How Tall Should A Deer Fence Be? [Incld Best Materials To Use]

Deciding the height of your deer fence can be tricky. If it falls short, the deer can easily go over it. And if it's too tall, it entails more cost. So, how tall should a deer fence be? We gathered useful information for you and here is what we discovered.

The ideal height for a deer fence is between 7.5' and 8' tall. These fence heights prevent deer from jumping over the fence and into the garden.

Read on as we dive into the best materials you should use for your deer fence, their pros and cons, and how strong your fence should be. We'll also cover what characteristics a deer fence should have for it to be effective and what types of effective deer fences you can try.

Brown deer in green plastic mesh fence - How Tall Should A Deer Fence Be? [Incld Best Materials To Use]

Best Deer Fence Materials To Use

The most commonly used fencing materials are metal and plastic.

Metal

forestry fencing, roughly machined poles on which wire mesh is screwed. cheap galvanized mesh protects against deer and hares. items and screws fasten the mesh, biocorridor, dig up

For many years, wire-mesh deer fences, composed of heavy-gauge metal and fastened to posts, were the standard.

Here are the pros and cons you need to consider before choosing this fencing material:

Pros

  • It is sturdy and efficient.
  • The most expensive ones are covered with black polyethylene, making them almost invisible.

Cons

  • The less expensive barriers do not fit in well with the surroundings.
  • Almost all types are relatively costly.

Plastic

Brown deer in green plastic mesh fence

Polypropylene-mesh fencing is a type of plastic fencing that is now popular. It's similar to wire mesh in that it's fastened to vertical poles to form a barrier.

Pros

  • It is less expensive.
  • The higher-end types are more effective since their breaking load is larger, but they cost more.
  • The mesh is practically imperceptible.

Cons

  • It is not durable compared to metal types.

Factors To Consider In Choosing A Deer Fence

Male elk standing in the snow on elk farm in Goodells, Mi in the winter.

You must look out for these factors when deciding which deer fence is best for you:

Height

Deer can run quite fast, as we all know, but the athletic animal can also jump very high. It is an important consideration when determining fence height. Deer can jump an incredible 8 feet on average, so the fence height should be slightly higher.

Although 7-foot fences are commonly available, you can increase the height somewhat to be on the safe side. Choosing an 8-foot-high metal or polypropylene mesh fence can effectively protect your property from deer invasion.

Slack

It is a misconception to believe that deer will only attempt to pass the fence by jumping over it. Even though the big animals enjoy jumping, they take every opportunity to push their bodies beneath the fencing to access the forbidden region.

There must be no space between the fence and the ground to prevent it. When erecting polypropylene fencing, leave sufficient slack that spills over the ground in front of the fencing so that stakes may be used to secure it.

Repairability

The fencing provides a much-needed barrier to deer movement, but you must keep an eye on its condition to discover and fix any damage as soon as possible.

Compromising with the barrier defeats the point of installing a fence because deer are intelligent enough to recognize breaches and navigate their way through them.

How Strong Should Your Deer Fence Be?

Depending on your use, a deer fence should have a breaking strength of 400 pounds to 950 pounds or more.

A deer fence's strength is evaluated by pulling a one-foot-by-one-foot sample of fence material on calibrated equipment with clamps that run along the whole top and bottom of the sample until it breaks.

You can follow these guidelines in determining how strong your deer fence should be: 

Fenced Area Minimum Fence Strength
smaller regions or locations that prevent deer from roaming 400 lb/ft²
areas up to 350 linear feet 650 lb/ft²
areas 350 linear feet or longer 750 lb/ft²
areas 1000 feet or longer 950 lb/ft²

Deer fencing having a breaking strength of 950 pounds or more, in general, can reject any size deer running at any speed. This usually occurs when deer accidentally run into a fence. Your fence strength should be directly proportional to the fence length. 

Tips When Installing a Deer Fence

Here are some tips to help you build the best deer fence for your property.

Tip #1: Increase the height of the deer fence.

Deer are incredibly athletic animals, capable of leaping great distances. To keep them from jumping over a single, upright fence, experts agree that it must be at least eight feet tall.

Tip #2: Make the fence deep if it isn't tall.

The erection of two shorter fences, one inside the other, with a space of five or six feet between them, is an alternative to a towering fence. Deer can jump high and far, but they cannot accomplish both at the same time.

Deer also have weak eyes, so a double barrier—even if neither is exceptionally high—is an impossibility for them to overcome. A similar effect can be achieved by slanting a tall fence outward so that it seems to the deer as a wider and perhaps riskier barrier.

Tip # 3: Secure the bottom.

Deer will try to go beneath your fence if they can't jump over it. Make sure the bottom of plastic and welded wire fences is anchored to the ground between posts; otherwise, persistent deer will nose around the base and possibly crawl below.

Tip #4: Limit the distance between posts.

Deer can put a lot of strain on fences. Therefore, avoid spacing the posts too widely apart, which places more strain on the fence than the solid posts. It also increases the probability of the fence sagging between the posts, encouraging deer to jump over. The recommended space between posts is 8 feet to 12 feet.

Tip #5: Attach precautionary ribbons.

Warning sign with an image of a moose on a fence along a highway in focus, blurred background

Deer sometimes struggle to notice black plastic and welded wire fences, and the last thing you want is for a deer to charge headlong into one and breakthrough. You can partially compensate for this by tying brightly colored ribbons between the poles.

These act as a visual cue to the deer that a barrier is present. Simply attach the ribbons around four feet above the ground rather than at the top of the fence, which will give the deer a better idea of how high the fence is.

What Are Effective Deer Fences?

Whether a single deer or a herd of deer appears in your backyard, erecting a suitable fence is critical to protecting both the animals and your property. 

Here are some effective deer fences that you might try: 

Heavy-Duty Fence

Deer are less likely to try to enter your landscape when they can't see what's beyond the barrier, so solid fences, such as those built of wood, are beneficial. While a strong fence of 6 feet in height is sufficient for a deer seeking food, a deer attempting to flee a predator will attempt to leap over it. 

Electric Fence

An electric fence keeps deer out of your yard and sends them a message not to come back. However, you should verify with your locality to see if electric fences are permitted. 

A single wire strand positioned 30 inches above the ground is sufficient for a small deer problem, but two to three strands are better suited for larger numbers of deer. However, if children or pets are around, electric fences should be avoided.

Slanted Fence

Deer can jump over a very tall fence, although their jumps aren't very long. A slanted fence can solve your problem if installing a fence as tall as 8 feet does not work for your landscape. Instead, construct a 6-foot fence with a 45-degree slope and an outward slant.

Deer will attempt to walk under and through these post-and-wire mesh fences. They are unlikely to attempt a jump, though, because they are aware of the physical barrier.

Mesh Fence

A fence made of plastic mesh blends in with its surroundings for a less noticeable choice. This netting material is notable for both its capacity to keep deer out and its long-term durability.

Netting is sold by the foot, requires post attachment, and can endure for up to 15 years. Because deer have poor depth perception and may not notice the barrier, a tall fence of around 8 feet is required.

Conclusion

Your deer fence should be at a height where it's not too tall or too short. Having it stand at 7.5' to 8' is enough to keep deer away from your property. 

Aside from the fence height, you should also consider the slack and repairability of your fencing material. In addition, a deer fence should be strong enough to hold the force at which a deer will come at your fence. 

Before you leave, if you want to learn more about pressure treated fences, you can check these articles on this page: 

Should Fence Posts Be Pressure Treated? [And How To Prevent Rotting]

How To Tell If Wood Is Pressure Treated