High fences were initially used to restrict animal movement in Texas in the 1930s. Since that time, high fences have been erected in 48 of the 59 states. These fences have been used to manage white-tailed deer, exotic species, game breeding operations, research facilities, and drive-through zoos. They have also been utilized as a part of a property’s safety and security measures.
High fence regulations vary per state. Stakeholders must consider landowner rights, habitat loss reduction, wildlife, fair chase rules, and disease outbreak prevention.
Here we outline regulations concerning high fence installation in the different Southeastern states and learn more about each state’s position on high fence management.
Alabama does not have regulations on high fence properties and high fence enclosures. There are no acreage requirements or permits to maintain a high fence. Hunters must follow state hunting regulations related to seasons, weapons, and bag limits.
Any landowner can enclose a property with a high fence; there are no minimum size or fence requirements. Game enclosed within a high fence belong to the state, and hunters must comply with all state hunting regulations within that area.
Landowners who want to hunt commercially or who are planning to release captive-raised game into the herd must obtain proper licensing. Licensed game hunting preserves must be at least 200 acres, 100 of which should be in woody vegetation and posted every 500 feet. The preserve must be fully enclosed with a game-proof fence that’s 8 feet high, and the fence cannot be within a mile of a wildlife management area, refuge, or park.
Georgia allows landowners to install a high fence on their property for game management and hunting purposes for as long as the property has an acreage of at least 640 acres. Any game within high fence properties is considered state-owned and local hunting regulations must be followed. Properties smaller than 640 acres must obtain a permit to erect a high fence and the fence must only be used for education or exhibition purposes only.
The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries does not officially approve of high fences, and the state does not have any regulations on high fence enclosures. Any person can build one as long as all state hunting regulations are followed.
Landowners must obtain a permit from the Department of Agriculture if they want to stock their high fence property with game sourced from a different location.
In the state of Mississippi, high fence property owners are required to obtain an annual Facility Permit, which costs $300 a year for enclosures of up to 300 acres. Enclosures larger than 300 acres must pay $1 per acre. Fenced properties must be a minimum of 300 contiguous acres.
All high fence enclosures must be enrolled with the Enclosure Management Assistance Program. The program requires the owner to work with an approved wildlife biologist from the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks (MDWFP). Owners must likewise consent to periodic inspections by the MDWFP, with a minimum of one visit a year.
Any fence that confines and impedes game from moving freely from the enclosed area is considered illegal in the state of Virginia. It is also illegal to hunt game within any enclosure.
Fences with a height of more than five feet or fences combined with topographical barriers are considered as hindrances to natural game movement. However, high fence enclosures registered before August 2001 are exempted from this ruling.
Upon registration with the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries (VDGIF), facilities are required to operate using hunting and wildlife management practices determined by the agency. State and local hunting laws and regulations must be followed. High fence enclosures can be inspected by the VDGIF at any reasonable time.
Expect high fencing regulations to be a topic of discussion among wildlife managers, hunters, and the non-hunting public for years to come. Please check with your state wildlife agency and local law enforcement officials for the latest updates.
Straight Shooter Game Fencing specializes in high-tensile game fencing. We work with property owners throughout the US to provide the best fencing installation, service, and fencing materials at competitive prices. Get in touch with us to know more.