You are currently viewing How to Make a Modern Deer Fence for Your Garden

Anyone who has a garden knows how frustrating it is to work day in and day out only to find that deer have eaten your tomatoes, nibbled on the squash and peas or ripped the bark off the trees.

Certainly, we’ve tried all sorts of methods to deter the deer, from human hair to Irish Spring soap, but to no avail.

After much research we decided that the best method would be to install a deer fence to enclose the garden.

When you garden in deer country, growing vegetables can be a real challenge.

To keep out high-jumping deer, many gardeners surround their crops with tall fences that have the look of a maximum-security prison.

However we wanted to keep our beautiful views as well as look good from the street.

 Not only did it turn out beautiful, but we have succeeded in keeping the deer out of our vegetable garden! 

Keep on scrolling for all the details for constructing your own deer fence.

How Tall Should a Deer Fence Be?

After trying many methods that claim to keep the deer out of our vegetable garden, last year we installed a fence around the perimeter of our garden.

It was a temporary fence, which was only 5 feet tall.

Clearly, it did not work!

They were still having a feast nightly in my garden.

Apparently deer can easily jump a 5 to 6 foot fence. To really keep the deer out, we would need an 8 foot fence.

With this in mind, I began to come up with our design.

Not only must it keep the deer out, but also it had to look good!

Once element I wanted to include on my fence was a trellis, as well as structure for supporting my grape vine.

This fence would also been seen from our front yard, so it needed curb appeal too.

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What You’ll Need to Build a Deer Fence

To build your own deer fence you need some basic tool like a saw, drill, angle grinder and level.

We build our deer fence with pressure treated lumber and galvanized hog wire panels for durability, but you could also use cedar or redwood.

We are excited to announce we now complete plans and measured drawings in our shop.

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Determine Measurements

The first step is to plan how many linear feet of deer fencing you will need.

Plan post layout and determine how many posts you will need.

A distance laser meter would be perfect for measuring and determining placement of the post.

As you plan, consider gates as well.

We determined we would like 2 gates for our deer fence, one to enter from the backyard and one from the front yard.

Each section of fence will require 6 – 2×4 boards one for the footer, one for the top rail and the other 4 will be ripped down to enclose the 4 sides of the hog panels.

Most of these materials we picked up at our local Home Depot.

However, we purchased the hog wire panel was purchased from Tractor Supply Co.

It was considerable cheaper than the big box home improvement stores.

Install Posts

Pressure treated posts and stablized with concrete
4×4 pressure treated posts were secured in place with cement.

Using a post hole digger, we dug 2 feet deep holes for each post.

Then secure each post in place with concrete.

It took about 2/3’s of a 60lb. bag per post hole.

Pro tip: To keep the posts in a straight line, run a string from end to end for each side of the deer fence.

Align each post with the string.

Cross panels for the deer fence are secured to posts with long screws.
A 2×4 rail was placed at the lower edge of the 4×4 post and then another post was placed 5 feet about the lower board.

Once all of the posts are installed and the concrete has cured, install the footer and top rail boards.

Measure the distance between each post and cut the 2×4 boards to length.

We installed our footer boards level and about 9″ from the ground.

The top rail board was installed 60″ above the footer board.

This is the height of the hog panel we used.

We installed our rails using our Kreg jig to create pocket holes for each screw.

The Kreg pocket hole jig has become one of our favorite tools.

I asked for the jig for Christmas and for our first project we made a farmhouse style bench.

If you don’t have access to a jig, you could also toenail them in or use brackets.

Install the Hog Panels

To enclose each hog panel section, we ripped 2×4 boards into 2 – 1 1/2″x 1 1/2″ pieces.

Secure one of the ripped 1 1/2″ x 1 1/2″ boards to the footer rail and one to the top rail board, aligned with the outer edge of the 2×4.

Cut 2 more 1 1/2″x1 1/2″ boards to fit between the footer and top rail for each side post, aligning with outer edge.

Secure with deck screws.

Cut hog wire panel to fit the opening.

We cut our panels with an angle grinder.

Place hog wire panel into position against the 1 1/2″ x 1 1/2″ boards.

How wire panel is placed between 2 pieces of lumber and secured into position with screws.
Enclose the hog wire by attaching a board on both sides with screws.

Once the hog wire panel is in position, place the remaining 1 1/2″ x 1 1/2″ boards against the hog wire panel, sandwiching the wire panel between the 2 boards.

A drill drives a screw into the lumber that secures the hog wire in place for the deer fence.Deer Fence
Enclose the hog wire by attaching a board on both sides with screws.

Secure in place to the header and footer 2×4 boards with deck screws.

A grove is routed out for the hog wire panel to slip into.
Enclose the hog wire by attaching a board on both sides with screws.

We used pressure treated lumber for this deer fence, hoping that it will last for years to come.

Of course redwood or cedar can also be used.

We did not stain our wood, but if using other lumber you may want to stain the wood before installation of the hog wire panels.

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The Trellis

Gate area of Deer Fence, made with hog wire and pressure treated lumber. A trellis runs along the top of the fence.
A large gate on each side of the vegetable garden provide easy access.

To complete our 8 foot height requirement for our deer fence we decided to install a trellis.

Not only would this create that 8 foot barrier for the deer, but it also adds beauty to the fence.

In addition, I have been wanting a place to grow wisteria and this will provide the perfect trellis for it. 

To create the trellis we install 2×6 boards on each side of the 4×4 posts.

A place is used to draw an arc on the wood.
We used a plate to create a pattern for an arc on the ends of the 2×6 boards

Also, I wanted a decorative cut at the end of the 2×6 boards.

So, we used a plate to create an arc and traced that onto the lumber.

A jigsaw is used to cut the arc in the wood.
Cut the arc in the 2×6 board with a jig saw.

Then cut out the arc with a jigsaw. 

An arc is traced onto the 2x8 board for the top of the deer fence.
Trace the arc pattern on the the remaining 2×6 boards.

We then used this board as a template for the remaining boards. They were then secured to the 4×4 posts with deck screws.

Trellis boards are cut to length with the chop saw.
Cut the 2×2 boards to the desired length. Ours our 24″ long.

For the top of the trellis we cut 2×2 boards to 24″.

We then determined their placement on top of the 2- 2×6 boards.

A drill is used to pre-drill holes for the trellis boards.
Pre-drill holes in the 2×2 boards.

To prevent the wood from splitting, we pre-drilled holes in each 2×2 board where it would attach to the 2×6 boards.

Each board was drilled with 2 holes.

Trellis boards are pre-drilled for screw. Screw placed in holes for tressis section.
Attach 2×2 boards along the mounted 2×6 boards.
A woman secures 2x2 tressis boards with screws along top of the deer fence.
Attach 2×2 boards along the mounted 2×6 boards.

By pre-drilling the holes, it make it quick and easy to install the trellis.

Trellis boards are secured to the top of the deer fence.
Attach 2×2 boards along the mounted 2×6 boards.

Shop This Project

Completed Deer Fence

Deer fence made with hog wire and pressure treated lumber surround vegetable garden 2 chairs and a table create a sitting area in the garden.
A trellis was added to the top of the deer fence. We will soon plant wisteria and train it over the arbor.

Ah, we love our deer fence!

Not only has it prevented the deer from munching my veggies, but it has created a beautiful spot to enjoy my garden.

I love that we are still able to enjoy the view, as we can see directly through the fence.

And soon the Wisteria will be draping over the trellis.

If you’d like to build a Modern Deer Fence in your yard, check out the new plans in our shop.

A few weeks back I wrote a post about slugs in my garden.

If you are struggling with slugs or snails, you’ll want to see my natural way to keep them from munching my strawberries and tomatoes.

Deer fence made with hog wire and pressure treated lumber surround vegetable garden 2 chairs and a table create a sitting area in the garden.

And I’m happy to report that I’m still enjoying my juicy fresh strawberries. Yum!

For more backyard ideas, check out our DIY Paver Patio.

And 30 Inexpensive and Easy Backyard Patio Ideas on a Budget.

If your yard is situated on a slope, check out How to Install Stone Steps for less than $100.

So can you see a deer fence for your garden in your future?

If you have questions or comments about building a deer fence for your yard, drop us a comment below.

We’d love to hear from you! 

We hope you found some inspiration here today!

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Deer fence made with hog wire and pressure treated lumber surround vegetable garden 2 chairs and a table create a sitting area in the garden.

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This Post Has 6 Comments

  1. Kelsey

    What is the size of the sections of fence between 4x4s?

    1. Michelle Dickson

      Most are about 8′, the length of a board. But for across the front, which aligns with the front of my house, they are smaller, so they would be 3 equal sizes. If you’re interested in building your own deer fence, we now have PDF plans on our website with all the details and measured drawings.

  2. Cathie

    How is this holding up? Can you post recent pictures?

    1. Michelle Dickson

      Hi Cathie, The deer fence is holding up great. The only issue we’ve had is one of the gates had a bit of sagging and so my husband installed a cable diagonally across it to help. The wood still looks good ad new and it keeps the deer out. I’ll email you some photos I took today.

  3. Christopher

    Isn’t it a bad idea to use pressure treated lumber anywhere near a vegetable garden?

    1. Michelle Dickson

      Hi Christopher, That’s a great question. When planting your garden plants should be planted at least 12″ away from the treated lumber. We have allowed for this and have a walkway around the garden boxes.

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