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Our Garden Fences: Keep out Both Bears and Small Animals: Build Your Own Fence

If your fence is to be over 160 feet long, or if you want to use a relatively weak charger, you can create an effective bear and small animal control fence by following the instructions below. Besides keeping out bears, this fence will reliably keep out woodchucks (ground hogs), raccoons, and many other small animals.

Alternatively, if you would like us to provide you with a quote and complete parts list for the fence you have in mind, we will be glad to do so. To get a quote and parts list, click here.


To use the guidelines below read each section, enter the supplies you need into your shopping cart, purchase the supplies, and follow our free installation instructions to create your fence.

Electric Fence Charger/Energizer

If you are protecting something with only mild attractive power like a garden, you can use a weaker (0.5 to 1 joule) charger. Also use one of the weaker chargers if you have a small pet or other animal that might be bothered by a stronger jolt. Otherwise, if neither of these circumstances apply, get a strong (2 or 3 joule charger), recognizing that it will repel bears better than its weaker cousins.

All the chargers listed below will shock bears, though the more powerful ones will give them a bigger jolt. The AC chargers need hookup wire (a long enough length to reach from your nearest AC outlet to the fence). The battery-powered chargers need a 60 or 120 amp-hour deep-cycle battery (not included). The solar-powered chargers (more expensive) come with everything you need—including the charger, solar panel, battery, and battery case. If your fence is within 165 feet of an AC outlet we strongly recommend the AC-powered charger.

AC-powered Chargers

Charger: AC-powered: Power Wizard PW2000, 2 Joules (product details)
Charger: AC-powered: Power Wizard PW2000, 2 Joules
  • ID: 01-PWIZ-AC2J
  • Retail Price: $125.95
  • Our Price: $108.99
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Charger: AC-powered: Power Wizard PW3000, 3 Joules (product details)
Charger: AC-powered: Power Wizard PW3000, 3 Joules
  • ID: 01-PWIZ-AC3J
  • Retail Price: $129.98
  • Our Price: $125.34
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Battery-powered Chargers

Solar-powered Charger

Fiberglass Posts

Plan on getting enough 4-foot green fiberglass posts to place 1 at each corner, 2 at each gate, and others spaced out along your fence line so that no posts are separated by more than 16 feet. Then get an equal number of 18-inch fiberglass posts.  

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Get four for each 4-foot post and two for each 18-inch post.

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Polytape and Wire

Get enough half-inch electric fence polytape (it carries the electric charge by means of small stainless steel wires) to go twice around the fence. Plan on putting one run of polytape 3 feet above the ground to keep out adult bears and the other run at a height of 20 inches to keep out cubs. Then get an equal length of metal wire to put at heights of 6 and 9 inches to keep out small animals.

Weed Barrier

It’s a good idea to get enough of this weed barrier to go once around the fence (underneath it). Weeds pose problems for electric fences where the charged wires are low, because they can drain power from the fence.

To help keep weeds off the charged wires, put a 3-foot wide strip of black polyethylene weed barrier under the path of the charged wires, and then put down an inch or two of wood chips or pine bark mulch on top of the poly film to keep the sun’s UV rays from destroying the film.

Weed barrier, black poly, 1.3 mils, 3ft x 50ft (product details)
Weed barrier, black poly, 1.3 mils, 3ft x 50ft
  • ID: 14-36
  • Retail Price: $6.98
  • Our Prices:
    1 - 4 $5.98
    5 - 9 $5.68
    10+ $5.38
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Hookup Wire

If you have an AC-powered charger and an AC outlet more than a few feet away from the fence, you need hookup wire to get from the outlet to your fence. That's because running an ordinary extension cord from the AC outlet and plugging the charger into it near the fence is a poor idea. Here’s why: House current is dangerous, while the charger’s low-power pulsed output is not. So plug the charger into the AC outlet directly, and then carry the charger’s output to the fence.

Unfortunately, you can’t do this with an ordinary extension cord designed to hold in 200 volts. Voltage is the electrical equivalent of pressure, and your charger puts out harmless but very high voltage. So you need something that can hold in very high voltage, and that’s what electric fence hookup wire does.

Besides employing it to get from the charger to the fence, use this hookup wire to connect the two runs of polytape on the fence, and also to connect the runs of metal wire to the lower run of polytape and to each other.

Most people won’t need over 50 feet of hookup wire; but if you do, longer lengths are available.

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Conductor: Insulated Hookup Wire, 1,000 ft. (Baygard) (product details)
Conductor: Insulated Hookup Wire, 1,000 ft. (Baygard)
  • ID: 02-32A
  • Retail Price: $187.99
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Charger and Gate Handle Connectors: For connecting hookup wire to the polytape on your fence, use one of our “charger and gate handle” connectors; for connecting the two runs of polytape on your fence use two more; then use one more (and one split-bolt clamp) to connect the lower run of polytape to the top run of metal wire. If you have more than one gate or have some other structure interrupting the fence, add five more “charger and gate handle” connectors for every additional gate or interruption (and be sure you have enough hookup wire togo under the gate and make the necessary connections on the other side). The charger and gate handle connector comes in packs of 2.

Split-bolt Clamps: Use these for connecting anything to your metal electric fence wire (the two lower runs on the fence). Use one split-bolt clamp (plus a “charger to gate connector” and short length of hookup wire) to connect the upper run of metal wire to the lower run of polytape; then use two split-bolt clamps and a short length of hookup wire to connect the two lower runs of metal wire. Also use one split-bolt clamp at any point where you want to join two metal wires together. Finally, if you have more than one gate or have some other structure interrupting the fence, add three more split-bolt clamps for every additional gate or interruption. This product comes in bags of 10.

Splicing Buckles: Have a splicing buckle on hand for where you start hanging each run of polytape on your fence, and also for any place where you need to terminate a run of polytape or join pieces of polytape together.

Ground Rod

If conditions are normal and the entire fence will be within 300 feet of your ground rod, get a little 2-foot ground rod. Put this close to your fence and connect it to your charger with any metal wire (heavily insulated wire is not needed for this trip from the ground rod to the charger). If the ground along the fence line is going to be very dry or hard-frozen at times when the fence should be working, or if the fence is very long, so that much of it is over 200 feet from the ground rod, you will be well-advised to get a longer 6-foot ground rod.

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Gates and Rings 

Set up a gate by placing two posts, each with four insulators, at the two sides of where you want your gate.

Plan on carrying both runs of polytape across the gate opening by means of two gate handles (equipped with their own splicing buckles) and two gate rings.

Do not get any special gate gear for the two low runs of metal wire. Instead, plan on starting and terminating both runs of metal wire at the same side of your gate opening; and then, when you need to admit heavy equipment, undo the wires at that side and open them across the gate.


Electric Fence Testers

Ordinary voltmeters can’t read the pulsed high-voltage output of your charger—either when it comes out of the charger itself or when it is on your fence. You need an electric fence tester for that. A 5-light model is sufficient for reading the output of a 0.5 to 3-joule charger, or you may prefer getting a digital tester that gives a really precise reading.

Warning Signs (optional)

Your fence is not dangerous, but warning signs will remind both the gardener and visitors of its presence. Some states require warning signs on all electric fences.

Warning Signs, pack of 3 (product details)
Warning Signs, pack of 3
  • ID: 10-01
  • Retail Price: $3.69
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Installation Instructions

Free installation instructions for your fence are available on this website. To view them click here.

Purchasing Your Fence Materials

If you have gone down the above list, putting the appropriate items in a shopping cart, you now have all the materials needed to create a fence to keep out bears and are ready to complete your purchase by checking out.

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