Bears don’t usually need to be kept out of gardens. Its much more common for them to raid beehives, trash areas, bird feeders, or piles of compost. However, a fence that will keep them out of gardens will also keep them out of these other areas, so we provide guidance and products for such a fence here. As noted below, if you want a bear fence to protect a campsite, a cabin or other building, or a yard or estate, you will find such fences on our bear fence website,
So tell us what you would like to do:
Bears are easy to control with low electric fences, because although bears can climb they can’t jump. So if they have no way to climb over the fence, say by scaling an overhanging tree, a low electric fence (not over 3 feet tall) will do the job. Be sure to keep the fence a reasonable distance from the food source (6 feet away is good, 10 feet is better). That’s partly because you don’t want the bear to reach over the fence to get the source, and partly because you want to keep the bear as far away from the source as you conveniently can to reduce tempting smells from the source. If you have a garden with no especially tempting morsels on the edges, putting the fence near the edge of the garden should be fine.
If the line to be followed by the fence is short (40 feet on a side or less) we have kits well-suited to this task. The fence should be visible, because you want the bear to explore or bite the charged line, so our kits use half-inch polytape rather than metal wire or polywire. And since the shortest roll of polytape available is over 600 feet long, we give you the option of hanging four runs on the fence—not only to keep out bear cubs by putting the second run from the top at 20 inches—but also (if you put the two bottom runs at 6 and 9 inches) to keep out small animals.
Ideally, if you are protecting something the bear really wants, like honey, the fence should boast a good strong charger. Bears will take some punishment (like bee stings) to reach a food source if they’re hungry. So instead of a small zap that may tempt it to challenge the fence, you want to give it a stiff jolt that will make it want to jump across a road somewhere and not come back.
However, strong solar-powered chargers are pricey, and most crops are not so attractive as honey. (If you are defending a vegetable garden the bear’s attraction is apt to be much weaker.) So we offer three solar-powered kits, one with a 0.5-joule charger (marginal for beehives), another with a 1-joule charger, and the third with a 2-joule charger.