Thursday, October 6, 2011

Deer Fence

Here we go...

... a deer fence to protect the precious fruits and veggies (for just under $100!).

My hubby, of course, sighed and said we would have to rent a post hole auger, buy a digger etc...
I, of course, grabbed my shovel and a piece of pointed re-bar and got to digging.

The area near the well was rocks from the drilling. Once I got past it, it was mostly sand.
Now I truly believe that the summers are drought periods here. I dug down 2.5 feet of bone dry sand and stones (it still does not compare to the droughts elsewhere.)
I ended up digging an average of a 30 minute per hole rate. Had 6 posts dug and set in 2 days. The rest will be done the next week.
I used 4x4x8's we found around the property that were still useable for posts and 2 10 footers for the main corners.
I ended up buying 3 landscape timbers at $3 each for the in-between. Since I am using a poly net, they don't have to be but 12-15 feet on center.

The net is not much more than bird net but, it was cheap at just under $50 for 200 feet.
I chose to do this cheapo stuff because
1 - the deer, though there are quite a few, have so many other easier options than calculating how to get through a fence.
2 -they are black-tail deer and are not as skittish or big as the white tails in Texas.
3 - the regular path they use is along the outside border of the fence anyway as to not make then have to think about a new path to take.
4 - its cheap

Here is the fence up. I did it by myself with a step stool , scissors and a staple gun in 3 hours (in the rain).
You can hardly see the mesh. Were it not for the ribbon, I would walk into it. The ribbon is there so that the deer (and I) have a caution of sorts to let us get used to it being there. I will keep the flags there for a bout a month to make sure all the resident deer get to know it. The mesh goes all the way to the top of the posts with some left over to secure the bottom to the ground to prevent "nosing" under.

There is no gate yet in the photo. I am using the livestock fence in a double circle in the opening because deer also don't like to jump double fences.

The gate is made from salvaged PVC we literally dug up on the property. I had to buy 3 eyescrews and 3 elbows to finish it off at about $5 total. I used old trimmer string (it wont fit our string trimmer) as an anti-sag "kit" for stabilizing the gate.

Now I can plant! WOOOOOO HOOOOOO!


UPDATE : February 2012

If you keep up with all the posts, you have already seen that the fence didnt quite make it.
I think in the 1st week a dog barreled through it at night (maybee coyote). There were 2 rips opposite eachother about dog hieght and with dog prints nearby. Then, a drre tryed to go through a part - tore through it (on the street side), got spooked and tryed to jump over the opposite side and tore it down. Then, the ice storm came and just about all of it came down.
from ice storm post - click on it to see it bigger

I can still use it for temp fencing ot to drape over trees adn shrubs. But, as a fence for deer it is almost useless. I do think that they have gotten the idea that it is not a pleasant thing to go past the fence. The other day, after it was down, I drove up and say 2 deer standing outside the fence (where it was down) and looking in. they did this for some time until I opened my window and told them that they better not even think about it. they eyeballed the contents one last time and turned and walked away. Hmmm... deep thought.

I am now working on getting the branches cleared, prepping the blueberry & strawberry beds and then will invest in a more robust material.

I guess my next photos will be of the new fence.

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