They don't like hay ! We tried that a few winters ago when we were feeling sorry for them in the snow - but they left it alone. Was still picking bits of it up months later. They much prefer young shoots or bark from young trunks/branches. And tulips are their favourite !
We have now fenced off a small section of our garden for flowers, and then plant things they don't eat elsewhere. Despite the destruction, I still get a thrill from seeing them wandering round the garden.
I HAVE FREQUENT VISITS FROM ROE DEER. THEY DO NOT LIKE THE SMELL OF CARBOLIC SOAP. I PUT IN UNDER UPTURNED POTTERY FLOWER POTS AROUND THE PLANTS I WANT TO CONSERVE. THEY THEN USUALLY LEAVE THOSE PLANTS ALONE. LOOKS A LITTLE STRANGE TO VISITORS BUT AT LEAST MY ROSES ETC ARE SAFE.