MORE ABOUT INSTALLING A DEER FENCE'S SUPPORT LINES
MIDDLE STEPS, CONTINUED
Monofilament Lines and Tie Wire
Securing the Deer Fence Top, continued
We recommend using monofilament line instead of tie wire at the top of the fence where falling tree branches are a significant hazard, where the fence is over 500 feet long, and where individual runs are over 50 feet long. Also, if a polypropylene deer fence blocks places where deer have been accustomed to roam freely it is advisable to install two monofilament lines about 9 inches apart in the "deer impact zone" 3 to 4 feet high in order to minimize damage to the fence. This step is not necessary in the case of metal deer fencing unless it becomes clear after installation that the fence is being subjected to severe battering.
Installing Monofilament Line
We offer nylon monofilament line in two diameters, 8 gauge and 11 gauge. These lines resist UV radiation well and are reasonably durable, having an expected life of 5 to 10 years. They can be connected to the deer fence with hog-rings, zip-lock ties, or short lengths of tie wire; and they can be drawn tight and secured to posts or trees with gripples and a gripple tensioning tool; with u-bolts and circular wire tensioners; or with oval metal sleeves, a crimping tool, and circular wire tensioners. Alternatively, they can be tightened and secured without special gear as follows: Hammer a two-inch U-nail about half-way in on the outside surface of the tree or wood post to which the line is being secured. Then cut the line, string it through the U-nail opening twice, pull the filament taut, and hammer the U-nail down far enough to hold the filament securely but not far enough to harm or break it. Who said there was no art to installing a deer fence?
The main weakness of this monofilament line is that it stretches. So every year or two one needs to inspect it to see whether it is sagging. If it is, go from the U-nail where it is attached to the tree or wood post and move the line horizontally back over the tree or post until the line has regained the desired tightness, and at this point drive a U-nail over the repositioned strand to keep it taut. Alternatively, use a gripple tensioning tool (for a line secured by gripples) or a circular wire tensioner tool (for a line bearing a circular wire tensioner) to tighten the line of monofilament.
Figuring Runs of Line
Monofilament line and tie wire are strong enough to run up to 300 feet in a straight line, but they cannot cross gates, and they should not go around corners, because then they will wear at the corners. So assuming your deer fence has only one monofilament line or tie wire (at the top), calculate the number of runs by starting at a corner and going up to 300 feet or until you reach the first corner, gate, or end. Stop the run at that point and start a new one. Whatever device you choose (gripple, oval metal sleeve, or u-bolt cable clamp) if you are using a monofilament line you will need two of these devices for each run (none of these are needed with tie wire). If your choice is oval metal sleeves or u-bolt cable clamps, you will also need one circular wire tensioner per run.