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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Yep. Just as the title says.
I used to love winter...until I brought my horse home. Now I hate it because every winter the elk (and sometimes deer) destroy our fence every night. I'm not even kidding. They drink all her water too! Anyways, sometimes I'll find my fence down on one side, and on another side I'll see some of it hanging off of a branch (maybe it's Sasquatch? :lol ). So, every morning I have to get up earlier and go tie out whichever horse is out until I can fix it. The box (we have hotwire) is destroyed. I don't know what the heck happened to it, but it's trashed. It stays on constantly, which is good...but you can't turn it off, so you're getting shocked while working on the fence...and it shocks HARD! I'm glad it's Annie we have home now, because she'll just come to our yard and sleep until we come out, then when she see's us she'll walk to the gate and wait for us to open it, but with Brandy, she was always used to being in a herd, and she doesn't like being away from other horses, so she follows the elk and either comes back or gets stuck in the weirdest places. Like one time she got stuck behind the cabin, and we don't even know how she got there.
Brandy is boarded now, so it's ok, but Annie is at home, and I'm always worried about her. Sometimes when I wake up, I'll look out and (I'm not even kidding) 70% of the pasture is FULL of elk, and Annie is out in the yard.
Anyone else deal with these situations? How do you handle it?
Also, I'm not sure if this would matter, but I'm gonna throw it in anyways. We live on a pipeline, so we can't dig down too deep.
Sorry for any spelling mistakes or just not making sense in general...I haven't exactly been sleeping the past week (hm, I wonder why)
 

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How can you not turn off the electric fence? Is it on a charger?

Can you put up field fencing with t-posts to create a smaller paddock with shelter access for the horse at night? That way she would be confined and give you time to go repair the electric fence in the morning.
Actually, I'd do the same fencing for the entire pasture...field fencing or barbless twisted wire. The elk would go over it and not through it anyway.
 
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Not sure, but it wasn't turning off. It's solar powered. I think it was just glitching though because I just went out there to see how much damage was done and it turned off....It's been thrown on the ground a lot, I think it's probably time for a new one XD
Whats the difference between field fencing and normal fencing? We have her in the smaller pasture now...but I swear they go through whatever fence she's in.
I might have to try the barbless wire!
 

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Field fencing is a wire mesh type, little squares. It keeps smaller animals out also. It comes in various heights. Your local farm supply store will know what it is.

Good luck! A herd of elk can be trouble, that's for sure.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Oh!! I've always wanted that type of fencing! I'll have to talk to my parents about it. :) Thanks!
Ugh, yes they can.
 

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I know someone who lives in elk and bison territory. They irrigate a field for spring and fall. They have a horrible time keeping the bison out. Bison can jump up to six feet and just don't care about ordinary fence. The thing they did to fix it was get a really, really powerful electric fence. The way it was explained to me was that if your horse hits the fence your horse will be half way across the pasture before you realize it, you may or may not be with him. If you hit the fence you wet your pants and if you have a heart condition just don't touch the fence. The only thing I can think of is getting that kinda powerful fence.
 

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So you have a regular fence with the traditional single electric fence wire running across it's top edge?

To start, I'd check that the fence is indeed putting out adequate amperage - if it's not being charged adequately by the solar panels, or the batteries are getting weak and not able to accept (or hold) a charge, it's entirely possible that it's not working properly through the nights so the elk aren't even feeling it's effects. It might as well not even be there. Go out before sunrise with your tester (an electric fence tester is relatively inexpensive) and test the fence across it's entire length. Check the grounding as well.

Secondly, crank it up - many have a strength setting - make sure it's maxed out, and it has a frequency setting, reduce it so that it energizes the line more often. I've seen some that only energize every 5-10 seconds, so wild animals could be half way through it (damage done) before they even get their first zap.

If all that checks out, I'd consider stretching some of this about 24" from your primary fence, on the outside:



It's big, fat, hard to miss, and hits everywhere along the material. The idea would be to ensure they get zapped BEFORE they even get to your inner fence. If they get up to it they'll get whacked and probably never get to your inner fence. If they go over it, the whole time they're standing at your inner fence trying to get through they'd all be getting zapped over and over again.

I think eventually they'll get the message.
 

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Are the Elk coming in to eat the hay that you put out for your horses?

Would putting a big round bale outside of the fencing for the Elk be a cheaper alternative solution?

I know it sounds counter-intuitive to 'feed them' and 'attract them in', but they're already coming in.... so you already have the problem!
 

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I wouldn't do that, personally. Next thing you'll know you'll be attracting four times as many, going through a round bale every 48 hours, and in the end when they run out they'll just come through the fence again..except then there will be way more of them. ;)
 

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I have lived in elk country for many years now. In my experience, and that of those around me, elk do not care if the fence is electric. They do not care if you put up fence with a small mesh. Pipe fence holds up a bit longer, as does buck and rail fence. On both of the latter I would sacrifice a section for the elk to pass through and just repair it when they do.

They will not respect your fence or pasture if you put feed outside of it. They don't care if you hang things around in an attempt to scare them off. Wolf scent doesn't bother them, either.

Elk, the damage they do, and the amount of food they consume (I protect my hay), is a price for living in their habitat. A habitat that is generally beautiful.
 

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Deer pop over the fence easily, Elk and moose don't know about backing away from pain; they'll bulldoze right thro it. Horses learn about electric fences because the twits will put their nose on it, the first time only, and jump back. Cattle generally touch it with their neck. Moose and elk just keep going even as the charger is shocking the chest. It you set out a bale, well away, it may attract the deer and elk but it will soon attract wolves who will start thinning them out. What you need to do is open your land to hunters, many of whom will pay a handsome dollar to get a nice elk or buck. I get enough to feed two horses for a year.
 

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Wire fencing no matter the type is not going to hold up to elk. You need to be bringing up your horses at night and securing them in a solid fence. Pipe or panels 6' tall for starters. If the ground is too hard and rocky to drive posts than you are left with panels or buck fencing as your only options. It's better to have them safe and secure in a small 20' pen than wandering around out on the road. Never purposely feed the elk. That includes salt licks. Not only is it illegal in some parts, you will quickly be overrun with them and they will eat everything you have squirreled away for your horses. Hot wire never works either.

What people do around here is first put up their horses. Open up your pastures or create lanes for the elk to move through. They will figure out the route quickly as it tends to be the same elk every night. Turn off and drain all your water tanks out in the pasture. Water alone is reason for the elk to traverse through your place. Respect the fact that they were there first and learn to coexist with them. The other option to to board your horses in the winter off the mountain and bring them home in the spring.
 

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Will your State Game and Fish Dept. help you? Any wire or electric fencing will not work. We used to get 8' X 8' wooden panels from them (made at a local prison) and that was the only thing that works. They went around hay enclosures, so people butted their paddocks against those enclosures.

In fall and winter they were worst until the bulls and bucks dropped their antlers. One year we had them come in and destroy expensive fruit trees. G & F brought us M-80 fire crackers and fuse rope. We set them up so the M-80s dropped onto a big metal thingey or a metal barrel. Made a huge noise and worked for a while.

Then, when they came back, they gave us 'cracker shells'. These were 12 ga. shells that were also M-80s with a fuse that lit as they went down a shotgun barrel. They went out there about 200 yards and blew up. We did not have to get up many times at night to have them move on to a neighbor's place.

Warning --- You cannot set up fuse rope or use cracker shells around hay or anything flammable.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Thanks everyone for the tips!
Shropshirerosie, I'm not sure, I don't think so, just the water. Theres so many streams out there but they're all frozen, so I guess they're desperate.
Never thought of setting up a round bale for them! The only problem with that though is that Annie would probably get out to eat it lol
Saddlebag, they land is open to hunters, but nobody really comes up here to hunt anymore except for my uncle who lives next to us.
Left Hand Percherons, we're going to board Annie ASAP, but we need to wait for some stalls to open up and we need to work on her with her trailering issues first...and we need a trailer and a truck (well, a better one)
Cherie: That idea terrifies me since we live on a gas pipeline, lol. Plus nearly everything around us is flamible.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
I really would love some elk jerky right now lol. My cousin made some before and I swear it was the best elk jerky I ever tasted!
 

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Elk and moose don't know about backing away from pain; they'll bulldoze right thro it.
Interesting, ya learn something new every day. I would have figured otherwise.

Accordingly, flush my earlier response in the toilet. :wink:
 

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The Game Wardens in my area of southeast WY put out "boom guns" to spook elk off hay meadows when a herd of about 300 were moving up and down a valley. Worked for a few days. They continued the project during late summer and early fall. They also drove trucks out frequently to check how many were coming in and how much they were eating (yes, they can measure that).

Did a great job desensitizing the elk to gunshots and pick up trucks. Did little to discourage the elk from staying in the flats. I used to get them in my yard, where they tried to get the alfalfa I had stored.

Many of us in ranching keep water going in pastures we're not using for the elk and other wildlife. I've chopped ice in places where I had no cattle or horses for that reason.
 
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