Jim Carpenter in The Joy of Bird Feeding, capsaicin coated seeds can bother people when it comes into contact with our eyes, nose, mouth and lips. It’s important to take care when using our WBU Hot Pepper Products. Rubber dish gloves would be a good accessory to have on hand when using these foods or washing feeders.  

Can’t I just Make My Own Hot Pepper Products?

Items with hot pepper (capsaicin) cause a reaction in humans. If eyes, noses or lips are rubbed, then a reaction to hot pepper could range from mild to severe. Choosing products where the hot pepper is bound to the products (such as our WBU Hot Pepper Products), and taking caution when filling or washing feeders, is an important part of using these products safely. Do not attempt to make hot pepper products at home. Our WBU Hot Pepper Products have been specially formulated and tested to ensure they are safe for the birds. They are made in a facility where staff wear the proper safety equipment to ensure they don’t experience a reaction to the capsaicin. If you try making hot pepper deterrents at home it may not be safe for the birds or you!

SunFire Chips

 

SunFire™ Chips: Our SunFire™ Chips allow you to feed your birds while discouraging squirrels and other critters! These hulled sunflower chips are treated with hot-pepper. Birds will flock to it and leave no messy shell waste behind. The bag features a special pour spout for easy feeder filling without having to scoop or touch this hot pepper food.

Ingredients: Sunflower chips and pepper (red).

Bag Size: 8 lbs. (3.63 kg)

 

 

Fiery FeastFiery Feast: Feed your birds while discouraging squirrels and other critters! Fiery Feast is a hot-pepper treated version of our best-selling No-Mess blend and contains a mix of sunflower chips, chopped tree nuts, and shelled peanuts to attract a variety of birds, and is 100% edible. Birds flock to it and leave no messy shell waste behind. The bag features a special pour spout for easy feeder filling without having to scoop or touch this hot pepper food.

Ingredients: Sunflower chips, peanuts and pepper (red).

Bag Size: 8 lbs. (3.63 kg)

 

 

Jim's Birdacious® Hot Pepper 

Bark Butter®

Hot Pepper Bark Butter®: A formula representing years of research and development, we’ve finally done it, introducing Hot Pepper Bark Butter®. Our ever-popular Jim’s Birdacious® Bark Butter® now truly can be used anywhere to attract the widest variety of birds without worrying about squirrels and other critters cleaning it out. With 146 (and counting!) bird species reported eating Bark Butter, it’s a great way to attract a variety of birds to your yard. With Hot Pepper Bark Butter® everything from branches to tree trunks becomes a bird feeder.

Ingredients: Roasted peanuts, corn, rendered beef suet, pepper (red), calcium

Tub Size: 1.31 lbs.  (595 g)

 

 

Bark Butter 

Bits - Hot PepperHot Pepper Bark Butter® Bits: Jim's Birdacious® Bark Butter® Bits are now available in a Hot Pepper version! These bite-sized nuggets are made of rendered beef suet, peanut oil, roasted peanuts, corn, oats and calcium carbonate and are loaded with spicy red pepper that the squirrels dislike allowing you to easily offer Bark Butter to attract a variety of birds, including many that do not normally visit feeders. They are particularly popular among birds during the nesting season when a Bark Butter® Bit can be carried by parent birds to feed to their young. We recommend a feeder with a roof to keep the hot pepper from becoming diluted.

Ingredients:  Rendered beef suet, soy oil, roasted peanuts, corn, oats and calcium carbonate

Bag Size: 3.5 lbs. (1.58 kg) 

 

SuperSuet Hot 

Pepper CakeHot Pepper SuperSuet: Take your suet feeding to the next level! We’ve reached our highest level of fats and protein by blending rendered beef fat, mealworms, roasted peanuts, almonds, pecans, walnuts and calcium. Added hot pepper deters critters from stealing from your birds. Birds can’t get enough of this ultimate suet blend.

Ingredients: Rendered beef suet, roasted peanuts, mealworms, almonds, pecans, walnuts, pepper (red), calcium carbonate.

Suet Cake Size: 11 Oz. (311 g)

 

 

 

SuperSuet 

Hot Pepper No-Melt Cake

Hot Pepper SuperSuet™ (No-Melt): Take your suet feeding to the next level! We’ve reached our highest level of fats and protein by blending rendered beef fat, mealworms, roasted peanuts, almonds, pecans, walnuts and calcium. Added hot pepper deters critters from stealing from your birds, and this suet won’t melt in high outdoor temperatures. Birds can’t get enough of this ultimate suet blend.

Ingredients: Roasted peanuts, corn, rendered beef suet, mealworms, almonds, pecans, walnuts, oats, calcium carbonate, pepper (red).

Suet Cake Size: 11.75 Oz. (333 g)

 

 

SuperSuet Hot Pepper 

No-Melt CylinderWBU Hot Pepper SuperSuet™ No-Melt Suet Cylinder: Our WBU Hot Pepper SuperSuet™ No-Melt Suet Cylinder is the hot pepper version of our WBU SuperSuet™ No-Melt Suet Cylinder. Suet Dough Cylinders are a great way to attract a wide variety of perching birds, including woodpeckers, chickadees, nuthatches, etc. Loaded with spicy red pepper that the squirrels dislike, this no-melt dough cylinder will keep your birds happy and your squirrels away. Simply slide the WBU Hot Pepper SuperSuet™ No-Melt Suet Cylinder in the WBU Suet Cylinder FeederWBU Seed Cylinder Feeder or WBU Dinner Bell™ Feeder and enjoy. We recommend a feeder with a roof to keep the hot pepper from becoming diluted.

Ingredients: Peanuts, corn, rendered beef suet, mealworms, almonds, pecans, walnuts, calcium carbonate, pepper (red).

Cylinder Size: 2 lbs. (907 g)

 

Cylinder - Hot 

Pepper - Stackable DoughWBU Hot Pepper No-Melt Suet Dough Stackable: Our WBU Hot Pepper No-Melt Suet Dough Stackable™ is the hot pepper version of our WBU Naturally Nuts™ No-Melt Suet Dough in stackable form. Suet Dough Stackables™ are a great way to attract a wide variety of perching birds, including woodpeckers, chickadees, nuthatches, etc. Loaded with spicy red pepper that the squirrels dislike, this no-melt dough cylinder will keep your birds happy and your squirrels away. Simply slide the WBU Hot Pepper No-Melt Suet Dough Stackable™ in the WBU Suet Cylinder FeederWBU Seed Cylinder Feeder or WBU Dinner Bell™ Feeder and enjoy. We recommend a feeder with a roof to keep the hot pepper from becoming diluted.

Ingredients: Corn, roasted peanuts, rendered beef suet, oats, pepper (red), soy oil. 

Stackable ™ Size: 14.5 Oz. (411 g) 

 

Cylinder - Hot 

PepperWBU Hot Pepper Seed Cylinder:  Made of tree nuts, black oil sunflower, sunflower chips, peanuts and hot pepper. Loaded with spicy red pepper that the squirrels dislike, this cylinder will keep your birds happy and your squirrels away. Simply slide the Hot Pepper No-Melt Seed Cylinder in the WBU Seed Cylinder Feeder or WBU Dinner Bell™ Feeder and enjoy. We recommend a feeder with a roof to keep the hot pepper from becoming diluted.  

Ingredients: Roasted peanuts, black oil sunflower, almonds, pecans, walnuts, pepper (red and gelatin).

Cylinder Size: 2 lbs. (907g) and 4.5 lbs (2.04 kg)

 

 

Cylinder - Hot 

Pepper - Stackable WBU Hot Pepper Seed Stackable: Our WBU Hot Pepper Seed Stackable™ is the stackable version of our WBU Hot Pepper Seed Cylinder and features tree nuts, black oil sunflower, sunflower chips, peanuts and hot pepper. Loaded with spicy red pepper that the squirrels dislike, this cylinder will keep your birds happy and your squirrels away. Simply slide the WBU Seed Cylinder Feeder or WBU Dinner Bell™ Feeder and enjoy. We recommend a feeder with a roof to keep the hot pepper from becoming diluted.

Ingredients: Roasted peanuts, black oil sunflower, almonds, pecans, walnuts, pepper (red) and gelatin.

Cylinder Size: 8.6 Oz. (243 g) 

 

 

Cylinder - Hot Pepper 

Cranberry - BothHot Pepper Cranberry Cylinder: Our WBU Hot Pepper Cranberry Cylinder is the spicy  version of our top selling WBU Cranberry Seed Cylinder. Our WBU Hot Pepper Cranberry Cylinder is packed with pecans, sunflower chips, peanuts, safflower, black oil sunflower and cranberries – everything you need to get lots of birds to visit your backyard, but with hot pepper to discourage squirrels. Our seed cylinders include a hole down the center of the food that slides onto our seed cylinder feeders. Simply slide the WBU Hot Pepper Cranberry Cylinder onto the WBU Seed Cylinder Feeder or WBU Dinner Bell™ Feeder and enjoy. We recommend a feeder with a roof to keep the hot pepper from becoming diluted. Seed cylinders are the easiest, longest-lasting way to feed your birds.

Ingredients: Pecans, sunflower chips, peanuts, safflower, black sunflower, cranberries, pepper (red), gelatin. 

Cylinder Sizes: 1.75 lbs. and 4.5 lbs.

 

Cylinder - Hot 

Pepper Cranberry CylinderHot Pepper Cranberry Stackable: Our Hot Pepper Cranberry Stackable™ is the spicy  version of our top selling WBU Cranberry Seed Cylinder and Stackable™. Our Hot Pepper Cranberry Stackable™ is packed with pecans, sunflower chips, peanuts, safflower, black oil sunflower and cranberries – everything you need to get lots of birds to visit your backyard, but with hot pepper to discourage squirrels. Our seed Stackables™ include a hole down the center of the food that slides onto our seed cylinder feeders. Simply slide the Hot Pepper Cranberry Stackable™ onto the WBU Seed Cylinder Feeder or WBU Dinner Bell™ Feeder and enjoy. We recommend a feeder with a roof to keep the hot pepper from becoming diluted. Seed cylinders and Stackables™ are the easiest, longest-lasting way to feed your birds.

Ingredients: Pecans, sunflower chips, peanuts, safflower, black oil sunflower, cranberries, pepper (red), gelatin

Size: 0.69 lbs. 

 

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