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Thread: Float/Bears/Meat

  1. #1

    Default Float/Bears/Meat

    Planning a 2009 float hunt and working with Walt at northwestalaska in Kotz.

    Doing lots of research for my trip and ran across a few items I have questions on:

    1. Reading Larry Bartlett's Caribou Hunting, A Guide to Alaska's Herds, it mentions using moth balls to help interfere with a bear's sense of smell. I only found one article on the web about this and it was trying to refute the idea--but they were selling bear spray. Has anyone tried this method?

    2. Planning on bringing my meat home, hopefully fresh. Larry discusses double bagging meat in plastic and submerging when in camp, then transfer back to dry bags on a cargo net when floating, then back and forth. I would expect this to help with preservation (and defeating a bear's sense of smell?).

    I haven't bought any of the float hunting books yet, but I'll get to those also.

    I'd prefer to not to encounter a bear at my camp. Any ideas besides these?

  2. #2
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by bowhiker View Post
    .

    I only found one article on the web about this and it was trying to refute the idea--but they were selling bear spray. Has anyone tried this method?

    I haven't bought any of the float hunting books yet, but I'll get to those also.
    I hope you are nit thinking about spraying bear spray around camp to keep bears away. Its been proven as an attranctant when sprayed around. You could consider a bear electric fence to protect the meat. They are only about 3 pounds and used AA batteries.

    You should also consider getting Larry's Float Hunting Alaska Part I DVD. It has a lot of good information.

    The meat in the plastic bag is ment to keep the meat cool. You have to keep it cool and dry. Move it away from the raft each night. I haven't had a bear problem in camp yet except for a bear running though camp at Kodiak.

  3. #3
    Member shphtr's Avatar
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    Default Bear protection....

    ....for your meat...and camp in general - I think the electric fence idea is stellar, esp. since weight is LESS of a consideration on a float hunt than for instance sheep hunting. I would strongly recommend you research this option both on the archives here and on the internet.

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    Member Phil's Avatar
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    Default Electric Fence

    I'll put in another vote for the electric fence. We used one for the first time last Sept. We will continue to use it whenever brown bears are in the area where we float. As well as a satelite phone. I strongly recommend both.

    I should continue this by saying that we have never been botherd by bears while on a float hunt - only on drop camps. My best guess is that a short stay doesn't give bear enough time to hone in on the smells - but that is just an opinion - no scientific evidence.
    Last edited by Phil; 01-20-2008 at 13:58. Reason: poor yping skills

  5. #5
    Moderator stid2677's Avatar
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    Default Float meat Care.

    Keep the meat as dry as you can. You are not going to beat a bears nose they can smell meat up to 2 miles away. We try to keep the meat on the opposite bank when possible and within site of camp. I use the plastic bags only to cool the meat after the kill, or to cool off during the heat of the day if it is too hot. Cool and dry being key. Bring some extra TAG bags and after the meat has been hung about a day, I change out the bags and wash the old ones for reuse. I have had great luck with the bear fence, use the tape and the wires and put some type of smell of the flagging tape. If you have watched bears approach they sneak in unheard most times. When they smell the flagging tape they get close to 6000 volts to their nose. I use the fence to protect my tent and my rifle to protect the meat. I rig the meat pole with bells to help us hear it at night. The bear fence was money well spend and I strongly recommend the sat phone as well. One quick call for help could prove life saving. Until you have cared for 1/2 a ton of meat it is hard to really understand what a chore it is. I can promise you that you will be sick of it after several days.... Can't wait to do it again this fall LOL. As far as moth balls or any other strong smelling stuff, I have found that they are drawn by strong smells and like to chew and roll in it, Have found numerous chewed up fuel cans.





    Steve

  6. #6

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    No. 1- Mothballs. I've been around when they were tried. From what I've seen, bears have a pretty straight forward reaction to them: "Oh goody! Dinner mints!"

    No. 2- Seal and sink. I haven't tried that particular angle, but like its potential. My one hesitation is that even if you have defeated the sense of smell (which this will), you still haven't done anything about something almost as potent: A bear's sense of curiosity. I'm not convinced that the water will do much more than double bagging to control smells, provided you use clean hands on the outer bag. Coming from a long background of using electric fence to build "water breaks" in fencelines to allow cattle to get to a river to drink, but then not wander on across the river, electric fencing and water is a huge management and design hassle.

    I'll be inclined to try bagging and sinking if I'm out without an electric fence, but otherwise, no.

    I'm gonna keep on doin what I'm doin. Bag and scent proof as much as possible, then put the bags inside an electric fence on dry ground. If the bears can't smell anything, they'll lose interest in the bags quickly after being bit by the fence. If they can smell meat inside the fence, they're going to stake it out and keep trying to defeat the fence.

    And you missed #3: If you're putting meat in fabric game bags into the raft for transport, add one more chore to each night's list: Wash that raft really well! Here's what bears have to say about blood smell on rafts: "Oh goody! Meat flavored marshmallows!" It's a long, long, long walk to civilization if a bear eats your raft.

  7. #7
    webmaster Michael Strahan's Avatar
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    Default Bad advice-

    Quote Originally Posted by bowhiker View Post
    Planning a 2009 float hunt and working with Walt at northwestalaska in Kotz.

    Doing lots of research for my trip and ran across a few items I have questions on:

    1. Reading Larry Bartlett's Caribou Hunting, A Guide to Alaska's Herds, it mentions using moth balls to help interfere with a bear's sense of smell. I only found one article on the web about this and it was trying to refute the idea--but they were selling bear spray. Has anyone tried this method?

    2. Planning on bringing my meat home, hopefully fresh. Larry discusses double bagging meat in plastic and submerging when in camp, then transfer back to dry bags on a cargo net when floating, then back and forth. I would expect this to help with preservation (and defeating a bear's sense of smell?).

    I haven't bought any of the float hunting books yet, but I'll get to those also.

    I'd prefer to not to encounter a bear at my camp. Any ideas besides these?
    Hiker,

    You've made an excellent selection with Walt. You'd look a long time to do better.

    I'm going to come on pretty strong concerning the meat care advice you've received, because I believe you have been misled. Though your focus is on the avoidance of bears, the two solutions you mention have serious meat care problems associated with them. This is a detailed subject with many angles to discuss. I'll limit myself to the three you mentioned.

    1. MOTHBALLS

    Regardless of who wrote it, the advice you've received on using mothballs to keep bears away from your game meat is really bad advice. This is an old wives tale that never seems to die. Not only are mothballs useless in repelling bears, they're a mess to clean up. Are you really going to scoop up the goopy mess they make on a damp day? Probably not. They're a carcinogenic insecticide that stink like camphor, and the smell permeates everything they're near.

    2. PLASTIC BAGS

    Furthermore, the suggestion to store game meat in plastic bags in the river is equally bad. Though there are extremely limited situations where this might work if the weather is unseasonably warm, in most cases the risks of spoilage far outweigh the potential advantages. Meat must remain cool, clean AND DRY for it to keep best in the field. Damp meat provides an ideal breeding ground for meat-spoiling bacteria. Unless you really know what you're doing, you're going to end up with a trash bag full of meat bathed in foul-smelling green goo. Hang it every time you pull in to camp, and regularly monitor it to ensure it remains cool, clean and dry. I do recommend quick-cooling it in water if you do it right off the kill though, but only in really warm weather. The intent here is to prevent spoilage resulting from bone sour. This method was first suggested by Doug Drum of Indian Valley Meats about fifteen years ago at the Great Alaska Sportsman Show in Anchorage, for those interested in the source. Doug initially taught to just place the meat directly in the water, but I talked to him about using plastic bags and the current practice is to do that, to keep the meat clean of glacial silt, giardia cysts, and other nasty stuff. The current best practice is to use contractor trash bags; they are very large, and tough enough to deal with rough handling in field conditions. But you should get that meat out of the plastic after an hour or two and let it develop a proper glaze on the surface. This is to slow the growth curve of surface bacteria, another leading cause of spoilage.

    A COMMENT ON BAD ADVICE

    The author you mentioned also recommended the use of black pepper as an alternative to game bags (pg. 228). This is another wives tale that does nothing for you but make a mess at the butcher shop. It may be that some folks used pepper years ago, before good game bags were available, but those days are long gone and we have good bags now. So why mention it at all? As to his recommendations on trash bags he says (on the same page) that a quarter will not fit in a plastic bag, so you have to bone it out. This is not true at all, and will get you in serious legal trouble in many game management units in Alaska which carry the requirement that meat must be left on the bone. Contractor trash bags will cover all but the very end of the shank bone (see attached photo below), and you could even get that inside by severing the tendons at the joint. The same author says that once you remove the bones and bag the meat, you must leave it under water for the whole hunt. This is false, and will, in many cases, leave you with bags of spoiled meat. He also says that you should put the meat in a game bag BEFORE you put it in plastic, which makes no sense at all. Game bags are intended to keep meat clean and prevent flies from landing on it. Last time I checked, flies are not able to swim under water, so I'm not too worried about them getting inside my sealed plastic bags beneath the surface of the river! If you follow this advice, all you'll get is wet game bags for your trouble. Finally, the same source recommends using a bone saw for cutting through leg bones, and pillow cases for packing meat (pg. 220). Both are really bad ideas. Sawn bones have sharp edges that cut through game bags, and pillow cases are about the worst bags you can use for meat; they don't breathe well, and they rip extremely easily. He even recommends doubling up cheaper game bags, another suggestion that will result in poor ventilation and spoiled meat. None of this is surprising though, when the author says you can locate the tenderloins in "...the upper portion of the thoracic cavity." Uh... the tenderloins of all big game animals are located under the spine in the ABDOMINAL cavity! The entire meat and trophy care section of this book is filled with incorrect information that could get hunters in trouble, if followed as written.

    3. BEAR PROTECTION

    I agree with the comments on the electric fence, and if you take a look through the archives here, you'll find many references to them, including links to companies that sell or rent them to hunters in Alaska. The electric fence may well be the single best non-lethal method for effectively keeping bears away from your game meat. Check it out.

    Well, I'm sure a few folks won't like what I have to say on this, but bad advice is bad advice, no matter where it comes from. If you get a chance, you might also look through the archives on meat care too. There's a lot written on that here too.

    Hope it helps!

    -Mike
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    Last edited by Michael Strahan; 01-30-2008 at 09:44.
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  8. #8

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    You're absolutely right for long term holding and cooling of meat Mike, but I interpreted his text to question what to do with it on overnight stops while floating.

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    Moderator stid2677's Avatar
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    Default Plastic

    Just to make sure that I'm being clear as mud. I use plastic compactor bags for the following. If I take an animal in the heat of the day, I will quarter up the animal. I will place the quarters into a plastic compactor bag, place this bag into another. Then place them into cool running water, I use rocks to weight them down. This is only a short term thing, as soon as they have cooled they are removed, dried if needed and placed into clean dry game bags. I have seen this done on sheep hunts as well. The last few years I have seen day time temps hit the 80s. I'm hear to tell you that it becomes hard to care for meat in temps this high. As said COOL and DRY, when temps start getting high you have to keep that meat cool or get it out. You have to fly your meat out anyway, look into a meat haul during your trip if possible, this means you have to plan it and have someone on the other end. It can make the hunt much EZer. Also try everything in your power to keep that blood off your raft, we washed ours often, still hard to wash off that game smell. I used the fence to protect the raft and camp while we were hunting.

    Steve

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    Default

    You have it. The plastic bags are intended to keep the meat dry while you cool it down in the river. To protect the camp and the meat you'll need two fences.

  11. #11
    webmaster Michael Strahan's Avatar
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    Default Yes, but...

    Quote Originally Posted by Bill S. View Post
    You have it. The plastic bags are intended to keep the meat dry while you cool it down in the river. To protect the camp and the meat you'll need two fences.
    I understand the cooling effects of water, but every time you remove the meat from plastic, the drying process has to start all over again. If temps are warm, you have two reliable options (in my opinion); cut your hunt short and get it out of there to a processor, or don't shoot. A couple of years ago one of my hunters shot a moose early in the hunt and we had to cut our hunt short by a week because of warm temps. Everything turned out okay, but it would not have gone well if we couldn't get the meat out sooner.

    I guess it's a heads-up for float hunters. If the temps are warm, say, in the low 70's or so, best to choose a river that allows early egress.

    The only time I'd recommend putting meat in plastic bags is right off the kill, as a means to quick-cool it to forestall bone sour. I don't trust putting it in plastic on a regular basis, and I know of several folks who have done this and lost meat (including the aforementioned source, who documented such losses in print).

    Remember, if you lose your meat to spoilage, regardless of cause, you are still legally liable for the loss. I can't speak to the experiences of you folks, but in over 20 years of hunting some of the remotest places in Alaska, I have yet to lose ANY meat to spoilage in the field. And I never put it in the river except to cool it right off the kill.

    None of this is intended to disparage the remarks or experiences of folks in this thread, I'm just telling you what has worked for me on float hunts measuring up to 180 river miles and 14 days in length. It's a more conservative path, I know, but it has worked for me.

    -Mike
    LOST CREEK COMPANY: Specializing in Alaska hunt consultation and planning for do-it-yourself hunts, fully outfitted hunts, and guided hunts.
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  12. #12

    Default Bear Fence Info

    Protecting Your Camp from Bears: Electric Fencing

    Tom S. Smith, Ph.D.
    Research Ecologist - Bears
    USGS – Alaska Science Center

    Alaska - The Last Frontier - is one of the most incredibly beautiful places on earth. Each year, many people work and recreate in its vast waters and wilderness. I've yet to meet a person, however, that didn't worry, or at least harbor some concerns, regarding bears and bear encounters. Bears exist in nearly every corner of the state and the extremely rare - yet highly publicized - bear maulings remind us just how wild Alaska can be. But bears should prevent no one from being out in the wilderness. What concerns some most, however, is camping. No one wants to be sound asleep in a tent when a curious bear pokes around camp. Nor is there any reason for bears to be able to approach your camp at night. Electric fencing, now lighter and more economical than ever, can dissuade curious bears from approaching your camp, thus allowing you to sleep safely... and soundly.

    But does everyone using the backcountry need a fence? I recommend that electric fencing be used primarily for the following situations: 1) long-term field camps (such as used by state and federal agencies to conduct management and research functions), 2) for hunting camps where game meat and trophies (e.g., hides, horns, etc.) may be stored, 3) in locations where bear numbers are known to be high (e.g., Kodiak Island, Alaska Peninsula, etc.), and 4) where problem bears have been known to frequent. One might also justify fencing if its deployment is the only way persons fearful of camping in bear country will go. The bottom line is that the use of electric fencing is up to the user but no bear experts will suggest it should be used by everyone. The vast majority of campers in Alaska have no serious bear problems nor should they have to suddenly be worrying about carrying and using a fence. I wouldn't think to use a fence in a place like Denali National Park... the bear numbers are too few and generally bear-human incidents rare. On the other hand, if I was going to camp along coastal Katmai I wouldn't be without one.

    Sometimes people openly ask "are you that afraid of bears that you need a fence?" I turn the question around, however, and ask "are you willing to allow a bear to determine when your trip is over? because that is precisely what will happen if you camp in some areas where bear numbers are high." Look at it this way as well - when I deploy a field camp with upwards of 6-10 tents, a single, curious bear could destroy $4,000 to $5,000 of tents in as little as a half hour should everyone be out conducting research. Bears that destroy tents aren't being aggressive...they're just being...well, bears. They ask questions with their jaws and claws "what's this?" crunch. "what's this" smack. A little Q&A session like that can reduce my field camp to ruin in minutes, putting me out of business. Worse, the bear may get some sort of reward by probing around like that. All around it is bad business to leave gear unattended in bear country. Yet we often have to do it to get our work done. So I use electric fencing which not only protects my gear but also teaches bears (when they put their nose to the fence) that this place is to be avoided... "Don't come near camps!" is the message powerfully conveyed when a bear gets 5 kilovolts across its nose. As bear trainer Doug Seuss once said "you don't have to teach a bear something twice." In this regard, as long as their are going to be camps in bear country, we need to take a pro-active stance in preventing camp destruction and by training bears to avoid them.

    For years the term "electric fence" was synonymous with images of 40-pound chargers, snarls of steel wire, heavy poles, car batteries and heavy steel grounding rods. But recent technological advances have resulted in lightweight, economical, electric fence systems that one should seriously consider purchasing and using. Recently, I camped in an area with a lot of bears.... they were everywhere. Before turning in for the night I counted 35 brown bears in a meadow near camp. It wasn't a matter of if, but when a bear would come poking around camp. Deploying an electric fence around my tent took about 20 minutes. The weight of the entire system (poles, wire, charger, grounding rods) was less than 10 pounds. No, I didn't backpack it into the wilderness.... I'd come by floatplane. And no, the fence wasn't expensive: the entire setup cost less than $100. I didn't worry about curious bears destroying my $600 tent or other gear while I was out and about, and I enjoyed 10 uneventful nights of restful sleep. I am continually amazed at the number of cabins, camps, boat and watercraft that are needlessly destroyed by bears each year. Nothing is 100% effective but so far in the past ten years I've camped amongst the densest grizzly populations in the world, I've not had a single bear breach the fence. Not that they haven't tried. A couple years ago 5 bears - and one wolf - were deterred by the camp's electric fence during a single 2-week outing. I also used a perimeter alarm system in conjunction with the fence (the alarm is a separate system and I won't discuss it here), so when the alarm went off I knew that a bear had been trying to push through the fence. In a word: electric fences work.



    There are many ways to set up electric fences, but for most short-term field camp operations an easily deployed, lightweight fence will be adequate. Let's explore a few basic principles about electric fences.

    How do electric fences work?
    Electric fences are comprised of three basic components:
    • Wires suspended on poles carry an electric charge. This is the "hot," aboveground part of the system.
    • An energizer (also known as a charger) pushes power through the fence wire. For safety, most systems deliver power in a series of pulses, usually about one per second. The downtime between pulses allows animals to break free of the fence (a continuous current can cause an animal to "lock on" to the fence due to sustained, involuntary muscular contractions).
    • A grounding system, usually a metal rod sunk into the earth and connected to the energizer via a wire. The ground system attracts the charge through the animal and returns the current to the energizer through the ground wire.

    Since electricity will only travel through a closed circuit, the fence wire, energizer and ground rod are three parts of a circuit waiting to be closed; when a bear touches the wire, it closes the circuit, and electrical current flows through the bear. Consequently, the bear will feel a shock, really rather a sharp jolt of electricity, which strongly discourages him from touching the fence again. Most bears I've witnessed getting shocked cannot put enough distance between themselves and the fence fast enough. The strength of the shock depends on the energizer's voltage and amperage:
    • Voltage, measured in volts (V) or kilovolts (kV), is the force or pressure with which a current flows through the circuit. The higher the voltage, the farther the current can travel through the wire before resistance slows it down; higher voltage also causes a stronger "zap" from the shock.
    • Amperage (amps) measures the magnitude, or strength, of the current flowing through the wire. The higher the amperage, the greater the sensation the current will cause when it enters a body.
    Consequently, fence chargers are high voltage and extremely low amperage. Although bears are the intended targets of electric fences, anything else that comes in contact with both fence and ground will also complete the circuit. Blades of grass and tree branches will allow a small amount of power to travel from the fence to the ground rod and you should make an effort to keep the fence clear of these power-sappers. A bear may still get a jolt from a fence with some grass leaning up against it but too many grasses can literally short the fence out, rendering it useless. When I set up a camp with boat or plane access I toss a pair of grass clippers in just for the purpose of clearing the fence line.

    Do electric fences pose a threat to bears or people?
    The current (amperage) flowing through a fence is miniscule and will not injure you or bears. The voltage, however, is high (5-7 kV) and can knock you down due to the involuntary contraction of your muscles from the jolt of electricity. For safety considerations, chargers (or energizers as they are also called) send the charge in pulses, usually one per second. This allows the bear to break free of the fence. The sting a bear, or person, feels when they touch an electric fence isn't particularly painful but it is unpleasant to the point that it deters future investigation.

    How effective are electric fences for deterring curious bears?
    Remember, most bears that approach your camp or gear are curious, but alert, as they approach. Once the bear gets jolted it will usually huff, bawl and run quickly away. Over the past decade I have tested many fences in many settings - all of them thick with bears - and have never had an electric fence fail to keep bears out.

    How sturdy does the fence have to be?
    My experience has shown that you don't need to build a concentration camp-style enclosure. Whether you have 10 wires supported by wooden posts or 2 wires on thin fiberglass wands, the shock is the same strength and it is the shock that deters the bear, not the fence's appearance. I believe that misunderstandings regarding the need for elaborate and stoutly constructed fences have arisen from the fact that there is a big difference between trying to keep livestock in an enclosure and in keeping a bear out. To the best of my knowledge bears cannot jump like a quarter horse (or at least they don't, thank heavens) and so the fence need not be very high. Also, once a bear gets zapped they don't loiter around. The key, then, is to present a charged wire in such a way that a curious bear will nudge it with his nose. The resultant "zap!" on his nose will convince him that there are many other things he'd rather be doing ... elsewhere... right now. Therefore, 2 wires have worked well for me. When using 2 wires I string one about a foot high and the other 3 feet high. I flag the top wire with a small piece of fluorescent flagging midway between poles to encourage the curious bear to nose it, perhaps even bite it, and that takes care of his curiosity. Flagging also keeps bears from walking into an otherwise invisible wire which the bear can easily break.

    What are the basic components I'll need for a lightweight, portable fence?
    I've put together a table of components that will allow you to build a functional, yet lightweight, fence (see below). You can modify this a number of ways, depending on your ingenuity. For instance, on a recent outing I carried only a palm-sized charger that was powered by 2 D cell batteries (it supposedly will run 2 months on 2 batteries!), a roll of flexible fence wire (plastic polywire that shocks because it has 9 strands of stainless steel wire winding through it), a handful of the plastic zip strips in place of fiberglass poles, some connecting wire to run from the charger to fence and charger to ground, and 2 aluminum tent pegs as ground rods. This set up was very light and worked well. I carried a fence charge tester and it showed that I was getting a solid 4 kV to 5 kV of charge in the wire. I used existing alder bushes for my poles and kept the polywire from grounding out on them by using zip strips. The zip strip went around a sturdy branch through which the taut polywire was strung. The tension of the polywire kept it away from the branch and the non-conducting zip strip held it in place. The system worked well and I'd dumped the weight of the poles. The only downside was that zip strips cannot be reused - you have to cut them off. If you are very patient and good with a knife you can back a zip strip open but it is not time effective. Also, I did not carry the typical steel grounding rod. I've found that as small as tent camp enclosures are, a couple of aluminum stakes driven into the soil to which the charger is grounded works well. Remember that you're only trying to energize a couple hundred feet of wire - not miles - and hence don't need a heavy grounding rod. You can always test this out for yourself by putting a voltmeter (made especially for fences - a typical voltage 'multimeter' will get fried by this voltage) to test how small of a ground rod you can get by with. The connecting wires I use are automobile sparkplug wires with alligator clips on the ends. Hence, there is no need for to ground the charger to the heavy grounding rods, such as ranchers do.

    Fence Components

    ITEM QUANTITY APPROXIMATE COST
    Energizer-charger unit** 1 $40-$120
    Connection wires (brown with alligator clips) 2 $6
    electric fence wire 1 roll (500 feet) $5
    Electric fence tester 1 $15
    Aluminum stakes (for corner anchors) 8 $10
    Fiberglas fence posts 20 $15
    2 piece galvanized ground rod OR aluminum stakes 1 $6

    Also include some fluorescent survey flagging, pieces of nylon cordage for corner post anchors, and a roll of duct tape for securing the posts and ground rod after you complete your use.

    **A solar-powered charger will run $120; the battery-powered Pelฎ micro charger (about $80) or the Fi-Shock battery-powered unit (model SS-2D) costs $39.00. Both of these latter units are labeled as use "for pets" but you need to remember that curious bears are easily repelled by an electric shock...that's my experience thus far so the heavier "livestock grade" units have been unnecessary.

    How much fence wire will I need?
    How much wire you will need is entirely dependent upon how large of an enclosure you wish to set up and how many strands of wire go around it. You may recall that the circumference of a circle is equal to the diameter times 3.14. Let's say that you have a single tent and don't want bears to get any closer than 30 feet. If the tent were in the center of a circular fence that is 60 feet across, you would need:

    diameter X PI X number of strands of wire
    or in this example:
    (60 feet)x(3.14)x(2) = 377 feet of wire

    That is not a lot of wire, especially if you use the stranded polywire. I should mention why I prefer polywire over steel, or aluminum, wire. Stranded polywire has little or no "memory" and is lightweight. By memory, I mean that it doesn't act like a stretched out Slinky when strung between posts. It acts more like kite string, simply hanging there.

    What about insulators for the posts?
    I don't use them. We used to haul little screw-on insulators everywhere but found that they really didn't do much. You can sidestep them entirely by putting a couple tight wraps of the fence wire around the post. If that isn't secure enough use a small piece of duct tape to hold the wire in place. Even better - a few companies sell notched posts that hold the wire in place. Inventive persons could notch their own posts by simply grinding 2 small grooves into the fiberglass pole...

    I generally anchor the corner posts (assuming you've set up a rectangular enclosure) by either tying off on shrubs or by setting 2 stakes at right angles and anchoring to them. This puts some tension into the fence and keeps it from sagging.

    What about getting in and out of the fence enclosure?
    You can fool around with gate systems but for short-term deployments it isn't worth the weight and hassle. You can solve the in/out dilemma a number of ways:
    1) set one of the top wires just low enough that will a bit of effort you can tip toe over it
    2) place the fence such that a natural object (rock or rise in the earth) makes it easy to step upon to get over it
    3) place a rock or piece of wood such that you can use it as a stepping stone to get up over the top strand
    4) place the charger close enough so that you can reach through the fence (from outside), switch it off, then simply step over by depressing the taunt top wire.

    Any other advice regarding fences?

    • I would check the fence at least once daily to make sure it is working. I carry a voltage tester made for fences. The cheapest I've found is a very lightweight $3 unit that simply says that the fence is 'hot'. The more expensive models (~$30) actually read off the kilovolt measurement. Those too are fairly lightweight.
    • Place the charger inside the enclosure. Bears notice novel objects and if it is outside of the fence it may get munched.
    • Use common sense in bear country. Don't camp along high use areas - even if you have a fence. Give bears a chance.
    • Do not do what some have suggested in the past: bait the fence by hanging sardines or some other attractant. Why would anyone ever want to draw a bear to their camp? Many bears I've watched walk right past our camp seemingly paid no attention to it at all. However, had I had some attractant (other than the small piece of flagging) they may have come up an gotten shocked. Why do that? It puzzles me.

  13. #13
    Member danattherock's Avatar
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    Default Great read...

    Great read. Thanks for posting that. I have floated some of the rivers above Kotz and read up on electric fences some. We have seen many bears on some of those floats. One thing you may want to read up on is that on some of the gravel bars (that you will be camping on), the regular electric fences have grounding issues. Electrobearguard (Alaska company) makes a poly fence system just for that reason. I am considering getting one myself. But UDAP sells a lightweight kit that is about 4 lbs. That is appealing but I am concerned about the fence working on the gravel. Something to research further perhaps. Margo Supplies (Canada company) makes a siren that connect to the fences. They also make a trip wire system. Worth looking at in my opinion. Easily found on google.
    The two loudest sounds known to man: a gun that goes bang when it is supposed to go click and a gun that goes click when it is supposed to go bang.

  14. #14
    Moderator stid2677's Avatar
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    Default Gravel Bar

    When I run into an area that has loose gravel, I setup my fence with a Hot wire on the top and middle and use the bottom wire as a ground. They have to touch both at the same time. Never had one come into it. Do a search, EZ to set up. Or use the netting, but the alternating method works well. I also take an extra long ground rod and I keep the soil around the rod DAMP, by pouring water on it. Great Post Steveo.

    Steve

  15. #15
    Member martentrapper's Avatar
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    Default

    Where was that info derived from, Steveo? Would it fall under the copyright infringement rule so avidly used on this site?
    I can't help being a lazy, dumb, weekend warrior.......I have a JOB!
    I have less friends now!!

  16. #16

    Default

    Martintrapper.

    Did you not see who the author was in the begining of the piece. Oh I guess you never got past third grading reading then. BUZZ OFF

  17. #17
    Member danattherock's Avatar
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    Thumbs up Good to know....

    stid2677

    "When I run into an area that has loose gravel, I setup my fence with a Hot wire on the top and middle and use the bottom wire as a ground. They have to touch both at the same time."

    Thanks for sharing. The lightest weight kit I found was at UDAP and it is like 3.5 lbs. I had just been skeptical about the grounding issues on gravel. This info helps.
    The two loudest sounds known to man: a gun that goes bang when it is supposed to go click and a gun that goes click when it is supposed to go bang.

  18. #18
    Member martentrapper's Avatar
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    Default

    Hey, thanks for the compliment, steveo.Your educational level is also noted. I saw the author, but that wasn't what I asked. And actually, my questions were more directed at the moderators than at you. I never said the info wasn't good, just wondering if it fit the proper definition of what is copyrighted according to the folks who are the boss around here.
    I can't help being a lazy, dumb, weekend warrior.......I have a JOB!
    I have less friends now!!

  19. #19
    Member danattherock's Avatar
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    Default ...

    The article in question was posted on UDAP's website for advertisement. If the guy will let the article be used for advertisement on a website, free for the world to see, I suppose he would not mind it being posted elsewhere. Here is a link to the article on UDAP. The only thing he left out in this version was how to make your own fence. Obviously, that would not help UDAP sell their electric fences.

    http://www.udap.com/tomsmith.doc
    The two loudest sounds known to man: a gun that goes bang when it is supposed to go click and a gun that goes click when it is supposed to go bang.

  20. #20
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    Talking Nasty boys!

    Stevo, Marten:

    Down boys, my how thin our skin is today! Info is always good to have and some times we just need to let what we see as silly flow past us! I have to say this now and again as I am the guy throwing the jabs at some one else.

    Feel the love and lets go hunt something!

    Walt
    Northwest Alaska Back Country Rentals
    Your best bet in rafts, canoes and camp rentals
    Kotzebue, Alaska
    www.northwestalaska.com

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