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Do I Need High Fencing for My Airstrip?

If you use a personal aircraft to run your farm, then you know owning a plane, even a small one, is a lot of work. There’s maintenance, storage, and permits, and you have to have a keen understanding of the way this machinery works. You may have already found out just how expensive storage is, and fees to use a municipal runway can add up quickly. If you use your vessel for dusting, seeding, or to keep tabs on your large piece of land, it makes sense to build your own hangar and runway.

What do I need?

You need several clear acres and a landing area of at least 3,000 linear feet. A hangar large enough to house the aircraft and the tools to keep it running are essential. You’ll also need an aviation fuel storage tank. Your airport must be approved by your local government, as it is a land-use issue. This is not a comprehensive list of requirements. Contact the FAA for more information. Likewise, your local co-op may be able to put you in touch with other landowners with experience owning a private airport.

How do I protect my investment?

Airplanes are not cheap, and your main priority after safety is keeping your investment from harm’s way. This starts with regular maintenance. The majority of manufacturers will provide a maintenance schedule to include components such as the alternator, transponders, and emergency locator transmitter. Each trip, you will need to visually inspect the body of the aircraft, fuel and oil levels, and use your experience to listen for potential issues not seen by the eye. Pay attention to small changes and take steps to rectify them as soon as possible to avoid costly repairs down the road.

A security system is also helpful, especially if your aircraft is not within sight of your residence. Make sure your system is equipped with motion detectors and online video capture. Floodlights and a backup generator will keep your property well lit and your system running in case of power outage respectively.

Consider adding a high fence around the perimeter of your property. Choose a product that is high-tensile, which will keep local wildlife safe, lasts longer than a traditional aluminum fence, and will be a more intimidating deterrent for thieves and vandals. The entrance to your property should be equipped with a gate large enough for your aircraft be removed for transport should it be rendered unable to fly and need off-site attention.

High fence materials are available through Straight Shooter Game Fencing, or we can provide full-service installation, including land clearing, water gaps, and custom gates. Our high fence experts are available to answer your questions. Contact us today for more information.

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Goodbye City Life

If you’ve ever dreamed of leaving the rat race, keep reading. Here, we’ll cover a few things you should know before you make the leap from office to agriculture. Keep reading for advice on everything from high fence to farm financing.

Are You Ready?

Before you turn in your two-week notice, spend some time on a farm. You can book a weekend at a working cattle ranch or as a guest at one of the many agritourism sites popping up. FarmStayUS.com can help you find a nearby location.

Finding the Right Homestead

Choosing the right spot is key to your success as a new farmer. You don’t have to have a large estate. A few acres will be enough to get started assuming the soil is well prepped and you have access to a barn and other amenities. Look for a property with a high fence, which will keep predators at bay and protect your crops or livestock. A barn, road frontage, and water source, such as a well or pond, are also beneficial. If you plan to sell what you produce, do some research to ensure the financial demographics of the region support your decision. If not, you may find yourself sitting on goods you can’t sell.

How to find a farm for sale

While you might think that using a real estate agent is the only way to start your search for land, there are many alternatives. Start by browsing the internet. Sites like Zillow and Realtor.com are available to the public and feature listings from all over the country. You can also use these as tools to identify potential properties. If you have a free afternoon, spend it driving through outlying rural areas. Sometimes farms pop up for sale and are only advertised via a sign at the gate.

Financing

Financing an agricultural piece of land isn’t that different from buying a residential property. But there are often special loans available, and they have different requirements and terms. The FSA offers more information on financial products available to farmers and ranchers. You may find that you will need to take out a separate loan to fund your farming operations and equipment, especially if you plan to use alternative methods, such as hydroponics or vertical farming.

DIY or outsource?

Depending on your budget and experience level working the land, you may need to outsource some of the work. This can include excavation, seeding, barn building, and animal insemination. If your land is not protected, you’ll also need to look into adding a fence. Straight Shooter Game Fencing offers options for self-installation, or we can install a high fence for you. We can clear trees, smooth the terrain, add water gaps, and place a predator apron to further help protect your investment. Contact us today for more information or for your no-obligation quote.


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Deer Fencing for Small Spaces

If you have a small home garden, you’ve no doubt been met with dismay more than once with a half-eaten stalk of something. Deer are opportunity eaters and will nibble on anything that looks appetizing, especially in urban areas where food is scarce.

Deer can enter

Just because you have a fence around the yard doesn’t mean deer can’t enter. To reduce the chances of wildlife making a meal out of your hard work, you’ll have to install deer fencing. Thankfully, you can handle a small garden plot on your own, either by ordering professional-grade deer fencing or installing a temporary extension to your existing fence.

Whitetails, which are common in the US, can leap up to eight feet. They cannot, however, achieve distance and height so you can get away with as little as six feet of fencing if it’s positioned at a 45-degree angle. If you have an existing residential fence, you can deter a deer invasion by adding three to four feet of height at the posts and then running wire around the perimeter.

Deer fencing is available in rolls at your local hardware store and may work for a short amount of time. You can read more on simple fencing in this post from the University of Vermont.

Fencing the perimeter

Another method, which many have used successfully, to keep deer out is to install a privacy fence around the entire property. A six-foot fence will block the deer’s line-of-sight, and they are less likely to jump without knowing what’s on the other side. A cage is sufficient if you just need to protect a single tree or small plot of low-lying vegetation.

A more effective solution

While material purchased from your local hardware store may work for a small area or for a single season, more durable game fencing is a better option for more extensive gardens. Straight Shooter Game Fencing is an authorized retailer for some of the nation’s most trusted suppliers. A free phone consultation can help you identify the materials you need to fence-in your large property permanently. Ask about predator aprons and water gaps for a comprehensive collection of items you need to keep your investment safe.

Visit our materials page for more information.

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How Much Land Do I Need For Hunting?

If you’ve ever thought about turning your land into a hunter’s haven, you’re biggest question is likely, “Do I have enough room?” The goods news is that you can start hunting with a few as five acres of open area, but there’s more to it than just a place to shoot.

Factors

The amount of land you need for hunting is dependent upon many factors. These include:

  • What you want to hunt
  • What you’re hunting with (bow, gun, etc.)
  • The number of people hunting with you

Deer hunting

Deer hunting requires the most amount of land. You need a minimum of 10 acres, but that’s only if you’re a perfect shot. With this little land, you run the risk of the deer running off onto someone else’s property. Deer fencing can keep your target in place, but fencing this small of an area means there is little-to-no chance of increasing the deer population. 50 or more acres is best if you’re rifle hunting and plan to have multiple people with you or expect to host more than one hunt per season. Again, deer fencing (also called game fencing) will help keep your game from escaping. More importantly, fencing a large tract of land establishes boundaries and keeps other hunters and predators away.

Turkey hunting

The most important factor you have to consider when it comes to turkey hunting is the features of the land. Turkeys need a densely wooded area, water source, and open field. 5 acres is the minimum amount of land for this big game bird. However, you must also consider the spray from your weapon — shotgun pellets can scatter as far as half a mile if you’re using a powerful gun.

Hog hunting

Hog hunting picked up attention back in 2004 when a Georgia guide shot and killed an animal that’s been dubbed “Hogzilla” by the locals. If you plan to aim for wild pig, you’ll want to have at least 10 acres and, like with turkey hunting, a body of water. Hogs are often found wallowing in soft earth, mud, and bogs. And in the south, hog hunting is usually a nighttime activity so the more land, the better.

If you don’t already have land, find a real estate agent in your area that specializes in hunting properties. If you’re in the southeast, you won’t have to look far. When viewing potential acquisitions, inspect for signs of wildlife. Deer tracks, scat, and burrows are a good indication that animals abound. Look at the trees. Unhealthy trees won’t support your prey. Ask about surrounding properties, too. Avoid any land in close proximity to commercial or agricultural operations, or that are zoned as such. Finally, ensure you have unobstructed access to your land. This is especially important if you must deal with an easement to get to your hunting base.

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It Starts with the Soil: Tips for Starting Your Own Farm

Starting your own farm means clearing the land, installing a protective agriculture fence, and lots of prepping, plowing, and planting. Keep reading for a few quick tips on how to get started.

Know your soil

Not all dirt is created equally. Before you start clearing a planting plot, test your soil. This will give you an idea of what you’re working with and an opportunity to amend it according to the crop you plan to plant.

Till your plot

Now that you know your soil type, it’s time to work it. If you haven’t already, invest in a PTO-driven tiller. Tilling the soil will ensures that it’s soft enough for planting and can help you identify any issues, such as a heavy concentration of rocks or mole infestation.

Get your fence together

It doesn’t matter if you’re planting crops, have a herd of cattle, or both, you need to protect your property. An agriculture fence, or game fence, is the best way to keep domestic animals in and wild animals out. You may not have to worry about predators if you have a garden, but rest assured there are plenty of critters willing to make a meal out of your hard work.

Deter disease

If you don’t have a great deal of experience farming, you’ll need to get yourself acquainted, with common crop diseases. Blights, leaf curl, powdery mildew, root rot, and a host of other botanical disorders can ruin your crop. Animals are likewise susceptible to illnesses. Tractor Supply’s list of common cattle diseases is a quick two minute read that will get you acquainted with issues you should keep an eye on.

Harvest at the right time

There are few things worse than getting a basket full of fresh garden fare only to realize they have no flavor once they make it to the table. Harvesting too early can lead to bland food; too late and your vegetables may be mushy or bitter. Burpee gives a rundown of the most common garden vegetables including when and how to harvest.

Have the right equipment

Running the farm is hard work and requires lots of tools. You’ll need a variety of gardening implements including a rake and hand trowel. Large farms also require a bevy of homesteading equipment. Check out our September blog post 5 Essential Pieces of Homesteading Equipment for more on this.

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What is Game Fencing?

Game fence has many names. It’s known as high fence, deer fence, and whitetail fence. However, no matter what you call it, game fencing refers to a tall, high-tensile perimeter barrier. Chances are, if you’re thinking of having a fence that’s more than five or six feet high installed, game fencing is what you see in your vision.

The many functions of game fencing

Game fence accomplishes many tasks. In addition to serving as an enclosure, properly installed fencing also keeps predators out. It is a useful tool that assists with your hunting management plan or keep trespassers off your property. Furthermore, game fencing is also useful in helping maintain the existing deer population and ensure the purity of game animal genetics. Other uses for commercial game fencing include crop and airport protection. At home, game fencing works to protect your flower and vegetable gardens.

Breeder pens also utilize deer fence. A breeder pen allows a livestock breeder to keep a specified number of deer, typically five per acre, contained together. Likewise, and just as useful, breeder pens with a built-in passageway allows the breeder to transport deer between enclosures. A path may also be designed to give animal caregivers direct access to their handling or transportation facility. There is no standard breeder pen design; each is built around the layout of the land to satisfy land owner needs.

Keeping predators at bay

Landowners concerned with predation can add a predator apron to their game fence design. This is an extension of a standard deer fence and is built of 26-inch class III 12.5 gauge high-tensile wire. This wire is installed at the base of the fence and can deter most predators from digging under. A predator apron installed around a single enclosure or small yard prevents small mammal intrusion.

Game fencing lasts a lifetime, at least 50 years barring Mother Nature’s wrath. Straight Shooter Game Fencing provides a lifetime workmanship warranty on every fence, enclosure, and breeder pin we install. Contact us today for more information on professional game fence installation or DIY materials.

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5 Essential Pieces of Homesteading Equipment

If you’re ready to make the leap from homeowner to homesteader, keep reading for more information on the top five pieces of farm equipment you’ll need to succeed. Note: this list assumes you already own a tractor.

 

Rototiller

 

A powered rototiller will significantly reduce the time it takes to get your land ready for agricultural operations. Be cautious in your selection and make sure your rototiller matches your tractor’s size. Anything too small or too large in either weight or width simply won’t work. Consider horsepower of the attachment along with the width of your tractor and hitch class. An effective rototiller will also include a slip clutch on the drivetrain. A rototiller is preferred over a traditional plow as it reduces the amount of rocks pulled from land and ensures a more even job, especially on smaller plots of land.

 

Backhoe

 

While you won’t use a backhoe every day, it’s a fantastic tractor attachment and one you’ll be glad to own. A backhoe can help you dig drainage ditches, concrete footings, and perform work on your septic system. This simple attachment indispensable when you need to level a building site or need counterweights when moving heavier objects around your homestead. You can also use a backhoe in place of a post digger when installing deer fencing.

 

Bush hog

 

If you have any amount of open land you’d like to keep clear of bushes and trees, a bush hog mower is your best friend. While you will still need to keep a riding or push mower handy for small jobs, there is no matching the convenience and speed of the bush hog. Like a backhoe, your bush hog is valuable preparing your land for deer fencing, whether you are going to install it yourself or have our team do it for you.

 

Generator

 

Even if your’re not completely off the grid, a gas-powered generator is an invaluable addition to your homesteading arsenal. In addition to providing power in remote locations, a generator can keep you going during power outages caused by Mother Nature. If you’re looking to save money, consider a PTO-powered generator, which can be attached to your tractor.

 

York/landscape rake

 

A York rake is perhaps the simplest farming implement you can own but will also be one you use the most. A landscape rake is more than just a driveway maintenance tool. These three-point rakes can drive rocks from the garden or remove leaves, brush, and branches from freshly cleared land.

 

Whether you’re new to the idea of homesteading or a master of all things off-the-grid, we can help you come up with a perimeter fencing solution to keep your home, family, crops, and livestock safe. We offer a wide selection of game fencing and deer fencing options along with water gaps, excavation, and ornamental gates.

 

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Deer Fencing Could Save Farmers Nearly $800 Million Annually

Whitetail deer are one of the most abundant species in the US with a population of more than 30 million. They are fast reproducers and have the ability to double their numbers in just two years. That’s a lot of mouths to feed and deer are opportunistic eaters that aren’t picky about where they dine. Keep reading for ways deer fencing may keep deer from ruining your crops.

Severe damage

In 2016, deer feeding activity got so bad in Georgia that dozens of agricultural operation managers petitioned the state for special deer depredation permits, much to the chagrin of local hunting clubs. A report published by the Warnell School of Forestry and Natural Resources finds that more than 20 percent of crops sustain deer-related damage — corn crops are the hardest hit with many farms reporting a loss of almost 46 percent. Sadly, less than half of the farmers surveyed took measures to prevent crop damage.

Deer fencing for prevention

The old wisdom is that good fences make good neighbors and that’s never as true as when your neighbors are hungry for your cash crops. Rutgers University advocates the use of high tensile deer fencing as an effective way to reduce financial loss. However, the New Jersey-based college explains that deer fencing only makes sense for those farmers and landowners that can justify the cost. For full effectiveness, deer fencing must be a minimum of 8 feet high and cover the entire perimeter of the crops to be protected.

In addition to deer, feral hogs also cause significant crop damage. Wild hogs are most prevalent along the East Coast and in Texas.

Crops are just the beginning

Crops are not the only resource damaged by animals. According to the National Wildlife Research Center, ranchers lose in excess of $138 million each year in the lost cows, calves, and lambs due to predation. Coyotes, mountain lions, wolves, and bears are the primary perpetrators. Properly installed deer fencing can help keep these predators at bay.

DIY or full service deer fencing

Straight Shooter Game Fence offers two options: full-service game fence installation and DIY material sales. Full-service installation is customizable to your needs – we can even provide excavation of your wooded land. Pricing for DIY fencing is based on materials needed and linear footage. Both options are affordable and effective against animal intrusion.

Check out our materials page for more information on DIY deer fencing.

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Game Fence Repairs: Why it Pays to Have it Installed Correctly

A game fence is an investment in your investment. Your land, and the assets on it, must be protected properly. Poorly installed fencing is a liability that can cost you thousands of dollars or more.

Unlike traditional fence repairs, game fencing does not always require materials. Game fence is made out of a high tensile wire that will typically bounce back from damage caused by impact. But this is only true if it’s installed correctly.

Land preparation

Ideal fence clearing

Proper land preparation is vital to the success of your game fence. While it’s not a complicated process, it does take time and attention to detail. The first step before installation is to survey the land. This is followed by creating a path for the fence. Straight Shooter Game Fence recommends a minimum 20-foot-width clearing the entire length of the fence. We can install game fencing in all terrains.

Water gaps

Straight Shooter Game Fencing Inc.

Water gaps prevent major damage

 

Creeks, river, ponds and other bodies of water are valuable resources on your land. However, they are open invitation for unwelcome guests or an accidental exit for your livestock. Game fencing installed with water gaps allow the free flow of water. A well-thought-out water gap protects the fence from debris, such as tree limbs, from piling up along the fence line. A water gap or small culvert  installed in wet weather creek beds and anywhere that experiences high water during rain or flood conditions is also beneficial. Rip rap rocks prevent washout in these areas and should be added during installation.

Repairs

Straight Shooter Game Fencing Inc.

Water damaged fence — repair cost of $3,000 that could have been avoided with proper installation

Damage caused by trees is a fairly simple repair but one that can cost $1,000 or more. If the tree is large, machinery may need to be brought in to remove it prior to repairs. A skilled hand can easily fix unwanted wire warpage but damage to bracing or pipes will add to the expense. With properly cleared land, significant tree damage is rare. Water damage is more difficult to fix. A washed out fence may need to be replaced completely and water gaps, culverts, and rip rap installed to prevent further incidents of damage. A 50 x 10 water gap with two support cables will set you back at least $2,000 and price increases with size. When water gaps are installed at installation, fencing requires little maintenance and has a better chance of resisting later damage. Wash out that doesn’t affect the fence structure may be fixed with rip rap and strategically placed gaps and culverts. This is quoted on a case-by-case basis.

Land preparation is essential to the functionality and longevity of your game fence. And despite her temper, Mother Nature doesn’t have to be devastating. As your fence installer, we will take steps to prevent damage by clearing a path, accounting for water flow, and supporting your fence where it needs it most.

Straight Shooter Game Fence installs game fencing throughout the United States and offers a lifetime warranty with each installation. We take pride in doing it right the first time, every time. Call us today for your quote and see the difference that our experience makes.

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Big Game Hunting in Alabama

As the world population continues to grow, unspoiled land has become a rare commodity indeed. Unfortunately, there are many restrictions when hunting public land and safety is always a concern. But, there are dozens of hunting preserves scattered throughout the United States. These cater to the beginner and seasoned hunter. There are two types of preserved: private and nonprofit.

 

http://https://pixabay.com/en/fawn-whitetail-deer-deer-wildlife-3567259/

Whitetail fawn, image via Pixabay

Private game preserve

A private game preserve is one that exists to make a profit for landowners. These often come with rich features, such as hunting classes, large accommodations, and assistance preparing your kill for transportation home. Private game preserves are stocked with the most in-demand game. These are a great option if you have money to spare and are looking for a more luxurious experience.

Wildlife management areas

Wildlife management areas, which may be referred to as public hunting lands, also have their benefits. Many are operated at the state level and exist to ensure a balance between the human and wildlife populations. The vast majority of these areas are protected and impose strict bagging limits.

Alabama game preserves

Thunder Mountain

Set on more than 600 acres, Thunder Mountain has perfected the art of big game hunting. This private preserve has created a habitat of mixed terrain including springs, rolling hills, and pine thickets that ensure the health and safety of the beautiful and majestic deer that inhabit the land. Guided whitetail hunts are available and range in price from $2, 000 to $7,500 or more.

Limestone Hunting Preserve

Limestone Hunting Preserve in Ardmore offers a wide variety of activities including pheasant, dove, deer, and turkey hunts. As a further benefit, limestone provides boarding and training for hunting dogs of all breeds. Deer hunting is limited to bow only and is available Thursday through Sunday for $375 per hunter.

Hawkins Ridge Lodge

In business since 1987, Hawkins Ridge Lodge is one of the top deer, turkey, and hog hunting lodges in the US. A family-owned and operated retreat, Hawkins Ridge Lodge is set amongst 6,000 acres of varying terrain in southern Alabama. Three day, early-season deer gun hunts start at just $1,475. However, these are limited to ensure each party receives the best possible experience. Children under the age of 14 may receive half-price accommodations during certain times of the year when accompanied by a full-priced adult. This benefits makes Hawkins Ridge a family-friendly excursion.

What to look for in a hunting preserve

Hunting is not a cheap pastime and the choice to spend your time at these or any other lodges is a big one. Ask about guide experience, limits, and how their game is kept safe, contained, and protected against poachers and prey. A well-appointed hunting preserve should be outfitted with a properly installed game fence and the number of yearly hunts should be limited.

https://pixabay.com/en/whitetail-deer-animal-antlers-3575623/

Buck, image via Pixabay

 

Alabama licenses go on sale Monday, August 27, 2018 for Sept 1 usage. Hunting and fishing licenses may be acquired in person and require a valid ID and Social Security Number. You may also purchase your hunting and fishing licenses online through the Alabama Department of Conservation & Natural Resources