Bear Electric Fences?

Joeli

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Jun 20, 2014
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Vancouver, BC
Hi there!
Our group of 4 is planning a 20+ day kayak trip on BC's North coast (Princess Royal). What do people do to protect their food? In the past I have hanged food for long trips in and am fully aware what it takes. Has anyone had good experience with lightweight electric fences (UDAP) or similar? I recently learned that some tour operators use electric fences rather than hang their food.
Any feedback would be greatly appreciated.
Thanks!

Joel
 

cougarmeat

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Sep 17, 2012
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Bend OR USA
In my experience, raccoons were more of a pest - and could probably go under that fence. Then again, I've never heard a story about hiking bells found in raccoon poop.
 

JohnAbercrombie

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Victoria, BC
In my experience, raccoons were more of a pest - and could probably go under that fence. Then again, I've never heard a story about hiking bells found in raccoon poop.
In that research paper, they mention a mesh-type electric fencing to deter skunks and raccoons. You wouln't need much if you were just fencing your food and eating equipment, I suppose. If it was near the tent, one would have to be extra vigilant if stepping out for a 'nature break' in the middle of the night....
 
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Philip.AK

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Jun 30, 2012
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Kodiak, Alaska
In my experience, raccoons were more of a pest - and could probably go under that fence.
The strand height for our fences is based on the height off the ground of a coastal brown bear’s nose. We are trying to make it as ‘convenient’ as possible for the bear to sniff the fence. It also helps keep the lowest strand above grass or vegetation that would cause a discharge in the fence (essentially a short circuit making the fence less effective). Adjust as necessary for your local furry friends.
 

Philip.AK

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Jun 30, 2012
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Kodiak, Alaska
Here goes...

I used these arrows because they were the longest carbon shafts I could find:

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07Y37T8Q7/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_search_asin_title?ie=UTF8&th=1

They come with plain steel (get rusty) 100 grain tips so I swapped them for lighter 75 grain stainless tips:

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B08RBRG578/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_search_asin_title?ie=UTF8&th=1&psc=1

To make ferrules to join the cut arrows I used three 18" 0.344 Easton tent pole blanks, each cut into four 4.5-inch sections (#4081 on this page):

https://www.questoutfitters.com/Tent_Poles_344.htm

For the wire winder I trimmed the long lobes off one of these:

https://www.cabelas.com/shop/en/proline-rope-winder

Also, these are the little cable organizer clips that I used to hold electric fence wire. I took a utility knife to snip a little side wings off in order to make the clip only as narrow as the clip part itself. They are self adhesive, but I still used a very small zip tie to help anchor the clip against the arrow shaft. (Don't use the nock at the top of the fence to hold your top strand- it will just pop out, land on the ground, and there goes your fence's effectiveness.)

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B091FNBX6...pldnSite=1&psc=1&ref=ppx_pop_mob_b_asin_title

As I said above, each 18" length of tent pole should yield four 4 1/2 inch sections of ferrule (minus kerf). I cut the tent poles with a Dremel cutoff wheel too and used a deburring tool to get rid of sharp edges. I usually start by sealing the ends of the arrow shaft with glue so that water doesn’t get inside. I like to use 'fast cure' 3M Marine 5200 for all of this stuff, but any fairly viscous all purpose adhesive should work. You will glue the ferrule onto the upper portion of the arrow (the nock end) to the depth of 1 1/2 inches. That gives you 3 inches of overlap with the arrow tip section which goes into the ground. It’s nice to have the ferrule glued to the top portion so that it doesn’t collect water in the rain.

You will cut the arrows 18 1/4 inches back from the tip (minus the actual steel arrow tip; measure from the end of the aluminum threaded insert). That should give you two nearly equal length arrow halves once everything is assembled. The top/nock end will be very slightly longer, which means when all the arrows are bundled together the sharp tips will be slightly recessed in the bundle. So the top/nock end will be 19 inches and the bottom/arrow tip end will be 18.75 inches. It’s a good idea to dry fit everything once after cutting the first arrow just to make sure you’ve got the pieces and the overlaps you’re expecting before you start in with the glue. I carefully sliced the flechings off with a utility knife.

I add reflective tape to the top so you don't trip over your fence in the dark.

For the grounding rod I use 1/4" solid aluminum rod that I ground the mill finish off for best conductivity. The fence energizer is made by an Australian outfit called Suregaurd. It runs for about 50 hours on 2 AA lithium batteries. I got the strand (electric wire) at a hardware store. I think it's poly with 5 fine stainless wire threads woven in. I can't remember how much I am using. Just build your fence, set it up in your yard around whatever you want to protect, and then pay out enough wire to give you however many strands you decide to use (plus a little for flexibility).

These pics should make most of the details pretty obvious.















If anything needs clarification, let me know. Cheers.
 
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Joeli

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Jun 20, 2014
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Vancouver, BC
This is excellent information- Thank you for all the details!
I love the carbon arrow solution for lightweight and low cost shafts!
Re: energizer I cannot get Sureguard but can get a UDAP alternative (UDAP AN20)
It is hard to get all the bits and pieces these days and one option would be to start with a UDAP kit and then improve on it as per your instructions.
Joel
 

Joeli

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Jun 20, 2014
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Vancouver, BC
Thanks for the info!
Bearwatch sell a system with a 0.5J energizer. However, this will eat up batteries very quickly. (8xAA's every 5 days).
How does one know what is a sufficient amount of output energy to deter a bear?
 
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