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keeping deer out of your stuff

 
steward
Posts: 32847
Location: missoula, montana (zone 4)
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I kinda feel like a low zap will have them sit back and try to figure out what to do.  A strong zap (from a zapper plugged into the wall) will send them running so that they will never come back.

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I don't know what I would classify as a "low zap."  Personally, I know that battery charger delivers one heck of a whallop (when properly insulated).  Consider the evidence found on youtube involving the AA battery powered taser...   
 
                  
Posts: 59
Location: NW Ontario
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I rolled out 4' poultry netting (2") like a carpet around the garden and along the inner pathways. Theory is that deer won't step on it because they don't like getting wire up into their hooves - fear of entanglement?
I also pee around the garden, have pinwheels here and there, have marigolds growing around the garden and have planted some large clover patches away from the garden (which the deer love to browse).
Three growing seasons now and no problems with the garden (and we have plenty of white tails and some moose too).
I did make up some 6' high cages for my young fruit trees. It's the bears that are the bigger problem here when it comes to fruit trees though. They climb up into the trees and break whole branches off. A pair of good out-door dogs comes in handy for warding of bears.

 
pollinator
Posts: 273
Location: South of Winona, Minnesota
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I've used:
Hunting - always more where that one came from (here we have 60+ deer/square mile)
Dried "tankage" from slaughterhouses - works well as a deterrent if you can stand the stink yourself
Sprays with rotten egg and/or hot pepper - works for a bit, then doesn't
Peeing or storing and spreading urine - didn't work for long
Deodorant soaps hung in fruit trees - they started to nibble on them after awhile
Dog - ours loved to chase deer but they'd be back in a couple of days, now he's dead (shot by bow hunter while chasing deer, after he ran off with a neighbor's dog)
Tall fences - work well, especially in combination with a shorter fence nearby or on the ground
Tall electric fence - careful design to avoid shocking birds works well, even without bait
and finally (drum roll.....)

I'm a dowser by trade, so I rerouted the underground water pathways that deer normally follow to move their primary trails further from the near-house plantings and main garden. This has worked quite well and in the winter has the added benefit of moving the main rabbit trails further away also. The rabbits were eating small trees and bushes up pretty badly wherever I didn't modify things. We still get a few strays occasionally though, since they still will graze further than a main trail to look for food. Fences and individually wire-wrapped shrubs have been our back-up method.  More details at http://www.geopathfinder.com/9442  -  This method not recommended for the untrained!

Bob.
 
                    
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Hi Walk,
I would like to hear more about how you rerouted the underground water pathways.
 
Larisa Walk
pollinator
Posts: 273
Location: South of Winona, Minnesota
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I first read about the idea in an old book about dowsing. The old-timers would dowse an underground vein of water, pound in wooden stakes along its path, then tap on the sides of the stakes to try moving the vein to where they wanted it to flow.

While I've been a water dowser since 1982 I got interested in moving water veins for a different reason. I have clients who are being negatively effected by either the energy radiating upward from water veins or some other geopathic energy. The Chinese have known about the geopathic energy lines for thousands of years but Europeans first started seriously researching the subject in the 1920s.

Anyway, I was trying a different way of moving energy lines using L-shaped rods of soft (low-carbon) steel wire and I wanted some way of verifying the results other than my own dowsing or that of another suggestible human. So I installed rods along major deer paths, cow trails, and rabbit tracks in the winter, when the snow made it easy to see the results. The rods caused trails to move exactly where my dowsing showed them to move. Since the animals had no belief or disbelief in what I was doing the results were confirmed to be solely due to the rods.

So besides helping my clients I've managed to re-route some major critter tracks. Fun stuff!

Bob Dahse.
 
                    
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Wow Bob, that is interesting.

If someone had just told me about this working I'd say it was silly, but I've seen it in action so I know there is something there, my family has used dowsing to locate water for making wells & has had wonderful results.

I never thought of doing what you did, very interesting that it actually worked!

When I was in beauty school we saved the hair clippings for a person who put it in cheese choth bags & hung it out to repel deer, they claimed it worked.
 
Larisa Walk
pollinator
Posts: 273
Location: South of Winona, Minnesota
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Hair clippings are the one option I tried that never worked for me. Maybe I no longer grow enough hair or maybe my shampoo doesn't stink enough.

Bob.
 
pollinator
Posts: 437
Location: Zone 8b: SW Washington
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One trick I have done is wire a motion sensor into an extension cord, so that when the motion sensor is triggered, whatever is plugged into the extension cord comes on.  The deer were coming in at night, so I plugged a light and an old radio under a bucket (set to a hard rock station) into the cord.  Fortunately our yard is big enough that the radio did not annoy any neighbors or us.  It worked like a charm for a while, until the deer figured out that the motion sensor shuts off at daylight.  So after a while they showed up just before dawn and feasted in peace.

Now I think you can buy sensors that do not shut off during the day (or you can cover the daylight sensor). 

I suppose the next experiment would be to figure out what music/sounds the deer find most offensive 
 
                    
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Ok so this guy "Glenn Kangiser" has posted a video about how he keeps deer out of his stuff by using string.

Glen says " While I'm at it, we have deer.

For those who don't know what deer are - they are large four legged rodents that can clean out a garden or orchard in minutes, ruining months of hard work."

See his video about how to use the string!


Go to this thread & see his post dated July 26 @ 12:06:02 PM click on his image to watch his video.

https://permies.com/bb/index.php?topic=17.new;topicseen#new



Oh & by the way adunca I think your idea is very amusing as I imagine the look on the face off the deer as they are exposed to  rock & roll.
 
Posts: 405
Location: New York
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Deer are intelligent and resourceful, and where we are in the northeast most deer have become very bold and semi-domesticated.  Fear of humans has diminished as we have taken over their habitat and they have had to adapt.  We've had deer bed down in our front lawn 15 feet from the house when the coyote problem got a bit out of hand here.  We have 4 dogs and the deer preferred having the dogs within their comfort zone at night.  Possibly as an early warning system.

I watched a doe out of our second floor window outsmart a pair of hunting beagles that got away from their handler.  I heard these beagles coming from five minutes away and a doe about 100 yards ahead of them looking over her shoulder.  She laid down a scent trail then double backed and jumped up to higher ground right behind the house and hid behind the brush.  These beagles kept their nose to the ground, whining, and passed her right by within spitting distance.  She sauntered off in the opposite direction after a few minutes.  Very smart doe, and it was amazing to see.

Deer are also opportunistic feeders and will be a pain in the early spring and late winter here.  Summer usually keeps them in the woods with all the browse out there, but when stressed by seasonal situations they have eaten evergreens right at our front door.  If a deer is determined, only a fence of solid construction and high enough will keep them out.  My neighbor had a herd one night eating his rhododendron in winter, and he threw rocks at them and they paid him no mind.  He was too afraid to get close and try to scare them off, so he just went back inside his house.  Down county they have such a problem they are called suburban rats, doing an estimated 3-4 million dollars of landscape damage every winter. 

I believe an option is to set up an area of edibles for them away from your stuff to at least allow them food during stressed times, and just make barriers that will make it difficult for them to access your goodies so they will mosey down to your neighbor's property.  Spray natural repellents in the summer and just make it inconvenient for them to want to come around.  When hunger stressed, there is not much that will keep them out.  After a couple weeks all those passive and fairly harmless methods will give way to desperation, and then not much else works except for a good fence, or an accurate firearm.  In season, of course.
 
                        
Posts: 278
Location: Iowa, border of regions 5 and 6
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adunca wrote:

I suppose the next experiment would be to figure out what music/sounds the deer find most offensive 



Normally, I'd suggest a group like "Slipknot", but after what I've read here, I wouldn't be surprised if, after a few weeks of that, your deer didn't start showing up in black leather with tongue piercings.

 
                    
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Yeah! so if you play Sex Pistols will you get Punk Deer?
 
                        
Posts: 278
Location: Iowa, border of regions 5 and 6
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Are Punk Deer the ones that have a bulls-eye tattooed on their sides? 

(Or are those "Drunk Deer"?  You know: "I don't know, man.  Last thing I remember was my buddies and me doing shots of tequila; and when I woke up, it was there!")
 
                                        
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Or better yet.  Throw some pot seeds into your neighbors yard and then put Jimi Hendrix into the CD player.  Deer jump the fence, start rocking out to "Purple Haze" and immediately begin looking for the ganga, which is in your neighbors yard.  That would be a solid strategy.
 
                        
Posts: 278
Location: Iowa, border of regions 5 and 6
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Tardyviking wrote:
Or better yet.  Throw some pot seeds into your neighbors yard and then put Jimi Hendrix into the CD player.  Deer jump the fence, start rocking out to "Purple Haze" and immediately begin looking for the ganga, which is in your neighbors yard.  That would be a solid strategy.



NO!  That's a solid strategy to having them eat the shingles off your roof!  Think about it: what is the one feature that happens to everyone who smokes pot; one of the reasons they recommend people on chemo smoke pot? 

MUNCHIES, MAN!  Deer already eat practically everything green around the home.  Can you imagine a herd of deer, stoned, wandering around, getting into your corn chips and licking the jar of peanut butter clean?  Can you imagine coming home from the movies and finding them on the sofa with their eyes glazed, staring at the Shopping Network on cable waiting for that ad with the pizza number to come back on screen again...

...wait...

I had a train of thought, there, but it's gone now... just give me a minute ... it was a really good thought,...
 
                    
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So I guessed we have established...no gonga for the deer...
 
pollinator
Posts: 1528
Location: zone 7
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i have been having good luck with a string fence.  the bottom ft is bird netting to keep smaller creatures from just walking in, everything above that is just horizontal strings every 10 inches. the deer do not like it one bit, we have a spot that the deer were breaking into almost daily and eating plants, 5 days later not a single much on any plant.

its also very cheap to make, i got 4500ft of rope twine for 9$ at the hardware store.
 
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bring back the wolf


 
Dave Miller
pollinator
Posts: 437
Location: Zone 8b: SW Washington
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One thing I have tried lately with newly planted shrubs is to stick a highly branched bamboo branch (or 2 or 3) in the ground right next to the plant, creating a physical barrier to the plant from above.  So far it seems to be working really well.  It also provides a bit of shade which the baby plants seem to like.  I'll remove the bamboo once the plant is big enough to survive some deer browsing.  I'll see if I can post a photo.

This winter I cut a couple hundred bamboo poles and had lots of bamboo tops left over that I had thrown in my brush pile.  So I have tons of them laying around.

The birds like them as well, and are fertilizing the plants for me 

The deer could of course just push the bamboo out of the way, but they don't seem to be doing that.

Anyone else tried this?
 
Posts: 383
Location: Zone 9 - Coastal Oregon
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Leah Sattler wrote:
about color vision in deer....

http://www.atsko.com/articles/hunting/color-vision-in-deer.html

sounds like they are like "color blind" humans (if I am remembering correctly). gives some people a distinct advantage when detecting camo people and equipment.



Light and Color
Mammal eyes contain two different types of cells that receive light: rods and cones. Rods are sensitive to low light but don't register colors. Cones pick up color in daylight. Human eyes contain more cones, so we distinguish color well. Because we have relatively few rods, however, our night vision is limited. Deer eyes are heavy on rods and light on cones, so whitetails and muleys move easily in the dark. Recent research also shows that deer see some colors fairly well.

"Color" is how we perceive light of various wavelengths and frequencies, making up the visible spectrum, what we see in a rainbow. On one end of the spectrum is red, with the longest wavelengths apparent to the human eye; at the other end is violet, with the shortest.

However, other light wavelengths exist. Just as human ears can't hear some sounds, human eyes can't see some light. These invisible wavelengths include ultraviolet (beyond violet) and infrared (below red). Deer sense colors toward the violet end of the spectrum, so they can see blues and probably even ultraviolet (UV) light. Deer show a slight sensitivity to yellow, but tests indicate that green, orange, and red appear to them as shades of gray.

Sound Science or Good Marketing?
Exactly how well deer see UV light is debatable. Clothing can contain UV brighteners, additives incorporated in some fabrics and detergents that supposedly make the clothes appear brighter. According to one theory, such clothing makes hunters glow in the dark to a deer's eyes. A company that made a UV-killing detergent attempted to prove this with a video showing hunters wandering around after dark, wearing either UV-brightened or non-UV camouflage. Under a black light the former glowed, whereas the latter almost disappeared.

There are problems with this so-called evidence. Video cameras and human eyes don't see the way deer do, and hunters don't hunt at night under black lights.

For years most hunters I know (including me) unwittingly wore UV-brightened fabric. We never spooked deer unless we did something stupid, like move. From this empirical evidence, I'll go out on a limb and say that a deer's UV sensitivity is pretty low. If you're the type that leaves nothing to chance, go ahead and buy UV-free clothing and detergents, but I wouldn't bet the hunting season on them.  Google cached article from Fish & Game.



The gun oil, hair and cloth method, I would say works, but not for why we think.  The cloth really wouldn't matter on color much, but the gun oil carries on the wind easily, as does the human hair.

So far in my experience, hedgerows work best beyond anything else.


 
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I had a 6 foot fence around my veggie garden, but the deer just hopped right over and helped themselves any way.  I hung a wire about 8 inches above the the top of the fence and tied ribbons, crushed pop cans and other whirly gig type objects to it, the deer were made nervous by the movement and stopped jumping over the fence.
 
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I know this has already been discussed but I want to emphasize it. In Permaculture, the problem is also the solution. Set up traps and eat like a king. Share with those in need.

Problem solved (right?).

 
Jordan Lowery
pollinator
Posts: 1528
Location: zone 7
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so ive had the string fence for a while now. works like a charm. you can even hardly see it too which is nice. i took off the bird netting at the bottom. and just spaced more string at 4 inch intervals up to about 3ft, then went to 1ft spacing up to about 8ft. for posts i am using thinned out oak trees which were tall, lanky, and overcrowding each other.

its also great to plant a living hedge right on the inside of your string fence, so eventually you will have a permanent living wall that keeps deer out and gives much much more depending on the plant species used.

all in all i would consider the string fence to be a good method for setting up new areas, but not as a permanent solution.

oh yes it does not keep chickens out 
 
Christopher de Vidal
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Aside from just eating the deer (which I still think is a great idea), I just found this book today: Outwitting Deer: 101 Truly Ingenious Methods and Proven Techniques to Prevent Deer from Devouring Your Garden and Destroying Your Yard
 
Posts: 528
Location: Eastern Kansas
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My chain link fence never kept out the deer, but Buddy the dog keeps them out.

And, Buddy does not eat the green beans like the deer do!

Works for me!
 
                                  
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heres how i handle deer and bear troubles......a bear can really break over a small tree with a few apples on it.i seen a bear break down a 30ft tree that was maybe 6 inches at base and leave only a 10 to 15 ft snag....just to get a paper hornets nest.
this fence is very "hot".







heres new gate installed


 
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A single strand of electric wire about 30 in. off the ground will keep out the deer...that's all you need. We've been using this method for 35 years and regularly have 6-11 deer grazing around the garden all spring and summer...but none IN the garden. When the garden is done, we take it down and they clean up the garden items that the farm animals leave behind.
 
Posts: 23
Location: Upstate NY, zone 5
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I've have good luck using a dilute solution of my own pee and spraying it on the trees after every rain. Lots of time, but the materials are free and it gives me a chance to inspect all my trees. Now that I've read "The Holistic Orchard" I'm wondering if Michael's sprays of spring could be used to both deter deer and support tree health.
 
steward
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Location: Currently in Lake Stevens, WA. Home in Spokane
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A single strand of electric wire about 30 in. off the ground will keep out the deer...that's all you need.



I know people who have 4 strand electric that is 6 feet high, and it doesn't keep the deer out.

I don't think your fence is keeping them out...an abundance of browse outside the fence is keeping them out. I honestly believe that if people offered more good browse outside the garden, they would eliminate/minimize their deer problems.

 
Jay Green
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Deer will jump anything they can easily visualize and gauge for height but will investigate a low wire with their noses...and will not approach it again after getting zapped. Trust me on this, there isn't anything outside our garden fence as succulent, tender and tasty as what is inside. People who erect deer fortress fences hate to hear this after spending all that money and going through all that work...but it's pretty commonly known, in these parts at least, that a single strand at a certain height does the trick, no matter what the deer population or foraging opportunities outside the fence.

Wouldn't hurt to at least try it before you pass judgement on the efficacy of the method.
 
John Polk
steward
Posts: 7926
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Sounds good. Most critters will investigate with their noses. I know people who guard their chickens with a single wire at 5-6 inches of the ground.
Same principal. Biggest problem with the 5-6" wire is that you need to walk the fence with a weed-whacker/scythe frequently.

A 30" wire would save many people a lot of time and $$$.
 
Posts: 35
Location: W Ma.
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Dig a big hole --Put ashes in the bottom of hole---place peas all around hole--when deer comes to take a pea kick it in the ash hole..
 
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Red deer were a real problem for us - eating the leaves off apple trees as fast as they grew, ripping off branches, breaking trunks at ground level & ringing others. There was loads of grass & shelter on the outside of our fence, but they just seemed to love our patch; concentrated on trashing the cultivated fruit trees, eating everything in the veg patch & chewing the plastic on the poly tunnel. They'd be mooching round the house at all hours of the day & night, & even me running at them screaming had little effect. We tried the usual deer scarers, large dog, shooting them (took 3 weeks for newcomers to move in), beefed up part of the the fence to 1.7 - 2m plus & watched them sail over, and tried a waist height electric fence with horizonal spreaders 2m apart (easily cleared). In desperation we took inspiration & advice from a company called Agrisellex & put a BAITED electric fence line at waist height around our boundary. It worked a treat.... The trick is in the bait caps, which we made from metal beer bottle tops with a scrap of fabric or cotton wool to hold the bait held onto the electrified wire with twist of scrap of wire so that the whole thing is electrified. We put the bait caps every 5m or so along the fence on the most popular areas, further apart elsewhere. Initially I baited them with apple juice cordial - as they clearly loved apples - but later switched to peanut butter as it doesn't wash out everytime it rains. I should think treacle or golden syrup would work too.

I'm told the theory is that the deer sidle up sideways thinking that smells good - sniff, get a zap, & learn to stay away. Apparently being deflected sideways means that they can't tell how high the shocking part is & so don't try & jump over. I'm also told that once they have learnt to avoid the fence you don't strictly need to keep replenishing the bait/ electrifying the fence, but we keep it on & top them up every few months just in case. Our neighbours sometimes take a few deer for the freezer & I want to keep any new deer on the block out.

Its been over two years now since we baited the fence & I'm delighted to say that the deer have stayed out - we still see them, but on the outside of our boundary fence. Our trees have new leaves & side shoots, & even a few apples.
 
Posts: 3
Location: SE OK on the border of zones 7/8
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I haven't read all the posts so this might be in one of them. If not...

Here is a recipe that Bill Morrison gave in one of his videos. I just found it a couple days ago and haven't tried it but if it works it'll be well worth the trouble of making it.


Bill Morrisons bone sauce

First you start with a cast iron kettle and bury it a bit and put a cup of water in the bottom. Then fill another kettle with bones, put a screen over it and then plop the bone kettle upside down on the other kettle. Then pack clay around the edges to make a good seal. Then Pile up some dirt and build a big fire over the whole thing.

Keep the fire going for an hour or two and then let it sit for a day. Then collect the nasty gunk from the bottom. Apparently this smells awful. Smear a little of this around the trunk of any tree and animals won't ever touch that tree.
 
Posts: 171
Location: western n.c.
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I've been fighting these things since I started our farm (large blueberry operation)... I have a 12 ft. tall 12 strand electric fence pushing 12k volts, it was the largest solar powered fence charger you can buy without getting into the african game type of chargers... it does exactly nothing, they learned very quickly that they could stick their head through the fence, part the wires, and stroll right through. I've watched it happen and it shocks them with enough force that you can hear the snap from quite a long distance.

The only thing that has worked for us was getting depredation permits and after we have killed dozens of them, the damage has been mitigated to a level that we can live with.

we are currently saving up for a chain link fence around the entire orchard, but until we can afford that, the .30-06 is the only thing that works for sure 100% of the time. Even then, it took 2 years to get the point across that if they come to this field they risk death...

I've tried everything else that you've heard of, nothing even starts to work, maybe we have special deer, maybe the folks who do other things are just lucky, but I can say from experience that sometimes there is only one way and that is either to kill them or to have the money to practice 100% exclusion.
 
pollinator
Posts: 269
Location: Mason Cty, WA
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Here's a fun thing I just learned from the Encyclopedia of Country Living:

"Margie Minard of Mt. Vernon, OH, told me eggs help those who have problems with deer in their gardens. Her husband read that one of the huge lumber companies found out that deer hate eggs and had developed an eggy spray for their seedlings. She said 'We've just been throwing our used eggshells out here and there in the garden and among the berry bushes and the deer don't come near any more!"
 
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Hi everyone, a friend of mine has designed an elegant and super effective
solution to deer. You can find out more at his deer cage site: http://www.deercage.com
gift
 
Companion Planting Guide by World Permaculture Association
will be released to subscribers in: soon!
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