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Thread: DIY Bear Fence

  1. #1
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    Default DIY Bear Fence

    Looking at putting together my own bear fence. The pronciple of how they work is not difficult. Looks like I can make a pretty light pack model for around $100. Plan is to use;

    1. Fishock/Havahart Charger - http://www.fishock.com/store/electri...arger/bss-2lgx

    2. Aluminum tent poles as posts and one will also act as ground spike.

    3. Tese insulators for hanging wire - http://www.ebay.com/itm/7-8mm-Round-...item5d26eb55a1

    4. Polywire - http://www.amazon.com/Zareba-Electri...9818955&sr=8-5

    And a few other bits; reels for line, marker tape and a silnylon bag.

    Plan to run as a 3-line set-up up to 40'x40' square, each line live. Also plan to have option of running a 4th ground line (in between top 2 lines) so I can run that as a ground if on gravel bank/poor earth grounding.

    Any advice/thoughts from those who have built before?

  2. #2

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    Have not built, but the principles are standard and very easy. Keep in mind:

    Corner posts must be tied back or braced, as they inevitably bend inward. Plan accordingly.

    Poly wire will stretch somewhat. For a larger setup, plan for a simple tensioner in-line.

    If setting up fence in a vegetated area, you must trim the growth down to prevent contact with wire.

    Be 100% sure of your grounding. Bad ground means no shock.

  3. #3
    Member oakman's Avatar
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    I haven't built a fence before, but I have set them up. Inserting the poles at an angle outward and then tensioning the wire seems to keep them happy without bending inward. Just another way that has worked for me before.

    I've thougth of doing this, but I never have. My plan was to get two different chargers. One heavier unit that runs on D or larger batteries for hunts when weight isn't an issue and then one of the smaller units that runs on AA batteries for sheep or goat hunts where weight is important.

    Let us know how it works out.

  4. #4
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    Thanks for input. I've ordered the stuff and start setting up when it all arrives and update. For the D cell longevity vs AA weight, I have also ordered AA to D converters. Just D cell sized cases with contacts that take an AA.
    http://www.ebay.com/itm/2x-Cell-Batt...item231576929b
    Not sure how they will work for current, but I have a quality fence tester that I can borrow.
    Not thought on angling the posts out, may save me having to guy them, thanks.

    It's just one of those 'can't be that hard' projects. Kinda like reloading; I could go out and buy it, but if I make my own I get what I want and may save a couple $100.

  5. #5

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    Good luck with this project. Would love to see a series of "after" pics highlighting essential components and setup. I think the UDAP bear fence runs about $250 - $300. Will be interested to see what you save after buying components, shipping and gas (if applicable).

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    Quote Originally Posted by K Dill View Post
    Be 100% sure of your grounding. Bad ground means no shock.
    And always have a cheap digital readout fence tester with you. Unless you travel with a buddy that will on command relieve himself on said fence and tell you in his best falsetto voice just how strong it is. ;-)

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by K Dill View Post
    Good luck with this project. Would love to see a series of "after" pics highlighting essential components and setup. I think the UDAP bear fence runs about $250 - $300. Will be interested to see what you save after buying components, shipping and gas (if applicable).
    Ordered everything [I think!] I need, including a cheap fence tester and am at $115 inc shipping. Looking forwrad now to see if it works and also what the weight will be.
    Interesting thing with the UDAP fence is that it has not been updated since it's introduction. The energiser they use (SG65 I think it is called) is discontinued and a new version, AN20, has superceded it. Apparently the AN20 has 'more reliable circuitry' which leads me to believe possible reliability issues with UDAP energiser.
    The fact is that all the elements of the UDAP and other makers kits are available far cheaper as seperate items. The extra $200 you are paying is for UDAP (or other maker), design, packaginging, advertising and warrantee. There is also more weight to be saved with carbon or aluminum poles etc.

    Having now researched these a lot, if anyone is buying a kit, be very careful of weight saving promotion. For example the UDAP kit is 3.5# and is a very good 3 line kit, but I have seen others that advertise a lighter weight, but are only 2 line kits. So no real weight saving, just less items/line in the kit.

  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by nbh40 View Post
    Ordered everything [I think!] I need, including a cheap fence tester and am at $115 inc shipping. Looking forwrad now to see if it works and also what the weight will be.
    Interesting thing with the UDAP fence is that it has not been updated since it's introduction. The energiser they use (SG65 I think it is called) is discontinued and a new version, AN20, has superceded it. Apparently the AN20 has 'more reliable circuitry' which leads me to believe possible reliability issues with UDAP energiser.
    The fact is that all the elements of the UDAP and other makers kits are available far cheaper as seperate items. The extra $200 you are paying is for UDAP (or other maker), design, packaginging, advertising and warrantee. There is also more weight to be saved with carbon or aluminum poles etc.

    Having now researched these a lot, if anyone is buying a kit, be very careful of weight saving promotion. For example the UDAP kit is 3.5# and is a very good 3 line kit, but I have seen others that advertise a lighter weight, but are only 2 line kits. So no real weight saving, just less items/line in the kit.
    I found my UDAP for 200 bucks not a terrible price.I would say that you need to tie out the poles if you leave it at max size as the poles do bend with the weight.Could i get a link for a cheap tester i do not have one.

  9. #9
    Member AKDoug's Avatar
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    Want light poles for that? Use carbon arrows. I took some of my old carbon arrows and cut them to 24". I glued inserts into each end. On one end I installed a target point on half the arrows. On the other half of the arrows I installed inserts, but in one end I epoxied a piece of allthread ( 8/32 thread if I recall right) about 1" long. That allows a pair of arrows to be screwed together to form a 48" tall stake. That lets you sink it into the ground 12" and still have a 36" tall fence. I just simply tape or tie my wires to them and use paracord to stake them out on the corners.
    Bunny Boots and Bearcats: Utility Sled Mayhem

  10. #10

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    AKDoug, that's a great idea and bit of ingenuity. I too have found my old carbon shafts to have multiple campsite uses. Have you verified that carbon shafts are non-conductive? I haven't examined this possibility.

    My pard and I acquired a UDAP setup for $200. We only ever use it (thus far) for meat protection. That means we're not doing the large setup. We do 2 lines and that's it. The polywire, charger, and other components work well...EXCEPT those poor-excuse plastic t-d poles. They are too failure-prone and cannot be inserted deeply, therefore the corners must be guyed or secured if you want a tight fence (I do). I suspect no lightweight pole will eliminate this completely.

    4 bulls the past 3 years in some serious grizzly country, and not one bite of meat lost. I know our time is coming though...maybe.

  11. #11
    Member Trappnguns's Avatar
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    Any results yet? I am really looking into one after 2 deer were jacked by a bear in Saltry...

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    Quote Originally Posted by Trappnguns View Post
    Any results yet? I am really looking into one after 2 deer were jacked by a bear in Saltry...
    I'll let you when I (hopefully) have success and you can come on over and take a look. Waiting for gear to arrive in the mail and also moving house right now, so it will be a little while.

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    trapp, stop by and see me. I have have a home made fence that I have used for four years at my Saltery Camp.

    nbh40, the one thing in your list that concerns me is your poles. Aluminum will conduct so you will have to make sure your wire does not touch. I used fiberglass tent poles for my first set up.

    I use a zareba four D cell charger that I got off of e-bay for 60 bucks.

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    Quote Originally Posted by akflyfisher View Post
    trapp, stop by and see me. I have have a home made fence that I have used for four years at my Saltery Camp.

    nbh40, the one thing in your list that concerns me is your poles. Aluminum will conduct so you will have to make sure your wire does not touch. I used fiberglass tent poles for my first set up.

    I use a zareba four D cell charger that I got off of e-bay for 60 bucks.
    Yep that was initially a concern, but I wanted the strength vs weight of ally vs fiber and also that one pole will double as earth spike; saving more weight. The clips I have (now arived) have about a 1" square plastic back so chance of wire touching is very slim. If it proves an issue after testing, a little electrical tape with sort it.
    Other thing I was thinking was a lightweight cable winder/tidy; fortunately Mack's sorted me out with a few empty reels from fly line backing.
    All the gear is in the garage, just gotta put it all together now, been busy moving house.

  15. #15
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    Not sure what size poles you have but the fiberglass tent poles are 3/8 and that just happens to be the standard size for fiberglass fence post. I was able to purchase harp clips from "Premier One" for just a couple of bucks.

  16. #16
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    Default Bear fences at work

    Here are some pictures of my two at work on Kodiak. I have used them for several years and the fi-shok has worked as well as the Zareba. The fence pegs work pretty well but are a little bulky. A lighter handy option are the little yellow insulators that you tie off with string or wire. Need a tester and a gate handle is nice for dropping top for entry. I still can't confirm a bear has ever touched it. But I have not had anything in my camp or meat. I use two copper ground rods. I purchased everything except the Zareba yellow jacket charger from AK mill and feed.


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    [QUOTE=trapperbob;1039584]Here are some pictures of my two at work on Kodiak. I have used them for several years and the fi-shok has worked as well as the Zareba. The fence pegs work pretty well but are a little bulky. A lighter handy option are the little yellow insulators that you tie off with string or wire. Need a tester and a gate handle is nice for dropping top for entry. I still can't confirm a bear has ever touched it. But I have not had anything in my camp or meat. I use two copper ground rods. I purchased everything except the Zareba yellow jacket charger from AK mill and feed.



    How do you like the Zareba charger? I bought one for my own DIY fence. I intend to use it in the Smokies (yeah, don't laugh) and also, its intended use, for some serious motorcycle riding in the west. I am also considering how to most effectively create a lightweight and inexpensive fence. I bought the charge off ebay for about $30 total, with shipping, so I thought that was a decent start. But it may be a bit heavy for backpacking, hence my higher focus on the fence itself. Any thoughts are appreciated.

  18. #18

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    Zareba chargers work well, I've used them on the AK Peninsula for work with good success. Use fresh batteries, make sure you have a good ground and you're set. If you got a Zareba unit that's in good working order for $30, you did well. I think they normally run $110 new, or in that range. For personal use, I have the Dare Sentry 140, very similar to the Zareba but with a slightly higher joule ratinig, same price as a Zareba unit. It has worked extremely well on me when I accidentally touched it, have yet to actually witness a bear touch it.

  19. #19
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    Not sure you can get them up in AK but we used 1/2", 5' fiberglass poles with 4 hooks molded in for the wire and they have a foot step metal thing about a foot from the bottom and they are easy to sink into wet ground with just your boot. They were about $8 each and they are real strong and the system will keep hogs and steers in so it should keep bears out.
    Somewhere along the way I have lost the ability to act politically correct. If you should find it, please feel free to keep it.

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    Default bear fence

    Quote Originally Posted by trapperbob View Post
    are a little bulky. A lighter handy option are the little yellow insulators that you tie off with string or wire. Need a tester and a gate handle is nice
    Mine is 4 pounds plus batteries, and its 90 foot by 90 foot with 8 poles, though I usually go a longer rectangle to get the food tent (light little kiddee tent) farther from where I'm sleeeping so I would have time to put my glasses on, grab my combat light in one hand, my sheathed knife in the other hand, and my .44 mag in my third hand . They're all just to the right of my head while I sleep.

    A tester and gate handle are worth their wait in gold, remember what's at stake when you're straddling it, mid cross. Even when I turn mine off, I try hard not to touch it; just don't trust stuff I can't see, much. I can still hear my childhood friend "testing" the electric fence by relieving himself on it; it didn't provide him much relief.
    Last edited by FamilyMan; 02-10-2012 at 03:44. Reason: fat fingers

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