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January 11, 2021 3 min read

Do deer eat hops? You may already know that hops are toxic to dogs. Therefore, you may wonder if deer will leave your hops alone because of their potentially toxic effects. This article talks about hops and their relationship with the insatiable Bambi.

If you love making your beer, then cultivating your hops might be the next best thing. There is nothing like the signature flavor it adds to your beer while helping preserve the beverage. Besides beer, there are many other reasons for cultivating hops. Hops have tons of varieties, of which Fuggles, Columbus, Bullion, and Cascade are very popular.

Some people cultivate them to support their landscaping. For instance, you can create some kinds of wooden fences with hop vines.

Summer shandy is very useful here, as it has gorgeous schemes of chartreuse-red and gold-red that can spice up the esthetics of your home and garden. Whatever your reasons for growing hops, one question you might ask is – do deer eat hops? This question is especially crucial because hops are poisonous to cats and dogs. It can cause an untold number of ailments for them, including elevated heart rate, extremely high temperatures, vomiting, stomach pain, anxiety, heavy breathing, and even death.

Hops and Deer Browsing

Now let’s answer the question. Deer’s reality is a lot different from cats and dogs. You may not find hops listed as one of their favorite food sources because they aren’t. However, many growers have complained about deer destroying their hops fields.

On many of these occasions, two factors stand out. One, they go after the hops when they cannot find other palatable food sources available. The other is during the summer when your hops are pretty young, fresh, and green.

Deer deterrents

You can consider visual and sound deterrents. For instance, some motion-activated sound blasts and sprinklers are common examples. Keeping a radio perpetually turned on in your fields can also keep them away. However, deer can adapt to deterrents pretty fast. It would help if you reduced these adaptations by alternating between deterrents. According to some growers, do not use any visual and sound deterrents for more than two weeks at a given time to achieve better results.


Repellents can also work for some time, but you need to follow the same strategy we recommend for sound and visual deterrents. Therefore, you should alternate between deer repellents to keep deer from becoming accustomed to them.


Fencing is one of the best ways to keep deer out of your hops for good. Nonetheless, you need a pretty high fence of about 8 feet to be effective. Anything lower than that might become a jumping pad. Deer can regularly jump as high as 6 feet and even over 8 feet when frightened. Fencing is off-course, costly, and sometimes unsightly. But they can help secure your investments and prevent the heartache that comes with deer browsing.

Concluding thoughts

Do deer eat hops? No deer will not eat hops if they can find other favorite meals. However, deer are pretty adaptive and will eat anything, including hops, if they cannot access the more palatable choices. If growing hops are native to your area, you might also have difficulty convincing them to leave your hops alone. We recommend that you combine the three methods we have outlined to keep them out effectively. Overall, it would be easier to keep deer from eating your hops to the ground if you were diligent and consistent.


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