Thursday, May 2, 2013

Operation Deer Fence Installation - Part 1

~ can you tell which side of the gate has fence installed? ~
One thing on my 'wish list' this year was to 'do something about those darn deer...' which turned into installing a fence around the perimeter of the property. No small job - but not as challenging as it could have been.

I bumped into someone at a Seedy Saturday Event who is a distributor for a fence system that is simple to install. Naturescape Fencing is a product that is 'virtually invisible' - meaning, you don't notice the fence unless you are really looking for it.

~ side entrance gate ~

The fence kit comes with everything you need to install the fence on your own (well, you do need to have a partner). There are gates that you assemble for access either in 3, 4 or 5 foot widths for small access points. There is also a gate for driveways that are about 14 feet wide.

The posts have a metal insert about 2 feet long with a narrow wedge on the bottom. A driving cap is insert in the top & you hammer in the insert into the ground. The post then slips into it. Easy!! (wish I had photos of that part...)
~ side property line ~

A tension cable is then strung between gates & posts, attached to trees at a 6 1/2 foot height. The fence - which comes on rolls & is light-weight but tough mesh - is then rolled out & attached to the tension cable with rings.

~ back property line ~

 Because the fence is not supposed to be very tight (there needs to be a bit of give if a deer or dog runs into it), and the fence is not very heavy, the distance between the posts can be much further than you would expect. We stretched it a bit further than the suggested 20 feet as we just didn't want to spend the money on more posts. We'll see how that works - we've already found we need a few 'extra' supports & are using some of our green t-bar posts.

~ back neighbour gate ~
 We've become accustomed to have easy access to all corners of our property - no one in our community really has a full property fence that makes it impossible to access either side - should the need arise (ie: being chased by a bear). We decided to spend the extra money & include a gate in the back corner that is really only for us & our neighbours - so I guess we better remain on good terms with them!

The bottom 6 inches of the fence is turned out on the ground & held down with either long staples or rocks or pieces of wood. Deer will nose along the bottom of the fence to see if there is a way in, so this is a rather key area to ensure your don't skimp out on.

~ east property fence line ~

 I've been battling this section of property for years - there is a ditch & there are brambles & it gets lots of sunshine, but since I've not really gotten it under control, it remains rather under used. Maybe having a fence here will encourage me to work harder to keep it under control & start cultivating it.

This is the area that the deer habitually walk through - back corner up along here & out through the front. They will actually lay down for a nap in the grass as they know it's a 'safe spot'.

~ dig a hole with a shop vac ~

I have a few more photos to take, but this is the start of the driveway gate. We learned a trick in digging holes for posts that require concrete. In order to keep the diameter of the hole small (to save in concrete & back breaking labour) get the shop vac out! The husband chipped & sucked his way down 2 feet & kept the diameter of the hole within 8 inches or less! Took an hour as he hit some bedrock about a foot down, but very little mess!

 We were able to put in the heavy duty post & get the quick-set concrete poured around it in very short order.

What's left? Well, we have the front line & about half the west side left to hang the fence & attach it to trees & posts. Am really hoping to make some time this weekend to get it at least strung up so that the deer will start to respect it.

Honestly, I haven't seen the deer yet this spring - only their munching of greens & shrubs, their stomping through raised beds & their piles of 'fertilizer' (which I wish they would leave in the aforementioned stomped beds...). They seem to be a mythical creature that sit in the bushes watching everything I do... Can't wait to complete the fence & start testing its effectiveness.

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