Electric fencing has proven effective in deterring bears from landfills,
apiaries, cabins, and other high-value properties. Fencing, however, is a
relatively expensive abatement measure. Consider the extent, duration,
and expense of damage when developing a prevention program.
Numerous fence designs have been used with varying degrees of
success. Electric fence chargers increase effectiveness. Electric fences
must deliver an effective shock to repel bears. Bears can be lured into
licking or sniffing the wire by attaching attractants (salmon or tuna tins
and bacon rinds) to the fence. Depending on the amount of bear
pressure, use an electric polytape portable fence or a permanent fence.
An innovative technique for beekeepers is to place hives on a fenced
(three-strand electric) flatbed trailer (8 feet x 40 feet). Though
expensive, this method makes hives less vulnerable to bear damage and
makes moving them very easy.
Materials. Do not buy cheap materials to reduce costs. This will only
reduce the effectiveness and life span of the fence. We recommend
(1) Round fiberglass or treated wood posts.
(2) High-quality galvanized wire and steel components. For high-
tensile fences, use 11- to 14-gauge wire (minimum tensile strength
of 200,000 pounds and a minimum breaking strength of 1,800
pounds, tension springs, and in-line tensioners.
(3) Compression sleeves for splicing wires and making electrical
(4) Lightning arresters and diverters to protect chargers.
(5) High-quality fence chargers. To energize the fences, use a 110-volt
outlet or 12-volt deep cell (marine) battery connected to a high-
output fence charger. Chargers must be approved by Underwriters
Laboratories (UL) or the Canadian Standards Association (CSA).
We highly recommend 110-volt chargers. Six and 12-volt chargers
require battery recharging every 2 to 4 weeks. Use solar panels in
remote areas to charge batteries continuously. For high-tensile
fences, use high-voltage, low-impedance chargers only