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HOW TO INSTALL SUPPORT LINES ON A McGREGOR DEER FENCE

Starting an earth anchor

MIDDLE STEPS, CONTINUED

Monofilament Lines and Tie Wire


Securing the Fence Top

The top of the deer fence should be left visually undefined. As noted earlier, the deer have trouble seeing our polypropylene or metal fencing. They especially have trouble telling how tall these fences are, and so they don't know how high they need to jump. If you put something on the top of the deer fencing that defines it--like, say, a two-by-four board, then that will lead the deer to think (correctly) that the fence ends there and will present them with an invitation to jump. Since you don't want to send this invitation, you should avoid putting anything along the fence top that defines the fence's upper boundary. However, you do want to provide support along the top of the fence--something that can be done with nylon monofilament line or pvc-coated steel tie wire.

Video: Installing Support Cables for Deer Fencing

Thick nylon monofilament lines (8 or 11-12 gauge) and pvc-coated black 13.5 gauge steel tie wire are used to improve the deer fence's appearance and to strengthen it against falling tree limbs, charging deer, or deer that persistently butt against the fence.

Tie wire requires less gear to install than nylon monofilament (no special terminators or tighteners are needed). Also, since it need not be placed under tension, it minimizes the need for earth anchors and also puts less of a pull upon posts along a curve, and so limits the tendency of such posts to tilt toward the curve's inner side (see diagram below)

Deer Fence Curve Diagram

On the other hand, monofilament line tends to give with the fencing (which has some give to it); whereas tie wire, which does not give at all, breaks first. So when placed along the top of the fence nylon monofilament is better at warding off falling branches; and when placed in the "deer impact zone" at a height of 3 to 4 feet it is better at countering the effects of deer inclined to charge the fence or give it a persistent battering.

We recommend using tie wire (1) at the tops of garden deer fences where the distance between any given pair of corners, gates, and ends is short (less than 50 feet); and (2) wherever the fence goes around a curve (apply a series of tie wire lengths about 60 feet long to negotiate the curve). Note that whatever type of  line or wire is used, this line or wire should be applied in a series of "runs" starting at one end, gate, or corner on the fence and ending at the next corner, gate, or end. Finally, since the wire or line should not span more than 300 feet, if a run is over 300 feet long it should be divided into one or more runs shorter than 300 feet.