[permaculture] deer fencing

Scott Vlaun scott at moosepondarts.com
Mon Apr 17 10:55:58 EDT 2006

I live in rural Maine and have pretty serious deer pressure on the  
garden. We have had good success with a single strand of electric  
wire at 30 -36 inches high that we baited with foil and peanut butter  
in the areas where the deer were entering the field. During the  
season, I make a habit of peeing on that side of the garden and also  
occasionally play fetch with my black lab by throwing sticks into the  
woods where the deer would be entering from. The only incursion I've  
had in the last few years was when a deer must have running fairly  
fast and knocked down a section of fence. I got the specs from the  
University of Michigan Extension. (link below)


I've also seen the 7 ft plastic fencing work really well in high  
pressure suburban environments and even on an island where just about  
everything that wasn't fenced was eaten to the ground. It is pretty  
"invisible" as someone already mentioned.

Good luck,

Scott Vlaun
Moose Pond Arts+Ecology
Design Solutions for a Sustainable Future

35 Moose Pond Road
Otisfield, Maine 04270
207-739-2409 Studio
207-890-4099 Cell

On Apr 16, 2006, at 3:56 PM, Rain Tenaqiya wrote:

> First of all, Home Depot is an evil box store that drains money out  
> of the local community- not a very good permaculture practice to  
> shop there.
>   Deer vary tremendously in their behavior around fencing.   
> Sometimes two little four foot barriers about 4 ft apart will work,  
> sometimes a 6 ft fence, sometimes an 8ft fence.  The topography and  
> vegetation also affects how effective a fence is.  If the deer are  
> on the downhill side of a fence on a slope, it is harder for them  
> to jump it.  Tree branches along the fenceline and above the fence  
> also reinforce the barrier.  Deer don't seem to care about getting  
> shocked unless the power is ridiculously high.  You end up having  
> to build a full-on metal fence anyway.
>   If you have money to buy lots of fence posts and wire fencing  
> like what Larry described, it could be the best long-term solution,  
> although in the West, 6ft fencing usually works by itself if you  
> stretch another wire a foot above it.  Sometimes another wire a  
> foot above that is necessary.  The relatively new plastic deer  
> fencing is very effective and requires fewer posts.  It lasts a  
> long time, especially in the shade, is invisible, and can be  
> recycled.  It generally needs to be pinned to the ground every so  
> often.  I would say this is superior to metal fencing where you  
> have lots of trees around already.  I have used it on deer freeways  
> in suburbia and have had no problems.
>   My friend has problems with rabbits, wild pigs, and bobcats, so  
> she's using three feet 2 in guage chicken wire on the bottom  
> portion of the fence, with one foot of it laying on the outer  
> portion of the ground.  It hangs from a wire stretched along posts  
> put in about 15 ft or more apart.  Then she stretches another wire  
> at 7 or 8 ft and hangs 6 ft or higher plastic mesh deer fencing (it  
> looks like bird netting and is cheaper than the stuff mentioned  
> above).  This is a very effective and cheap method.  I am thinking  
> about doing something similar, only I plan to get 8 ft high plastic  
> deer mesh and cut it in half, resulting in a 6ft high fence that I  
> can string one or two wires above to increase the effective  
> height.  My place is on a plateau so that the deer are below the  
> fence and have to jump higher to clear it.
>   I don't like having noisy, hungry, and stinky dogs around, but if  
> you like dogs and can train one well, it can keep all sorts of  
> creatures away, if that is what you want.  And if you feed it foods  
> from the site, it could be a much more sustainable option than an  
> energy-intensive fence.
>   Good luck,
>   Rain
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