Targeting Deer in the Backyard

Homeowners battle to save their property from invading deer.

July 30, 2008 — -- To most people, deer are cute, timid creatures that, if the children's movie "Bambi" is any guide, are generally the victims in most squabbles with humans.

But as the deer population has grown to 30 million today, according to the Associated Press, that assumption is beginning to change.

Across the nation, deer are becoming a menace to homeowners by tearing up gardens, spreading lyme disease and causing 1.5 million traffic accidents every year, according to the National Highway Safety Administration.

Mary Miller of New Canaan, Conn., knows all too well the dangers deer can present.

"I want them to go to away because of my daughter," Miller told "Good Morning America." Her daughter has had lyme disease twice, likely caused by bites from ticks brought near the house by deer.

"That was heartbreaking," Miller said. "She fought really hard. Even if it is caught it's a struggle."

Some homeowners are so unhappy that they've taken drastic measures to deal with the problem, including hiring sharpshooters to take out the unwanted guests.

Last year, Kansas City, Mo., had bow hunts for the first time in two public parks. Earlier this year Alamosa, Colo., allowed hunting by bows and shotguns on a city-owned golf course.

The controversial practices recently stirred up former "Price Is Right" host and animal activist Bob Barker, who convinced some Virginia homeowners to call off a controlled hunt.

In a letter to the state, Barker said that if the hunts continue, "the children will be catatonic, the neighbors will be up in arms and the does will be dead -- All for the sake of few flowers."

Short of shooting the animals, New Canaan's animal control officer, Mary Ann Kleinschmidt, shared some tips to keep the deer out with "Good Morning America."

1. Don't Keep a Bird Feeder

2. Fencing Must Be at Least Six Feet Tall

3. Use Deer Sensors

DeerTech at sells ultra sonic sound devices that give off pitches which cause deer to leave your property quickly.

4. Use Deer Repellent

5. Plant Plants that Deer Don't Like

Deer will avoid plants such as daffodils, foxglove, lavender and others.

Susan James contributed to this report.