Does Coughing Scare Deer Away?

Deer are often a beloved sight in suburban and rural areas, but they can also cause problems for homeowners. They can damage gardens and landscapes, and in some cases, they can even pose a threat to human safety by causing car accidents.

If you live in an area with a high deer population, you may be looking for ways to deter them from coming onto your property. One method that has been suggested is coughing, but does it actually work?

Does Coughing Send Deer Away

What Causes Deer to Be Scared?

Like all animals, deer have a natural fear response to perceived threats. This response is essential for their survival, as it helps them avoid predators and other dangers. When a deer perceives a threat, it will typically try to flee the area.

There are many factors that can trigger a fear response in deer. For example, they may be frightened by loud noises, sudden movements, or unfamiliar objects. They may also be afraid of predators, such as coyotes or bears.

Is Coughing a Natural Fear Trigger for Deer?

It is not clear whether coughing is a natural fear trigger for deer. While it is possible that the sound of coughing could startle a deer, it is not necessarily a sound that they would associate with danger.

There is limited research on deer behavior and their response to coughing. However, some experts believe that coughing alone is unlikely to be a effective deterrent for deer.

For example, a wildlife biologist at the University of Georgia was quoted in an article saying, “I don’t think coughing would do anything. Deer are used to hearing all sorts of strange noises and have learned to ignore them.”

On the other hand, some people who have tried using coughing to deter deer have reported success. However, it is important to note that these are anecdotal accounts and may not be representative of the effectiveness of coughing as a deterrent for all deer.

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Coughing Scare Deer Away

Can Coughing Be Used to Deter Deer?

Despite the lack of scientific evidence, some people have had success using coughing as a method for deterring deer. For example, one homeowner reported that coughing loudly every time they saw a deer in their yard helped to keep the animals away.

Another person suggested coughing in combination with other deterrents, such as clapping or shouting, to create a more intimidating presence.

It is worth noting that the effectiveness of coughing as a deterrent may vary depending on the individual deer and the specific circumstances. Some deer may be more sensitive to the sound of coughing than others, while some may be less affected by it.

In conclusion, while it is possible that coughing could potentially deter some deer, it is not a reliable method for keeping them away. There is a lack of scientific evidence to support the effectiveness of coughing as a deterrent, and it may not work for all deer in all situations.

Other Methods for Deterring Deer

If you are looking for more effective ways to deter deer from your property, there are several options to consider.

Physical Barriers

Physical barriers, such as fences, can be an effective way to keep deer out of your yard. There are a variety of fence types and materials to choose from, such as wood, vinyl, or metal.

It is important to choose a fence that is tall enough (at least 8 feet) and sturdy enough to prevent deer from jumping over it.

Chemical Repellents

There are also several chemical repellents available that can help keep deer away. These products can be applied to plants or sprayed around the perimeter of your yard.

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Some common active ingredients in deer repellents include putrescent whole egg solids, garlic, and capsaicin (the active compound in hot peppers).

Noise and Lights

Noise and lights can also be used as deterrents for deer. For example, you can set up a motion-activated sound or light system that will startle deer when they come into the area.

Some people have had success with this method, but it is important to keep in mind that it may not work for all deer, and the effects may wear off over time.

Does Coughing Scare Deer Away


In summary, it is not clear whether coughing scares deer or is an effective deterrent. While some people have reported success using coughing to keep deer away, there is a lack of scientific evidence to support this method.

If you are looking for ways to deter deer from your property, it may be more effective to try other methods, such as physical barriers, chemical repellents, or noise and lights.

To coexist with deer in areas where they are present, it is important to take steps to prevent attracting them to your yard. This can include removing sources of food, such as bird feeders and unsecured garbage, and protecting your plants with physical barriers or repellents.

By taking these precautions, you can enjoy the beauty of deer without the potential problems they can cause.

How do deer respond to unfamiliar sounds, like coughing?

Deer may be startled by unfamiliar sounds, but they are also able to quickly adapt to new surroundings and sounds. This means that while a deer may initially react to the sound of coughing, they may quickly become accustomed to it and no longer be frightened by it.

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Can deer be scared off by human presence alone?

It is possible that the presence of a human alone could deter deer, especially if the deer perceives the human as a threat. However, it is more likely that other factors, such as loud noises or sudden movements, would be necessary to effectively frighten deer.

Do deer have a natural fear of predators, like coyotes or bears?

Deer do have a natural fear of predators, and this fear response helps to protect them from being attacked. If a deer perceives a predator in the area, it will typically try to flee.

How long do deer remain scared after being frightened?

The length of time that a deer remains scared after being frightened will depend on the severity of the perceived threat and the individual deer.

In some cases, a deer may only be frightened for a short period of time before returning to normal behavior. In other cases, the deer may remain scared for a longer period of time or may avoid the area entirely.

What are some other effective methods for deterring deer?

Some other effective methods for deterring deer include physical barriers, such as fences, and chemical repellents. Noise and lights can also be effective in some cases.

It is important to try a combination of methods to find what works best for your specific situation.

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