High Fence Hunting?

Guy Miner

Master Loader
Apr 6, 2006
16,464
726
I've only hunted at a high-fence place once, 30+ years ago. Some buddies were going hog hunting, which I'd never done and it sounded fun. It turned out to be a hoot. Was it "real" hunting? Nope, the pigs were loose in a large fenced enclosure with steep, brushy areas, forest, etc. I only saw the fence when we initially went into the area. But, the pigs couldn't really do more than lead us on a merry chase through the area. One pig did charge my buddy, very ticked off after being shot with his 44 magnum handgun! I don't know how big the area was, a few hundred acres I'd guess. Still, it was fun, we hunted mostly with handguns, though I popped my pig with a rifle. We all got our pigs and had a good time doing so. Stayed in cabins, ate big meals and enjoyed. We all knew it wasn't the same as going out into the wilderness and hunting truly wild game.

I've heard stories about places with tiny, one acre or even less, pens in which a shooter can take a trophy animal. That, I don't like at all.

I know that in South Africa, it's standard for the farmers to have high fences, but they fence in places that have 40,000 acres and more sometimes! They're also responsible for much of the wildlife that is flourishing in South Africa. I don't think I'd have any problem hunting a place that was so big. I've talked to friends who say they hunted very open terrain in South Africa, and didn't even see the fence for three days... That sounds pretty reasonable to me.

Overall, I'm not real fond of the idea of the high fences, but... It's a changing world. And the high fence operations offer a hunting experience, with varying degrees of difficulty.

Not a lot of true wilderness left in which to hunt anymore. You guys know the places I usually hunt. Wild, tough country where a hunter has to work for his game.

I dunno. Thoughts?

Thanks, Guy
 

Europe

Handloader
Jun 18, 2014
1,116
49
Guy, you ask for "thoughts"

We had no problem and never even saw a fence when we hunted Red Stag on a 40000 plus acre ranch in Argentina. The stags were free roaming, wild, and huge. From memory we only paid 5000 each ( plus airfare ) and it included one day of dove hunting, red stag hunting, meals, room. We loved it.

Same in Africa, the ranches we hunted were all 40000 plus and you never saw a fence

But excluding those types of places, we did not hunt any high fence places.

Guy, granted the East coast of the U.S. and most of Europe is running out of "wilderness", but Alaska, The territories in Canada, Argentina, Colorado, New Mexico, Arizona, Utah, Idaho, Wyoming, Montana and the east side of Oregon and Wash still have some great wilderness areas--IMHO
 

IdahoCTD

Handloader
Nov 4, 2004
2,482
29
We hunted 2 8000 acre ranches in South Africa and we did see the fences quite often. The animals were still pretty cagey but if I ever did it again I wouldn't go to a place unless it was large like the one April hunted.

It seems from your post as of late your hunt shopping a bit Guy. I would post a list of things your considering and get feedback from people. I'm hoping to get my hunting buddy and a few others talked into a DIY hunt in New Zealand for 2-3 weeks by the time I'm 50. I've never been thrilled with being forced into using a guide so I will try and do as many things possible that don't require one. Africa, Europe, Canada, and some of the animals of AK require it unfortunately.
 

c. schutte

Handloader
Jan 24, 2012
578
0
High fences have been popping up here in Texas for some time. A lot of times it is to keep smaller places that are next to larger ones from over hunting. Example; a land owner with 3000 acres gets tired of two adjacent 100 acre properties that constantly take way more deer than their 100 acres could possibly ever support. I've seen and have day leased places that do that.

I've also heard of places that will raise deer on small high fence areas and charge tons of money for you to pen shoot..................

My thinking is I would not hesitate to hunt a high fence place as long as it is large enough for animals to act normally. Whitetail deer might only need 300 acres or less if all their needs are met. Admittedly, hunting them on that small a place would not really be the same I suppose but, a 10K -30K high fence ranch would contain deer that might never see a fence in their life times..............

I'm pretty sure elk need a lot more area than whitetail so all animals might need different amounts of area to be able to act as they would without fences.

If me I'd research the game in question and see if the high fence area provides a realistic hunting scenario. That would be my concern over if it is high fence or not. It might be that a large high fence ranch or preserve that has a realistic management program would offer a better "real" hunt than an over-hunted area that is free range.
 

Guy Miner

Master Loader
Apr 6, 2006
16,464
726
IdahoCTD":guabzr14 said:
We hunted 2 8000 acre ranches in South Africa and we did see the fences quite often. The animals were still pretty cagey but if I ever did it again I wouldn't go to a place unless it was large like the one April hunted.

It seems from your post as of late your hunt shopping a bit Guy. I would post a list of things your considering and get feedback from people. I'm hoping to get my hunting buddy and a few others talked into a DIY hunt in New Zealand for 2-3 weeks by the time I'm 50. I've never been thrilled with being forced into using a guide so I will try and do as many things possible that don't require one. Africa, Europe, Canada, and some of the animals of AK require it unfortunately.

Not really "hunt shopping" as much as looking to stir a discussion.

Although 30+ years ago I did bag a pig in a high-fence hunt, I haven't done a high fence hunt since.

Have been looking at some, and when I find that people are talking 40,000 acres... Well, that sure sounds real close to "free range" to me.

But, when they're talking smaller enclosures. I dunno. So ya, for me it's the size of the place, and the species to be hunted. A whitetail might be fine with 1,000 acres. And elk? I dunno.

At this point I've been almost entirely a wild/free-range guy, except for one hog hunt 30+ years ago.

I don't know if that will change or not. Going to Africa for plains game anymore, it's difficult to find places that aren't fenced. And the fencing serves several purposes - including keeping predators out... It's interesting to say the least. I believe in "fair chase" - but modern realities have to be considered too.

Thanks all, and special thanks for keeping this civil. I've seen these discussions degenerate into name calling and insults, which isn't appropriate. I figured the Nosler forum was a place where this could be discussed without folks getting all bent out of shape.

Regards, Guy
 

IdahoCTD

Handloader
Nov 4, 2004
2,482
29
The fences on the ranches we hunted were cables strung ever 10" or so to about 12' high. The cats and small game would go through the fence. The larger animals were stuck on the ranch.
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
I've never hunted within a fence, I can't say that I find the idea all that appealing.

For me, one of the things that I like about hunting is that it's always an uncertain outcome. I understand in some parts of the world that fencing animals in or out may be a necessary reality...but I'm happy I don't have to hunt there.

This weekend I covered about 10 miles and glassed a corridor about a mile wide on both sides...it'd take a mighty big chunk of fence to go around all that. I can understand that you could eventually get a patch big enough that you could have a reasonable facsimile of a wilderness hunt for some species like whitetail with small ranges, for other species it would just be impossible.

Maybe its why I'm so passionate about public lands- I'd rather hunt very ordinary animals in trophy country than trophy animals living in ordinary pasture,
 

sask boy

Ammo Smith
Nov 4, 2007
6,001
5
I have never had to hunt high fence but I do not see a problem if you are hunting on thousands of acres and never see a fence.

Blessings,
Dan
 

Darkhorse

Handloader
Mar 14, 2014
740
6
I hunted elk around Chama, NM in 1996. After I got home I started getting calls from a hunt consultant trying to get me to book a hunt for a huge elk. Sounded good until I found out it was a high fence hunt. It took a lot of calls to finally convince the guy that I wasn't interested.
I've never had the opportunity to hunt 40,000 acres or so under high fence. Only much smaller tracts and we call that a "canned hunt".
There's an outfit close by that runs wild boar hunts. I've provided him with some nice boars over the years when I was trapping them. All hunts are in fenced inclosures. His most popular hunt is a dog and knife hunt, he gets a lot of business from Atlanta and other big cities.
The hunt goes like this, the hunter with his/her knife and guide enter the pen, the single target boar gets as far away as possible. Another guide enters the pen with 4 hog dogs including a monster catch dog. In just a few minutes the hog is caught and usually damaged by the dogs. The hunter walks up and sticks the boar with his knife and the hog bleeds out. Then the dogs are pulled off.
Now a pro cameraman photographs the brave hunter who is smeared with blood for dramatic effect. The next day the photo's up on the website along with the story.
I just can't do something like that.
As long as I can find a place to hunt without the high fence then that's what I'll do. When I can't find a spot to hunt free roaming animals I'll probably quit. I got the time, got the experience, and got the age.
 

mcseal2

Handloader
Nov 1, 2010
723
4
I think I'd be ok with the big areas like others discussed that let animals act normally. I don't see much sport in hunting where the animal doesn't have a decent chance of avoiding me. I've read stories about big whitetail in thickly vegetated high fence areas of decent size that get so good at avoiding humans they are probably harder to hunt than free range deer. Unless they get tripped over they don't move. Thermal technology can take away that option now I guess which brings up a whole different debate.

I guess I feel like high fence hunting isn't for me but I also won't bash another guy for doing it. If it's legal and makes you happy have at it. I think hunters are a small enough portion of the population that fighting amongst ourselves is a bad idea.
 

ShadeTree

Handloader
Mar 6, 2017
2,505
492
Not for me as long as I can at least drive to where I can hunt free range animals on public and private ground, but I can, maybe some can't. I guess if there was no other option I'd consider it, but I have a feeling I'd get more into fishing, hunting groundhogs, and maybe predator hunting if the options were down to paying to hunt in high fence areas for big game.
 
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