Fence Post Types and Spacing
Posts constitute a major component of a deer fence and represent a large part of its cost. Fence post types commonly employed in deer fences include trees, wooden posts, and various sorts of metal posts. Irrespective of the posts (or trees) used, the maximum distance between them should be 20 feet for polypropylene deer fencing (all types of poly) and 15 feet for metal hexagrid deer fencing. If you are in an area where heavy snow loads are likely, shorten the distance to 10 feet.
Trees as Posts
Deer fence post types definitely include trees. That’s becayse, if you have them available, trees make ideal fence posts for both polypropylene and metal deer fences. Not only are trees strongly anchored, but they look perfectly natural. And since Nature abhors a straight line, a deer fence zig-zagging slightly from tree to tree in dappled shade tends to look very natural and to fade into the background even more than it would if it were running straight.
Another fence post type is wooden posts (pressure-treated 4 x 4s or 5-6-inch rounds). These should be installed 3 feet deep (4 feet deep at corners, gates, and ends) or below the frost line if that is deeper. Wooden posts are generally about the same price or a bit less than comparable metal deer fence posts. However, they are more visible than the metal posts, expensive and cumbersome to ship, and costly in time and labor to install.
Metal Fence Post Types
We offer three types of metal posts for polypropylene and metal hexagrid deer fencing: angle-iron posts with a black powder-coat finish, black pvc-coated round steel posts with caps, and black pvc-coated round steel posts with drive sleeves and caps. Unlike most of our products, these posts do not ship free if ordered by themselves in small numbers. The 10-footers are especially costly ordered this way because they must be shipped by common carrier.
Angle-iron posts come in 8, 9, and 10-foot lengths and cost less than the round posts. They look well in woodsy, farm, or garden settings. Use the 10-footers where you have loose soil and can afford the shipping. Employ 9-footers for all other 7-foot fence applications.
All our angle-iron posts come with a black powder-coat finish but are not galvanized underneath. Below ground they will last for 20 years, but above ground they need a little attention. That’s because the powder-coat finish can get chipped or scratched. If this this happens, the post can rust out at the open place in as little as two or three years, depending on your climate. To prevent that, take a few minutes once a year to spray any rust spots with a puff of black rust-proofing paint.
Round Black Steel Posts
Our 17-gauge powder-coated 1-5/8 inch round steel posts with caps are galvanized under their black finish, so they are maintenance-free and will not rust. They are also stronger than the angle-iron posts, hold the ground better, and look better in a residential or estate setting. We offer two different types: standard 9 or 10-footers and similar posts with 2.5-foot drive sleeves.
Round Posts without Sleeves
Regarding the 9 and 10-footers, plan on putting the 9-footers at least 2 feet into the ground. Use the 10-footers to get a better grip on loose soil and also to get below the frost line in areas with heavy clay soil, so as to avoid frost heaves.
Round Posts with Drive Sleeves
These round posts with sleeves can make installation easier. That’s because you can install the 2.5-foot sleeves at ground level instead of going up a couple of steps with a manual post driver. However, rocky soil can make insertion of the sleeves difficult (they tend to get tilted going in); and in that case you are better off using the standard round posts without sleeves so that you can see and correct the tilting.
Be sure to get brace bands for any round metal posts that you select. These bands prevent the fencing from sliding down the posts by providing an anchor point for a zip-lock tie at the top of the fence. The general rule is to have one brace band per post, but this does not have to be rigidly observed. That is, a few posts without brace bands will make no substantial difference.