Name Deterring Bears with Electrified Fencing


The purpose of this guide is to provide basic information on properly designing an electrified fence for deterring bears. This guide is designed for people that have limited or no experience with electrified fencing, but are interested in understanding the basics before designing a fence of their own. This guide does not provide information for designing electrified fences to keep in livestock. For detailed information on fencing options, please see the Additional Resources section on Page 17 of this guide. Proper design, construction and maintenance will ultimately determine the effectiveness of your electrified fence.
A properly constructed electrified fence is both safe for people, livestock and pets, and has proven effective at deterring bears from human-related resources such as beehives, garbage or small livestock. However, safety is always a concern when using electrified equipment. Modern low impedance energizers have been designed to transfer energy fast enough that a spark generated along the electrical path should not produce enough heat to start a fire. Even though touching an electrified fence is unpleasant, modern energizers are safe and should not produce injury. However, it is always advisable to use common cautions around electrified fencing.

  • Do not touch an electrified wire or fence with your head, neck or spine
  • Do not attempt to step over or climb through a fence that is electrified
  • Wear appropriate footwear when approaching an electrified fence
  • Never electrify barbed wire or use it as a ground-return wire
  • Hang warning signs in locations that will warn children, untrained adults or visitors that your fence is electrified
  • Make your electrified fence as visible as possible
  • Never encourage anyone to touch an electrified fence
  • Never touch the positive and negative terminals of an energizer at the same time with anything other than an appropriate electrified fencing voltage meter
  • Use an energizer that is appropriate to the distance of wire you are electrifying

What Can Electrified Fences be Used For?
Electrified fencing can be used to secure the human-related foods that attract bears, and to keep them out of areas where they are not wanted. This includes, but is not limited to:
Fruiting trees

  • Garbage containers
  • Songbird feeders
  • Chicken coops
  • Poultry pens
  • Porches
  • Chicken feed
  • Small livestock pens
  • Sheds
  • Livestock feed
  • Beehives
  • Yurts
  • Dog pens
  • Dumpsters
  • Gardens
  • Compost
  • Barbeque grills
  • Outdoor fridges and freezers
  • Harvested game
  • Outbuildings
  • Smokers
  • Seasonal cabins
  • Orchards Vineyards
File name MFWP_Electric Fencing Guide_MARCH 2017.pdf
Version March 2017
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Owner CSKT
Date added 08/23/2017 05:27:04
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