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! 

In this post

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, we began to come up with our design.

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

This fence would also been seen from our front yard.

Deer Fence Supply List

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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.

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.

The hog wire panel was purchased at Tractor Supply Co.

Links to the product we used are listed above.

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Install Posts

Pressure treated posts and stablized with concrete

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.

Install Footer and Top Rail

Cross panels for the deer fence are secured to posts with long screws.

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.

If you do now 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 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.

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

Secure in place with deck screws.

A grove is routed out for the hog wire panel to slip into.

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

Redwood or cedar could 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.

Install the Trellis

Gate area of Deer Fence, made with hog wire and pressure treated lumber. A trellis runs along the top of the fence.

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 also it would add 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.

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.

Then cut out the arc with a jigsaw. 

An arc is traced onto the 2x8 board for the top of the deer fence.

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.

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.

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.
A woman secures 2x2 tressis boards with screws along top of the deer fence.

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.

The Finished 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.

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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.

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.

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.

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.

If you have questions or comments about building a deer fence, leave us a comment below.

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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 21 Comments

  1. Debbie

    Could you provide some details on how you did the gate? Love this so much! Thanks!

    1. Michelle Dickson

      Thank you Debbie, I’m so happy this is something that may be helpful to you. Basically we constructed a rectangle the width of the opening. Screws were inserted in the top and bottom boards into the side pieces. In the same way we did the actually fence, we ripped a 2×4 in half attaching one piece to the frame of the gate. Then the wire panel was inserted and the other ripped piece of 2×4 was screw into the gate frame. Once the gate was constructed it was installed with gate hinges. I hope this helps.

      1. Dave Hatfield

        We’ve completed ours. 11’x20’x8′. I couldn’t find Hog Fencing anywhere (100 miles) near our home. I did find Wild Hog panels, 6 gauge, 4″ holes, in 3’x6′ sections black powder coated. They were pricey, but with the stained wood, they look great. How can I send you a picture of the completed project?

  2. Tammy

    Looks fabulous. What was your 4 x4 post spacing if I may asK?

    1. Michelle Dickson

      Thank you so much Tammy. I love it. Our 4×4 post are spaced 8′ apart or a little less.

  3. Carissa Burk

    This is the prettiest deer fence I have ever seen. I have never had to build one before and everything we have seen so far is very utilitarian- it’s gonna keep out the deer but it isn’t cute. This is 😍. Definitely deer fence goals. I just sent this to my husband.

    1. Michelle Dickson

      Thank you Carissa, it was important to me that it looked good, because it’s visible from the front of our house. It does a terrific job at keeping the deer out and it wasn’t difficult to build. Last summer I planted wisteria to grow along the trellis. I’m hoping that this year it will be tall enough to start to really show.

  4. Susan

    Thanks so much for the beautiful pictures and great instructions. My husband and I are almost finished with our deer proof fence which surrounds our raised garden and we couldn’t be happier wi th the results. It is just gorgeous! Many, many thanks!

    1. Michelle Dickson

      How wonderful Susan, please share photos of your completed fence, we’d love to see it. They can be emailed at 2thesunnyside@gmail.com.

  5. Doug Cherry

    All that effort and then to.plant a grape vine, one of a deer’s favorite snacks up against the fence is asking for trouble.

    1. Michelle Dickson

      The grapes were already there before the fence Doug. I figure the deer can eat whatever is on the outside, I get to eat whatever is on the inside. 😉 Last summer we had more grapes than we could possible eat.

  6. Brenda Smith

    Totally love it; totally want it!!

    1. Michelle Dickson

      Thank you Brenda! We will see what we can do.

  7. Nicole

    I love this fence and sorely need it for my back garden! Dang deer.
    Do you mind sharing how much this ran you money-wise? It looks like it was 3 sides? I think I would need to do 2-3 sides as well.

    1. Michelle Dickson

      Thanks for visiting our site Nicole. I agree, the deer can be quite troublesome. We enjoy them in our yard, but when they eat all of our garden produce, it’s definitely frustrating. We found the hog wire was less expensive through a farming supply store. I don’t remember the exact costs, but I believe it was around $600. Good luck with the deer.

  8. Ruth

    This is beautiful, and looks totally doable. Do you have any trouble with bunnies, where this fence doesn’t go all the way to the ground?

    1. Michelle Dickson

      No we’ve never had trouble with rabbits here. It’s just been the deer. But you could have the fence go all the way to the ground. Thanks you, we are loving it! We have so much produce from our garden this year, thanks to the fence.

  9. Kyle Freedman

    Love your fence and am working on replicating it for two small sections at our home! Do you know what size hog wire you used? One picture looks like it was a roll of galvanized wire but the main photos look like the very sturdy hog panels that come in straight sheets (not a roll). Also what was your post spacing? Thanks!

    1. Michelle Dickson

      Thank you Kyle. We purchased 5′ x 16′ panels from Tractor Supply. The panels are 6 gauge wire and are very sturdy. We wanted our fence to last for years. We had to drive to a more rural area to pick them up. Here is the link to the product we purchased. https://www.tractorsupply.com/tsc/product/utility-panel-5-ft-x-16-ft-3610480?store=1951&cm_mmc=feed-_-GoogleShopping-_-Product-_-3610480&gclid=Cj0KCQiA-rj9BRCAARIsANB_4ADGN4k8IG-cUushlgtYMIyiwWAyu9M0tZ5L2XCedEyO8G8e1n5t52MaApAOEALw_wcB

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