“When dealing with big game like elk and moose, rather than trying to build a fence physically strong enough to stop them, build a fence that's flexible enough to give with their movements,” Gerrish says.

He says building a fence with flexibility is more important than building enduring strength into a fence. When Gerrish relocated to Idaho from Missouri, the fencing was high-tensile electric on T-posts. Gerrish says T-posts were getting bent over and insulators broke off due to wildlife traffic. He replaced T-posts with PowerFlex fence posts and has had few problems since.

Another consideration is building a low-profile fence. On Gerrish's 2-wire range fences, the top wire is at 30 in. and the second wire is at 20 in. It is designed so antelope can go under wires at a dead run and low enough that elk will hit the fence with their legs and not the heaviest part of their body.

6. Gate openings

In an electric-fencing system, creating a gate system that conducts current is a challenge. Mohr recommends placing a floating diagonal brace on either side of the gate opening.

To keep the fence “hot,” he recommends trenching both insulated hot and cold galvanized wires 1 ft. deep under the opening. This may need to be deeper in high-traffic areas or low-lying wet spots, or shallower in less-used pasture settings. “The gate no longer needs to carry current, because you have your current going underneath the ground,” Mohr says.

7. Insulators

“Putting a steel post anywhere into an electric fence is a big mistake, because you are then relying on the insulator to keep your fence from shorting out,” Gerrish says. He prefers the wood-plastic composite PowerFlex post or fiberglass. “No matter how good an insulator you get, eventually something's going to break or pop off, and you have the potential for dead-shorting.”

Do you have any fencing tips to add? Leave a comment below!


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