Saturday, April 17, 2010

Designing a Deer Fence

At Cheryl's, the fence was near a steep bank of sluffing fill that needed to be protected anyhow. Native plants, vital to the control of erosion were loosing to the hungry herd of Ruminantcervidea (cud chewing deer). And, she wants to have a vegetable garden! So we designed and built this fence.

Even on a deer fence, design is important. Where will it go, how long is it, how much pruning and damage to the land during installation, effectiveness, longevity and pricing of materials all happen during this time. This is the only way to make informed decisions about an addition to any house or land and is so often skipped for economy. The reality here is the client spent what any one would spend for materials and a weeks hard labor but got the best materials and the best price locally and a fence built solid enough to not have to be repaired in 10 years. It even looks great!

I love this little dear fence. It is architectural and organic. It defines space without separation. It follows the contours and obstacles but simply and smartly. And most importantly, it keeps the deer out.

Many people will tell you a 5- fence is fine. Others will tell stories of deer jumping 8 1/2'. The reality is both are right.

Like any good designer will tell you, there isn't one right answer. Intuition, observation, experience and knowledge will result in a different answer every time.

On the lower portion of Cheryl's property is a ravine. It very much wants to be restored to the stream that used to be there, with a pond and overflow wetland. Currently it is home to a thicket of salmon berries, wild roses and trees such as this willow. It has a wild feel that has been tamed with the installation of the fence.

The point being that this thicket is useful for keeping deer out. They can't get through the brambles any better than we could and even so, they have no room for jumping.

So a 5- fence will work great in these areas. Up above on the open level, the fence is 7.5' tall.

Top to bottom
1-The 3"-4" poles from Skagit Farmers
2-Just having a clear sight, an implied boundary and passage through has turned the unusable space into a tempting path into the bushes
3-A full wrap on the fence points the end of the wires away, reducing snags.
4- A close up of a solution for Cheryl's roof water, but certainly not the answer. This water will go into Cheryl's pond next year.

We put a jog
by the log
For the gate
couldn't wait.


  1. fences, gazebo or porch posts and sheds. Green fence with climbing plants look natural, colorful and very decorative.

    chain link fence prices

  2. I have also used the same look and put antique twisted iron hooks in place of the mason jars.
    vinyl privacy fence panels