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SIngle strand electric deer fence
A single strand of electric fence will economically keep deer out of farm crops, says Scott Hygnstrom, University of Wisconsin wildlife ecologist. He studied three types of single strand fences constructed around 36 corn fields ranging from 1 to 12 acres. Deer populations were high ¨approximately 35 to 55 deer per square mile ¨where the fences were tested.
Placed 2 to 2.5 ft. high, the three single strand fences were all effective in reducing deer damage to one-tenth that of adjacent unfenced fields. The fences, electrified with New Zealand type energizers, carried a minimum of 3,000 volts.
"Single strand electric fence works be-cause of the psychological barrier it be-comes. It's not a physical barrier in any way," explains Hygnstrom. "The idea is to encourage the deer to touch the fence with their nose, thus teaching them it's some-thing to stay away from."
The three types of single strand electric fence Hygnstrom tested were: shiny aluminum foil backed by plastic; bright yellow polyethylene ribbon interwoven with fine strands of stainless steel wire; and steel wire baited with a mixture of equal parts peanut butter and vegetable oil. Statistically, there was no difference in crop loss between fences. Ribbon fence was relatively economical, durable and the easiest to work with. It can be spliced by tying a square knot, tensioned by hand and rolled up on a spool for storage. Bait such as peanut butter can easily be applied to it, notes Hygnstrom. (Greg Kreuger, Wisconsin Agriculturist).


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1987 - Volume #11, Issue #6