He wasn't expecting my reaction: complete and total HORROR. I sicc'ed the dog on it right quick and hoped that was enough to discourage any future visits.
I hoped in vain. One recent morning, I discovered the carnage.
Bean plants leveled.
Cucumber bushes denuded.
Tomato plants topped.
Only the zucchini plants -- and the beans sheltered underneath -- escaped.
It's been one long counterstrike ever since. I haven't resorted to a gun and venison jerky yet, mostly because I am unable to catch that sucker in the act. The dog, my primary weapon (I thought), has been completely and totally useless.
I began to noodle over what was different this year, and I realized that I never put the fleece around the plants as I have in all prior years. I tried a newspaper and old hay mulch combo this year, and though it has been doing a fair job on the weeds, it is obviously useless against deer.
Human hair is reportedly a deer deterrent; could it be that sheep fleece has the same properties? I have been mulching with it like crazy this week, with fingers crossed that it makes some sort of difference before the garden is munched to the ground. I'll report back on the results.