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Slanted Deer Proof Fence
The search for a "deer proof" fence for orchards, pastures, fields or gardens may be over. Eastern farmers are using a new design that they say is nearly 100% effective at keeping deer out.
It's a 7-strand electric fence slanted at a 45? angle to the ground. It was developed and tested at the Cary Arboretum at Millbrook, N.Y., where experimentation is going on continuously to find the best methods of deer control.
Repellants and straight electric fences often give good initial control but lose their effectiveness after a few months, according to Wildlife Specialist Jay McAninch, who helped develop the new "deer-proof" fence. "We wanted to try something between the single wire electric fence and the expensive 8 ft. woven wire fence. This slanted fence design was the result. It's a physical and a psychological barrier to the deer.
"Deer would rather go under than over a fence," he explains. "When they go under the outer wires, they can't jump the inner wires and they become confused. That's the psychological barrier. A deer can make a long, low jump, or a short, high jump. But he can't do both in a single jump. The slanted fence is both too high and too wide."
Spacing of wires was determined from scientific measurement of the height of deer, and size of their heads. The bottom wire is 12 in. above ground level, and each successive wire is 12 in. apart.
With the help of a manufacturer in Vermont Brookside Industries, of Tunbridge the slanted deer fence was electrified and tested at the arboretum. McAninch says the hot wires scared the deer so much that they stayed away and it was hard to gather research information on them. "In practical use by farmers and orchardists, the combination of electricity and a slanted design has given almost 100% control of deer," he told FARM SHOW
Fence cost may run 60 cents per lineal foot for the wire, corner assemblies, posts and spacers. On level terrain, corner assemblies are placed every 1,000 yds., and small posts are placed every 60-75 ft. in between. One or two wooden spacers are placed on the wires in between the small posts. More corners and posts are needed on hilly or irregular terrain.
The fence is charged by a low impedence charger that doesn't short out from heavy vegetation.
McAninch says the slanted fence is for big areas that need protection not for 2 acre or smaller plots where repellants or other methods usually will drive the deer out.
For more information, contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Jay McAninch, Cary Arboretum, Millbrook, N.Y. 12545 (ph 914 677-5343); or, FARM SHOW Followup, Brookside Industries, Tunbridge, Vt. 05077 (ph 802 889-5556).


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1982 - Volume #6, Issue #1