Wildlife Damage Management, Internet Center for


Date of this Version



Published in Proceedings of the 11th Wildlife Damage Management Conference. (D.L. Nolte, K.A. Fagerstone, Eds). 2005.


Big game can damage crops and compete with livestock for valuable forage. Ranchers have reported their tolerance for big game would increase if the animals could be prevented from using key areas critical for spring livestock use. Likewise, some farmers have high value areas that must be protected. Fences provide the most consistent long term control compared to other deterrent methods, but are costly to erect. Many designs of woven wire and electric fences are currently used. Costs of erecting deer proof fencing could be greatly reduced if an existing fence could be modified instead of being replaced entirely. This study investigates the possibility of modifying existing fences to prohibit deer and elk crossings. Preliminary results indicate effective modifications can be made to existing fences for $1300- $3500 per mile for materials. Traditional complete construction of game fences cost more than $10,000 per mile. These fences may be used in lieu of compensation programs for ranchers. Also, if farmers and ranchers can keep big game out of important foraging areas, their tolerance for these animals on the rest of their property may greatly increase.