Creating Deer Funnels by Altering Fences

Deer often travel significant distances to cross at the easiest point in a fence. For hunters, this is an advantage.
Creating Deer Funnels by Altering Fences

deer funnel fenceOne proven method of funneling deer is altering fences. Deer often travel significant distances to cross at the easiest point in a fence. For hunters, this is an advantage.

My first attempt at creating a fence crossing occurred many years ago on my uncle’s dairy farm. I had spent a summer’s day walking a barbed wire fence line that cut through the middle of his woods. About every 100 yards, I would intercept a trail that crossed the fence. The problem was that no trail seemed better than any other.

Luckily, I took care of this with a little work. After selecting the fence crossing that was best for hunting, I invested a day in discouraging deer to use any other. To do that, I clogged the other spots where deer crawled under and fixed up the places where the top wire strand was broken or drooped.

Finally, I made the crossing by my stand even better. Wrapping a strand of wire around the fence and cinching it tight created both a low spot over which deer could jump and an easier path to crawl under. Shoveling out some dirt underneath the fence was the icing on the cake. With that, I had the best fence crossing point.

Opening day of bow season found me perched in the tree that overlooked my new fence crossing. Because of the deer sign I saw during the times I inspected and maintained my fence blockades, I was brimming with confidence. So much so, that I passed shots on the first four deer that came through. That may not sound like much, but in those days shot opportunities were rare, and they were the first deer I had ever taken a pass on. By the fifth, a large doe, I couldn’t resist any longer and shot as she paused before crossing. This demonstrates another advantage of these fence-crossing funnels: Deer often pause, posing for the shot, before attempting to cross. The result is often a perfect shot opportunity.

As productive as that technique is, we can take it a step further to promote the use of our crossing. Adding a strand to the top and bottom of the fence goes a long way towards discouraging crossings at other locations. It is best to use barbed wire when adding an extra strand; however, bailing twine will also work.

Another way to use fencing is to erect it to funnel deer activity. A mere 20 to 50 yards is all I generally use. Both snow fence and chicken wire work very nicely for this. Although I use this technique very sparingly, it can be extremely effective.

For example, I have a stand that is 75 yards south of a river. The most commonly used trails are within 30 yards to the south of the stand. However, every now and then a buck skirts the river without offering me a shot opportunity. Still, if I relocated closer to the river, I would miss more opportunities.

Then, one day it hit me. Just make it so that the deer couldn’t skirt me along the riverbank. Although I could have piled brush, placing 50 yards of chicken wire from the river toward my stand was much easier. Doing so has resulted in harvesting several three-year-old bucks that would have otherwise escaped unscathed.



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