This blog is the sister site of WWW.FENCE-FLAG.COM and is in the spirit of disseminating information intended to mitigate the growing Wolf Depredation of Domestic Livestock as Cattle, Sheep etc., including their guard dogs, that continues a contentious issue between those who responsibly raise Livestock, whether Hobby Farmers or Commercial Producers, and fanatic Conservationists who encourage the greater distribution of Wolves in the Western United States, since they were re-introduced into the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem in 1995 / 1996, and since are Federally protected and /or State regulated. The permitted culling of “problem” Wolves ( at times a single member of a pack) that have been documented as predatory to Domestic Livestock by hazing with Fladry (boo scaring), trapping, shooting from the ground and from Helicopters, as an intended deterrent to train–( bad Wolf, don’t do that! ) others in a pack, is a wishful thought to temporarily appease the property owner. Common Sense should have come to the decision that Domestic Livestock will be, and are, a much easier prey to chase as they certainly are less fleet footed than Ungulates (wildlife as Deer, Elk, etc.), and are in many places in greater numbers. Wolves increasingly do kill (thrill kill has been documented) and most likely, Domestic Livestock do provide a more flavor full nutritious meal. On the producers side, who suffer the losses beyond just monetary, some of their alternative responses to Wolf Depredation of their Livestock does go to the extreme of Shoot, Shovel and Shut-Up! I will be offering a suggestion, certainly a more cost advantage, compared to the promoted Fladry, to mitigate some of the Wolf Depredation to BOTH sides of this dilemma, that can have a positive recognizable result; rather than paying a “Facilitator” nearly 2 Million dollars over a 4 year period (Washington Dept of Fish & Wildlife) to control the “mental of Producers and Conservationists” of both sides of this issue. Depredation certainly will grow with Wolves and their expanding dispersed populations. I do credit the Capital Press WWW.CAPITALPRESS.COM (a weekly agricultural newspaper covering the Western U.S.) and compliment its Investigative Journalists for their continuing due diligence on exposing Wolf Depredation.

For regular updates on Wolf Depredation in Oregon, provided by the Oregon Department of Fish & Wildlife, the following link is provided. WARNING, the documented Harm, Kill, & Consuming of Domestic Livestock descriptions are graphic; but necessary to give a clear picture of the fear and the agony experienced as Wolves prey on Domestic Livestock rather than Wildlife; a learned delicious opportunity for a food source that historically was never available to them! One example of Oregon”s F&W update link on Wolf Depredation follows. Another opportunity for further research! Will Wolves develop a preferred taste preference?

http://dfw.state.or.us/Wolves/wolf_livestock_updates.asp

“January 1, 2019 – Jackson County (Boundary Butte area) Date Investigated: 1/1-2/2019 Cause of death/injury: Confirmed General situation and animal information: On the morning of 1/1/19, a livestock owner found an injured, 5-month-old, 235 lb. calf in a private-land pasture. An approximately 2-foot length of intestine was protruding from the anus with tissue trauma evident on the hindquarters and abdomen. The injuries were estimated to have occurred less than 12 hours earlier. The animal was euthanized on site, the carcass was brought to an ODFW office, and the examination was completed the morning of 1/2/19. Physical evidence and summary of findings: The entire carcass was shaved and skinned. More than 100 tooth scrapes from 1/16 to 1/4 inch diameter were found on the hide of the neck, abdomen, flanks, and hindquarters. Associated trauma extending up to 1 1/2 inches into muscle tissue was found on the inside of the hind legs from the abdomen back to the tail and down the legs to within 3 inches of the hocks. The premortem muscle tissue trauma is a clear sign of predator attack and the size, number, and location of the bite injuries are similar to injuries observed on other calves attacked by wolves. The Rogue Pack has previously depredated on this property.”

An example of a Wolf Pack – courtesy of free Wolf photos

FENCE-FLAGS®

FENCE-FLAGS® were Invented and U.S. Patented by myself; then manufactured and distributed by us, MOM & POP PRODUCTS CO., as a Fence Warning Device; originally to train our personally owned Livestock and the Wildlife on legs, White Tail Deer that frequented our property, especially at night! The many past recent years have seen our FENCE-FLAGS® evolve into mitigating the wildlife fence impact issue to those with wings in flight that continues problematic with Sage Grouse in the Western States, Hawaiian Petrel (endangered species), Great Bustard (endangered in Portugal), as all have been documented as impacting un-detected wire barrier fences to their demise. VISIBLE detection to alert of a wire fence barrier; due to combined White color and / or alternating Black over Snow, with motion movement detection of our plastic hang tag, suspended from our uniquely formed Stainless Steel K-CLIP® attached Slip Resistant, does compel detection, from great distances, especially in darkness; a notice to avoid impact. If responsibly installed per instructions and DC Electrified, a training to avoid future contact! They are a VISUAL tool NOT a scare device.

My Simmentals in the below photo are an example of training, as “Buster”, with his out stretched neck, in a cautious inquisitive pose, was about to have, and did have, a pain learned deterrent to NOT contact the FENCE-FLAGS® and the DC Electrified wire barrier that supports them. Our dual purpose intent was also a notification of our temporary wire barrier to the White Tail Deer as an encouragement to either jump our fence or change direction rather than impact and tear it down as they passed thru our property, especially during darkness. Unsolicited testimonials of our FENCE-FLAGS® Visibility and their success to mitigate fence damage thru impact, because the fence was not detected, can be viewed at WWW.VALLEYVET.COM, one of our catalog distributors—search FENCE-FLAGS® then comments. Our other retail catalog distributors are also included with links at the end of this blog.

It was also evident with my personal experience, that our dog after just a single unpleasant (pain) contact with our D.C. Electrified temporary fence, would refuse to go under the wire again, shy from getting close, and she balked at going past the area it used to be, when the DC Electrified temporary wire barrier was taken down. This example is a common comment we’ve heard from many inquisitive conversations we’ve had during promotional exhibits at Agricultural and Equine shows throughout the U.S. including Canada.

Dogs are easily trained to identify, respect and fear, to not again trespass an identifiable FENCE-FLAG® and D.C. Electric barrier that supports them. Invisible fences, as perimeter wires buried in the ground, that excite (a minimal battery shock) receiver collar around a dogs neck, have proven to train dogs to NOT breach a perimeter, that responsibly was identified to them VISUALLY by training with perimeter staked White flags.

Wolves (canis lupus), coyotes (canis latrans), and domestic dogs (canis familiaris) are closely-related species. All three can interbreed and produce viable, fertile offspring — wolfdogs, coywolves, and coydogs. Through DNA analysis, scientists have established that the wolf is the ancestor of the dog.

wdfw.wa.gov
wdfw.wa.gov

Fladry

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

Fladry Line Illustration

Fladry is a line of rope mounted along the top of a fence, from which are suspended strips of fabric or colored flags that will flap in a breeze, intended to deter wolves from crossing the fence-line.[1] Fladry lines have been used for this purpose for several centuries, traditionally for hunting wolves in Eastern Europe.[1] They are effective temporarily, as the novelty may soon wear off, usually between three and five months, and can be used to protect livestock in small pastures from wolves.[1]

This technique is sometimes also used to alert horses and cattle to the presence of a fence, as the use of smooth wire fences and one strand of electric may not be seen by an animal unfamiliar with a new home.

Red Fladry is an example of an “old wives tale” that originated in Europe many years ago (as a deflection barrier while hunting Wolves) and continues to be repeated and promoted as a Wolf scare deterrent to this day. The promotion of Wolf “Fladry” (red streamers suspended from rope, twine or wires) and “Turbo Fladry” (DC electrified) that are promoted as a scare repellant to mitigate Wolf Depredation is well known to myself ( Google searching “Wolf Fladry Photos” will show many examples ); yet in my experience and proven by others research; Red is one color that Wolves cannot detect (see) as we Humans do. This statement also relates to Ungulates as Deer and Elk for examples. The single greatest attribute Wolves and Ungulates have in common is movement detection; Wolves for detecting prey and Ungulates for protection from predators, both from great distances, especially in darkness! Google search quires of “Can Wolves See Colors” and “Ungulate Color Vision” are two examples for further definitive information on what they see and explanations as to why they differ from our Human color detection.

The following “The Interesting Eyes of the Wolf” by Bob MacPherson inserted below, is one of many available thru Google search who have concluded an easy to understand difference in vision color detection.

Did You Know?

The Interesting Eyes of the Wolf

The evolution of the dog-like family over the last 40 million years has been very successful (Wang and Tedford 2008).  The wolf (Canis lupus), the largest living member of this family, has evolved unique physical attributes that aid it in hunting food – its vision system is one of these.  Wolves are carnivores that chase their prey, often at dusk, dawn, and during the night.  They need the ability to see prey clearly at long distances, over a wide field of view, and in poor light.  A good way to understand how wolves see is to compare their vision with ours. 

We are primates, mammals that include lemurs, monkeys, apes, and us.  Our eyes are pointed straight ahead. That is, both eyes see the same field, except for the area blocked by our nose!  So, we have binocular vision over most of our 180-degree visual range (Harrington and Asa 2003, Plonsky 1998).

Wolves’ eyes, on the other hand, point 25 degrees apart laterally, so they have a more limited range of binocular vision.  However, they have a much wider field of view than we do (about 250 degrees) (Harrington and Asa 2003, Plonsky 1998).  See illustration.

The inside backs of both our eyes and wolves’ eyes are covered with retinas, light sensitive membranes that send vision signals to our brains.  A lens at the front of the eye focuses images on the retina.  

Wolves and people have very different color vision.  We, and many other primates, have three-color vision (Jacobs and Nathans 2009).  That is, we have three color-sensitive receptors in our eyes called cone cells – roughly blue, green, and yellow.

Wolves have only two such color receptors.  The range of hues wolves can discriminate is much reduced compared to us.  See illustration.

All mammals have another kind of vision cell that is sensitive to very low light levels, but not to colors.  These cells are called rods.  We have a depression at the center focal point of our retinas called the fovea, which has a very high concentration of cones, but no rods for night vision. We are adapted for seeing great detail in color, during daylight, in a very restricted field of view.  Outside of the fovea we have a mix of cones and rods. Wolves lack a fovea, but have a broad central area with a very high density of rods and a higher density of cones compared to the periphery (but still only about 1/6 of ours).  Wolves can distinguish many more shades of gray and see much better in the dark than humans. A wolf has relatively sharp vision across much of its visual horizon without having to shift its gaze (Harrington and Asa 2003).

Detailed studies of the wolf’s ability to sense motion have shown that they can detect movement with both rods and cones considerably better than we can, especially in good light conditions.  One could say wolves see the world faster than we do (Harrington and Asa 2003).

Finally, wolves have a multi-layer membrane between the retina and the lens called a tapetum lucidum.  This membrane reflects light back through the retina, thereby increasing sensitivity in low light conditions.  It is also responsible for the “eye shine” of wolves and dogs at night.  Many other mammals have this membrane, but not us. 

Again, wolves need the ability to see prey clearly at long distances, over a wide field of view, and in poor light.  They need to discriminate many shades of gray and detect any movement across the horizon.  The eye of the wolf has evolved over millions of years to supply these needs very well. 

Bob MacPherson, PhD, retired scientist.

Citations:
Wang, X. and R. H. Tedford, Dogs: Their Fossil Relatives and Evolutionary History, 2008, Columbia University Press, New York.
Harrington, F. H. and C. S. Asa, Wolf Communication in Wolves: Behavior, Ecology, and Conservation, 2003 pp 96-99, L. D. Mech and L. Boitani, eds, University of Chicago Press, Chicago & London.
Jacobs, G. H. and J. Nathans, The Evolution of Primate Color Vision. Scientific American, April 2009: 56-63.
Plonsky, M., Ph.D. Canine Vision, 1998, http://www.uwsp.edu/psych/dog/LA/DrP4.htm

FENCE-FLAG® WOLF TRAINING With DC ELECTRIFIED FENCE BARRIERS

For Training Wolves to forbid trespass of a wire or cordage barrier, DC Electric Energized, I would recommend a single wire DC Electrified; supported by self-insulated WHITE Poly step-in-posts (stepped in at 30 ft. to a 50 ft. maximum spacing) and approx.12 inches outside of a permanent Livestock confinement physical barrier (as Woven Wire Livestock Fence, smooth 12 ½ ga. High Tensile or twin strand Barbed Wire are commonly used); with the proposed Energized wire placed at about an 18 inch height. The physical barrier wire barrier should also be attached to the Ground Terminal of the DC Energizer to maximize shock training value, especially with dry soil, rocks, and dry to the touch extreme frozen snow. If no permanent wire fence barrier is to be used and this will be a stand alone barrier; I’d suggest 3 or 4 strands of wire alternating 2 DC Energized and 1or 2 Grounded to simulate a physical barrier. In either case FENCE-FLAGS® should be attached at about 10 ft. intervals at the 18 in. sight height (always on an Energized wire) for slinking Wolves and Coyotes (as Wolves & Coyotes generally travel heads down) and especially when they use caution to approach something new and not previously recognized. Read the caution on every FENCE-FLAG® 12 count poly bag; unplug your Energizer before installing FENCE-FLAGS® or the Stainless Steel Slip Resistant K-CLIP®, attached per instructions will remind you, you should have! The plastic UV stable hang tags, molded with a 90° bend, White or Black will not conduct Electricity.

All types of wire barrier fencing should be policed regular and DC Energized fences must be inspected for issues more frequently (invest in a good fence volt meter) as “Murphy’s Law” is forever problematic; as vandalism by Livestock & Humans as well as failures by tree branches, over grown weeds and brush. The proper installation Grounding of these Energizers is imperative for optimum performance, read the instructions! It has been our experience; that the negative comment issues we’ve heard relating to Electric Fencing, is caused by the installer and / or the follow-up to not properly maintain. The only thing to touch the Energized Wire should be the clean insulator that supports it and the connection to the Energizer!

As for the cost of FENCE-FLAG® DC Energized Wolf Training; the below costs (approx. high end retail) represent per mile (5,280 ft.) for a new single strand VISIBLE barrier and does not include incidentals as Ground Rods, gate hooks, tension springs, splices etc. or the initial cost for a high mile / Joule rated Low-Impedance DC Energizer. All are available at your choice of retailer, or our catalog distributors listed below. If your retailer does not stock FENCE-FLAGS® ask them to give us a call or Email price request. We will quote direct for Government and Conservation Groups with identification.

White Braided ¼ in. Conductor Wire Poly Rope approx..660’ spools 8 X $60.00 ea. = $480.00
White Poly Step-in-Posts (30ft. spacing) = 176 X $2.50 ea. = $440.00
FENCE-FLAGS® White or Black spaced 10ft. 12 / bag=$5.00=.42 ea. X 528 =$221.76
Total = $1141.76

As stated these figures are high end retail estimates. What we’re using is recommended for HIGH VISIBILITYand minimal weight for combined simplicity of installation. 12½ ga. High Tensile smooth wire (about $125.00 per mile) can be substituted as well as greater spacing of Poly Posts equates to fewer posts; but, be cautious of wind whip with greater spacing.

For a cost comparison; Ms. T. DeLene Beeland within her blog, with photos, “Electrifing Deterants:Wolves and Fladry” her research concludes Turbo Fladry costs (Electrified) at $2,303.00 initially and $2,032.00 after, per KM. KM is Kilometers, that is 0.62 of a mile, therefor these costs equate to almost $4,000.00 per mile. There is no notation of these figures including accessories as posts etc. and I’ll assume the initial cost did include the Energizer.

More specific information and testimonials on FENCE-FLAGS® can been viewed at our WWW.FENCE-FLAG.COM home site including our “bucket drop” suggestion to pre-assemble before taking to the field for simplicity of installation.

I do recommend FENCE-FLAGS® (White for superior detection in darkness and Black alternating for over Snow) as a VISUAL detection tool, attached Slip Resistant onto a D C Energized Fence steel wire 1/8” max. diam. or 5/16” max. diam. Braided Cordage Rope with wire conductors interwoven, do not use poly wire and, do not attach our Stainless Steel K-CLIP® onto Aluminum wire; as the compression for Slip Resistant attachment will rupture the soft Aluminum. The reader will note I repeatedly emphasize DC Electric Energized.

NEVER connect a fence wire directly to your homes, or any other AC Electric receptacle!

FENCE-FLAG® Catalog Distributors

Name/Link:                            Distributor Item Number:

Jeffers Equine                        MN-F1

Kencove Farm Fence Inc.       MFF

Valley Vet Supply                   24135

Orchard Valley Supply            fncflag

I do encourage comments on this blog in the spirit of sharing information regarding Wolves and their Depredation. Please have patience for postings as I will moderate to review all comments that are relevant to this blog before publishing. Donald J. Kaleta

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2 Thoughts on “INFORMATIVE BLOG FOR FENCE-FLAG® WOLF TRAINING”

    • I’ve personally heard comments that hogs “pigs” are easily trained to fear and not trespass a DC Energized single wire barrier. When questioned if pigs would play with and vandalize the plastic tags, we respond if an issue, by advising to place a piece of bare wire suspended also on the Stainless Steel K-CLIP in conjunction with the plastic tag to train not to touch the tags. Spreading a bit of the animal’s manure on the plastic tags should also repel them from playing with the tags. The manure suggestion should work equally well for cattle as foraging animals use the smell test before consuming.

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