The placement of wire mesh fences is just as important as the type of wire mesh fence used. Wire Mesh Fencing needn't restrict wildlife movement everywhere on your property. Wherever possible, design your wire mesh fence to provide wildlife free travel to important habitats and corridors, as well as access to water. Wetlands and riparian habitats are particularly important for all wildlife. Pay attention to the activities of daily and seasonal wild animals and plants, and look for traces. Use dedicated wire mesh fences only in areas where they are needed (such as livestock farms, gardens, yards, play areas, haystacks, orchards or kennels).
Design property boundary fences so wildlife can easily cross, or with gaps or lay-down sections for wildlife passage wherever livestock is not present. Work with your land s topography. Sliding, ditches, ridges, and river corridors can allow wildlife to leak into an area and keep it open to allow wildlife to pass through and avoid terrain traps.
Deer, elk, and pronghorn are more likely to use openings at wire mesh fence corners than in the middle of a wire mesh fence run unless there is a cover, habitat, or natural corridors or trails to attract them through. Intermit- tent openings should be placed where animals naturally travel: in riparian corridors, along gullies and ridges, and on existing game trails. A wire mesh fence of any height is more difficult to cross when placed across a steep slope. As ground slope increases, the distance an animal must jump to clear the fence increases considerably. For instance, a 42” fence may be passable on level ground, but a slope of only 10% increases the effective fence height to 48.6”; When the slope is 30%, the effective height will increase to 62 inches, and when the slope is 50%, the animal will encounter an obstacle that is 75 inches high. It is almost impossible for animals to jump and fence on steep slopes without injury.
The ideal wildlife-friendly fence should
(1)Allow animals to cross and crawl underneath relatively freely
(2) be highly visible for both ungulates and birds.
Wire Mesh Fences should be low enough for adult animals to jump, preferably 40” or less, and the top two wires should be no less than 12” apart.
Deer and elk easily tangle, their back legs if the top wires are closer together. The bottom wire or rail should be high enough for pronghorn, calves, and fawns to crawl under, at least 18” from the ground. Using top rails, high-visibility wires, signs, or other visual markings to increase visibility can help ungulates and birds (such as eagles, owls, and swans) better fence.