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 THE WILD THINGS | MARGARET HOLM

Become a 'Fencing' Master & Keep Out Critters able online, for guidelines on deer and elk exclusion fencing. Cantilevered smooth wire top with flagging tape are the best deterrent to prevent fence-jumping and injuries to wildlife.

■ Regular maintenance, including complete physical inspections; ■Make sure all wires are taut and broken or damaged sections are repaired;

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gricultural holdings are most often on the edges of populated regions and therefore in wildlife interface zones. Attractants are an unavoidable part of agriculture and, coupled with little or no wildlife mitigation effort, will drastically increase the possibilities of conflicts. The first solution after experiencing crop damage by bear or deer, is often fencing. Costs for new fencing may be too onerous to take on all at once and might require a prioritized, staged implementation. To save money and time, while ensuring an added level of safety to humans and wildlife, consider the following for existing fences:

■Fill in where wildlife have dug underneath or bury a wire mesh skirt under the fence;

If you are considering electric fencing, make a plan before you contact a contractor. Consider the project: What are you most concerned about keeping out or inside the fence? Decide which is best: solar or electric power, fixed or mobile – perhaps both. Make a sketch to lay out boundaries and to calculate the actual footage of the fencing required. Ensure the fence loops back to itself to maximize energizing potential.

■ Add a smooth wire section atop an existing fence to add height. Low fences augmented with higher strands of barbed wire are not recommended for deer fencing; this most commonly causes wildlife injury; ■ Emphasize height with a top rail, using PVC pipe sections or flagging tape; ■One or two strands of electric wire outside and along existing fences adds effectiveness;

Consider all conditions under which the fence must operate and identify potential hazards and barriers, such as cables, hydro lines, roadways, large boulders, and terrain challenges. Mark out distances for brush clearing on each side of the fence to

■ A trench filled with large rocks can prevent wildlife from digging underneath the fence; Consult the “BC Agricultural Fencing Handbook”, avail-

improve line of sight and ease fence maintenance. This also removes cover and shelter for predators and allows wildlife to see the fence. Calculate annual losses, in dollar figures, resulting from wildlife predation. Consider actual crop loss and time spent removing the wildlife. Calculations should include the annual costs of labour and materials to repair property damage and fences. Obtain at least two quotes for a professional installation – on a cost per foot basis showing gate and driveway options. Discuss what role you will play in the installation so the quotes reflect your participation. Lastly decide how much of the preparation work you can do. Brush clearing, line marking and terrain modification will save you money. Yes, you want to keep out wildlife but you want to cause the least amount of harm and disruption to wildlife outside your property. Use smooth, solid galvanized

Year End 2013 47

Orchard and Vine Magazine Year End 2013  

Year-in-Review: what happened in grapes, wine, apples, cherries, berries and more! Land, Labour and Liquor Laws. Pacific Agriculture Show S...

Orchard and Vine Magazine Year End 2013  

Year-in-Review: what happened in grapes, wine, apples, cherries, berries and more! Land, Labour and Liquor Laws. Pacific Agriculture Show S...

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