DEER FENCE INSTALLATION: FINISHING TOUCHES 3
FINISHING TOUCHES, CONTINUED
Deer Fence Gates
Almost any good deer fence needs fence gates, because it must completely surround the property or garden protected. Otherwise, deer will persistently explore the entire perimeter and in due course get around the fence to find their way in. Even so, fence gates are relatively vulnerable points. So they should be placed where the deer are unlikely to go, to the extent possible, and in any event should be kept away from established deer paths.
These are the relatively narrow fence gates that give access to people, lawn mowers, and rototillers but not cars. Such fence gates should be put between trees or well-anchored posts that are relatively close together. Then one should end the tensioned cable (assuming there is one) at the trees (the gate and gate frame should not be under tension) and come in to the gate frame with a short run (ideally only a few feet) of plastic or metal fencing.
Video: Installing a Deer Fence Gate
The gate frame and the gate itself can be custom-built from one-and-three-eighths diameter tubular galvanized steel or like materials, or it can be purchased as a kit to be erected on location. Gates offered on this website (items 19-01 thru 19-03) are of the latter type. These gates are 7 feet high when built and are designed for openings 3, 4, and 5 feet wide.
Driveway Gates and Driveway Grates
There are two kinds of driveway treatments compatible with a barrier deer fence. One is a raised gate arrangement very like the access gates above, only wider. Again, such gates can be custom-built or they can be bought as a kit (items 19-21-1L thru 19-25-2L). In either case, they can be equipped with a wide range of devices to open, close, and lock them manually or by remote control. Like the support posts of the access gates, the frames of these wider driveway gates should not be placed under any tension. So any long monofilament lines should end at trees or posts located as close as possible to each support post; and the remaining short distance to the frame, on both sides, should be spanned by a few feet of polypropylene or metal fencing. The driveway gates of this sort that we offer are 7 feet high and come in widths of 8 to 16 feet with single or double doors.
An alternative driveway device, known as a “deer grate” is extremely attractive but expensive (see items 19-16 thru 19-19). The only product that really keeps out deer while leaving the driveway open, the type that we recommend works by setting a series of smooth 3-inch metal cylinders across the drive. These are spaced 3 inches apart and are situated over an open space too deep for deer hooves to reach comfortably. As a result, the deer will not enter the driveway. This device really works over both the short and long term to completely exclude all deer. The down-side: It is a potential accident hazard for infants and it costs a lot–not only for the massive well-engineered grate and its shipping, but also for on-site excavation and placement.
Regarding installation specifics, prepare the site by digging down 2 feet and putting in 1 foot of fill that is tamped down really well with a tamping machine. Each deer grate consists of two 81-inch sections weighing anywhere from 1,100 pounds each (for a 10-foot-wide grate) to 1,760 pounds each (for a 16-foot-wide grate). Use a large back-hoe to unload each section when it arrives and set it into place. We recommend that this work be performed by an experienced landscaper.