Wire Fencing and Deer
By Open Space Ranger Matt Oven
I wanted to bring to your attention a maintenance reminder for fences with welded wire on properties. A recent incident involving a 3-4 year old mule deer doe with a hind leg stuck at the top of a split rail fence with welded wire and laying on its back was called in to the Ranger Office. Ranger Gary Norton and I responded in time and were able to free the deer’s leg by cutting the wire away from the hoof. The deer was able to run away with only a slight limp.
Over the past several years I have had to assist several deer in the same way with their back leg stuck in the same fashion, one leg caught between the wood plank/welded wire. The deer survived the initial trauma, but one never knows the full extent of the injury as the deer limp or attempt to run away. In a separate incident, a young mule deer had the same problem happen but encountered a broken leg while cutting it out of the fence. Unfortunately, the deer had to be euthanized by the Rangers with a rifle as the injuries were too much for survival.
I would like to remind residents about being diligent in maintaining their split rail fence with the welded wire (see pictures). In each incident with the deer getting caught, the welded wire was pulled away from the wood due to missing fence staples/U nails. Make sure to periodically walk the fence line and check to make sure the fencing staples or U nails are keeping the wire tight to the wood, which will avoid accidents where deer will get caught while jumping over the fences. If you have any questions or concerns, feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or call the Rangers at 303-979-1876, ext. 170.