Electric Fencing for Bears
A highly effective deterrent
A properly installed electric fence will prevent bears from accessing areas of your property
and can be an effective long term solution to preventing bear problems. Electric fencing can
be used in many situations to effectively deter bears and other wildlife from various
attractants. Effective applications include: landfills and trash cans, apiaries (beehives),
gardens, fruit orchards, camps, livestock enclosures, and food storage sheds.
Design, quality of construction, and proper maintenance determine the effectiveness of an
electric fence. Electric fences are easily adapted to most applications and can be installed
temporarily or permanently. Fences are relatively easy to maintain and economical to build.
However, they require routine inspection and maintenance to ensure proper operation and
How does an electric fence work?
Electric fencing provides an electrical shock when an animal comes into contact with the
electrically charged wires of the fence. People unfamiliar with electric fencing often are
afraid that it will injure, permanently damage, or kill an individual or pet that contacts the
fence. This is not true! A properly constructed electric fence is safe to people, pets, and
bears. For electricity to flow in a system, such as an electric fence, there must be a
complete and closed circuit. The electrical current must travel from its source through the
circuit and back to the source. This flow only occurs when a charged wire of the fence
Under normal operating conditions, an electric fence functions as an incomplete or open
circuit with repeating pulses of electricity generated by the energizer sent through the
charged wires of the fence. When an animal touches a charged wire, it grounds the fence,
creating a closed circuit. An electrical pulse travels through the animal and back to the
energizer, delivering a shock to the animal. The electric shock is unpleasant but is n