Deer Fence

All the plantings in our new garden space will be for naught without some protection from deer, rabbits, woodchucks, raccoons and the like. We’re building a deer fence around the perimeter that should exclude all of these pests, perhaps not 100% of the time but enough to limit our losses. Deer can jump a 12 foot fence if they are sufficiently motivated, but a fence that tall would be very costly and a fence only 7 feet high is usually sufficient if it is difficult for the deer to judge the fence’s height visually. If jumping does become a problem, rather than extending the fence upward it will be more effective to extend it outward at the top. In addition to the fencing, which is essentially sturdy plastic-coated chicken wire, we’ll run electric wires around the outside to discourage climbing raccoons.

May 16, 2011
Our nephew Nash used the power augur on our tractor to drill all of the post holes, and set the posts around the perimeter. In the first photo below you can see a corner brace, which will have a diagonal wire tensioned to resist the pull of the fence on it. This is at the far northeast corner of the fenced area, looking west toward the house.

This is the fence along the south edge, and you can see the tensioned corner brace in the photo below. If you look closely you can also see the black wire that runs 7 feet off the ground on the outside of the posts to support the fencing at the top.

This fencing material is not placed under high tension as livestock fencing usually is. It’s fastened to the top wire with metal hog rings that crimp around the fence and the wire, and then the fence is stapled to the posts. It flares out about 6 inches at the bottom, and this flap will be anchored to the ground to discourage animals from digging underneath. A determined woodchuck or rabbit will still be able to get under it, but it should discourage them for the most part once all the sections of fence are in place.