Fence lines serve as great funnels between woodlots by providing cover in open farm country. That is to say, cover for the whitetail and concealment for the hunter. It’s a deer’s natural propensity to graze along the edge, and brushy fence lines provide distinct edge habitat. It’s not uncommon to find farm country fence lines riddled with rubs and scrapes.
Texas, for example, is a state where hunting along fence lines is possible. While trees may be sparse in places, setting up shooting houses or ground blinds is a popular method to hunt these areas. If you’re fence line runs in between thick bedding cover and a popular food plot, then it’s only a matter of time.
Setup On Easy Crossings
As you know, deer like to take the paths of least resistance when they can. While it’s no trouble for a full-grown deer to easily leap over a barbed-wire or goat fence, they’d much rather just walk through an available opening. These funnels are perfect spots to set stands or ground blinds
Bow hunting fence lines works particularly well during the early season. During this period deer are in their summer feed pattern, bedding in or very close to a primary food source. I look for deer trails running parallel to a fence that divides a crop field, then try to situate my stand within bow range of a hot fence crossing.
Make a Fence Line Funnel
If no such crossings exist, I will create one by pruning a little brush and lowering the top fence strand a few notches. This, of course, is done with the land owner’s permission if I’m not hunting my own property. Creating a fence line funnel is also easily achieved by pulling the top strand down and fastening it with a zip tie. It’s been my experience that if you give deer a low spot in a fence, they will utilize it.
The same thing holds true in the timber – a low spot along a stretch of high fence can make a tremendous funnel. I’ve watched deer walk 50 to 100 yards to jump a low spot in a fence. Accordingly, on your next scouting trip it might be a good idea to walk the line yourself.
The right low spot in the fence might be the high spot of your season. Just like natural funnels through the woods or across creeks, deer will continue to follow these paths until pressure pushes them elsewhere. As you’re completing your preseason scouting, pay close attention to the fences on your hunting property. Wherever you find tufts of hair on the fence means deer have been crossing there. Clear them a path if you can.