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Most effecient/economical deer barrier/fence

Posted by Natures_Nature 5 OH (My Page) on
Thu, Dec 5, 13 at 12:11

I live next to the woods and my first year gardening the deer ate everything.. This year i installed a temporary fence in my vegetable garden. However, i need to find a way to fence my whole perimeter of my yard for my orchard(say a 70x50 ft rectangle). So i went to home depot and bought thin plastic mesh(similar to bird netting). Let me tell you, the thin plastic mesh is a joke. A twig falls from a tree on it and it rips, rendering it completely useless. So i don't have the money for a fence, nor would i want a fence, i like to see the wildlife.. So my brilliant, economically plan was to just to screw a few eye hooks in smaller trees around my perimeter and run wire around every foot vertical(like a electric fence). Before i suit up and do this, i wanted to see if there was a better option. What do you guys say?

Nature


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Most effecient/economical deer barrier/fence

That can work, as long as you go up about 8 feet. Because deer can jump a shorter fence no problem; at least the white-tail deer around here can.

Another plan/thought/theory is to do 2 fences, one inside the other, about 4 feet high and 4 apart, with something visible (like nylon-twisted wire) that the deer can easily see. They say they won't try the jump if they can't judge the landing.

In my vegetable garden (110' x 100') I just use a single of electric fence at 30" with brightly coloured nylon-twisted wire. My garden is planted in "sections" used for crop rotation and I put up stakes and twine to mark out each of the sections for my own purposes, but I leave it up for a while afterwards until I'm sure the deer have been introduced to the fence (the theory being that they see the twined "boxes" as a snag hazard).

That works for me. Some suggest peanut butter on the wire, in order to entice them to try it and get zapped, but I don't bother with that.

I'm sure there are bunches more ideas, too. What works may well depend on your local deer.


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RE: Most effecient/economical deer barrier/fence

Thanks Mad! I left out some pertinent info. There is already a beat up three foot fence around the perimeter.. All i would do is run a strand of wire at 4 ft, 5ft, 6ft,7ft, and even 8ft.. Although every foot might be overkill.. I also plan to attach shinny ribbon and a few cd's to the wire for visibility. I plan on using 20 gauge wire so you can still see it without anything, but i would rather not risk injuring the deer if they get tangled in it..

Trust me, one of my first thoughts was electric fence, but that's not a option.


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RE: Most effecient/economical deer barrier/fence

Your wire over the fence idea sounds like it would work just fine.

I definitely think that it would work here. It would take miles of wire to surround this yard like that, but it would be nice to actually have a chance to get an apple off these trees again!


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RE: Most effecient/economical deer barrier/fence

I feel your pain! My elderly neighbor keeps putting out salt licks..

The wire is 200 ft for around $7, so it's not to bad of an investment, especially if its permanent.

I know someone has a better idea, come on guys, where are ya? Give me some ideas!


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RE: Most effecient/economical deer barrier/fence

  • Posted by glib 5.5 (My Page) on
    Thu, Dec 5, 13 at 20:29

the wire atop a 4 ft fence worked very nicely for me for years. It has to be a continuous high voltage source, not pulsed (pulsed is for cows, continuous is for pests). it was so effective, that a deer runway was ten feet from the garden, and yet they never bothered it. Everything outside got eaten.


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RE: Most effecient/economical deer barrier/fence

  • Posted by glib 5.5 (My Page) on
    Thu, Dec 5, 13 at 20:33

for proper grounding, you have to run a ground wire underground under the fence. when it is dry, sometimes the fence does not zap properly, having high voltage on the nose and a conducting wire two inches under the hooves helps a lot. I can see that 40 ft of dry clay, from power supply to point of contact, in August are enough to insulate the beasts. you also have to control the weeds so the wires are not touched by plants.


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RE: Most effecient/economical deer barrier/fence

I am not having it hooked up to electric.. Just plain 20 gauge wire..


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RE: Most effecient/economical deer barrier/fence

I am not having it hooked up to electric.. Just plain 20 gauge wire..


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RE: Most effecient/economical deer barrier/fence

I think stringing additional horizontal wires over the existing fence will work unless the deer are uncommonly hungry. I would go up to 8 feet. I think you would be better off using something other than steel wire for visibility. See if you can come up with something else that is not too expensive. I think you could just do 4, 6 and 8 feet, or maybe 4, 5, 6 and 8. The more strands you use the more expensive it gets and the longer it will take to run it. I don't think a deer will try to jump into a 2-foot vertical gap. It might try to walk through a 2-foot gap at body height, but not jump through it.

Some of the "polywire" electric fence wire might be good for visibility because it is black and white, which gives high contrast day or night. I understand you are not electrifying the fence, but it is important that the deer see this fence, and that stuff is designed for visibility. It is not as durable as galvanized steel wire, of course.

I'll add a link so you can see what I am talking about. 1320 feet for 68 bucks.

--McKenzie

Here is a link that might be useful: IntelliRope


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RE: Most effecient/economical deer barrier/fence

I had a short term (one fall season) deer problem... I no longer have the problem as the adjacent property cover was bull-dozed. I used a constant charged electric fence and put a few aluminum foil patches over the wire with blobs of peanut butter. I did not have any problems once the deer tried the electric peanut butter. I believe my top wire was at about 4 or 5 feet and I had a lower wire in between...

PS: I realize that this is not an option for you Nature as per you post, but added this post in case others may not have this restriction.

This post was edited by grandad on Fri, Dec 6, 13 at 11:07


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RE: Most effecient/economical deer barrier/fence

"I think stringing additional horizontal wires over the existing fence will work unless the deer are uncommonly hungry"

Thos fence is supposed to work for a long time, it is not just a tenporary seasonal thing. It better work, no matter how hjngry the deer are. I mean, even if they are hungry, how would they possibly get through the metal wires? Deer are very smart, when they see something abnormal, they run the other direction..

"would go up to 8 feet. I think you would be better off using something other than steel wire for visibility."

I am going to hang metallic tape and shiny cds, i am not concerned with visibility; Its going to be cleary visible. The wire is more visible than your making it out. The reason i went with galvized wire is because its durable and cheap.

"Some of the "polywire" electric fence wire might be good for visibility because it is black and white, which gives high contrast day or night. I understand you are not electrifying the fence, but it is important that the deer see this fence, and that stuff is designed for visibility. It is not as durable as galvanized steel wire, of course."

Again, I will make sure the fence is clearly visible. My main concern is the deer trying to jump the fence and getting tangled, injuring the deer and ruining the fence. I highly doubt the deer would go near it when they see all the glare and shine from the cds and reflective tape, or even put small aluminum tins to make noise to scare them away.. Do you guys think i would have a problem with deer getting tangled? Anyone with any similar experiences?


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RE: Most effecient/economical deer barrier/fence

"I think stringing additional horizontal wires over the existing fence will work unless the deer are uncommonly hungry"

Thos fence is supposed to work for a long time, it is not just a tenporary seasonal thing. It better work, no matter how hjngry the deer are. I mean, even if they are hungry, how would they possibly get through the metal wires? Deer are very smart, when they see something abnormal, they run the other direction..

"would go up to 8 feet. I think you would be better off using something other than steel wire for visibility."

I am going to hang metallic tape and shiny cds, i am not concerned with visibility; Its going to be cleary visible. The wire is more visible than your making it out. The reason i went with galvized wire is because its durable and cheap.

"Some of the "polywire" electric fence wire might be good for visibility because it is black and white, which gives high contrast day or night. I understand you are not electrifying the fence, but it is important that the deer see this fence, and that stuff is designed for visibility. It is not as durable as galvanized steel wire, of course."

Again, I will make sure the fence is clearly visible. My main concern is the deer trying to jump the fence and getting tangled, injuring the deer and ruining the fence. I highly doubt the deer would go near it when they see all the glare and shine from the cds and reflective tape, or even put small aluminum tins to make noise to scare them away.. Do you guys think i would have a problem with deer getting tangled? Anyone with any similar experiences?


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RE: Most effecient/economical deer barrier/fence

I share your concern that you may end up with a mess of tangled wire and deer in your garden. Where I live, it's either electrify or put up a 10-foot-tall deer fence.

So far we have not had to do either. I cover anything I want to keep through winter with row cover or wire cages, and let the deer do what they will with the rest in the off season. New trees get triple protection -- wire cage, stake, trunk wrap.

We maintain a deep planting of brambles at the back the deer won't jump, and in summer we mow pathways for them that lead away from the garden and toward desirable destinations, like wild grape vines. We have one resident doe who has learned the rules and lives in the woods but stays out of the summer garden, at least until the apples and pears start ripening. This year she had two fawns, so I assume all three are now living in my winter woods, which are never hunted because they border a National Park.


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RE: Most effecient/economical deer barrier/fence

  • Posted by glib 5.5 (My Page) on
    Sat, Dec 7, 13 at 13:42

Yes, I see that the OP is coming to his/her senses. If the deer pressure is high enough, those puny wires will do nothing. I have even seen an electric fence in the antlers of a deer, steel wire and bright yellow supports.

the regular fence stops the animal from charging through, and the electric wire terrifies them. Unless we are talking about 10 vineyard wire, with 4" posts every 10 ft, strung with 1 ton of force, and every 4" up to 10 ft, wires alone will not stop them. Note that the electric fence can be kept off most of the time. they only need to learn once or twice.


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RE: Most effecient/economical deer barrier/fence

Ditto on the electric fence recommendations - that is the most cost-effective way to protect a large area. Deer are a problem for me both at my suburban home, and in my rural garden plot; if I didn't fence them out (as well as the rabbits & raccoons) I wouldn't get much. I use chicken wire low to keep out the smaller animals, with one strand of electric fence wire just above the chicken wire, and a couple runs (about a foot apart) up to about 4'. From there to the top of the poles (about 6 1/2') I run lengths of plastic baler twine... sometimes with pie tins or plastic ribbons attached, so the deer can more easily see the twine.

As has already been mentioned, deer learn; so the best use of an electric fence is as a deterrent. If the fence is erected after the deer have tasted something that they really like, they might put up with the shock long enough to break through the wire. This happened to me one year, when I was late getting my fence back up (I take down two sides in Spring to get my tractor in). That was steel wire, and they left tufts of fur on it, so that had to hurt. I use aluminum wire now, which is (a) a better conductor, and (b) easier to break should the deer run through it. The aluminum wire is a little more expensive, but it doesn't rust or corrode, and works far better than steel. The loud electric "snap" the deer get from the aluminum wire makes it doubly alarming, so they learn quickly to avoid it.

As for the flags & reflectors hanging from the top string... although I use them, I'm not sure how effective they are. It depends upon when the deer are feeding. In my suburban yard, the deer come out of the treeline after dark, so I doubt they see the flags. Hanging something noisy might help, but that would depend upon the wind. Bells hung on a low string might spook the deer when they bump the string... but once they learn that the sound won't hurt them, they would likely just ignore the noise.

"Another plan/thought/theory is to do 2 fences, one inside the other, about 4 feet high and 4 apart, with something visible (like nylon-twisted wire) that the deer can easily see. They say they won't try the jump if they can't judge the landing"

That is good strategy. I grow a lot of tall crops (especially pole beans) and try to plan either corn or trellises next to the fence. It seems to work, the only time I had deer jump the fence, it was in an area where there was winter squash, so they could see their landing area.

"In my vegetable garden (110' x 100') I just use a single of electric fence at 30" with brightly coloured nylon-twisted wire. My garden is planted in "sections" used for crop rotation and I put up stakes and twine to mark out each of the sections for my own purposes, but I leave it up for a while afterwards until I'm sure the deer have been introduced to the fence (the theory being that they see the twined "boxes" as a snag hazard)."

I like that idea. My rural garden is of a similar size & layout to yours, since I rotate crops from year to year. Placing poles & string on the outside edges of the individual plots would cover the areas where no tall plants are grown adjacent to the fence.

A few other suggestions, for what they're worth.

You can run strings of fishing line around an area to be protected. The deer can't see the line in the darkness, so it spooks them to run into it. It has worked to protect a few of the DW's flower beds. For a large area, though, they would probably run through it (or chew through it) eventually.

It has been my observation (when some unattached fencing blew over) that deer don't like walking on fencing laid on the ground. I have been able to protect small areas (such as a row of large pots) by laying a row of chicken wire or wire fencing horizontally on both sides, propped up 6" above the ground. This would be a good idea under fruit trees, for example. The fencing can be easily pulled aside for mowing or picking, then put back in place... so it is a good non-permanent solution for small areas.

You could also use something triggered by infra-red detectors. There are commercially-available sprinklers that are sold for that purpose, and they work... but IMO, they are pretty pricey. Provided that you can run a wire or extension cord out to the area you want to protect, a cheap infra-red triggered flood light might be more effective. Unscrew one bulb, and screw a plug-in adapter into the empty socket. Plug in a noisemaker, or an electric motor connected to a flail... use your imagination. Movement works better to scare deer than sound alone, so the motor-driven flail is very effective.

Or you could just get a dog. ;-)


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RE: Most effecient/economical deer barrier/fence

I see a lot of fences where I live that are about 4 or 5 feet high, with extra horizontal wires running up to around 8 feet. I don't know for sure that they repel deer, but it seems like if they didn't work, people wouldn't use them. The horizontal wires are often flimsy. They are not meant to survive a charging deer, but rather to discourage the deer from jumping over. They fail at that purpose if they are not visible to the deer. So the wire must be visible.

In my opinion, galvanized wire runs are extremely difficult to see at night. I have a lot of 14 guage wire run to hold up irrigation tubing for an orchard. Before I attached the tubing to the wire it was nearly invisible at night. Even though the wire is cheap, there may be some better choice for you. You just want the deer to see it and be afraid to try to jump over it. Maybe 1/4 inch irrigation hose would even work. It is far more visible at night than galvanized wire. And it is cheap and easy to work with.

Certainly hanging stuff on the wire will help, but that also increases the cost and hassle and maintenance. This is why I suggested using polywire. Galvanized wire is 5000 feet for 112 bucks. The Intelirope (polywire) I mentioned above is 1300 feet for 68 bucks. I didn't work out the math, but I think 1300 feet might be enough for your job.

Galvanized wire is also difficult to work with and it is heavy, so if you tension it to reduce sag, then you will need strong corner posts and whatnot. If you put in lots of posts to hold it up, then it won't sag so much, but you have to add more posts. With the intellirope (or 1/4" tubing), you will need far fewer posts.

You can pick up a 1300 foot spool of intellirope with one hand. Probably can't do that with galvanized wire. I can barely lift my 5000 foot spool into the bed of my pickup by myself.

Starving animals will breach fences that they would not breach if they were not starving. Most deer populations are not at that level of starvation. So you don't need a 100% perfect fence. If you do, then you have to scrap the whole idea of running a few horizontal lines over the existing fence.

A perfect fence needs to be strong enough to survive a collision, too high to jump over, and the openings (if any) need to be physically too small for the deer to pass through. I do have such a fence, but it was here when I moved in. I doubt I would have installed it, although it sure is nice to have several acres all around the house where deer cannot get to.

--McKenzie


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RE: Most effecient/economical deer barrier/fence

Thanks guys!

McKenzie, great ideas, ill look into other alternatives to wire..

Zeedman: "Or you could just get a dog. ;-)". I have two dogs, a pitbull and doberman. However, since they think the garden is a race track and tears everything up, i fenced off the garden with a 6' fence.. I just dont have that option to do that with the rest of my property.. But, you have brought up a great point.. I havent seen deer in my yard for months! I just dont know if its because of food sources, the dogs, or the deer bones the dogs are chewing on!


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RE: Most effecient/economical deer barrier/fence

  • Posted by fruitnut z7b-8a,4500ft SW TX (My Page) on
    Sun, Dec 8, 13 at 13:41

Deer in both CA and TX never jumped a 5ft fence in 10 years when they'd never eaten inside. And these were very hungry deer. One year 2.5 inches rain total for the year. The deer trails were feet from my 5ft fence.

If you leave a gate open or they are used to eating in that area then you need a strong, tall, high fence. I left a gate open one night and then had to reinforce and raise the fence. They jumped through 8-12 inch wire spacing at 6ft height breaking a couple wires.

So the way I see it is they're very easy to hold off if trained properly. But if they have a known food source they'll be much harder to hold out.

This post was edited by fruitnut on Sun, Dec 8, 13 at 13:45


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RE: Most effecient/economical deer barrier/fence

Fruitnut,

You have good advice! Don't be such a fruit nut and visit the vegetable forum more often! 😃.

We just bought this house three years ago, when we first moved in the deer was all over our yard, I don't see that many deer anymore. i'll keep training them! Thanks for all the advice!


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RE: Most effecient/economical deer barrier/fence

My neighbor has eight-foot fencing, and I have seen deer jump over it to eat his canna lilies. The reason the deer jumped was that my golden retriever was charging them. He's going to try motion activated sprinklers next year. They can be bought for about $50. Between his tasty perennials and my dog, I haven't had too many problems with them eating veggies in my backyard. But they love the roses in my front yard. For them I use liquid fence. It works well, but it stinks. I've only had to use it at the beginning of the season because they do seem to learn from their mistakes.


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RE: Most effecient/economical deer barrier/fence

I used old post's from the electrical co as uprights, went into local woods and cut down some small straight trees, set them around my small garden to help deter the deer.
The wire shown in the photos are only 3 feet hi, my feeling as to why deer do not jump into all my delicious veggies ???
They feel danger if jumping in !!! having many angle iron uprights, and irregular ground cover, in my opinion keeps them from jumping in.
We have herds of deer in our yard all year long, they have never once jumped into my small garden.


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RE: Most effecient/economical deer barrier/fence

Just passing this on....A guy in PA who's a great gardener says that black geotextile landscape fabric attached to posts, like is used to stabilize slopes under construction, can be used to hide sensitive crops from deer. He says if the deer can't see the crop, they leave it alone. I think this is true. I have never had deer try to nuzzle under row cover, which offers no view of what is beneath it, but they nibbled through tulle to finish off the kale.

On PBS there is a very interesting episode of Nature on the secret life of whitetail deer. I caught it a couple of weeks ago, so it may still be airing.


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RE: Most effecient/economical deer barrier/fence

japus, I've heard they won't jump into a small space because they can't get a running start to jump out -- so it's probably the smallness and the fence that protects your garden.

Another suggestion I've read about is meat-eater pee (my dog obliges, and so can dinner guests if you ask nicely.)

I use a single strand baited electric -- and supplement with repellants, and sometimes even mesh over hoops when they get a taste for something like sweet potato vines or beans and start ignoring the fence.


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RE: Most effecient/economical deer barrier/fence

  • Posted by glib 5.5 (My Page) on
    Wed, Dec 11, 13 at 21:44

Make sure dinner guests obliging you and the electric fence are well separated in space.


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RE: Most effecient/economical deer barrier/fence

I've seen deer leap from a standing position, I hold firm with my belief they sense danger jumping into a close area.


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RE: Most effecient/economical deer barrier/fence

I agree with japus. I have seen them jump straight up and over an 8-foot fence from standing perfectly still inches away from the fence. Several times. I've also seen them speed through a forest with dense underbrush and and many closely spaced trees.


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RE: Most effecient/economical deer barrier/fence

glib -- ha! such an image! :)


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RE: Most effecient/economical deer barrier/fence

  • Posted by glib 5.5 (My Page) on
    Fri, Dec 13, 13 at 17:29

it can be very painful. then you lose the friends.


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RE: Most effecient/economical deer barrier/fence

We have deer (not many and they're not that hungry) but they walk though our electric fence...all the time.

We have horses, with five to seven wires (two electric) depending on the location. The deer will crawl under, walk between and jump over...depending on the situation. The only think I've seen work in our area, are wooden posts and an 8' high deer fence (the mesh) which seems to keep them out of the vegetable gardens. Since we don't have that many deer, I plant the roses against the house, with herbs in front. That usually works...but for vegetables, I grow things they don't like and then surround what they do with lots of annuals and herbs.

They don't bother the apple or plum trees, but they're large enough to be left alone. They do like to 'trim' the young trees, but nothing serious. More deer always means more damage. Hope you find a solution that works for you :)


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RE: Most effecient/economical deer barrier/fence

"We have horses, with five to seven wires (two electric) depending on the location. The deer will crawl under, walk between and jump over..."

This is my concern.. How far apart did you place the wires?


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RE: Most effecient/economical deer barrier/fence

  • Posted by grandad 9aLa/Sunset 28 (My Page) on
    Tue, Dec 17, 13 at 10:08

Just spoke to a friend who knew a local farmer. Among other things, he mentioned that the farmer had success keeping deer out of his commercial garden by using a 4 strand barbed wire fence (5 ft long?) installed at an outward 45 degree angle.


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RE: Most effecient/economical deer barrier/fence

About 12" apart, but deer are smart and they will adapt. If something is chasing them, they may just crash through any fence. I would not want to do barbed wire...too dangerous for everyone.

What about hog wire on the bottom 4' and then wires above? Or the two fences a few feet apart? I would do either of those or the 8' deer fencing, before I would bring in barbed wire. Have you ever seen an animal get caught in it? And if you use it, make sure it's galvanized! The last thing you need is rusty barbed wire...especially if you have any children around.


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RE: Most effecient/economical deer barrier/fence

About 12" apart, but deer are smart and they will adapt. If something is chasing them, they may just crash through any fence."

I forgot to note that the railroad tracks are literally next to my backyard, ruining parallel with the edge of the woods. Besides that, i dont see to many things to scare them.


"What about hog wire on the bottom 4' and then wires above? Or the two fences a few feet apart? I would do either of those or the 8' deer fencing, before I would bring in barbed wire"

Again, i have a 3' hog wire fence already in place. I was just going to run horizontal wire every foot.. Another thing to note, i am going to rig up cd's, tin pans, and all sorts of things to increase visibility and scare factor.

PS- dont worry guys, i can assure you, i am not using barb wire. I am going to find the most humane solution.


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RE: Most effecient/economical deer barrier/fence

A buddy of mine used to have dog of unknown origin named Rufus... Rufus was renown for "climbing" the back yard fence to go on unaccompanied "walk abouts".

So, my friend installed a electric single wire on the fence. The hot wire initially kept Rufus contained, but if/when the electric fence was turned off, Rufus was "gone"...

My friend couldn't understand how Rufus knew when it was safe to bolt, until one day he saw Rufus "sniffing" the "hot" wire.

So, a few minutes later, my friend turned off the power to the wire and soon thereafter Rufus walked over, and again sniffed the wire and immediately bolted over the fence! HA!


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RE: Most effecient/economical deer barrier/fence

Interesting, Didn't even think about the scent produced from the wire.. I cut my own hair, so i could make little sachets of hair to hang from the wires, the deer are sure to hate that! Thanks for the responses guys!


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RE: Most effecient/economical deer barrier/fence

The wires also make a soft 'snapping' sound when they're on. Most animals can hear it, especially if there's not much other outdoor noise.

As far as being chased, usually this is does running from bucks or hunters shooting guns. This might cause them to plow through a fence...or if you have elk or moose, they just might not care and go through anyway. We've had that happen a few times, too.


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RE: Most effecient/economical deer barrier/fence

  • Posted by vgkg 7-Va Tidewater (My Page) on
    Thu, Dec 19, 13 at 9:28

My 2 best methods for keeping deer away from my veggies was to place a bug zapper out there and using chicken wire laid flat on the ground around the outside perimeter of the garden. Deer get spooked at the sound of the zapper and they hate stepping on chicken wire. I also use chicken wire as one would use a row cover over short plants like strawberries.


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RE: Most effecient/economical deer barrier/fence

I know the original poster is not going to use electric fence. But since it came up, I will chime in.

If you use electric fence, my advice is to make sure it is always hot. Once the animals learn that it is not always hot, they have incentive to find ways to test it. For example, they might push other animals into the fence (pigs do this), or sniff it (I don't think it is smell, but if you are at the right distance from the fence, you can feel a weak zap that is not painful).

Etc. Or they may associate the sound with the fence being hot. I don't think the wire makes noise, but the fence energizer does. And if there is any brush in contact with the hot wire, then there will usually be an audible arcing sound where the fence arcs to the brush.

Also, it pays to use a very strong energizer. This ups the ante on experimentation. I have goats, and when I was using a weak energizer, they eventually decided that getting shocked once or twice while they jumped over or walked under the fence wasn't really that bad.

When I got a stronger energizer, they started staying inside again.

--McKenzie


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RE: Most effecient/economical deer barrier/fence

I didn't read all of the posts, too long and my cat is bugging me for food, but I have had good success with motion activated sprinklers.

The deer stay out, unless you accidentally turn them off or let the batteries die.


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RE: Most effecient/economical deer barrier/fence

I put up a 4" fence on metal t post then put 2"11/2 pvc pipe on post put up next 4" fence weving on pvc then 45% pvc elbow then a nouther 2" 1 1/2 pvc weaving remaining wire over. the 45 keeps deer from jumping as they have to be close to jump. the top 2" pvc is glued to the elbow no glue to lower pvc. pictues are on backyard chicken.com under forum pest


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RE: Most effecient/economical deer barrier/fence

Materials are important. Don't be afraid to use high visibility nylon string that construction workers use. It's cheap, easier to work with, very visible even in low light, and if a deer does crash through, it's less harmful to them, and again, easier to repair. You won't be able to build a fence strong enough to stop a 150 pound animal that wants to get through or doesn't see it without serious construction. Avoid using metal attachments on trees. As an arborist, I can tell you this is harmful to the tree, and a pain in the butt for the guy that hits it with the chainsaw 30 years from now.


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RE: Most effecient/economical deer barrier/fence

Lots of good posts here! I'll chime in with a couple thoughts.

1) Ask local gardeners/farmers what's been successful for them in the recent past.

2) Planting things deer don't like doesn't always work. I've had them eat tomato leaves at a 5' height and defoliate large cucumber plants. They were all spiny; I can't imagine how they'd like them.

3) If it's tasty enough (strawberry plants), they don't care about being close to possible danger. I watched them climb my three deck steps and walk over to eat the berries and plants while I sat 6' away at my table.

4) Fence BEFORE anything tasty is in the garden. It's been the only thing that seems to work along with a 7' deer fence. I got a big roll from Lowe's when I received a coupon in the mail. Other posters are correct. The fencing wouldn't stand up to a determined push but by putting it up early, they don't seem to be as interested.

5) Good luck!


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RE: Most effecient/economical deer barrier/fence

I got a kick out of the phrase "efficient/economical"... there is no such thing when you are discussing wildlife. I have been gardening & managing wildlife for 50+ years.

You always use an 8' Sta-Tuff net wire fence & 10' T-posts (preferably galvanized, although painted ones will easily last 15-20 years). The cross-section of a T-post is just like it's name & the will rarely, if ever, be affected by high winds, especially if you engineer it & brace the corners properly. The corners/braces (& the supports every 100') are 4" 'thick-walled' pipe concreted in 6' deep, & the net-wire is designed to 'close up around any 'penetrating object'. In essence, the fence was engineered to stop a charging 3000 lb. bull. Don't forget to install a strand of gaucho wire top & bottom.

Mine have stood the test of both time & sustained hurricane-force winds, deer, feral hogs, as well as cattle. For cost purposes, mine ran about $10/ft. Good luck with your project!


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