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Deer Fence Design

 
Paul Carson
Posts: 8
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Hey Permies.
I posted this idea for a deer fence in the Nibblers forum a few days ago, but haven’t gotten any responses. Let me know if the below doesn’t make sense:

I’ve been thinking about this design, and would appreciate your thoughts and feedback. The idea is trying to mimic the idea of cattle grates: Let the animals fear of injury to their legs trump their desire to nom your garden.

I’ve attached a rough sketch of the design. I’m not an artist, so I’ll provide a short description alongside of the pic. To protect one side, you’ll need:

-2 lengths of netting material. Say, 3 feet wide, and however long your requirements are.
-4 stakes to connect the netting material to. Should reach height of around 6 feet when in ground.
-A few pieces of string hanging down from the top, to further increase the fear of being trapped.
-Optionally, and not shown, bamboo poles to increase the height from the stakes. You could also string netting material to these.

The bottom net will be 6 inches to a foot above the ground. It has enough slack that when stepped upon, it gives to the ground. The gaps in the net are small enough that they won’t pose a problem to a human foot. They are wide enough though, that a deer would fear of becoming entangled.

It seems like this would have distinct advantages over traditional deer fences. It’s cheaper, temporary, and won’t block as much sunlight. You can enter from any side you wish, and easily bring tools and wheelbarrows with you. It could also double as a trellis of sorts.

Let me know your thoughts, and thanks for taking a look.
Deer Fence.jpg
[Thumbnail for Deer Fence.jpg]
 
Eric Thompson
Posts: 369
Location: Bothell, WA - USA
10
duck food preservation solar trees
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It's possible that this design might work for a while....but it will probably fail at some point. Remember that a single entry at night by a deer can devastate a tasty garden!
I've seen a lot of ideas to outsmart the deer, and those seem to work 80%, and then one day there is a major devastation event.
If you want a reliable deer fence, put up the 8' wire fence surrounding the space and be done with it! This will keep you secure and can still be used as a trellis if you like!
 
Lj Jane
Posts: 8
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I can't comment your design but can share this for others who might be looking for cost effective deer fencing.
When we fenced in our 100 foot garden money was a concern and deer are a huge issue here. So, I read a bunch and tried the following (deer don't see well which is an important part of why this seems to work).
We left the corner posts 8 feet tall. The wire fencing on the bottom part of the fence is only 4 feet high but for the upper 4 feet I took boundary marking tape (old vcr tape also worked) and ran to it from corner post to corner post back and forth. It makes it look like the fence is 8 feet tall but it is really only four feet. I also hung streamers off these lines that flap in the wind. The deer think this is a really tall fence and I have had ZERO issue with deer in the garden unlike the orchard right next door which has 6 foot tall traditional fencing. The garden fence was even electrified and we have had no need to turn it on thus far in 4 years.
 
Cleo Dee
Posts: 6
Location: Similkameen Valley, BC zone 5b
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I thought I would mention Something a bit simpler. Heavy duty fishing line. The clear stuff. I live in an area that has a huge (huge)mule deer problem. They not only will eat everything in sight but they will attack and maime you, your dog or your kids. I couldn't afford ten foot fences.

I found this blog:

http://vomitingchicken.com/deer-fencing-cheap-and-easy-and-effective/

Basically you hang fishing line at varying heights, according to your deer size. When the deer bump it, they spook. Because they can't see it, they won't jump it. Needs regular maintenance. However it has kept the monster mules out of my Saskatoon berry orchard.
 
Tim Nam
Posts: 74
Location: Arcata, CA zone 9b
2
forest garden solar woodworking
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Cleo Dee, im gonna try this! Thank you and of course thanks permies.com!
 
Mike Jay
Posts: 248
Location: Northern WI (zone 4)
7
food preservation hunting woodworking
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I tried the fishing line method and it didn't work. I watched a number of youtube videos and they said anything from 20 lb to 100 lb test. I used 30 lb monofilament. It worked for a couple weeks and then they started breaking through it. My hunch is that they could see it when there was dew or rain drops on it. That's just a guess on my part. Luckily I could get a "real" fence up before they did any damage. I went with a 7.5' black plastic fencing from Tenax. It's really tough (only a year old so far though) and so far it's kept them out. A squirrel got in once and had a hell of a time getting back out.
 
Sunny Baba
Posts: 61
Location: Northern New Mexico, 7600'elevation, 24" precip
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chicken goat hugelkultur
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Hi Paul ...... I have always grown my own food in big gardens... surrounded by lots of deer... what works well is a four foot woven wire fence,(called field fence)attach normally to wooden or steel fence posts every 10 ft..... and then take sticks, willows, hazel, alder,..... what ever you can find locally that you can find a lot of... and weave the sticks into the wire fence... sticking up about 3 ft above the wire fence... spaced about 4-6 inches apart .... this makes a picket fence...... I have noticed over the years that a deer will jump a 6 ft high fence that is viewed as a horizontal line... but it will NOT jump a 6ft fence that has sharp points sticking up, that might impale it (vertical pickets).... we have had deer get into the gardens by leaving a gate open.... and then got a few people to try to drive them back out the open gate..... they would run back and forth along the fence as we pressed in closer... but would not jump it to save their lives... perhaps the old time homesteaders knew this... because you see picket fences around their gardens.... we have had great success even with a 4-5 foot sharpened cedar picket fence..... and when living in an remote area of Montana, where there were a lot of bears and moose as well as deer, we built a 7 ft high picket fence built out of 2"-3"dia poles, sharpened with an ax and leaning out about a foot at the top,( by attaching the bottom picket to the inside of the horizontal pole, and the top to the outside of the upper pole...... the moose would hang around outside the fence..... but never broke through...... it looked like a stockade around house and garden (about one acre)...
 
Cleo Dee
Posts: 6
Location: Similkameen Valley, BC zone 5b
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Mike Jay wrote:My hunch is that they could see it when there was dew or rain drops on it.


You are probably right. I live in a super dry area. 65% of our perception is snow..
 
Tim Nam
Posts: 74
Location: Arcata, CA zone 9b
2
forest garden solar woodworking
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Well, the fishing line might have worked for a short while but the deer are back in the garden. I think they like laying down on the mulch because the starts are too tiny to eat.
and they like stomping on the beds and starts...sigh... in the meantime, since we are not living on site I am readjusting expectations for growing food this year.
 
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