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Mutts.
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
35 years since I have fooled with an electric fence and it was simple compared to a bear proof. Lots of information out there and no surprise some of it is contradictory.

Barbed wire: Some sources say you must use it to keep out a determined bear. Others say to never electrify barbed wire period for safety reasons. How about two or three strands near the bottom with the rest smooth wire as a compromise? Top several smooth for deer (not that I have any love for the cloven hoofed rats) and daughter's now very old welsh pony. Very bottom strand smooth for safety of small dogs.

Any recommendations for a decent tester? Something middle of the pack, no cheap junk but not a professional installers grade either.

Probably a stupid question, but I'm only finding drawings not pictures. When doing the alternate hot and ground strands do only the hot wires needs insulators? Plastic ones for "T" posts are cheap and come in a big bag. Ceramic screw in type for corner posts are a lot more expensive. Lots of pictures of field fence or welded wire panels where only the electrified wires are on insulators. None I can find of alternate strands done this way.

End of questions. Using 6X6 PT for the corners. More expensive but I'm hoping to avoid braces and the time installing them. Two long sides (building this way bigger than I think we will ever need) will be permanent. Short ends will be on hooks so we can get the riding mower in. One small walk gate on a short end. Not a lot of progress yet, three corners up with the fourth waiting on an existing fence to be moved.
 

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Save the wire and use chain link fence hung on tee post covered with pvc pipe. Bear_Fence_2[1].jpg
I had a large bear knock over a stack of EMPTY boxes prepped for installing nucs right in front of my Electric fence with 20 hives.
Never touched the fence or the hives.
I had them reach over wire fence and even had one push a post over to get in.
They walk right around the chain link fence and check what is setting out unprotected.
 

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Never use barbed wire on an electrified fence. Bear gets snagged in the barbs jumping back when they get a shock, then you you have an angry injured bear, and you can basically kiss your fence goodbye.
 

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Mutts.
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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Save the wire and use chain link fence hung on tee post covered with pvc pipe.
Will 5 foot field fence work as well? Buying chain link would add nearly $300 to this already expensive project. Have a full roll of field fence that was bought years ago for a garden expansion that has not happened yet. Would solve the barbed wire dilemma.
 

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electric fence gate end.jpg electric fence diagonal view.jpg

I used T-posts with angle iron braces on my alternating hot/ground electric fence.
The orange insulators I used are fantastic because they can rotate & lock into into 8 different positions on the T-post...the wire groove wraps around the post much more than the typical insulators. This is a great feature if your T-post is twisted or aimed at a 45 degree angle and prevents the wire from getting too close to the T-post.
 

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View attachment 54903 View attachment 54905

I used T-posts with angle iron braces on my alternating hot/ground electric fence.
The orange insulators I used are fantastic because they can rotate & lock into into 8 different positions on the T-post...the wire groove wraps around the post much more than the typical insulators. This is a great feature if your T-post is twisted or aimed at a 45 degree angle and prevents the wire from getting too close to the T-post.
 

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Mutts.
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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
NY14804: Nice looking fence!

Jack: Thanks!

Both: Kind of locked in to wooden corner posts. One will have a drive gate moved to it today. One may have a drive gate at a later date. And one is a 12 foot instead of 8 so it can be used when we expand the garden. Forth could be a braced "T" post when I get to it... Then use the last 6X6 somewhere else.
 

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Will 5 foot field fence work as well?
Yes any metal fencing will work. I used chain link because it was FREE from a ball field that was flooded and they replaced it rather than clean it.
We get very dry here in the summer so I rolled some out on the ground and it is hooked to the tee post for extra grounding.
The first time the bear touched it it let out a roar and ran down through the woods.
I was in the wood shop and the hair on the back of my neck stood up.

Forgot to add keep the metal fencing at least 8" off the ground to prevent leaf build up and then grounding out the fence when wet.
Also for those using the nylon/wire fencing, the nylon will break down over time. One of my out yards was electric do to people and the other day one of the strands was snapped.
After looking closer the nylon is deteriorated and only the thin wire is holding things up.
 

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I use t posts in corners, fiberglass in between. When running hot / cold I wrap the cold around the post, hot on insulators of course. Make sure the hots don't touch the colds! Make sure you have enough ground and for bear a 1 joule charger or stronger.
I like the t posts because it is pretty easy to expand the yard when necessary.
Or use electric netting. Its a bit more labor for mowing but works fine.
Don't use anything non electric only. Don't electrify any barbed wire or field fence or anything like that. If you use your field fence you will need electric offset wires. Black bear climb. If it's not electric they will go in when the reward is worth the climb. If the reach over your fence is not tall enough. If they reach through your wires are too far apart. Prevention is helpful: keep the bear out from the beginning with a good hit to the nose and they will make it a habbit to go around your place and teach their children to go around as well.
I have a yard where my neighbors hives are tipped every couple years and mine aren't. He has a cheap charger.... I have cheaper bees who are less aggressive towards bear like beekeepers and my boxes last longer....
 

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Jack-
"Ground wires do not need insulators but do simplify installation."

Yep! I only used them on the ground wires because I had them. The bonus was they hold the wires firmly in place.
 

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Bee Yard.jpg Here is my bear fence. Parmak solar 6 fencer. We have a lot of bears in our area here in Wisconsin. My brother is a commercial beek and has at least 15 yards with this setup. Never had a problem. Some yards you can even see where the bear went all around the fence.
 

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That looks like a 1.6 joule charger. Should be good for bear. Looks like a good set up at a good price. Not sure how long it lasts. Especially the battery. With any solar system, Check regularly and replace before battery dies! And with plug ins, Here in the north-east we have fairly regular power outages.... Neither is fool proof, know their weaknesses and be ready.
 

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When we put bees in the log patch for the fireweed bloom, it's a requirement we leave nothing behind when leaving. I use a net fence from Premier 1, it's 100 feet long and has the positive and ground wires alternating. We have lots of black, and the occaisional grizzly in that patch, and to date haven't had an issue with bears going thru the fence. I'm using a solar charger that's inside the fence
 

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Will 5 foot field fence work as well? Buying chain link would add nearly $300 to this already expensive project. Have a full roll of field fence that was bought years ago for a garden expansion that has not happened yet. Would solve the barbed wire dilemma.
There's nothing cheap about setting up a quality electric fence.
 

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Mutts.
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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Yea, the giant sticker bush is gone! When I mentioned moving an existing
fence had forgotten just why there was a wild rose there in the first place.
Years ago my daughter had moved that fence slightly and left parts of the
old one. No way to mow in between and no one ever got around to taking down
the rest of the old fence. Dug out rest of old posts, cut stumps flush, bush hogged that area. Wore out!

Have decided to insulate all wires (hot & ground) so I can get it up and running. Later add an inside fence and then all the wires can be hot.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Finally got back to this and turned it on today! Kept getting interrupted by other projects. Some of which even involved bees:scratch:

Currently seven strands, all smooth and all hot. Bottom eighth strand is waiting on an old child's swimming pool full of cat tails to be moved. Seriously:rolleyes: It will have to be either a ground or put on a switch to turn off when needed since there is no way I'm going to keep it weed free. Already have a switch I intended to be the kill switch for the entire fence. Once I opened it and saw how crappy it was decided to go with killing the 120 volt instead.

No second 'ground plane' fence yet and the walk gate will be the first. Bought the stuff for that today... Doubt it will ever be needed but all the posts are tall enough to add a ninth top strand. Only a single ground rod but it is an eight foot. (Recommendations are two or even three six foot ground rods) Not that worried at the moment since I hit water at three feet back when I put in one of the corner posts four months ago.

Tests out at 7,550 volts so should be good there.

Questions: Tried the 'damp vegetation' trick for training the one animal that shares a side with the new fence. It did not reduce the voltage. Does it only reduce the joules or was I doing it wrong? Do not know how to test the joules...

Baiting: Know that bacon is recommended but the only bear in the area at the moment seems to be attracted to bird seed. Would that be a better choice? Some wire cages filled with seed and attached to the wire in a few places.

Many thanks to all who replied back when I started this expensive project! Lots of changes and compromises along the way... Just hope the young bear who has been destroying bird feeders up and down the highway behind us never learns the taste of bee larva and honey!
 

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What works really good for a container, conductor, attaching mechanism for the bait, is a piece of aluminum foil that can be folded to make a packet that can contain meat scraps, bit of canned salmon, sardine, peanut butter, whatever. Make them so they are about an inch wide an 4 inches or so long when folded. The top inch can be folded back making a hook to hang over the wire. I punched a few holes here and there to let the aroma out! Just recently finished doing this for the raccoon fence around my corn patch.

So far 100%
 

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If the bear is not bothering your hives WHY tempt it.
They can smell the electric in the fence just like cows.
At my home yard they walk up to the fence and smell it and walk away.
If I have something outside the fence that has an interesting smell they check it out.
I had 25 empty hives ready to install nuc's this spring and she knocked over all of them because some on the bottom had comb in them.
My fault for not thinking about our natural pet.
 

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Animals that are wise to electric fences can indeed feel the induced currents with their muzzle whiskers. Smell is not involved. I have a mare that is a perfect example of that. The key ingredient is that they have been bitten before and approach a fence tentatively. I had one horse that would not go near a piece of the striped twisted fence wire even if a stray piece was laying on the ground.

A bear can smell honey and brood for miles if the wind is right so the attraction factor is moot, but that is inside the fence; I want the animal to be focused on the fence when it first encounters it with its nose, not its chest! If a bear is in motion with a target beyond it is not tentative. Their fur is quite good electrical insulation but there is none on their tender noses.

Below is pics of the electric around my corn patch. Keeps the bears and raccoons out. The bait pacs are small meat scraps wrapped in aluminum foil hung on the wires. Similar around my hives keeps skunks out too They dont come back for seconds!
 

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