Do you mark your sanctuary boundaries ?


Active Member
We just completed some larger acres of Spruce plantings last spring that are coming along nicely, some WSG fields that will be up and going this or the next, and tied them all into our existed logged woods that has filled in very nicely with thick growth.

These all flow together and plan on being a sanctuary/no go area for our hunters. Our neighbors are all very respectful with boundaries, so I'm not worried about posting for the "human element" .

Curious if you guys post your sanctuaries for the DEER ? I.E post them with a strand of wire, or hanging flags, etc. Something to let them know where the boundary of the "safe zone" is ??

I've read that study from back in the day on the red stag and the Berlin wall, and it all makes sense. As well as doing a little elk hunting in the past on public ground, and watching those elk step about 1 foot over the fence onto private ranches an hour after the bow opener makes me think it might be a valuable tool to have.

Do you do anything? Any merit to this?? Is it worth doing on smaller properties ?
The deer will determine where the sanctuary area actually begins and ends....we (humans) can only make suggestions. And no signs needed...deer can't read! As long as you and your hunters have some reference point to know where to stay out of you should be fine. If that reference point is difficult to see/find....then I would simply use some sort of marking to make it more visible. I would not use a sign or wire....I would use spray paint or ribbon on stakes or the like (I really like T posts with PVC pipe sleeves over them). In my area we tend to have some sort of habitat edge or other land feature that sort of drives those sanctuary boundary lines that the people no marking is needed.
You're right. Somehow deer and other game know EXACTLY where the line is. One interesting thing I see every year in Nebraska is the lakes along I-80 (old borrow pits). There are a pair of them west of Kearney that are separated by less than 15 feet of dike. One is public, one is private. The public one will be devoid of ducks. The private one you could walk across the lake on duck backs! And they ain't all on the far end either. They'll be right up against the dividing dike. They HAVE to know. I've witnessed this for 20 years so it ain't just a one time deal.
I sometimes think signs and the like actually can work against you.....It's like saying ...."Look over here"! Especially you put up a QDM or a "sancturay" might as well ask for trespassers in some areas! Sometimes keeping a "low profile" is best.
Agree. But a single strand or fence of horse wire wouldn’t cause human notice but would be a visual for critters.
I definitely don't wan to do anything for us/human reference point. We don't need it, and i don't need to advertise that we will never be back there.

Just seems like the studies that have been done (like the one on the red deer) and what i see with elk on OPENING day of BOW, and exactly like THE LLC says about ducks, and them knowing where the public/private, or the refuge is on state land. They are on public all summer, then within the first hour or so step just on the other side of that private property line and damn near watch you, and give you you the finger.

I don't like the idea of a "path" or hard edge that i think some will walk or follow, but something that they can key in on, that would stay there for decades/generations. Maybe i'm nuts, but it seems like this is a thing ! :-D
Deer definitely key in on pressure on one side of the fence as opposed to the other side. I am on our property a lot and sadly we have little bedding on our place for a few reasons...mainly lack of cover but also because I am out there working a lot. I am back in my “sanctuary” using the dozer right now to create what I feel is our properties weak points which is cover and edge. I have noticed only 3 places deer tend to bed. 1 is a buck brush thicket on an east facing point coming up from the creek bottom, 1 is an area where in 2014 we dozed out our fence row and the sun got to the ground and we now have tall native grasses, and the 3rd is a hinge cut mess in an area I call “Pine Ridge” but they bed on the outskirts of it and not in it. I find the most bedding in that native grass area so I am hoping opening the woods up to the sun will create more of those native grass and edge areas for bedding. On my neighbors there is less pressure in the off season so most of the deer cross that fence and bed relatively close but across the fence...
I don't know if your plan will work, but if you want to try it go for it. I've witnessed animals/waterfowl in refuges and it's obvious they know they are safe. I'm not sure how these area's are defined in their eyes. It could be a fence, dike, or a path... or it could just be a location and the structures "we" notice appear to be the boundaries. Either way they sure know what a refuge is.
As an aside, my deer don't seem bothered by me in the orange tractor

I run them out during the "mow"(after the throw) and watch them return via rear view mirror

I like a driveable woods road around a sanctuary area. This tends to give a defining feature for animals and humans alike. This works especially well if it's thick on one side and more open on the other.
Sorry, but I can’t see how a wire lets a deer know anything. IMO, it’s not the wire, it’s the years of not being bothered by humans that defines a deer’s sanctuary. Leave the wire up and start tromping through there on a regular basis and see how long it takes wild deer to feel unsafe.

My wife and I are in Broken Bow, OK right now enjoying Beaver Bend State Park. Last night just before dark there were 13 deer eating hand thrown corn below our balcony. They paid no attention to us whatsoever when we walked out on the balcony and talked in normal voices. They felt safe because no harm has ever come to them here. That’s a sanctuary.