Electric Fence for Coyotes and Wolves
Wolves and coyotes are carnivorous and survive by preying on weaker and slower species, including domesticated herd animals. They frequently hunt in packs and disregard traditional fencing.
A properly installed electrified high-tensile fence can provide protection from these predators.
Due to wolves and coyotes very thick, insulating fur, a low impedance fence charger that can maintain 4,000 to 5,000 volts on the fence line should be used.
Tip: You may want to use bait to condition predators to avoid the fence.
Permanent Fencing Designs for Predators
A 7-wire permanent high-tensile electric fence with wires spaced equally 6" – 8" apart and a height of 42" to 54" high is commonly recommended for deterring bears and wolves. In special situations, a 9 or 11-wire fence may be necessary.
Wolves and coyotes also dig to reach their prey, which requires the bottom electric wire to be placed not more than 6 inches from the ground.
Wildlife experts recommend the following permanent fencing configurations to deter predators:
- 7-wire design, 42" fence height – This design works well to deter both grizzly and black bears while still allowing deer and elk to safely pass.
- 7-wire design, 54" fence height – Primarily used to deter grizzlies, black bears, and wolves, this design is used to deter predators from calving and lambing areas in areas with low to moderate potential or current wolf activity. In addition, this design works great for deterring bears from beehives and chicken coops.
- 9 – 11 wire design, 60" – 72" fence height – Most effective design to deter wolves and bears when predator activity or risk is high.
No defense against bears is a fail-safe option. See our electric bear fencing page for more information.
Temporary Fencing Options for Predators
For temporary fencing, fladry can be used to deter wolves and other predators. Fladry is a line of wire strung with long flags or streamers used to deter predators from livestock. The advantage of fladry is it is portable, temporary, and does not require much planning. While it is only a short-term deterrent, fladry has been shown to deter wolves for up to 60 days and much longer when electrified.
Potential fladry users should be aware that problems with deployment, tangling, power drainage, general availability, and high initial capital and labor costs are associated with this method. But because of its portability and temporary nature, many ranchers in western states have found fladry to be an effective livestock protection tool from predators, especially wolves.