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Thread: Electric Fences for Bear Deterrents

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    Default Electric Fences for Bear Deterrents

    Hello, I am doing a little bit of research and I had some questions about electric fences for bears. I am planning a trip to Kodiak next fall and I am wondering if I should rent an electric fence or buy an electric fence. I searched the archives and I found some good threads about this topic in the past. Apparently these fences run from $200-400 dollars to purchase. I am wondering if there is a place that rents these fences, and if so, would it be cost effective to rent one rather than buy one? I usually do not use a fence for bears on most of my hunts, because most of the places I hunt you can shoot a problem bear if you have one. So here are my questions if anybody has any advice I would appreciate it.

    1. Which electric fences do you recommend for purchasing and why? How do I contact them or purchase their products?

    2. If I was to rent an electric fence, where do you recommend I rent from? How do I contact them or rent their products?

    Thanks in advance for any advice given.

  2. #2
    Member 4merguide's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bushwhack Jack View Post
    I usually do not use a fence for bears on most of my hunts, because most of the places I hunt you can shoot a problem bear if you have one.
    I equate a "problem" bear as a bear that potentially wants to eat you or your stuff. And in which case you can shoot one of those ANY place you are. As far as renting or buying, you can run into a "problem" bear dang near anywhere in AK. So if it brings you piece of mind wherever you are why not just buy one?
    Sheep hunting...... the pain goes away, but the stupidity remains...!!!

  3. #3

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    Quote Originally Posted by 4merguide View Post
    I equate a "problem" bear as a bear that potentially wants to eat you or your stuff. And in which case you can shoot one of those ANY place you are. As far as renting or buying, you can run into a "problem" bear dang near anywhere in AK. So if it brings you piece of mind wherever you are why not just buy one?
    Well 4mer. We will have to agree to disagree on this. I can think of several instances, but just for sake of argument I will give you one. Last fall (2012) I was on a float hunt for moose. I had a "problem bear" approach me one too many times. Once he came literally 10 feet away from me in the thick alders when I was claiming a kill and I scared him off. Another time he came by my tent after dark and again I scared him off by shouting at him. A third time he followed me from a kill site to my camp, started coming towards me unafraid and I kept shouting at him the whole time, and then I finally fired a round off at him to scare him off. He slowly walked off, but clearly was trying to show me who he thought was boss. I could have shot him by legally harvesting him or by DLP, but I didn't want to shoot him. He wasn't the size bear I was interested in harvesting and I didn't want to deal with skinning him out. So, I chose option 3 and I packed up camp and floated down river. On Kodiak, yes I could protect my life with a DLP, but from my understanding of the law, you are not allowed to shoot a bear by DLP if it steals your deer meat. And besides, why would I want to shoot a bear by DLP anyhow? Then you have to waste all your time skinning out the bear when you could be hunting, and you have to pay to fly out the hide and skull to just donate it to F and G anyhow. So, like I mentioned earlier, I can respect your opinion, even though I don't agree with you.

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    About 6 or 7 years ago, on Kodiak Island - no less - there was an incident involving a large sow and her 2-3 y/o cub. They presisted in stealing deer meat and supplies from 2 parties camped at Grants Lagoon. On the final night of bear haressment, about 7 hunters (both camps) lined up and DLP'd said bears on their final approach to the tents. I told that story, to tell you this one. I was flying into the Halibut Bay area about a week later and was LOANED an electric bear fence by F&G. From what the air taxi told me, F&G was trying to get everyone headed into the field equiped with a fence to avoid further problems with the bears. Evidently F&G places a lot of trust in their effectiveness.
    I have one - the model sold at Sportsmans, which I believe costs around $250. It was a worthwhile investment as it gives me piece of mind on hunting & fishiong trips and gives an enormous reassurance to anyone accompanying me that suffers from "bearanoia". It's also a lot of fun to see someone "test" the fence after seeing the 2 D-cells that power it (guess they just can't believe you can get a shock from 2 D-cells). I also understand that the electric supply company on Hemmer Rd in Palmer will help you put one together, for around $200.
    Sounds like you want to avoid a DLP situation. I can see applications where a fence would help you do just that.

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    Member 4merguide's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bushwhack Jack View Post
    I could have shot him by legally harvesting him or by DLP, but I didn't want to shoot him.
    This is all I was really saying, so I'm sure I just wasn't understanding you as I do, in fact, agree with what you are saying. Of course we know DLP means defense of life or property. When you shoot a deer or other big game it's considered the state's property until you get it home in the freezer. So when I said "eat you or your stuff" I wasn't talking about that stuff being a deer that you shot. I respect that you didn't want to shoot the bear that was bothering you as I feel we have way too many people do just that when most the time the bear isn't really a problem at all. All I was really saying is that it doesn't matter where you are as you can legally shoot a bear that is threatening you. Of course it may not be the bear you want, or under the right circumstances for sure. I guess it was just the way you said it (that I quoted above) that had me a bit confused.....so we're good as I understand you better now.

    I've never really thought about having a bear fence, but I could sure see where it would be great to have one. A buddy of mine went deer hunting on Kodiak and after killing a few deer pretty much didn't sleep for a week. If I recall they ended up bring out one rack (out of 5 deer) and a small sack of meat. If you really aren't concerned about bears anywhere else you hunt., or if you don't have any family or women folk that don't relish the idea of sleeping in a tent in AK., then I would think renting would probably be your best option. I really do have to wonder though that if a bear really wanted your game meat, if a bear fence would actually stop it from doing so...???
    Sheep hunting...... the pain goes away, but the stupidity remains...!!!

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    Well I think wiggys alaska rents them so I would call them. But otherwise if you are going to Kodiak you need to rope your game into the trees or lose it. They also have them at three bears for the same price.
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    Moderator stid2677's Avatar
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    Both Seahawk and Andrews rent bear fences. I don't remember what brand they use but the bag they are in is HUGE. I use an UDAP fence and have never had an issue. I have had them touch it, but all we heard was a WOOF and loud noise as they ran away. Plastic totes work well for keep scent down too. Place the meat in the totes and store in a stream in the shade. Use urine to make a scent fence.



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  8. #8

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    I thought they were overkill until I spent a night wondering whether a bear was going to come back after we played footsie just before dark near the camp on a float trip. Went home and bought a fence. Makes it a lot easier to sleep in places with lots of ursine wanderers. Haven't camped without one (in the April through October time frame) since, and don't plan to.
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    webmaster Michael Strahan's Avatar
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    If you don't want to lay out the cash for one, you can probably find someone here who would loan one out? Never hurts to ask.

    Keep in mind that though they're a great idea, they're not a substitute for paying attention. You should still take all the other precautions you would without the fence. A short while ago AKHippie posted that they had a bear charge through their fence in Katmai this summer... first time I heard a first-hand report of this, so clearly it does happen.

    Something to think about.

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  10. #10

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    Bears do go through fences sometimes. Which is why they don't replace secure food storage and maintaining a clean camp. It is also why I make an effort to plan camp where it is visible from a little ways away, use wire that is highly visible, and assign everybody in camp to pee on a bear trail 20-50 yards away from camp. I want a bear to be slowed down and investigating before it gets to the fence. A bear that is not investigating and doesn't stick a nose to the fence won't have near the quality of shock, fur doesn't transmit as well, so they can walk right through without noticing if they aren't moving slow and checking things out.
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    Member AlaskaHippie's Avatar
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    I've gotten a couple of PM's about that incident, and have been remiss in not replying to them (the consequence of nursing a torn ACL & Meniscus, but that's a different tale from this past season, and the associated meds and visits with the Doc).

    The incident I referred to was in Katmai, on a river with a high volume of bears, as in 70+ different bears per day being seen, and involved a rather large boar. He didn't charge through the wire, he sashayed through it, all food was locked away in Park Approved containers, and he never approached the dining tent at all. It occurred around 0230 on a very rainy and blustery evening, the fence was functioning as it should, and he did vocalize as he walked through it.

    The best I can figure is that this guy (easily over 9') is pretty used to going where he wants, when he wants, and that's exactly what he did.

    After the excitement died down, and the wire was retrieved from the nearby brush where he dragged it off to as he sauntered out of camp, and reconnected, he did return and bedded down outside the wire and proceeded to quite loudly chew on salmon heads, much to the excitement of the guests and the annoyance of the guides.

    I've experienced 1 or 2 other fence breaches over the years, and they also where on this particular river, and all of them where at night with either no moon, or thick cloud cover. Each time the noise given off by the bear upon contacting the wire was sufficient to wake us up, and likewise the bear left without further incident.

    It has always made me wonder on the possibility of a cub getting in, and bawling at the contact, and then not being able to get OUT after learning "that string" hurts....While Mama comes hurtling in to assist....

    ...Hope I never get to test that particular theory.

    When it is all said and done, those incidents, when I consider the number of days spent in high bear trafficked areas, are exceedingly rare.
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    Quote Originally Posted by magpie View Post
    Bear fences are for pillow biters.

    And that statement is from someone who likely hasn't spent anytime on the AK Pen, camped on a salmon crick.

    If I ever have an open seat, you're more than welcome to come along, you can camp on the outside of the fence, and I'll stay inside.


    And once you come scurrying inside the wire....Be sure to bring your pillow....
    “Life has become immeasurably better since I have been forced to stop taking it seriously.” ― H.S.T.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bushwhack Jack View Post
    Well 4mer. We will have to agree to disagree on this. I can think of several instances, but just for sake of argument I will give you one. Last fall (2012) I was on a float hunt for moose. I had a "problem bear" approach me one too many times. Once he came literally 10 feet away from me in the thick alders when I was claiming a kill and I scared him off. Another time he came by my tent after dark and again I scared him off by shouting at him. A third time he followed me from a kill site to my camp, started coming towards me unafraid and I kept shouting at him the whole time, and then I finally fired a round off at him to scare him off. He slowly walked off, but clearly was trying to show me who he thought was boss. I could have shot him by legally harvesting him or by DLP, but I didn't want to shoot him. He wasn't the size bear I was interested in harvesting and I didn't want to deal with skinning him out. So, I chose option 3 and I packed up camp and floated down river. On Kodiak, yes I could protect my life with a DLP, but from my understanding of the law, you are not allowed to shoot a bear by DLP if it steals your deer meat. And besides, why would I want to shoot a bear by DLP anyhow? Then you have to waste all your time skinning out the bear when you could be hunting, and you have to pay to fly out the hide and skull to just donate it to F and G anyhow. So, like I mentioned earlier, I can respect your opinion, even though I don't agree with you.
    Gotta feel for the next hunters or fishermen who came down that river.....That bear obviously had lost its fear of humans.....the next time someone might die......I would have shot it in a heartbeat, legal or not. My son had one try to get into his cabin.....3 different nights......he postponed the inevitable the first two nights......He is also lucky his decision didnt get someone killed.....DSC_0856.jpg

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    There are very few streams in southwest Alaska that are devoid of salmon and the attendant bear activity. Pretty much all major backcountry human traffic is also in these same areas, often due to sportfishing opportunities. While some folks are fairly wealthy and experience this corner of the world by staying in fly-out fishing lodges and never stay overnight in a tent, many folks try to get into this amazing place by finding a way to do it a bit cheaper. This means camping.

    Bear fences are not bear-proof. And we have had cubs at Brooks Camp (Katmai) inside the fence. It does make for some stressful situations. So far, in nearly 15 years, it has been only a few times and nothing bad has happened, but that is a scenario that is pretty alarming for a small camp fence setup.

    If you don't see a difference between having a fence to discourage bears from entering camp, then you either haven't ever left your camp unattended on a day excursion while in bear country, haven't had a bear approach your tent in the middle of the night during a howling wind and rain storm, then sat up all night wondering if he would come back, or haven't really got any relevant experience of any sort. People can and do experience these things and decide they still don't want to carry a bear fence. But after these experiences they don't have any trouble understanding why others choose to have fences.
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    Member Antleridge's Avatar
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    Hippie, thanks for taking the time to followup with the details - most here probably appreciate it.

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    webmaster Michael Strahan's Avatar
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    Just a housekeeping note- I deleted a handful of posts that were directed at individuals. Great topic here, let's keep it on track please.

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    I bought an audible trip alarm for camp and carried it all season this year. I got quite the scare on Baranof this July with a brown bear approaching our alpine tent at night. I'd at least like some kind of warning to wake me to the intrusion.

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    Quote Originally Posted by yukon254 View Post
    .....I would have shot it in a heartbeat, legal or not.
    As a big game guide here in the Yukon, you might not want to throw that sort of comment out there in the public domain.
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  19. #19

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    Quote Originally Posted by yukon254 View Post
    Gotta feel for the next hunters or fishermen who came down that river.....That bear obviously had lost its fear of humans.....the next time someone might die......I would have shot it in a heartbeat, legal or not. My son had one try to get into his cabin.....3 different nights......he postponed the inevitable the first two nights......He is also lucky his decision didnt get someone killed.....DSC_0856.jpg
    Although I can respect your opinion, I disagree with your approach. Not sure how the law applies in Canada. Sometimes I wish we here in AK could shoot, shovel, and shut up about it, but unfortunately, in a DLP situation we have to skin the entire bear and turn in the hide and skull to fish and game. If I shot every single bear that I thought was aggressive and could possibly pose a threat to other humans, I'd be in court just about every year. I did in fact shoot a bear once for a DLP. A black bear actually. He charged me and I shot him three times with my 30-06 before he died right in the door of the wall tent I was staying in. I even shot a hole through the door of the wall tent on the last shot. I didn't report it to fish and game. I just claimed it and harvested it legally, but my point is, I don't have time to shoot every problem bear out there when I'm out hunting. I've shot bears before. If I saw a 9 or 10 footer, or a nice black bear that I can eat, I might shoot it, but I am not going to waste my time with every problem bear out there. My wife would make me stop hunting because we would be in debt to the taxidermist.

  20. #20

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    Quote Originally Posted by stid2677 View Post
    Both Seahawk and Andrews rent bear fences. I don't remember what brand they use but the bag they are in is HUGE. I use an UDAP fence and have never had an issue. I have had them touch it, but all we heard was a WOOF and loud noise as they ran away. Plastic totes work well for keep scent down too. Place the meat in the totes and store in a stream in the shade. Use urine to make a scent fence.



    Thanks Stid. Do you know how much Seahawk and Andrews charge to rent the fence?

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