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Thread: Bear Fences, worth the cost or all bs.

  1. #1
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    Default Bear Fences, worth the cost or all bs.

    New to the site and just had a question about bear fences. Do they actually provide some protection, or is it just an extra expense that could be spent on other necessities?

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    I saw mine in action and it worked. Bee keepers use them back home to ward off bears from the bee hives and they work well. With that said I'm sure there are some bears that it won't work on but for the most part they work.

    Cheers
    Olin

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    Member akrstabout's Avatar
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    You can rent them, try it out on a hunt. I am sold on them, it worked on our hunt for brown bear in '07. Had posted pics in a hunt report. We had a big boy sniffing our heads. Was sleeping good for once, wind finally let a bit, and didn't pay attention to the partner. We heard a woof later on. Next morning tracks squared up with our tent, where our heads were. He stood there until the fence built up the resistance and shocked him. He had to lean on to the fence to reach in to sniff us. Pretty freaky looking at the tracks, less than 2' away from the tent. His neck and head had him right on us! Good thing I was really out of it, would've pull up the .44 mag and shot a hole in the tent and most likely into the bear. The fence worked and I got some good sleep!

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    I am actually leaning toward buying one, but I would like to have my tent set up a little farther away from the perimter than AKrstabout though. And I think I will still keep the 44 close buy.

  5. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by John Abbott View Post
    I am actually leaning toward buying one, but I would like to have my tent set up a little farther away from the perimter than AKrstabout though. And I think I will still keep the 44 close buy.
    Ask him where he was first, before you make a statement like that. There are many places that have limited amounts of room and that may have been the extent of his usable area not his desired enclosure size. just a thought. Anyway he still has a waterproof tent.
    " Americans will never need the 2nd Amendment, until the government tries to take it away."

    On the road of life..... Pot holes keep things interesting !

  6. #6

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    Just wear Ear plugs. They are alot cheaper... And you will sleep like a baby.

  7. #7

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    I bought my fence from Sportsmans ($200) and it's well worth the money. The weight and space it uses (in my camp tote, bag, etc.) is next to nothing and battery life was much better than I expected. I'd rather have more coverage though and plan to build a larger one this spring so I have more room around my tent and camp. If you decide to buy one, I'd recommend searching this site first; there are a few threads with links and parts lists that may help.
    "He should have been packing a more powerful gun...you have to be a very good shot or very lucky to stop a brown bear with a .357 Magnum." - Rick Sinnott, Alaska Department of Fish and Game biologist after a double attack by a grizzly.

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    Curious juvenile approaching fence....



    He leaned in and touched his nose to the wire, and....



    Away he went.

    I've seen a good number of bears "test" the wire by putting their nose to it, none enjoyed the experience or stuck around long thereafter...

    To be honest tho' we did have one scrawny 2 year old test the fence four or five times in the same afternoon at different areas, he hauled ass every time....However the next morning we did awaken to what sounded like a rock fight, we popped out of the tent to find that a good portion of the fence was down, stakes pulled up and all...The best we could reconstruct was a bear (we suspect the same scrawny one) took a running start at the fence, got tangled in it, and the resulting sound was him/it spinning his wheels in the gravel trying to get away, this was evidenced by fresh dirt/mud that was splashed up the entire height of the rainfly of the Arctic Oven nearest the knocked over fence....

    Over all tho' we had as many as 8 bears withing 50 yards of camp a number of times that week, and they all showed a healthy respect for that 'lectric wire...



    ...Of course, standing inside the fence with a loaded 12 gauge did provide a comforting second level of safety...
    “Life has become immeasurably better since I have been forced to stop taking it seriously.” ― H.S.T.
    "Character is how you treat those who can do nothing for you."

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    Quote Originally Posted by AlaskaHippie View Post
    Curious juvenile approaching fence....



    He leaned in and touched his nose to the wire, and....



    Away he went.

    I've seen a good number of bears "test" the wire by putting their nose to it, none enjoyed the experience or stuck around long thereafter...


    To be honest tho' we did have one scrawny 2 year old test the fence four or five times in the same afternoon at different areas, he hauled ass every time....However the next morning we did awaken to what sounded like a rock fight, we popped out of the tent to find that a good portion of the fence was down, stakes pulled up and all...The best we could reconstruct was a bear (we suspect the same scrawny one) took a running start at the fence, got tangled in it, and the resulting sound was him/it spinning his wheels in the gravel trying to get away, this was evidenced by fresh dirt/mud that was splashed up the entire height of the rainfly of the Arctic Oven nearest the knocked over fence....

    Over all tho' we had as many as 8 bears withing 50 yards of camp a number of times that week, and they all showed a healthy respect for that 'lectric wire...



    ...Of course, standing inside the fence with a loaded 12 gauge did provide a comforting second level of safety...

    Man, know you know what BBQ chicken on the buffet must feel like!!! Looks like sharks circling the chum bag!...

  10. #10

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    I look at them this way. They work. And they're lots cheaper than replacing a camp, as well as medivacs and hospital bills for that matter. Easy math.

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    Thanks for the info. I will definitely be doing some research on this site and were ever else I can find information. I have seen that Eagle Enterprises sells them in Anchorage. Is there anywhere else besides Sportsman and Eagle?

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    Another testimony that they appear to work...

    We used one around our base camp at salt in Kodiak (Zackar), and then we climbed to alpine and goat hunted for four days. We spotted bears all over the place in the base camp area, but our camp was undisturbed when we returned. I'm assuming the fence worked, although it could also have been the fact that we located our camp away from bear trails and other obvious bear areas (like the nearby stream where a weak, late run of salmon were being eaten).

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    Member akrstabout's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by John Abbott View Post
    Thanks for the info. I will definitely be doing some research on this site and were ever else I can find information. I have seen that Eagle Enterprises sells them in Anchorage. Is there anywhere else besides Sportsman and Eagle?
    Wiggy's alaska I believe still sells them, or Surveyors Exchange-used to sponsor a forum further down, still might. We rented from surveyors exchange.

    Fence I think did a 20'x20' area. Two tents in it, tucked up against a sand dune to keep out of wind, helped but still hammered. It was what it was, but the fence did the job and no worries. The bears for the most part stayed away. That one bear that sniffed us, left a 7"+ track in the hard pack sandy rocky area.

  14. #14
    Member Cliffhanger's Avatar
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    Default Great info here

    Attached is a document from USGS' Tom Smith. It will give you all the info you need to make and use your own fence.

    I went to the Fence Emporium in Palmer and got the parts for about $250, if I remember correctly. Keenan there is very helpful.

    efencesetup.doc

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    Default Bear Fence

    10042010-1.jpg10042010-2.jpgJA:
    Over the years we have incurred a lot of property damage from bears in our yard and tried a lot of methods and found the electric fence the only way to go. I build my own using a large "horse fence" controller designed for long runs. The only problem I"ve had is sometimes they get lit up so well they bolt into the fence and rip it up. Happened to catch this growler on film. After the 2nd photo he brushed his wet nose on the wire and it lit him up good. Never returned

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    Quote Originally Posted by SuperCub View Post
    Just wear Ear plugs. They are alot cheaper... And you will sleep like a baby.
    x2
    .............................

  17. #17

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    Check out the Outdoor Gear forum, several threads on bear fences there with lots of good info. I'm with the general concensus here, they do work. Just realize they're not an excuse to neglect other proper camp etiquette when camping in bear country. Two different mornings this past season I awoke to find my bear fence wire sagging or post slightly tipped over, I assumed both were signs of a critter running into the fence in the night and being repelled. Camped on a gravel bar with plenty o' bear sign around for one week and food and caribou meat were untouched, I was happy. Aside from offering peace of mind while you sleep, they offer peace of mind that your camp is a bit more secure while you're away during the day.

    One more note, I think you can build a better fence system that covers a much larger area (if that's what you need) for 1/2 the cost of commercially available bear fence packages. Fence Emporium or the internet for the fence charger, AK Feed and Mill for the polywire and fence posts.

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    kinda comes down to is it worth it to you to have a piece of mind & good nites sleep in bear country???....is for me!!
    i think marc's got them at wiggys also & used them too

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    Seems that all the fish counting stations I have saw are behind an electric fence. So I guess both state and federal fish counters believe they are effective at keeping bears away.

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    F&G in Kodiak believes in them.
    A couple of years ago we were going deer hunting in the Halibut Bay area. Seems like the week before we arrived there had been an "incident" a few miles north of there where a large sow & her large cub were DLP'd. Justifiedly. F&G had notified the area air taxis that they would lend a fence to anyone going remote to hunt, to avoid further problems.

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