Why Do Deer Sleep in My Backyard?

Have you ever noticed how there always seems to be a deer or two loungings on your lawn? It turns out that these creatures gravitate towards yards with food and water sources nearby for when those daytime naps strike them.

Deers sleep a lot. In fact, they sleep nearly half of their lives away.

What’s even more surprising is that they don’t just sleep at night as we do. Deer often take naps during the day as well.

Let’s find out why do deer sleep in your backyard and what to do about it.

Why do deer sleep in my backyard

Why do deer sleep in my backyard
By PhotoLoonie from Flickr.com

Deer sleep in backyards for similar reasons that humans do.

Deer, like humans, need a safe place to rest and recuperate from the dangers of the outside world.

Deer never truly “sleep” as they are always on alert for predators or other deer getting too close.

The reason why deer sleep is not much different from why many people sleep: to recharge after a long day’s work.

When a deer sleeps, it enters into a state similar to hibernation called torpor. In this state, the deer is still somewhat aware of its surroundings because it can wake up quickly if needed to escape an attack from a predator.

Torpor also allows the deer’s body to slow down and recover from injuries sustained during daily activities.

Are deers dangerous

Deer are not dangerous, but they might be annoying.

Don’t worry if you wake up to find a deer sleeping in your yard or near your home.

They aren’t there to hurt you or your family, and they will most likely leave on their own when they feel rested.

For now, enjoy the sight of this beautiful wild animal- just remember that it won’t be around forever.

What attract deers to my backyard

Several things might draw deer into your backyard.

The first, most obvious reason is that there is food available in your yard- either ornamental plants or ones you grow to eat. If the deer can smell these plants, they will come.

Another thing that draws deer to backyards is water. You probably don’t think about it much, but every living thing needs water to survive. Without it, a deer would die just as quickly as if it were starving for food. Deer can go without food for weeks, but only days without water! If there is a water source in your yard, then the deer will visit it- and possibly stay to sleep.

What can I do if a deer is sleeping in my backyard

If you notice a deer resting in your yard, don’t disturb it.

Please wait until the morning when the deer wakes up, and then slowly approach it to shoo it off your property.

Use movements with your arms to direct the animal back into the woods where it belongs. If you have pets, keep them on a leash while doing this because dogs can agitate the deer and cause it to attack, even if the dog is not attacking the deer.

Deer can be dangerous during this time because they will feel threatened by your presence; treat every situation with calmness and respect.

If you are more concerned for the safety of your family or pets than for that the deer, perhaps it’d be best to gently relocate the animal while it’s still sleeping more peacefully in your yard.

Then you won’t have to worry about being too loud or causing a ruckus that may scare off your furry guest.

Tips to keeping deers out of your yard  

If you want to keep these creatures out of your yard, then the best thing you can do is make sure there isn’t anything enticing for them to eat or drink nearby (remove birdbaths and pet food).

Source: Midnite55 (Flickr)

You can also build an overhang around any plants with fruit to keep them protected from deer.

You can also use a barrier of some kind to keep the deer away, but remember that they can jump or climb if needed.

You’ll need to make your fence very high- at least 8 feet tall, and make sure the fence has a very sturdy base.

You can also stop the deer from coming back by spraying them with a hose or sprinkler. This will make it uncomfortable for them to come near your yard, and they’ll soon find somewhere else to sleep.

You can also call animal control to remove the deer if you don’t want them around anymore.

However, this is extremely costly and should be a last resort option after all your other failed efforts.

Remember, though, once you make these changes, the deer might never return.

Note: Check with local laws before trying to scare off or otherwise dispense with wildlife on your property, as some methods are considered illegal for homeowners.  


While deer can be dangerous when they are in large groups, individual deer are not potentially harmful to humans at all.

Deer sleep in backyards for the same reasons that humans do – because it is a safe place to rest.

You can direct the deer off your property in the morning when they wake up, but be careful- don’t startle them.

Put a fence around any fruit-bearing plants, and consider a barrier or a sprinkler system to scare away these animals that you don’t want to have on your land.  

But if all else fails, call animal control for help.