View Poll Results: Do you use a bear fence?

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  • No, they are for chickens and a waste of money.

    13 28.26%
  • Yes, people are crazy for not having one.

    12 26.09%
  • Would use it if I had one, but I'm cheap.

    21 45.65%
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Thread: do you use a bear fence

  1. #1
    Member tboehm's Avatar
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    Default do you use a bear fence

    Dans post got me to thinking. While i'm still very much a novice to Alaska, I have yet to use a fence and met many that dont. I will admit that I've not been to kodiak and that might make thing a little different for me Let share some reasoning for using or not using a fence and maybe some personal experiences with the have and the have nots.

  2. #2
    Member kodiakrain's Avatar
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    Default Nose irritation ?

    have never used one though my Father in Law uses one to keep them out of his compost pile in spring and says they are effective, in Kodiak

    I'm not so sure irritating a Bear, maybe right on the Nose(?) ohh so sensitive there would be the right thing to do to a Bear when he's checking out your scene at close range, a few feet from your nylon home?

    What would you do if checking out your home ground in middle of night, find something new and interesting, smelling tasty maybe and then WHAM an electrical shock on your nose! Whoa, watch out for retribution, Think About it

    I mainly believe Bear Trouble Prevention starts earlier than that, clean camp, etc. and wonder if a fence might get you thinking of slacking a bit there, you know false sense of security? If so the fence is not going to hinder a bear honing in on bacon grease in the frying pan by the fire pit

    Seems to be a cool thing for some, opinions on this should be Interesting

    So Far the poll is 100% my direction

  3. #3
    Member 6XLeech's Avatar
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    Default An ounce of prevention...

    Well, more like 4.5 lbs - but most agree preventing conflict is good advice when it comes to critters in the wild. Whether it's the wire, or the shock might depend on the bear and/or the temptation, but electric bear fences are catching on, I think (http://www.wildlife.alaska.gov/index...=bears.efences). We still seal up our food and keep a clean camp. At the Gr AK Sprtsman Show, a fellow from Palmer, AK sets up a booth each year, displaying his wares, including a small, lightweight kit for 4-5lbs (see "Vendors" in the ADF&G link). UDAP also sells a light kit online (http://www.udap.com/BearShockFences.htm). Since arriving in AK in 2000, it seems to me more folks are finding them worthwhile in the field.

    Most of our camping is family river camping - and our fence goes around our kitchen tent - where we keep all edibles and assemble for meals out of the weather. I'll need to replace a few poles after our first season, but were quite satisfied with cost/benefit ratio in all other respects.

    Peace of mind is what we sometimes buy - with a bear fence. Hiking or sleeping with a pistol is similar, I guess. With the fence, we don't fret about our food/gear at night, or when we're away from camp with the fence on. On streams fishing, I found, especially when I first got here, that I wasn't looking over my shoulder as often after buying my first revolver. Small things, a quiet mind = better field experience; especially when camping with family.

    The charger we have does make an audible, high-pitched beep that we live with. The kitchen tent is usually some distance away, so isn't too bad. Having a second beep around our sleep tent...would be worth it to some, but we don't. I think over the years, we've come to an understanding that given room, bears are only passing through.

    Good thread!

  4. #4
    Member RANGER RICK's Avatar
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    Wink

    I do have one and use it for drop camps but I do not use it on float hunts .
    I have used one on every trip to Kodiak. It worked so well that both spring tags I pulled for Kodiak the last 6 years not one bear was taken and on one trip not one seen !!!!
    They work.

    RR
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    Perfect Practice makes perfect !!!!!!!!!!


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  5. #5
    Member danattherock's Avatar
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by 6XLeech View Post
    Peace of mind is what we sometimes buy - with a bear fence. !

    Agreed. To my way of thinking, even if a bear walked through the fence, I would hear some poles falling on the gravel. That alone would be preferrable to the first sound being a bear ripping into my tent. I figure that is a few seconds I have to get my wits about myself and get my S&W 500 in my hand.
    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.

  6. #6
    Member danattherock's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tboehm View Post
    Let share some reasoning for using or not using a fence and maybe some personal experiences with the have and the have nots.

    I have had bears in camp three times and in the actual tent once. Granted, I wasn't at the site (campground on the Kenai) when the bear entered the tent and started chewing up my boots and jeans, but it left a lasting impression. Ironic that I have floated some quite remote rivers in NW and SW Alaska and never had a real problem. But the first time I stay in a campground in Alaska, I have to break out the duct tape to mend my tent

    The other two times I had bears in camp, 20 and 30 feet, they were "good bears". Just walking their gravel bars and noticed the trespasser (me). Once was up in NW Alaska on a float trip. It was around dusk and we were sitting by the fire. He came up around a berm and saw us, froze, then took off. Seemingly as scared of us as we were of him. The other time was on a float in SW. It was 0300 and raining hard. I heard some splashing in a small feeder stream near camp. I opened the tent door and looked out and saw the biggest brown bear I have ever seen. He froze when I shined the Surefire M6 in his eyes. My heart was pounding, won't lie about it. So was his luckily and he took off in the direction from which he came. Like I said, good bears.

    I think most folks fears of bears are loosely founded. I agree that keeping a clean camp and using common sense should be rule number one. But I also agree that I sleep better knowing I have a bear fence and some hardware beside the pillow. So what gives? If it works, go with it. That is what I say.


    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.

  7. #7
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    Thumbs up just got one

    I've never used one while hunting or camping. We do use one to keep the blackies out of the chickens here. I think in the field they have their place and some judgement is in line as to when to use one. Leaving a camp or wheeler or plane unattended is a really good time to put one to use. Sure coulda used one last fall in hunt camp, but I don't think they are needed all the time by any means.

    JMHO

  8. #8

    Default

    My wife has wanted one for years, but I never saw the need for a fence. We keep an impeccable camp and have never had a problem with bears. However...when our baby was born, I had a major change of heart and went right out and bought top shelf everything before taking her moose hunting last fall. To my surprise, I slept much better at night just knowing that there was a fence around our camp. I was also much more at ease when my wife and baby would sleep in and I would go out and glass a couple hundred yards from camp. That peace of mind is priceless!

    For what it is worth, Fence Emporium in Palmer has everything needed to make your own fence, and at a much cheaper price than anything I found online. They were very helpful and knowledgeable. http://fenceemporium.com/

  9. #9
    Member AKDoug's Avatar
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    Default

    Yes I use one. No, I don't think anyone is crazy for not having one. I'm the guy that uses a bear fence, but doesn't carry a handgun for bears (or any gun many times) go figure.

    I agree with Corn. Build your own fence. It's simple and it can be done cheaply. I use a fence charger from Zareba, which is much quieter than the charger from UDAP, but a bit heavier. I've built poles out of bamboo in the past, but just got done making a new set out of some old carbon arrows. I then just take a roll of fence wire with me and can build any size camp I want behind the wire.
    Bunny Boots and Bearcats: Utility Sled Mayhem

  10. #10
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    Default

    have used fence on montague for 6 or 7 years running. this after losing three deer the year prior. thanks to adf&g for shipping problem bears to montague.

    typically the meat hangs on the beach with the cabin a half mile away, so the fence is peace of mind for the meat, not for us.

    last time down dad arrived a week early, left an action packer with food and a 5 gallon can of diesel on the beach without setting up the fence (bozo) and paid for it... teeth marks in everything plastic. the brownie didn't even report the diesel spill to DEC. also shredded dad's waders which were left by the creek. then tipped over the outhouse by the cabin.

    then I arrived.

    we kept our meat on the cabin porch after this for peace of mind, but brownie never showed up the following 10 days.

    so if you get a fence, don't be lazy like my dad was....use it. they don't work otherwise.

    have had bear tracks right up to the fence several times with meat hanging inside, and it has been effective.



    ditto regarding Fence Emporium.

  11. #11
    Member 6XLeech's Avatar
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    Default "Bad" bears, habituated bears...

    QUOTE: "Ironic that I have floated some quite remote rivers in NW and SW Alaska and never had a real problem. But the first time I stay in a campground in Alaska, I have to break out the duct tape to mend my tent"QUOTE

    Habituated bears can learn their behavior most anywhere. Of course bears do what they want but I tend to think of wild bears as "good" bears, bears with no interest in us, our camps, or anything in them. Sharks are like that - if you were convinced all sharks wanted to eat you and knew how many sharks were sometimes nearby in the ocean (SE USA), you'd never swim in the surf! But they have no interest usually.

    What I've learned about bears here from others and what makes sense so far is that habituated bears (wounded bears too) are a whole separate category: "bad" bears. From annoyance to hazard to outright predator, bad bears can be anywhere. A friend I respect with a lot of river and hunting experience told a story about problem bears on a 2006 Kodiak trip (AK Troutbum in: http://forums.outdoorsdirectory.com/...ad.php?t=27575). Those bears, who had abundant salmon available, chose instead to come into hunters camps.

    Thousands...thousands of people get outdoors in AK each year without having a problem. Clean camps, groups of 4 or more, allowing bears room, electric fences, good bear discipline (http://www.wildlife.alaska.gov/index...dfg=bears.main) - most who have good habits don't have problems. Electric fences add to the tools we have, but agree with Doug, it's an individual thing.

    If you buy a fence, set it up before you leave home. Call Dan when you're ready to test it .

  12. #12

    Default Bear fence shock?

    is there a difference in the "shock" of a bear fence versus a regular cattle electric fence. Just curious - growing up in the rural midwest, I've been shocked by the cattle ones alot.

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  13. #13
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    Default to each his own...

    I voted however I take issue w/ the wording of the poll... The wording is awfully biased one way or the other... But I get your point.

    I find that if a $100 bear fence keeps my $5000 camp safe then why not... I've invested way too much money on high quality, latest technology gear to let some curious bear come along and shred it just for fun...

    I use one around base camp and around my boat or my raft...

    If we spike out we know those two items are being protected.

  14. #14
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    Hiker: They're the same. Bears seem less tollerant of being shocked than cattle; doesn't seem to take a particularly powerful jolt to do the job.

  15. #15
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    Default

    how do you all test your ground?

  16. #16

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    Well I didn't vote. I've never been all that concerned about bears, but I did buy one to guard my base camp on the ocean while I was up on the mountains chasing goats for severals days. Came back and nothing was touched, but probably would have been w/o a bear fence. Its money invested so I'll use it, but I don't sleep any better or worse when I use it or don't. I'm more concerned about using it for when I am away from my camp for days at a time to make sure my gear is scattered across 3 acres of land.

  17. #17
    Member danattherock's Avatar
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    The fences are good for that indeed. I am planning a float on the Alatna and will hike up into the Arrigetch Peaks for 5 days or so, then float down river. Stashing the Ally pack canoe and most gear while we do the hike. Nice knowing the fence will be around the gear while we are up in the peaks. Lots of black bear problems in that particular area as folks often do this leaving food/gear exposed in the open. Up in NW Alaska, many of the guys use these fences to protect planes parked on gravel bars while out hunting/fishing. Pretty cheap insurance to my way of thinking. And unlike Lanche, I do sleep better with mine. Ha ha... Dang lower 48'ers...
    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 danattherock's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by andweav View Post
    how do you all test your ground?

    Peeing in the middle of the night may do the job if you are not paying attention
    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.

  19. #19
    Member Phish Finder's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by danattherock View Post


    You may want to bring that fence to the Kenai this year. The slow smoked pork will definately bring in a bruin or two. They may not leave your boots this time
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  20. #20
    Member danattherock's Avatar
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    Yep, and I would hate to track down a pair of size 15's in Cooper Landing
    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.

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