General Information

  • The most common species of deer in Southern California is the Southern mule deer.
  • It is the only large plant-eater native to San Diego County.
  • The “rut” or mating season usually begins in the fall and males become more aggressive, competing for mates.
  • Fawns are born in the spring, staying with their mothers during the summer and being weaned in the fall after about 60–75 days.
  • Mule deer females usually give birth to two fawns.
  • Every spring, male mule deer grow a new set of antlers, each one larger than the last.
  • Their diet consists of Meadow grasses, leaves, berries, fruit, twigs, and buds.
  • Deer typically come out of the woods at twilight to feed.


Ways to Discourage

  • Gardens are an attractant to deer because they like the new plant growth that takes place in a well-tended garden. One way to discourage them is to undesirable or “deer resistant” plants.  These plants will be labelled as “Deer Safe” at your local nursery.
  • If you don’t like those plants, you can mix them in with those you prefer and work to protect the ones you care about.
  • Fencing is not recommended, as deer can jump 9ft creating a costly fencing project.
  • Scare tactics like sirens and strobe lights are not recommended, as neighbors will also hear it, and deer become used to the sounds etc.
  • Hanging bars of soap 3 ft. apart has worked for some people.
  • Trim hedges, bushes, and trees to reduce areas of cover.
  • If you choose to spray a deer repellent, we recommend checking to make sure it is safe for pets and other animals.
  • We do not recommend killing or harming deer as a solution. It is illegal to shoot deer without proper permits.