interesting video, but that looks like alot of extra crap to carry along on your back on a hiking trip or in your plane. but if you had enough capacity/room, that is probably not a bad idea to string up around your plane when you leave it to go fishing/hunting. i have heard of alot of stories of guys planes getting "mauled" while they were away from it hunting/fishing, Logan
We've been using electric fences to protect our camps and "stuff" for over ten years now, and with great success. They work.
You can put together a setup that weighs a total of about 25 pounds or less, and will protect a very large camp. Totally battery and solar powered, so little maintenance.
I've used them too. They do work. Check the link below for an article from today's Anc. Daily News
I have a friend with a cabin on the Deshka River, just north of Anchorage. We took his airboat up there late on Friday night and arrived about midnight. It was raining hard as we walked about a block to the cabin. My friend stopped us and said don't touch the electric fence, he had a solar powered fence, one strand. He said the area is so full of black bears, they come in and tear up the cabins. He has shot four of them inside the cabin. He stands on the picnic table and shoots them through the window. With rifle in hand he checked out the cabin then gave us the all clear sign. I noticed the cabin didn't have a door knob just a bungee cord holding it closed. He said the bears will push on the door and the cord stretches and slams the door shut sometimes scaring the bear away. If you put a door knob on they will tear the door off to get in. That night with the fence on, I woke up to the cabin door slamming shut. In the morning there was one big muddy bear print on the front door. So, it sounds like the electric fence will turn away 99% of the bears, just my luck to run in to the one that didn't care.
Sounds like a fun night!
To be effective, you really need three strands, and to use the "tape" wire, so the bears can see it. A single strand may just let them roll under or over, then be trapped inside. Not a pretty deal.
Saw a black bear two summers ago trying to come into the camp, pretty aggressive male. We were ready to shoot him, due to his proximity and behavior, but he was staying away from the fence. Finally, he stuck his tongue on the fence. Sounded like the world's biggest bug zapper, and he went nuts. We could hear him bawling out in the woods for the next ten minutes, getting progressively farther off. That one had been coming to the camp every night prior, and he never came back.
After we stopped laughing, we got a good night's sleep.
I remember fiddling with the hot wire while standing in the creek. Shouldn't have been too lazy to go back to the barn and pull the plug. Talk about an attention getter----one or two electrified wires are better than any other form of fence assuming the animal doesn't unknowingly charge through it.
Mike and Marty's stories have me laughing out loud.
The ADN article talked about an electric fence system that is hoped to weigh a couple of pounds. It's not fully developed yet apparently.
The point is that, like a lightweight handgun, you'll take it along with you on your trip if it's light. 2 pounds to save your Cub or your camp is reasonable.
I know a guy who came up with a "bear alarm". It's a 9-volt powered buzzer with a switch that is activated by a "fence" or "trip wire" that's simply 10 pound-test "spider wire" (high-tech braided fishing line that doesn't stretch) that is run around camp/airplane/food cache, etc., supported by twigs or brush and when a bear bumps it, the trip wire switches the alarm on. The alarm is something like a fire alarm, pierecing tone and loud enough to hurt my ears. The trip wire spools onto a reel the size of a no.4 fly reel and the alarm and switch is part of the reel. He says it's protected his airplane well and has video of this.
I figure it's a great idea, but a lightweight 2 pound elec. fence is a better idea.
Thanks for the laugh guys.
Yes, an ultra lightweight unit would be great. They really don't require much of a battery, and the rest is mostly wire and the controller. A small solar panel keeps the battery topped off.
Actually, we did have a bear breach one of our fences and get into a camp once. It was a big male grizzly bear. The reason he got through the fence was cause the cow moose he was chasing took the fence with her, as she passed through the camp. Neither the moose nor the bear even slowed down passing through. The crew spent most of the rest of the evening gathering up fence stuff, and re-installing.
I once set up a fence for some fish biologist types. They'd been sort of poo-pooing the concept, but wound up shooting a bear, and their boss said put up a fence. I flew one up there and set it up for them. I was conversing with their boss when he gestured over my shoulder. I looked, and one of his "skeptics" was touching the fence. Of course, he just got a tingle. He then grabbed the wire. Same.
He said "Hey, this thing doesn't do anything-it just tingles a little, this won't even bother a bear".
I told him somewhat flippantly that bears generally don't wear rubber boots, and if he really wanted to test the fence, why didn't he act more like a bear? I then turned back to my conversation with his boss. Soon, the boss's eyes got real big and he gestured with his head.
As I turned around to look the skeptic was on his hands and knees, and put his nose on the fence. It promptly threw him into the nearby river, with a howl of pain.
His boss just shrugged his shoulders and rolled his eyes. So much for skepticism when it comes to electric fences.
Yep, sounds like some fish biologists I know.Originally Posted by mvivion
Ok, I know you have all heard the jingle about lessons learned about hard knocks and growing up:
There are those who learn by study: If you touch an electric fence, you will be shocked with pain.
There are those that learn by watching the experience and resultant success or failure of others: Have you ever seen someone else touch an electric fence?
And then there are those that must pee on the electric fence themselves!
Ok, seriously, I am looking forward to a flight down the south, Pacific coast of Alaska Peninsula from opposite Kalgan Island to Cold Bay, probably put it off til next summer now. May take several days to do it. Camping along the way is the plan - it has been a while, but before I have always stayed inland enough to use Illiamna and King Salmon for fuel - and have arranged permission to use fishing shacks or some hard walls to sleep inside of.
Therein lies the question, to do this trip, and get some sleep, would a bear fence such as was shown in the NOLS video around a tent be safe for sleeping?
When he retired, Dad and I took a trip in bear country and we had a rifle and an axe. Dad always told me that if a bear came in the tent and I ran out of bullets before he was awake that should feel free to grab the axe as well. Fortunately I never had to.
I have a solar electric fence charger with internal battery for night, bought it years ago at a farm store. If anyone doubts that the sun puts out enough energy through this 9 x 20 inch PV cell to make a huge shock, they are welcome to try it! It works great once a ground rod is installed, and we used it with the same type of 2 inch wide white mesh tape on the farm. The tape and plastic stakes weigh nothing, but the charger and transformer box weighs 30 pounds. Even in a cub this would be worth it's weight if it would allow good nights rest on this trip. Despite my hand on a 870, it is hard to relax enough to sleep out there! And there was the incident this year where the bear went in the (armed) couples tent. There must be a solution to avoid lethal conflict with the bears as well.
Do any of you have any ideas as to the current practical way to camp in that kind of country? High elevation is ok, but succeptable to even more wind. Remote places away from salmon rivers? Is finding proximity away from bears the best solution? Or is an electric fence a viable, practical option?
So how do they get the bear to let them strap the camera on their head? Im surprised they do not rip it off?
Another option is to buy 2-3 battery powered motion alarms from Radio Shack. Just for fun, I've used them at the cabin. They will wake you up if a bear comes around. They did not scare the bear, he just looked at it.
on Svalbard we use trip wire with a small explosive cap to protect camp. cap on each corner and fishing line about 2ft off the ground. when something trips it it pops like a .300mag. not something to protect camp or plane if your not there though, for it only gives one pop then it has to be reset. it will defanatly wake you up in the middle of the night though
this set up weighs about a pound
Greg, how does the trip wire fire the cap? Nice simple idea.
I've rigged a trip 'wire' (spiderwire fishing line) to one of those small boat air horns. Works great with warm temps, but not much good below freezing.
The nice thing about an alarm......you can actually sleep soundly until the alarm goes off.
Without an alarm, I don't often sleep better than "..with one eye and both ears open..". In other words, I don't sleep so good.
Nah, just caution.
On the other hand.....an electric fence is quite likely to save your airplane from a mauling, even if you're not there to hear the thing 'ZAP' the nose of the bear.
The "mesh" style fence would seem to alleviate the need for a moist surface to get a good 'ground'.
Greg, how is the cap fired? I like the idea! DAVE
Thanks TJ Hinkle, Gregory, and Dave Calkins,
TJ, battery powered motion detectors sound great as an augmentation system. I am concerned where the wind is blowing and pumping the grasses that they would be set off often....Of course the wind does not always blow, and I would camp on sand or rocks in the open.
Gregory and Dave, I'm curious what refinements you have used to make the systems work well and reliably. Dave, how do you connect to the pushbutton on the air horn? Greg, did you use a cap pistol, or other device?
And Dave, I know what you mean by bearanoia and sound sleep. True FEAR is healthy - it might save your life. By the way, the plastic mesh as stainless steel wire woven into it. I'm no EE, but the farmers description is that the ground wire and rod from the transformer unit to the ground makes the low resistance circuit that is completed by the bear.
A reliable electric fence or reliable auditory system would make for sound sleep AND save bears and people.
Next question... If you have a perfect electric or audible perimeter fence, do you put the food in a second fence elsewhere???
So far, the food is with me in my enclosure. Smart? no!!. But smarter people who've had the food elsewhere have still had a bear come through their tent.
I promise to someday change my ways.
My air horn button trigger: a set of needle nose visegrips wired to the top of the air horn. The vise grip "tension" is "set" to be nearly snapped closed. The "trip wire" is routed to pull the visegrips "over center" and close them onto the horn button............it's hokey as hell and barely works. I'm sure there's a simpler and better way to make the horn sound.
.....now I'm waiting to hear how genious, or is that ingenuous, Greg's cap firer is. I like the cap idea.
I think an alarm included in the elec. fence set-up would be a selling point. One would get an alert from it, maybe prompting them to take a look at the fence's condition, etc.
For an EE that should be no problem. Just hook up a current sensitive relay to the fence. There is no current flow until a bear makes the circuit. Any current flow closes the relay activating the horn.
The electric fence is a capacitor that charges and then goes of, like the strobe you used to have on your cub. Close to the same period between pulses as well. Could a circuit board sense when the pulsing current is flowing to ground? What if it rains and changes the degree of the resistance?
Any EE's out there?
We are here scheming technology; the bears are going to find a place to hole up if they haven't already. I know of one large male that is still wandering in the new snow as of a week ago....
Bob, Getting a good ground on a fence is the toughest part, but it can be done, even in Alaska.
We use the plastic tape fence, it flutters in a wind, and that's enough to keep most bears out. You can get small, insulated stakes to set up the fence with where there are no trees. You need to ensure that the bottom wire doesnt' get shorted to ground by grass. They work fine in rain, even better cause the ground is better.
We're using a unit made by Red Snapr now. It's less than 16 pounds, as I recall, and is all inclusive. That, a half pound of wire, a few stakes and a ground rod with something to drive it, and your'e set up.
Get some experience with the fences and you'll sleep like a baby.
16 lbs sounds very do-able. Where can you purchase the Red Snapr unit?
16 pounds for a ready to go package sounds ok.
Being lazy tonight, would someone want to inform as to what battery this unit has? How many days will it go? Solar recharge options? Price?
One friend of mine is close enough to an EE to figure out an aural alarm to go with this.
Sometimes I can get him to try something out just for the challenge. This is up his alley.
Thanks ahead of time on the answers for above. DAVE
Not an EE, but I don't think the pulse has any current flow, just voltage spikes? Current flow requires a return path. With no connection between the positive wire and ground, there is no current.
The bears nose provides that path, from the positive wire through his nose to ground.
the trip wire that i use is very much like a granade set up. i set 4 stakes around camp, tie a cap with tape or wire to each stick(the cap has to be tied on tight,or when it gets triped it will just pull off and land on the ground with out going off), then run some fly line or something that you can see good and is very strong(in case nature calls)through the pin of each cap, pull the line tight, pull the safty pins and go to sleep!
where do you get this? in alaska i would look in army surpplus.on svalbard they sell them in the sport store.
also, the small cap pens and anything like it can be used with a little thinkin on how to rig it ! i had to do this early this summer while camping on the north tip of svalbard. had my set so only one cap would go off if it got triped and not two or three. about midnight two caps blew! if you want to talk bearanoia, that will do it!! last years people count for svalbard was just over 1000, the poler bear count was just over 4000. as it turned out i came out of the tent like a wild man in my underware and a rifle in each hand looking for some serious troubble, and wouldnt luck have it it was a bird cought in the wire!!! i have pictures of this set up some place, i'll see if i can find them and post them.
Alaska Feed carries the Red Snap'r units. The unit contains the controller, the battery, and a solar panel, all built in, so its a fully self contained unit. With battery alone, it'll run a small fence for a month.
I think they have a web site, I'll take a look.
Thanks Greg and Mike.
Dangit! I was at Mill and Feed this morning for pooch fodder and thought about asking them about fences.
Thanks again. DAVE
Yeah, thanks guys.
I appreciate the help. I'll put together a system and if any more refinements come out of it I'll share it here.
Still curious about patching in an audible alarm to an electric fence.
If there is enough juice running through the wire you probably don't need to worry about an audible alarm - the bear will make all the noise you could ever want.Originally Posted by Bob Breeden
Ha Ha!!! Yeah, you are probably right.
Yet some animals make no sound when they get shocked, except for one single quick step away.
I would be quite happy if the first contact with the fence caused a bugle to fire off a rendition of the revelrie!
I went to check out http://www.redsnapr.co.nz/
.....shockingly informative. The LIS3 solar-powered is 272.25 (New Zealand dollars??) and will do 1-2 Kilometers of fence.
Most of my camps are smaller than that.