Eastern Wildlife Damage Control Conferences


Date of this Version

October 1993


A 2-year study was undertaken to assess the effectivenesS of Max-Flex Fast FenceTM electric fencing materials (polytape) for reducing damage to crops. Specifically, our goal was to look at the efficacy of this product for the borne gardener. In the first phase of the project, plots of approximately 1/40 acre were established in areas of historically high deer densitieS. Each plot was planted with soybeans and randomly assigned to 1 of 4 fencing configurations or to the open control group. Within each plot, 6' wide strips were tilled across the length. These tilled areas were checked for the presence of deer tracks. The study design was replicated 3 times to produce 12 treatment plots (3 of each fence configuration) and 3 open controls. Fences were charged via a New bland-type high voltage, low-impedance charger. The open controls were fed on heavily by deer and soon were almost void of foliage. Results suggest that under these conditions even a single strand of polytape 2 1/2' high was successful in preventing deer from entering the plots. Phase 2 of the study used a single strand of polytape 2 1/2' feet from the ground to exclude deer from plots ranging in size from 0.025 acres to 1 acre. Each exclosure was planted with soybeans. Three replication areas were selected and plots randomly established within the replicates. The effectivenesS of the single strand was much less conclusive than in Phase I, with deer entering all plots at some time during the study. However, there does appear to be a direct relationship between plot size and number of deer tracks observed in the plot. In addition, there were significant differences in fence effectiveness between replicates. We concluded that a single strand of polytape electric fencing, if properly installed, could be a suitable deterrent to deer in a small garden situation.