Horticulturalists at the U-W Agricultural Resource Center in Casper have lots of experience trying to keep hungry wildlife out of gardens and away from landscaping in the winter months.

"There've been a few years when we  missed getting the protection up for the plants before they start doing their damage and have seen what  can happen right here in our garden."

Horticulturalist Donna Cuin, says they recommended first and foremost, fencing. Cuin says it doesn't always look nice, but it works, especially for rutting season to keep deer antlers away.

"So we wrap those trunks with snow fence and if they start rubbing on it, they get their antlers tangled in the fence. So it prohibits them from doing it and it's kind of an irritation so they don't tend to do it as much."

She says it needs to be high to keep taller critters from eating branches and leaves. Small rodents can also be a problem and chicken wire works well to keep them out. Aluminum foil around the base of vulnerable plants works too.

There are products on the market that smell and keep animals away, but she says people generally don't like the smell either.

A tree farm operator she met had effective idea. "What they decided to do is mix up big batches of laundry fabric softener and they just sprayed their entire tree farm with the fabric softener liquid and the fragrance seems to keeps deer out of the tree farm."

She says that idea comes from the successful hunters practice of not wearing freshly washed clothes into the woods, because it drives all the deer away.