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Motorized Deer "Scarer"
Mark Hamilton has kept deer out of his garden for the past two and a half years, with his homemade deer “scarer”. He wrote about the idea at his website, Backyarddeer.com, where readers share ideas for dealing with pest deer.
  “Deer quickly figure out if a deterrent is no real threat,” says Hamilton. “Once they get used to a sound or movement, they ignore it. We space our deterrents out around our two-acre garden.”
  To keep deer from ignoring his deterrent, Hamilton designed it so the sound pattern constantly varies. He also created a two-stage sound pattern, with an initial sound to get the deer’s attention and a second louder one to startle it.
  The device consists of a golf ball on the end of a light chain or nylon cord (Hamilton has used both). The chain is attached to a wire that’s fastened to a rotating drive arm.
  The ball first strikes a sheet of tin with a vibrating sound. It’s then dragged up and over the tin and swings with renewed momentum into a stainless steel pan creating a metallic ringing sound.
  The entire apparatus mounts on a steel post. A board attached midway up the post is the mounting point for the tin sheet. A 2 by 4 attached to the top 10 to 12 in. of the post serves as the base for a length of 1 by 6-in. board that extends perpendicular to the post.
  A length of pvc pipe is attached to the far end of the board. A piece of 12-ga., high tensile wire wrapped around the pipe and through a hole in the end supports the stainless steel pan.
  A small AC motor attached to the underside of the end of the board rotates a length of wire. The chain/cord hangs from the wire.
  “You have to experiment with the lengths of wire and chain and even the length of the pipe to get the right distances,” says Hamilton. “You want the ball to swing just right, so it hits the sweet spot on the pan.”
  Although he used a golf ball, Hamilton stresses that other objects can also be used. He has also worked with multiple motors to power the ball. Initially he used small advertising display motors he had been given. However, they quickly burned out under constant use. He then tried a barbeque grill rotisserie motor, but it failed when it grounded out.
  “I picked up a small AC motor and found an adapter that stepped it down from 120 to 10 volts, which slows the ball down to about 1/4 rpm,” says Hamilton. “It wasn’t promoted as being waterproof, but I haven’t had a problem, even in wet weather.”
  Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Mark Hamilton, P.O. Box 733, St. Paul, Va. 24283 (www.backyarddeer.com).

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2012 - Volume #36, Issue #4